I’ve said it myself and I hear my clients say it all the time “I’d be perfectly content to go the rest of my life without ever having sex again.”
For those who’ve faced vaginismus or painful sex, this statement is all too relatable and understandable. Why would we want to participate in something that causes us physical and emotional pain? Sure, maybe we achieve some pleasure, but often it’s masked by the elephant in the room of pain and disappointment.
Reframe the Purpose of Intimacy
But physical intimacy was designed to build deep emotional and physical bonds. It was designed to be the playground of marriage- for joy, connection, pleasure, and amazing experiences unrivaled in this world. To disengage from this basic human right is to cheapen the gift of sex and intimacy. Truly believing that sex is a gift to be cherished and valued is the first step in fostering a desire for sexual connection.
Build a Safe Space for Communication
If you find that your desire for intimacy is lacking or even non-existent, it’s essential to start with an honest and open conversation with your partner about it. Communication, especially vulnerable communication within a safe space, is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Discussing your feelings in a supportive, safe, and non-judgmental manner can pave the way for sparking the intimacy flame.
It’s crucial to approach the journey towards sexual desire as both an individual and a team. Approach this process with an open mind, embracing the potential for growth and healing. Be receptive to trying new things, whether they are new activities, experiences, or even changes in mindset. Cultivating an environment that supports continued communication, exploration, and honest reflection can make a significant difference.
Learn Your Body’s Unique Cues
After developing a safe space to communicate openly and vulnerably about sex and intimacy, start reflecting on moments when you’ve felt the ever-so-slight tingle of desire. Take time to think about the circumstances, moments, or actions that have led to a heightened sense of connection and attraction in the past. Explore what led to those instances—was it a shared experience, quality time, emotional connection, or something entirely different? What proceeded this? How were you feeling? What lead you to feel safe enough to experience arousal? Where were you at in your menstrual cycle? By pinpointing these factors, you can consciously recreate and build upon these experiences to train your body to desire intimacy and experience arousal.
It’s also important to identify any factors that might stifle your desire for intimacy. These could be external stressors, unresolved conflicts, personal insecurities, or even unhealthy (or busy) routines. By recognizing these factors, you can work on addressing or minimizing them, creating a more conducive environment for nurturing your intimacy.
Sexual pain and vaginismus can notoriously ruin a sex-drive and arousal. When intimacy leads to pain, shame, disappointment, fear, or feelings of inadequacy, your body naturally will divert any attention away from arousal. Working through these feelings and difficult emotions are going to significantly help with allowing yourself to experience pleasure. Creating a safe space within intimacy that doesn’t lead to pain or difficult emotions will greatly heal your relationship with intimacy. This is where being honest with yourself and your partner matters most.
Becoming attuned to your body’s signals and responses is a powerful tool towards kindling sexual desire. Listen to what your body is telling you, whether it’s tension, relaxation, excitement, or apprehension. Pay attention to how different experiences, thoughts, and activities influence your physical and emotional state throughout the day. Then, lean into this to foster a mind and body ready for intimacy!
Trust the Process
Remember that this process is not about putting pressure on yourself or your partner. It’s about mutual understanding, self-discovery, and a commitment to growth. Be patient with each other and honor the uniqueness of your journey. Keep the lines of communication open, continually checking in with each other to ensure that you’re both on the same page and progressing in a way that feels comfortable and authentic.
In the end, fostering desire for intimacy is an evolving process that requires effort, understanding, and a willingness to learn and adapt. As you navigate this journey together, you’ll not only enhance your physical connection but also strengthen the emotional bond that forms the heart of a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
In my Mind-Body-Sex Reset Vaginismus Program, we take a deep dive into understanding and nurturing our arousal cues. We discover ways to support our nervous system’s response to external and internal stimuli to ensure we can experience arousal with out added suppression. Because just being able to have sex was never the goal. Enjoying sex in exciting and pleasurable ways the allow us to connect deeper.. that’s the goal!
For more information on my Mind-Body-Sex Reset Vaginismus program, schedule a free consultation! Let’s get you on the fast track to enjoying fun, pleasurable and pain-free sex!