Does Sex Therapy Work - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Does Sex Therapy Work

I posted something a while back about my wife's inability to have an orgasm. To review, my wife and I did not have sex until we were married, and although she reports having pleasure during foreplay and intercourse, she clearly has not had an orgasm. After being treated for breast cancer (she is a five-year survivor, and I thank God every day that she is still with us), she had a hysterectomy as a precaution, and hence her sex drive has really collapsed. In order to help her enjoy sex more, we started including the use of a long, full body massage using a vibrator that is something like a Hitachi. To be more clear, she lies on her stomach massaging her genitals with one wand, while I massage her neck, back, butt, legs, calves etc. with another wand. We do this for at least a half an hour, or until she feels the desire to have intercourse. I should add the we use coconut oil for lubrication. As an aside, that is amazing stuff and I wish we had discovered that earlier! Although these massages have vastly improved her sexual response and pleasure (sometimes she becomes naturally wet, especially if the massage has been going on for a while!), she still has not had an orgasm. Typically, what she tells me is that she begins to experience pleasure, but then she kind of plateaus and cannot 'move' forward toward an orgasm, even through continued manual stimulation by me, or through the use of the vibrator. I really, really would like her to have an orgasm, and I feel really frustrated and sad that I cannot give her the same pleasure she gives me. Just a few more details. She does Kegel exercises several times a week, however, she does not masturbate and prefers to work on this issue together with me. (She does not want to try pleasuring herself without me present, even though I have told her that would not bother me in the least.) Our lives are pretty busy, so the only time we have to work on this is the weekend. We schedule time for sex every Saturday morning, and occasionally if we have time may try one other day during the week.

My question is has anybody had experience with the use of a sex therapist to treat this kind of issue? I am planning on calling a few therapists, but I was curious to hear from people who went this route for addressing this problem.

I really love my wife and am grateful that she is healthy (praise God), and I will do anything it takes to help her increase her level of pleasure and have an orgasm. She is a loving wife, and is very willing to satisfy me sexually when I ask, but I feel that I should spare no effort in helping her to experience what I am experiencing.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 08:49 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

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Originally Posted by Olorin View Post
My question is has anybody had experience with the use of a sex therapist to treat this kind of issue? I am planning on calling a few therapists, but I was curious to hear from people who went this route for addressing this problem.

I really love my wife and am grateful that she is healthy (praise God), and I will do anything it takes to help her increase her level of pleasure and have an orgasm. She is a loving wife, and is very willing to satisfy me sexually when I ask, but I feel that I should spare no effort in helping her to experience what I am experiencing.

Having talked to a sex therapist (for a different reason than yours), I'll tell you that therapy is useful only if the person recognizes there's a problem and they have the power to fix it.

If your wife doesn't believe she has a problem, then no amount of therapy will 'fix' her.

In the same vein, you do not have the power to 'fix' a problem you think she has.

Is your wife bothered by the fact that she can't orgasm? Or is this a bigger issue for you than her?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 09:19 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

I hope I'm not being too forward, but your post brought me close to tears. Your desire to help your wife achieve this pleasure is quite evident in your post and the way you approach the pleasure to be achieved with sex is heart warning and very loving. I had had issues reaching orgasm I'm my marriage not for the same reasons you listed as your wife and in actuality at the time I wasn't sure if I had ever has an orgasm as sex with my husband was pleasant but I kept thinking that there should be more by the way my female friends described it, so I went on a mission to find out. I bought a book on female sexuality through the lifespan, I don't have the exact title while answering this post but willing to give it at another time. Anyway, what I got from this book is that there's no shame in self pleasure and that I was doing myself and my husband by letting him try to pleasure me when I'm the only one who knows what feels good to me. Having been raised Catholic and being the good girl really messed with my head as my mom did discussed with the girls that only sl*ts enjoyed sex even if married. Yeah, I had to seek IC to clear this up for me.
I talked to my husband which was the hardest conversation I ever had regarding that I didn't think I ever "O" ed. I didn't want to damage his male ego but culturally, we had some issues to overcome especially when it came to bringing toys in the bedroom. You're wife has to be willing to explore her own body and find out what running script she has playing in her mind that is keeping her from reaching an orgasm. I don't know about other women but for me it was very scary to allow your body to loose control in the presence of someone else even if it's your spouse. She has to want this as much as you want it for her. It's not shameful to experience the pleasure that our bodies are designed to achieve.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 11:19 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

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Originally Posted by Olorin View Post
I really, really would like her to have an orgasm, and I feel really frustrated and sad that I cannot give her the same pleasure she gives me.
Interesting that YOU are the one asking for therapy but seem unable to see your own faults and instead are perhaps blaming them on your wife. If you proceed with sex therapy it would likely reveal the statement you made above to be translated as follows:

Quote:
I'm feeling really frustrated that no matter how hard I try that I am unable to force my wife to orgasm. I need this to happen or otherwise I'm unable to feel like she enjoys sexual intimacy with me and I'm beginning to feel guilty for pushing her to do things that only I enjoy.
A sex therapist would likely work more with YOU so that you could find different ways to learn that your wife loves you and how she likely enjoys things about sex from a different perspective. Ultimately YOU would need to learn to love and accept your wife for exactly who she is instead of forcing her to change into what you feel you need. Sexual intimacy between a couple should solely focus on the emotional connection with enough confidence that orgasm or not that it is still a meaningful and enjoyable experience for both. Sometimes couples may grow to realize that sex without orgasm can even be better.

My suggestion for you would be instead of trying to force her to orgasm would be to engage in very slow sex with the focus of an emotional connection and for you to try and not orgasm (at least for a few days). This would be an exercise in you learning to see sex more from her perspective and I am sure SHE would enjoy this much more than you trying to force her to do something that likely makes her feel inadequate.

Odds are if a therapist were concerned about your wife's ability to orgasm that she would likely need to work on that solo before it would be something that she would be able to share with you. Odds are she may already do that but is too ashamed to talk about it with you as many spouses are mortified to talk about masturbation openly. Odds are the therapist would discover this only to get more frustrated with YOU for continuing to force her to orgasm and using therapy to continue your pursuit of that.

Regards,
Badsanta
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 11:57 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

Sometimes the mind can be a powerful tool, if a person cannot relax and let go, sometimes they cannot orgasm.
Maybe your anxiety/anticipation for your wife to have an orgasm is being transferred over to her and she cannot relax because instead of trying to enjoy herself, she's trying to give you what you want to happen.

Does Sex Therapy Work? Absolutely.
But achieving orgasms isn't what sex therapy is all about, it's about freeing your mind and body in order to achieve fulfilment in love and sex. Just focusing on the orgasm issues alone and pressuring your wife actually might make things worse, so my advice would be to focus on all aspects of intimacy and pleasure, this could lead to great orgasms in the future.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 12:50 PM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

I think sex therapy is a must because it's impossible to know just how your wife's breast cancer, radiation/chemo, and subsequent hysterectomy have affected her biologically. Both radiation and chemo affect more body systems than the intended target. If her hysterectomy included her ovaries, and if it was done preventatively it probably did, her hormonal balance is being medically managed and that balance can be adjusted to make orgasms easier or more likely. GYN's and oncologists wouldn't be my first choice is seeking help considering your wife wasn't orgasmic prior to cancer, and these professionals aren't the most educated or skilled in treating inorgasmic women, since medical science can't even agree on what range of sex drive is normal for women.

I also think sex therapy would good for your wife because her hesitation to masturbate alone suggests she isn't comfortable with her sexuality and that lack of comfort may be contributing to her inability to orgasm. In order to orgasm, a woman has to build arousal and in order to build arousal we have to allow it, welcome it, embrace it, want it. They way you two currently go about producing arousal, which I think is fantastic, suggests she needs signals from her entire body to over ride her inhibition enough just to become aroused enough for sex.

I think your marriage is fantastic and you are a wonderful husband to give your wife such care and patience. Your bond is obviously a very good one enabling your wife to be so open and honest with you about her sexual response. This is a very difficult hurdle for a LOT of women to overcome and I believe your wife can overcome it because of her honesty and openness with you.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

Thanks for all your replies.

Lila, my wife is probably not as bothered as I am that she is not orgasmic. Going into a bit more detail about our sexual history, as I mentioned previously we waited to have sex until our wedding night, and without going into too much detail, it is clear that she was not at all prepared for becoming sexual. Intercourse was difficult for many months after our wedding; she did not like her genitals being touched and even after extensive kissing, etc. it took us weeks to finally have PIV intercourse. In the first few months of our marriage, I read about every book there was on the issue of sexual problems in marriage, particularly anorgasmia. (this was before the internet...hard to believe that there was time when you could not look something by simply typing a question into a browser!). My wife obviously understood that sex was something that was integral in marriage, and understood that she had to let go of her sexual inhibitions. So, my point I suppose is that my wife understands there was an 'issue' with her sexual response. Without going into all the details, there was much crying and frustration in those first years of marriage with respect to these sexual issues. My wife and I eventually reached a place where she could engage in PIV sex, and she could even have some pleasure, but nothing close to having a full sexual response. Looking back, I realize that I should not have settled for this state of affairs, but I was honestly out of my depth and was happy just to reach a place where we could have any kind of PIV sex. I now feel that if I had tried in the early days of our marriage what I am doing now (long, relaxing massages, use of a vibrator, etc.) that my wife could have become more sexually responsive. Clearly, this is now much harder given that she has gone through a chemically induced menopause due to her cancer treatment. So, fast forward to the present time. I still would like my wife to experience an orgasm if possible, and yes, this is because I feel that this would deepen the physical intimacy between us. Hence, my desire to explore using a therapist. Truth be told, my wife is not yet ready to use this option and prefers we keep working on this ourselves, and I am not going to pursue that option until she asks for it. Now that there is an internet, and websites devoted to ... well...to everything, I asked this question to see if others have benefited from therapy. Sorry this went long, and is probably going to get longer.

Maritallonliness, thanks for your kind words. We are also Catholic, and I am sure that her early sexual training has something to do with her initial discomfort with sex. I am pretty sure her parents did not tell her sex was bad, but she took the message to wait for sex until marriage totally to heart, as you can tell from the previous paragraph. She is obviously much more comfortable now being touched by me, and when I am present will use the vibrator on herself, but she is still reluctant to explore her sexual pleasure unless I am there. I told her that our once-a-week massage/sex sessions are probably not sufficient for her to get a clear picture of what patterns of touching excite her. So, in lieu of her masturbating, I am suggesting we do this at least one more time during the week. This is difficult for us to do regularly, because we still have two kids in the house and we cannot start anything until after 10 PM, at which time we are both just about exhausted. I am off now until the beginning of next year and we are planning on using as much of that time as possible to 'have fun'. (As much 'fun' as we can given the fact that we will be back to a full house! Our son comes back from college today, I think. We are fortunate that all our kids like to sleep in).

Badsanta, believe me, I am well aware of my own faults regarding how I had approached our sex life. Also, I recognized shortly after my wife's cancer treatment that I would have to treat our sex life totally differently. As you can imagine, the chemo was a horrible experience for her, and seeing her go through this was like being crucified every day. I felt guilty that she was the one suffering, and there was nothing that I could do except offer her support and love. Once she was finished, I implemented more or less what you recommended. I started the long massages because I realized I was lucky to still have her in my life, and she deserved to have a bodily experience that did not include needles, radiation, being sick all the time, etc. I am ready to accept the fact that she may never be able to orgasm, and that there are plenty of ways for us to be physically intimate without her needing to orgasm. I do agree with you that it is probably a good idea to not put so much pressure on her to orgasm and will include this none-demand massage, etc. during the times when we are intimate. You have given me something to consider, and I will ask my wife what changes she would like to make with regard to our massage/love making time. You must believe me when I tell I absolutely do not want to do anything to make my wife feel like she is broken.

Mrs. Aldi, your point is well taken. My wife is the type that finds it hard to 'let go' of all the busyness of life. It takes a long time for her to disconnect!

Anon Pink, you are right about her medical treatment, her doctors were only focused on treating the cancer, and in fact she is not on any hormone therapy for fear of causing a recurrence of the cancer. And, I think you are spot on in saying that the long massages help her to override any inhibitions she has, as well as allowing her to disconnect from the busyness of our daily routine. I appreciate your kind words about our marriage. I do love my wife, and we have arrived at a point where we can discuss these issues very comfortably, and calmly.

Again, thanks to all of you for your thoughts.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 09:10 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

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Badsanta, believe me, I am well aware of my own faults regarding how I had approached our sex life. Also, I recognized shortly after my wife's cancer treatment that I would have to treat our sex life totally differently. As you can imagine, the chemo was a horrible experience for her, and seeing her go through this was like being crucified every day. I felt guilty that she was the one suffering, and there was nothing that I could do except offer her support and love. Once she was finished, I implemented more or less what you recommended. I started the long massages because I realized I was lucky to still have her in my life, and she deserved to have a bodily experience that did not include needles, radiation, being sick all the time, etc. I am ready to accept the fact that she may never be able to orgasm, and that there are plenty of ways for us to be physically intimate without her needing to orgasm. I do agree with you that it is probably a good idea to not put so much pressure on her to orgasm and will include this none-demand massage, etc. during the times when we are intimate. You have given me something to consider, and I will ask my wife what changes she would like to make with regard to our massage/love making time. You must believe me when I tell I absolutely do not want to do anything to make my wife feel like she is broken.
There are people that for whatever reason do not really enjoy an orgasm that much. So keep in mind not to have any expectations that in the event your wife is able to have one that she may not really even enjoy it. What is important is to ask her what things she enjoys the most and what it is that she needs from you to feel loved. Those are the important things to work on.

It is even better if you can point out things about her that would normally be defined as a problem, and find a way to have a positive attitude about that being something that can actually add to your sexual experiences together. For example if she has had her hysterectomy, you may wish to embrace the fact that lovemaking for the sole purpose of being physically/emtionally connected to her is a beautiful thing.

You two may enjoy reading the experiences of those that actually make love with the purpose of avoiding an orgasm. You will find a whole forum devoted to that here:

Explanation of making love without orgasm: What Is Karezza? | Reuniting

The forum of people's experiences trying it: Forums | Reuniting

This technique within itself could easily be described as a form of sex therapy you may want to try (although she has been living it) as a way for YOU to try and experience how sex can still be very fulfilling from her point of view. It is definitely a fun experiment that you two should try. But I'll offer you a few warnings:
  • Her primary form of sexual enjoyment and validation may be to bring you to orgasm. In this case she may not like the idea of you avoiding your orgasms, but you should convince her to try it as an experiment.
  • Doing this experiment will usually result in you wanting more sex and longer sessions. This may give her anxiety, and you will want to be careful in the event she enjoys more seeing you satisfied as opposed to perpetually desiring her.
  • As with all things in life, moderation is the key to success. Don't go overboard with this experiment and insist on yourself never having an orgasm. It is an exercise to just take some emphasis off of goal (orgasm) driven sex.

Hope that helps,
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 07:07 AM
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

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To be more clear, she lies on her stomach massaging her genitals with one wand, while I massage her neck, back, butt, legs, calves etc. with another wand. We do this for at least a half an hour, or until she feels the desire to have intercourse.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.
how very touchie feelie of you. But how about a more raunchy approach? tie her hands behind her back, play roughly with her breasts and nipples with one hand, while using the hitachi between her legs As you see her getting close to orgasm, get much more intense playing with her nipples, pulling twisting and pinching them. Let her breasts overload her brain with sensations that are now muted from her hysterectamy. it will probably take 10 or 15 minutes of play, but she WILL orgasm. Start slow and gentle, and build up to an rough explosive ending.

Remember this, many women CAN orgasm from nipple play alone!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

Thanks for the suggestions badsanta. DW and I will check out the links. Happy holidays....
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does Sex Therapy Work

Talker67. Probably not a bad idea to spend some more time on the nipples, though she is most definitely not into anything 'rough'. As I said above, on those days when she does become aroused from the massage, she generally likes to jump right to PIV. Eve so, I usually make sure her breasts get some attention along the way. Cheers.
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