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.