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Vaginismus and Dating

vaginismus and dating

Does having vaginismus affect dating? Is there a connection between dating and the woman’s emotional needs?

Vaginismus: A psychosomatic reaction

Vaginismus is a vagina-in-panic, a psychosomatic reaction to fear of penetration, worry about pain, past negative experiences, and more. 

Women with vaginismus feel ‘broken’ and are often embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it.  They feel less than a woman, or ‘unable to do what women are supposed to do naturally.’   They commonly feel the burden of disappointing their intimate partner by not being able to have sexual intercourse. 

Most assume that they are the only one who is struggling with vaginismus. 

The Truth about Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a common condition that affects women around the world regardless of age, culture, religion, educational level, financial standing – vaginismus is a non-discriminatory condition!

Interestingly, we had numerous  OBGYNs/nurses/midwives with vaginismus; when asked how they do their job considering their own fear of the vagina, they confessed to putting up an invisible wall between their vaginismus and their patients…  These professionals surely became better clinicians once they were cured of their vaginismus!

Challenges of Vaginismus and Dating

Having said the above, dating with vaginismus poses challenges, such as:

Do I disclose my problem to the potential date?

Certainly no need to rush and disclose to a potential date.  You can ‘start’ dating them and when the time feels right, share the vaginismus problem with them.  You are not hiding anything, just looking for the right time to share this intimate detail. 

How do I explain why fingering is not an option?

Once you find the ‘right time’ to disclose your vaginismus, explain the condition and why even a finger may pose an issue for you, if this is your situation as not everyone will struggle with such.

How do I tell my partner why we cannot have intercourse?  I can only stretch the ‘waiting for marriage’ excuse for so long before worrying it will backfire after marriage;

If you truly save yourself for marriage, say so.  But at the same time, do not hide the vaginismus problem so you won’t be accused of being dishonest. 

If trying intercourse before marriage is okay with you if not for the vaginismus, then say so.  You and partner could team up in researching for solutions to overcoming vaginismus.  

Do I date only those who are not available sexually?

We hope not!  The Sexual Menu includes many entries aside from penetrative sex and there is no reason for you to live a celibate life.  Watch our video, What’s on Your Sexual Menu? 

How do I overcome my shame about vaginismus during sexual intimacy? 

So you have vaginismus but, why feel bad about the rest of you?  Why not love yourself, appreciate your looks and beliefs and talents even if your vagina is not on friendly terms.  

How do I bring myself to even consider dating when I feel broken and hopeless with vaginismus?

Remember: vaginismus is a medical condition and you need not be ashamed about it, but rather proactive in finding solutions! 

What if I disclosed my problem and the date did not understand, or thought I was weird or not worthy of a relationship, and left?

A caring partner will typically stay by and discuss a strategy for a resolution – after all, the rest of you is what attracted him to you in the first place.

That said, a partner may decide to end the relationship not wishing to have to deal with this condition/limitation due to their personal choices, religious/cultural attitudes and demands, past experiences, etc.

No partner should put your down because of the vaginismus.  And if they do, then you are lucky that they are no longer in your life! 

How do I reconcile the religious/cultural pressure to date & marry when I am hesitant to go there in the first place?  What do I tell my parents?

This is a tough scenario yet so common…  Hopefully your family will be supportive of the truth about the condition and assist with finding a cure before discussing marriage where there is no hiding from the vaginismus.

Can you date with vaginismus?

Of course, why not? You are still alive and can enjoy most of life’s pleasures.

Tips for Dating with Vaginismus

  • Love and believe in yourself despite the vaginismus;
  • Be proactive about finding solutions for the vaginismus;
  • Do not settle for the wrong partner because of the vaginismus!
  • Never stay with a partner who is not supportive and respectful;
  • Practice safe sex even for non-penetrative sexual activities – you do not want a Sexually Transmitted infection, do you?
  • Use contraceptive measures when he ejaculates by your genital lips as you can still get pregnant without penis-in-vagina!
  • Don’t be shy about your vaginismus, embarrassing as it may be.

Conclusion: Vaginismus and Dating

While vaginismus is not a dating issue per se, it surely has implications far beyond the vagina…  The good news? There is a treatment for vaginismus, and you need not resign to living with this condition forever.

About The Author

vaginismus specialist Dr. Ditza Katz team member Women's Therapy Center

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