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Vaginismus, Fingering, and Masturbation

Vaginismus often affects a women’s sexual being, from reluctance to engage to complete avoidance and sexual shutdown.  This is regrettable as the woman can still be sexually active and satisfied with non-penetrative sexual activities that stimulate her clitoris, including masturbation and fingering (when possible).  Read on.

vaginismus and fingering

Where Is The Clitoris?

The mind is a woman’s main sexual center, where the YES and NO sexual switches are.  

The clitoris is her sexual organ where sexual stimulation gets the arousal going.

Many men and women do not know the details of the female genitals, and definitely not where the clitoris is located.  Therefore, the prevalent perception remains that the clitoris is inside the vagina and that penetrative sex or fingering will get the woman sexually aroused.

Fact: the clitoris is located outside & above the vagina and the urethra that runs along its ceiling. Yes, you read it right: the clitoris is at the top of the genital oval, under the top part of the genital lips. 

Clitoral Stimulation vs Fingering

Clitoral stimulation refers to sexually rubbing the clitoris by hand, tongue, penis, a sexual toy, or against an object such as a pillow, over clothes, body-against-body, etc.  

Fingering refers to inserting a finger for the purpose of sexually arousing the woman.  But how can that happen if the clitoris is not inside the vagina, you may ask?  The trick is to also rub the clitoris at the same time with the thumb (and lubrication) or the tongue, or a sexual toy. 

Please mind genital hygiene! 

What Does Female Masturbating Mean?

Female masturbation means self-stimulating of own genitals for sexual pleasure, be it by clitoral stimulation and/or own fingering.  

  • Masturbation is safe;
  • Masturbation may or may not include vaginal penetration;  
  • Masturbation is sufficient for female arousal and climax/orgasm;
  • It is accepted that men masturbate, but it is still not as widely accepted for women;
  • It may take sexual development for a young woman to accept and practice masturbation without guilt or shame;
  • Masturbation has no risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Can I Masturbate With Vaginismus?

Of course, you can!  

Even if your vaginismus does not allow any vaginal penetration, the clitoris is still available, and stimulating it will get you to orgasm just fine as long as your mind is in the sexual zone.

Many of our women with vaginismus enjoy a satisfactory sex life – with or without a partner – despite the inability to insert anything in the vagina.

How Can I Get Aroused if I Have Vaginismus?

Sexual arousal has nothing to do with the state of the vagina, but rather with the state of mind and sexual preferences of the woman.

We urge all women with vaginismus to continue developing and enjoying sexual fulfillment despite the vaginismus.  

Opting to lead an asexual relationship, to live like a ‘brother and sister,’ is not healthy to the mind, the spirit, nor the intimacy of the couple.  

Yes, vaginismus brings a sexual compromise to the mix but the rest of the sexual options are available so be sure to use them in order to still feel alive and worthy.

Can Fingering Cause Vaginismus?

Fingering during masturbation is a safe sexual activity and will not typically cause vaginismus. 

And if your vaginismus allows fingering by the partner as well, go for it and have fun.  

However, fingering by a partner may cause, or worsen, your vaginismus if:

  • You are forced to engage sexually;
  • The fingering is not consensual;
  • The fingering lasted longer than you allowed or wanted it to;
  • You did not use needed lubrication, and your vagina became chafed and irritated;
  • Your partner now expects intercourse because ‘the vagina works;’
  • The fingernail was sharp and scratched you, making you even more anxious about your vaginal ability.

Can Fingering Help With Vaginismus?

Fingering is not a substitute for vaginismus treatment.

Being able to have fingering done in a pain-free, stress-free manner is one of the vaginal penetrations that are included in the list of vaginal activities needed to overcome vaginismus.  

But, fingering alone will not help with crossing over to having all vaginal penetrations in the manner that defines vaginismus cure.  And it surely will not address the underlying anxiety or panic or fear that are the cause of vaginismus.  

About The Author

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

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