No Arousal on Her End

Can't orgasm, pain during intercourse, etc.
JD91
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No Arousal on Her End

Postby JD91 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Hi friends,

TMB has been a big help and encouragement throughout my first year of marriage. I have a lengthy thread called Unconsummated Marriage in the Male Difficulties section. To summarize, we got married in October 2016 and it took DW and I nine months to finally consummate the marriage due mostly to arousal problems on my end. But now I want to ask about her end.

On average now, we’re having IC maybe once a week or less. For her, sex is mildly uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. Prior to marriage she would get very aroused from kissing and so forth (we didn’t go further), but since the wedding her sex drive has pretty much disappeared. I’ve done a lot of reading on how to stimulate your wife, and I feel like I’ve tried everything. Lots of lengthy foreplay, slow massages, sensate touching, kissing, words of affirmation... Nothing makes her aroused, and certainly nothing brings her anywhere near to orgasm. She does have Os in her sleep occasionally, which demonstrates that it’s physically possible. So it feels like we’re completely missing half of what sex is designed to be.

I’m pretty sure her roadblock is psychological. When I failed to get aroused on our wedding night and thereafter, that flipped some sort of switch in her subconscious. Now we’ve basically gotten the mechanics working, but her mind is still preventing any arousal.

Currently she’s pregnant and experiencing a lot of morning sickness, and not just in the morning. We haven’t been able to kiss because it makes her too nauseated. But I know that much is temporary. Once we have the baby and life gets even more stressful, I really want her to be able to enjoy the physical aspect of sexuality, but I feel like we’re at a dead end. When we do have sex, it feels selfish knowing that she has no physical desire for it and no pleasure out of it. It feels like I’m just using her as an aid in masturbation rather than making love. This ends up making it harder for me to get aroused as well.

I’d appreciate any advice on this aspect of our ongoing sexual challenges. It seems like most couples start out with a great sex life and then run into problems when they’re older. But for us even being in our twenties and healthy we’ve never had a satisfying sexual relationship. Is there hope for us to get there down the road, even with a new baby (coming in July)? How do I not give up in trying to get her aroused without making her feel like a “project?”

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby love2 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:33 pm

Have you tried a vibrator?
Has she masturbated before?
Would she be comfortable showing you how she likes to be touched?

Have you been using a good quality sexual lubricant for PIV to ensure that you don't hurt her when she isn't aroused?

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby Job29Man » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:21 pm

JD91,

Generally I am ready with a practical, maybe scientific response. Not today though.

I have a stirring in my soul about this, that it is a spiritual matter, not physical. I believe there is something beneath the surface going on that has no physical cause. It is either in the past life of your sin that you have described to us already, or there is something in her heart or her past that has hurt her spiritually.

I cannot explain why for sure, but I do not believe this matter is one for science, psychology, or sex therapy. I believe it is a matter for prayer, fasting, self-examination, and waiting on God, by you both, but especially by you. I don't think you are going to "figure it out." I believe this spiritual matter will have a spiritual solution, by the hand of God. I have no leading on the timing of it, other than this will be solved in His timing, not yours.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby tjw » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:05 am

JD91 wrote:I’m pretty sure her roadblock is psychological. When I failed to get aroused on our wedding night and thereafter, that flipped some sort of switch in her subconscious.


Of course, I cannot know how your wife relates to sex. But my observation in my second marriage is similar. My wife seemed anxious for sex and easily aroused prior to marriage. Then, it was like a "switch" was thrown on our honeymoon. And, this switch had really nothing to do with me, at all. The problem was that she had undergone sexual abuse as a child. Her memories drove her desire and her willingness to participate to extreme difficulty.

She felt "free" to be aroused and to show desire for sex, as long as it wasn't really "on the table". But, when the possibility of actually having sex began, the memories kept her bound and ruined her experience.

LATER EDIT:

I wanted to mention that you shouldn't be quick to blame yourself for her side of the problem. I mean by that, you should certainly seek God's input through His Holy Spirit for those things in you which need to be repented of, and corrected, going forward. But there is a portion of this difficulty which has to be "owned" by your wife. It may not have come upon her through her own actions, to be sure, but I surely also do not believe this has come upon her through your actions.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby JD91 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:45 am

Job29Man wrote:JD91,

Generally I am ready with a practical, maybe scientific response. Not today though.

I have a stirring in my soul about this, that it is a spiritual matter, not physical. I believe there is something beneath the surface going on that has no physical cause. It is either in the past life of your sin that you have described to us already, or there is something in her heart or her past that has hurt her spiritually. Job29Man


I think you’re probably right. I don’t think it’s anything in her past. In terms of my sin, earlier in marriage she would act as my accountability partner, but this really stressed her out. Now we’re in a sort of unspoken “don’t ask don’t tell” situation. I wonder if deep down she’s worried, not knowing if I’m still looking at fetish things in my alone time, and being too afraid to ask.

tjw wrote:I wanted to mention that you shouldn't be quick to blame yourself for her side of the problem. I mean by that, you should certainly seek God's input through His Holy Spirit for those things in you which need to be repented of, and corrected, going forward. But there is a portion of this difficulty which has to be "owned" by your wife. It may not have come upon her through her own actions, to be sure, but I surely also do not believe this has come upon her through your actions.


This really takes a bit of the burden off my back. I had been kind of thinking of it as being entirely my fault. And even though I do take some responsibility, it’s probably not all on me.

love2 wrote:Have you tried a vibrator?
Has she masturbated before?
Would she be comfortable showing you how she likes to be touched?

Have you been using a good quality sexual lubricant for PIV to ensure that you don't hurt her when she isn't aroused?


No, we haven’t tried a vibrator. She’s never felt the desire to masturbate. Earlier in the marriage I encouraged her to try it so that she could tell me how she likes to be touched. She did try, but simply couldn’t achieve any arousal, and so she’s never been able to tell me how to touch. She likes when I give her massages, but not in a sexual way and it usually puts her to sleep rather than causing sexual desires.

We have tried a few different lubricants before finding one that seems to work the best. She’s never been aroused enough to attempt PIV without a lubricant.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby love2 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:56 am

I think you might be right about her being worried that you are still looking at fetish stuff and this might hinder her arousal.

That said, I have never understood the thought process behind it being the guys responsibility to learn the womans body when she has absolutely no knowledge of what she likes. It seems really stressful for the guy.

I have a friend that masturbated and watched porn prior to getting married (not good, she realizes) but they both thought it was the guys job to learn how to please her. She said it took him a year before he was able to get her to orgasm from oral sex. Now she wasn't masturbating during this time but she is very sex positive and the higher sex drive spouse in her relationship. I mention this just to point out that it might take you a while. I am the other side of that, I orgasm via toys on my clitoris only. I haven't orgasmed via oral sex without a toy and I haven't orgasmed from PIV or PIA by itself without a vibrator on my [clitoris] (I've been married 11 years). I can orgasm through manually stimulating myself but I find it is too time consuming and stressful to not use a vibrator.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby tjw » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:50 am

JD91 wrote:This really takes a bit of the burden off my back. I had been kind of thinking of it as being entirely my fault. And even though I do take some responsibility, it’s probably not all on me.


This is true in all marital problems. There is a rightful "share" of blame for both partners. Both contribute to the problem, and both must work in order to resolve the problem.

But, it's extremely important for each partner to not accept blame for the portion which he/she cannot change. The essential first step to resolution must be a clear understanding of "ownership". Accepting blame for things not contributed delays the process and clouds the understanding.

You two have had a more difficult climb on your sexuality than many couples do. However, don't ever lose sight of the fact that you have both honored God in your marriage and your sexuality. This position, on your part, has brought you the "minimum difficulty" path (even though the path of others may be shorter) which could be had by you and your wife in your specific case.

I fully expect to hear that God has intervened for your wife just like He has for you. I have observed Him in His wonderfulness over many years and know that your case will not be different on His part.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby JD91 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:05 am

tjw wrote:You two have had a more difficult climb on your sexuality than many couples do. However, don't ever lose sight of the fact that you have both honored God in your marriage and your sexuality. This position, on your part, has brought you the "minimum difficulty" path (even though the path of others may be shorter) which could be had by you and your wife in your specific case.

I fully expect to hear that God has intervened for your wife just like He has for you. I have observed Him in His wonderfulness over many years and know that your case will not be different on His part.


Yes, this is true. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what to do in the meantime, while IC for DW is an unpleasant, sometimes painful thing. Physically, I need the release more than once a week, and so sometimes I just MB alone. I try not to, but often it's a lot easier than planning a time for IC, hoping that she won't be too tired when the time actually comes, and then seeing her grimace at the discomfort and sometimes cry afterward. And I can't say that she's doing anything wrong...She's not trying to refuse sex. She just really doesn't enjoy it, and I feel so bad about this. I feel guilty asking for what I know she doesn't enjoy, and I know this is not how a marriage is supposed to be.

One possibility for the physical discomfort is that during the ultrasounds, we found out her uterus is at an unusual angle. Apparently this can cause pain during IC. After delivering the baby, it will have moved to a different position, and maybe that will help with the physical discomfort.

I've also suggested that she try using a vibrator herself to see if she can find any pleasure. I'm not sure this will be the solution though, because I do think her non-arousal is psychological. She had no trouble getting aroused prior to marriage and the first couple days following the wedding.

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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby poetess » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:59 am

JD91, a husband with a willing wife (as opposed to a refusing or incapacitated wife) should not be masturbating alone. If she insists that you just take care of yourself without her involvement on those times you can't do intercourse, that might be your only choice, but it is not your best choice or even your second best choice for a new marriage. In fact, I daresay that for someone with your history, it is especially a bad idea unless her pregnancy (nausea or the like) make it truly unavoidable and she is in full agreement that it is OK for you to do so.

There are many ways to enjoy each other's bodies and grow in your sexuality even on days that you don't have intercourse. Cuddle naked, and don't push for sexual intimacy (if she is turned on by touch, as many women are, this may sometimes naturally move toward your having sex). Let her give you manual sex--or oral if she is interested. Manual isn't optional, though, if intercourse is off the table. Masturbate in her presence or onto her body. Shower together and masturbate or let her give you oral sex. Play together as you explore each other's sexuality. Even if you cannot have intercourse, touch her body sexually. Look for ways to help her associate your touch with pleasure. (There is a wonderful sexual massage on the main board; here is the link. https://site.themarriagebed.com/sexuali ... l-massage/) Many, many spouses on here report that sex gets easier for a woman after childbirth (though of course not immediately afterward). But you can give each other sexual pleasure even without intercourse.
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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby Job29Man » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm

JD91, I echo what Poetess advises. Masturbation, while easy and convenient, is NOT part of the solution to your sexual issues. Porn and masturbation is what got you into a lot of this problem, remember? I thought you had already come to the conclusion that you both need to train or retrain your minds about how to have sex with each other, the natural way. Solo masturbation is "the bachelor way." A sexually healthy couple with some logistical issues of separation due to business travel, etc could well have masturbation in their toolbag. But a couple where both are battling serious mental impediments to a healthy sex life have no business surrendering, accepting defeat, and going off on their own for solo sex. This will work against you. As tough as it may sound your only two options are to either go without, or go to her, period.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

JD91
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Re: No Arousal on Her End

Postby JD91 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:46 pm

You’re both right. This is the reminder I needed. I also went back and read some of my older posts along with the linked article about massages, which I had read early on in the marriage. I’m reminded how far our physical relationship is from what’s described in that article. That is, we do many of the things it advises but without the arousal. But it also reminds me how important it is not to give up and go back to the easier “adolescent” sexual expression.


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