It is commonly observed that when sexual problems are discussed, most people talk about them in an individualistic way, “she has a problem, or he has a problem”, not realizing that the problems is their problem, not just his or hers. This individualistic view for understanding and treating sexual difficulties in a relationship is limited since sex occurs between two people (at least).
Studies have shown the importance of the other and the relationship to deeply understand and treat sexual problems, especially woman’s sexual difficulties. Women’s sexual difficulties are situations where a woman feels uncomfortable, discomforted or frustrated as a result of many factors such as marital discord, poor communication and lack of intimacy with her partner. One of the less common but more complex problems to understand is vaginismus.
Vaginismus is an involuntary reflex spasm that contracts vaginal musculature to the point to prevent penetration and therefore intercourse. The companion of vaginismus is usually anxiety, which hinders any sexual response, especially in the case of vaginismus and erectile dysfunction.
WHAT TO DO?
In front of any sexual problem or difficulty the first and most important thing to do is communicating it. Then, it is important to visit your gynecologist or urologist for a physical checkup. After that, a sexologist can help you overcome this difficulty along with your partner.
The relational context, which is how a couple relates and communicates, is very important to treat any sexual problem. Studies show a strong correlation between a fulfilling relationship and sexual satisfaction. Women’s feelings about their relationship and their partners have an important influence and great impact in performance, response and sexual satisfaction.
Then the question, “Am I Disposed?” is raised. It may be that a person “is available” (she or he is physically there), but not necessarily “in disposition”(ready or prepared for having sex).
DiClimente & Prochaska developed an interesting model of change, “stages of arousal for change”, which proposes that people change naturally and spontaneously, day after day, through a gradual process to different states. The first being the state of “Pre-contemplation” and the second, the state of “Contemplation”. If you use this model to understand the process of overcoming sexual problems, you may address more effectively that your partner could be in any of these states. According to the model, in the state of Pre-contemplation people have no intention of progressing, changing or taking action on his/her problem, therefore no willingness to advance.
Having no willingness to advance could indicate that a person is uncertain about his/her situation and does not understand his/her responsibility in the matter, with no real interest in solving the problem, which doesn’t meant that it always will be that way. On the other hand, in the state of Contemplation there is some intention of improving, but there is also a great ambivalence between trying or not. In both cases, the need for women to be heard, accepted and validated, having enough time to be ready, is vital.
Therefore, taking these conditions into account, the best option is not to proceed with demanding tasks, exercises and sexual techniques, but first encourage the couple to create a climate of profound intimacy, where both can really consider, explore and appreciate the benefits of sex and pleasure. It is critical that women in these conditions can feel heard and acknowledged without the pressure “to do something” and instead, to have the opportunity to reflect on their position and contemplate a positive change. When thinking on some possibility for change, a desire and willingness to do something is reached. If you can image and dream of yourself having great sex, you can do it later when ready.
In my opinion, more understanding of sexual difficulties is needed as well as taking into account relationships and people’s readiness for sex. You can do even better and more effectively, if you are mentally and physically ready for sex, to really enjoy sexual experiences.