Edit: I WAS CURED AFTER 22 YEARS! I had a vestibulectomy Dec. 2016. The recovery was easier for me than having sex ever was. It took about 5 weeks. I have included my recovery photos. Look for the blogpost "I'm Cured!" and "My Vestibulectomy".

I’m a great woman with a pissed-off vulva. I have “primary vestibulitis." Most people are uncomfortable discussing their genital pain in public. My hope is that my obsession to find help for myself will make your experience shorter, easier, and less painful. P.S. Recently "vestibulitis" has been renamed to "vestibulodynia."

Sex and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

More from the article titled "Strategies and Techniques for Revitalizing a Nonsexual Marriage" by Barry W. McCarthy and published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in the fall of 1997. It focuses on problem-solving the emotional (but not the physical) blocks in a nonsexual relationship. In short, it provides a treatment plan to "get it on". Not having sex creates, and then sustains, anxiety and avoidance. Sexual problems do not plateau, but get worse and worse over time. It notes that emotional inhibitions are hard to overcome and sets out a cognitive behavioural therapy approach to rebuilding a sexual relationship as a couple.

A short summary:
1. Address your sexual issues through communication and by making consistent physical connections;
2. Set a goal for how often you will have a "non-demanding" sexual experience (with a recommendation of at least once a month).
3. Set a 6-month follow-up with your sex therapist to be accountable to him or her.

Then there is the typical stuff of going on "dates", ditching the kids, expanding your ideas of sex, finding erotic ways to connect, creating imaginative sexual scenarios, and making sexual requests. Blah, blah. I've heard that all before. But in my mind, if you don't really explore the fundamental emotional blocks that got you here in the first place, all the extras of a thrilling, uninhibited sex life won't ever happen.

Finally, after you do all the therapy work and have met with some success, the researcher urges the implementation of "a relapse prevention program to ensure gains are maintained". This concept is realistic, useful, and still makes me very sad. Vestibulitis can feel like one big never-ending "relapse."

At the end of 12 weeks of couples sex therapy, our Southern sex therapist pronounced, "Well, there is nothing wrong with your relationship, you just need to work on your "gynie" (the phrasing surprised me). So basically, we were back to the vestibulitis problem that we started with. That being said, therapy might be something to try. You and your partner are probably screwed up (no pun intended) about sex after being a sexual dud. No offense.

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