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 Coaching Versus Sex Therapy

I thought I would detail the difference between sex therapy and sex coaching. Often individuals or couples get outside help for a sexual relationship devastated by chronic genital pain. I have done sex therapy twice with my husband and am now in sex coaching with my husband.

In my experience:
Sex therapy explores the emotional repercussions of a crap sex life, alternate ways to connect as a couple, useless thinking patterns you have, and your personal history and sexual attitudes. You work with a state licensed psychologist or MFT and insurance covers it.

Sex coaching gets down to some more practical matters like damaged sexual egos, what you want to happen in your sexual relationship, and how to get it (within the reality of your pain). A coach is not state licensed and insurance does not cover it. Why? Because there is touching.

Whereas a licensed therapist may not make physical contact with you by law, a coach can. When I say that a coach can touch you,  it is not a given and you certainly have control over if and how this happens. The touching is always focused on a therapeutic outcome rather than just to "get it on" with the sex coach. It is less scary than it sounds. It is not a "let's have a threesome" deal.

I have had a good experience with both, but being the practical minded person that I am, I prefer the sex coach. Seeing sex therapists didn't do enough. As our first sex therapist proclaimed at the end of 12 sessions (imagine a southern accent), "Well, there's nothing wrong with your relationship, you just got a broken gynie". Thanks therapist.

By the way, you might feel uncomfortable telling other people about seeing a sex therapist or coach. I have found, however, that people have great respect for personal courage and your commitment to your relationship.

My sex coach is Danielle Harel located in Sunnyvale, California (south of San Francisco) and she comes with impressive academic and professional credentials. She has a relaxed "normal person" and is not going to make you someone you are not. http://www.celesteanddanielle.com/


  1. Great post, I hadn't considered other options in regards to psychological 'therapy' of sorts. Now I'm only wishing I lived in a metropolis where there were more options! Struggling to even find a therapist who understands me.

  2. I'm glad you wrote.
    1. These professional organizations might be worth checking out (I have no experience with any of them):
    www.humansexualityeducation.com (training; may be able to give you local referrals or tell you about other educational institutions located closer to you)

    2. You can also email my sex coach and see if she has referrals.
    3. You might check out Lorraine at www.radiantlifedesign.com who does supportive work remotely so that you can live anywhere. My sense is that she is more direct and focused on pelvic pain than a normal sex therapist would be.