Problem: Suffers from vaginismus and wants better, pain-free sex
When I first had sex years back, I was so tense it took 15 tries before he could enter.
Since then, I’ve always felt a sharp stab in my vagina during penetration.
I eventually realised my symptoms mirrored vaginismus, a condition in which vaginal muscles clench involuntarily due to fear.
Lately, the pain had become so bad even lubricant didn’t ease it. I’d read that hypnotherapy, a cross between hypnosis and psychotherapy, could help, though
I feared it’d leave me in a zombie-like daze. But I was desperate.
Hypnotherapist Katherine Wong quickly corrected me: I wouldn’t be in a trance but a state of deep relaxation.
Why did I need this? Apparently, my early experiences of sex had “conditioned” me into relating it to pain, making my muscles tense up.
Katherine would plant positive messages about sex in my mind when I was relaxed and mentally receptive. I would also have to reflect on those messages so they would be etched in my mind, a process called “self-hypnosis”.
For the session, I sat in a comfortable armchair, my eyes closed and the lights dimmed. I was asked to picture tranquil scenes, like walking through a garden, and I dimly heard her tell me to “practise” lulling my body into this relaxed state during sex.
She also told me to mentally “lock” all my bad sex experiences in a “filing cabinet” and walk away, and to “imagine how you want sex to be”.
After what seemed like 20 minutes, she told me to “wake up”. I opened my eyes and was shocked to see an hour had passed.
My second session three days later was weirder. Katherine told me to imagine my vagina to be wet and lubricated during sex. I had to visualise it as a rose, petals unfurling and “welcoming” my guy. These images would distract me whenever my mind fixated on pain, letting me enjoy sex.
That weekend, I willed my body into a relaxed state before bed, while my guy was in the bathroom. By the time he joined me, I felt ready.
There was a slight twinge on penetration but less acute than before.
Strangely, picturing blossoming flowers was helping me re-focus whenever I fretted about pain. I didn’t climax, but my body felt “looser” and more receptive to touch.
Each time after, I found it easier to shut out any discomfort and be in the moment. I also felt adventurous enough to try a new position.
Within 20 minutes, I had an orgasm. At last!
On hindsight, hypnotherapy taught me not to let pain dominate sex and overcome it. No multiple orgasms yet, but we’re working on it.
>> Article contributed by Her World writer Jessica*
*Not her real name
Look for hypnotherapists certified by international groups like the National Guild of Hypnotists. Rates start from $120 an hour, with an average of four to six sessions.
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