Disgust creates considerable problems for women with vaginismus
A woman with vaginismus is eager to consummate her marriage, fulfill her role as a partner and raise a family. Yet when these patients are able to overcome their vaginismus following treatment and finally engage in pain free intercourse, disgust can derail these desires.
A 2013 article from the Netherlands in the Journal of Sex Research (see reference below) notes that disgust is a defensive emotion that protects the organism from contamination. The authors note that the mouth and vagina are body parts that show the strongest disgust sensitivity. The critical question seems not whether disgust may interfere with sex but rather how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all. The authors suggest that since prolonged contact is the most powerful means to reduce disgust it follows that an effective way to overcome disgust in vaginismus is to maintain continued efforts at sexual play thus ultimately overcoming or moderating disgust issues.
We have had these disgust issues arise in some of our patients who successfully completed the Botox treatment program for vaginismus and were able to achieve pain free intercourse, yet emotionally disgust issues needed to be resolved. One does not need to be embarrassed about this but rather seek counseling with a sex therapist who can help in overcoming disgust in vaginismus.
VaginismusMD Forum Topic: The aftermath of vaginismus
Darcy@CSCS-NH, a certified sex therapist in NH, wrote a great post on our VaginismusMD Forum under the topic “The aftermath of vaginismus (low libido, anorgasmia, etc)” which certainly applies to the disgust issue that arises in woman who have suffered from vaginismus.
“For the women that I see in my sex counseling practice, it helps to build positive sex memories and to focus on communication with your partner. Using fantasy and connecting sound, touch, taste, smells, and images to the sexual experience can also aid. The images, smells, etc don’t even have to be sexual. If fresh baked cookies make you smile and feel warm and gooey inside or an image of green grass swaying in a field relaxes you, focusing on those things during foreplay or while masturbating will help to create new “memories” that will start to elicit those same warm gooey feelings with sexual touch. Before you know it, sex and sexual touch start to bring on those same emotions. Knowing your own body and how it reacts to various touch and stimulation are also very critical to helping to share that experience with someone else.”
Reference for Disgust and Vaginismus
Ref. Peter J. de Jong , Mark van Overveld & Charmaine Borg (2013): Giving In to Arousal or Staying Stuck in Disgust? Disgust-Based Mechanisms in Sex and Sexual Dysfunction, Journal of Sex Research, 50:3-4, 247-262
If you have any questions about disgust and vaginismus or our vaginismus treatment using Botox and progressive dilation under anesthesia, please contact us via our contact us form. More information on vaginismus and the vaginismus treatment using Botox and progressive dilation under anesthesia can be found on our sister website, PlasticSurgeryPA.