Why is it impossible for some women to have penetrative sex?

Don't hurt me!

Hello, Adventurers! We received this query from a reader and sought the help of a medical expert in order to get some general advice.

Anonymous asks:

I am a 35 year old virgin mostly because I wanted to wait till I found someone special and I think religious beliefs influenced me. I have had about 5 experiences with men that I was attracted to and was making out but then when we get to the point where they are about to go all the way its like I freeze or something and my vagina becomes really tight-on two occasions it felt hurt when they guy tried to penetrate and I had to stop him… this makes me question myself like am I asexual or something? I am not interested in women…is it that I wasn’t aroused enough or what? I like the latest guy and I feel am ready to go all the way, how do I overcome this?

When I use a vibrator I am able to come but when he licked me I didn’t come…what should I do to relax?

What our expert, a doctor based in the UK, says:

You mention the pain you felt on the occasions you have tried to have penetrative sex and that this was associated with your vagina feeling really tight.  This sounds like a condition known as vaginismus where the vaginal muscles contract involuntarily when penetration is attempted and there is accompanying pain. It’s important to note that this can occur in non- sexual situations as well such as inserting a tampon or during medical examinations.

Vaginismus can have physical as well as psychological causes:


  • Lack of arousal or lubrication (as with diabetes or certain neurological conditions)
  • Skin conditions around the vagina (as a result of the menopause or eczema etc)
  • Vestibulodynia (a tender area just at the entrance to the vagina)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Prescribed drugs


  • Strict sexual or religious beliefs/upbringing
  • History of sexual abuse
  • Depression
  • Fear of penetration
  • Undesirable penetration (for example having a catheter fitted or gynaecological procedures/examinations as a child)

What I would implore you to do, is to see a medical professional.  My hope is that they would be able to take a thorough history and examination to rule out any physical causes and help you to make a plan to overcome this that you are comfortable with. This would involve education about the condition, counselling or therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy or hypnotherapy and behavioural therapy.  Behavioural therapy could involve relaxation techniques, self-exploration, a series of structured touching activities with a partner to aid relaxation and comfort with physical intimacy and using vaginal trainers.  Vaginal trainers are tampon-shaped and you would gradually increase the size and length of these until a penis-sized trainer could comfortably be inserted into the vagina.

Wishing you well with this journey.


1 comments On Why is it impossible for some women to have penetrative sex?

  • Like the expert explained, once physical causes has been ruled out, her problem may be lack of arousal due strict religious upbringing. Once you have it at the back of your mind that what you are doing is sin or wrong it prevents you from getting aroused and once you are not aroused the vagina is not lubricated making it hard if not impossible for penetration. In such a situation a lubricant is a solution but that doesn’t take away the fact that lack of arousal will mean not able to enjoy the sex even if a lubricant is used to facilitate penetration. To solve this problem you need to remove the guilt associated with sex from your mind so that you can relax and be in the mood to be aroused.

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