Great Sex, But No Intercourse


My wife and I, late 60s, married almost 48 years, have had no intercourse for years but do have a very active sex life in spite of that. About five years ago my wife’s vagina became so tight it was almost impossible to enter and uncomfortable for both of us. Her gynecologist told her she was ‘tighter than anyone else’ she had ever seen and offered no hope that it was solvable. My wife originally refused estrogen therapy but recently began taking estradiol, which has started to help. We love each other and have had many years of great sex. It’s really just the penetration I miss. Am I being selfish wanting to have intercourse again?

“No intercourse with my wife and I miss the penetration, am I being selfish?”

Joan answers:

Your wife’s gynecologist was unhelpful and dismissive. She didn’t seem aware that there are specialists called pelvic floor physical therapists who have special training to diagnose and treat sexual pain.

Are you selfish to want intercourse again? No, there’s nothing wrong with wanting that activity that brought you joy and intimacy. But how does your wife feel about it? Does she want PIV (penis-in-vagina) again, or does she prefer the great sex you’re enjoying together now, with no desire to return to intercourse? This is the conversation you need to have. Don’t try to talk her into it, just express how you feel and listen to how she feels.

If she also misses PIV, she seems to be finding estradiol (the major estrogen sex hormone in humans, a widely used medication) helpful. In addition, try the Vaginal Renewal Program from A Woman’s Touch and find a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area. But if she prefers the ‘very active sex life’ you describe, and if doing the work to get her vagina in shape to accept penetration seems like too much work and discomfort, can you let go of it?


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