From “Don’t Touch Me” to Initiating Intimacy: My story

Today, I’m going to deviate a little bit from the how to’s and tips and tricks and just tell you my story. I think it’s one that a lot of women need to hear and I think it’s important to know who I am and where I come from.

Married at a Young Age

When I first got married, I was quite young, I was 17. I just didn’t have a lot of education about my body. I don’t know if this really contributed to my lack of desire, but it definitely was part of it.

We had tried to not have sex until we were married, and we did our best. When we got married I thought, “Well, of course I’m going to want sex. Isn’t that just the typical thing?” 

The Excitement Wore Off

And I didn’t really… I mean, after the initial excitement wore off about this thing we’re allowed to do, I realized it didn’t really feel good. I didn’t have an orgasm the first year. And it was actually kind of painful. 

I also wasn’t getting any connection from it. I think we look for connection in the sexual experience, but I was getting more connection from talking about projects or our future or big picture things with my husband or doing things together. Not from the sexual experience.

The Arguments Began

I couldn’t figure out what the big hype was all about. My husband felt differently than me, and we found ourselves fighting about sex a lot. 

I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. I felt ashamed about the fact that I didn’t want it, and that we were fighting about it. I wondered, what was wrong with me? Was I broken? What was going on? And about five years into our marriage, we decided that we need to get some help.

The Search for Help

Actually, I decided that we needed to get some help. I firmly believe that women are the spark of change in many relationships, and so I went ahead and found somebody. I couldn’t find anybody who specialized in this department, but it was somebody close to our house.  

So we went, and it was so awkward and uncomfortable. It was in this tiny little space. We were almost knee to knee, and he was asking us about some really personal stuff that I had never spoken about to anyone, which is hilarious considering what I do now.

Nothing Was Working

We had a couple of sessions with him, maybe more than a couple of sessions, and it didn’t really do much. Then, unfortunately, that continued a string of looking for solutions that maybe provided some temporary help, but nothing that really worked in the long run. 

I would always go back to experiencing anxiety whenever we would get intimate. I would avoid my husband, wanting to run away from his touch. I did not look forward to going on vacation because I felt the pressure and expectation of that. And I really just felt crummy about myself. I always asked, “What’s wrong with me?”

Marriage Growth & Becoming a Coach

Thankfully, something really good came out of that exploration and trying to find some help. Which was that I fell in love with marriage education, and marriage growth. I loved learning new communication techniques. I loved trying them out on my husband. He’s my ultimate guinea pig. And I just love understanding how human relationships function. 

So, I decided to start a blog about marriage, and then pretty soon after I trained to become a marriage coach. All while we were still fighting about sex. We had not solved that one, and it would really almost go in like a three months cycle. We would have a huge fight about it, about three months in, and we just blamed each other. I think I was blaming myself, maybe he was blaming me a little bit. I was blaming him. It was just a big mishmash.

Traditional Advice Failed Me

I was starting to work with couples and I started to really grow in courage. All the traditional advice I had been given up to that point hadn’t been useful or helpful and actually had made things worse. So, from just do it. That it’s good for your marriage, just go for it. That was incredibly unhelpful. It made me feel icky and gross. Sex and pressure just does not work well together. From just have a bath, just relax, to take turns or compromise.

The thing is, with sexuality you can’t compromise, otherwise you just end up feeling violated. And that is not safe enough to enjoy the sexual experience together.

Enter Pornography

Another really important thing happened where I was listening to a podcast with five other men and they had all had experiences with pornography. I thought, “Wow, interesting. That’s 100%.” And so, I just went and asked my husband, “Do you ever watch porn?” Never thinking he would have said yes, and he did. 

It turns out he had a pornography addiction for the entirety of our marriage, and that launched us into understanding about porn, researching, learning, and ultimately healing from it together. I needed to do some healing and he needed to as well. And that’s definitely something that I’ve learned along the way is that you can make great strides in your sexual experience and wanting it, but if porn is there, it always hinders you from going to that next step.

Taking Matters Into my Own Hands (and Heart)

Then once I grew in courage, and we healed that part, I just decided to trust myself. To trust what had felt good up until then and what had not felt good up until then. And I went for it. 

I learned that women, I believe, need to be the leaders of the sexual experience to create safety and trust. And men make fantastic responders. I learned  that you get whatever you need as a woman to feel safe and have no pressure. You can lower the expectations of yourself, and your husband can lower his excitement. And then your sexuality can shine.

I Created What I Needed

I learned how to reduce shame that I had accumulated over the years of my body, and also of the sexual experience. So, now I do teach these things. You probably know this already, but I created a program with all of the methods that worked for me, because we need more specialists in this area. We need more people who are really focused on this one dynamic in the marriage. And now I’ve helped over 700 women want more sex and go from, don’t touch me to initiating, which is really exciting.

The Feeling of Freedom

I cannot tell you the amount of freedom I feel now. I’m still amazed that I had been able to heal this in my marriage. I am not broken, and there’s nothing wrong with me. I fundamentally have not changed as a human being.

I haven’t gone on any supplements. I didn’t change my testosterone levels. I’m not using some magic pink pill that doesn’t even work. No, I continued to be just Jenna. I didn’t learn any magic techniques. All it was is restructuring the sexual experience in our marriage, which is what I teach now to other women.

I hope that was interesting for you to know my background story and how I really went from not wanting it ever or at all to now really, really enjoying it and seeing it as a source of creativity and productivity and joy in my life.

I’ll talk to you soon.

Janna

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