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Rare Condition Caused Virgin Couple To Wait Six Years To Consummate Their Marriage

PA Real Life/ Cassia Karin Photo

A bride and groom who planned to lose their virginity on their wedding night failed to consummate their marriage for six years, because of a rare condition making it impossible for her to have sex.

Staying celibate during their two-year courtship, when salesman Ben Coussens, 31, finally tried to make love to his wife, Emily, 28, on their wedding night, she recalled it feeling like a knife being “shoved inside" her and “hitting a brick wall."

Diagnosed with vaginismus – where the vaginal muscles tighten when penetration is attempted – five years and nine months later, following just two weeks of intense physical and mental therapy, the couple, of Austin, Texas, USA, finally had sex and are now proud parents to Holden, one.


Emily and Ben were virgins when they met at church

(Collect/PA Real Life)

Stay-at-home mum Emily said: “It took us almost six years to consummate our marriage, and it was only then that I truly felt like a woman.

“We tried everything from a vibrator to stretching exercises, but nothing worked. I felt ashamed, like I wasn't working properly.

“Ben has been so amazing and patient, and sex for the first time was fantastic. We have been making-up for lost time ever since."


On honeymoon in Hawaii, Emily and Ben did not consummate their marriage for six years

(Collect/PA Real Life)

Both Christians, the love-birds were virgins when they met at church and, because of their faith, decided to wait until they were married to have sex.

“We were both really excited at the thought of finally making love on our wedding night, on September 26, 2009, after being together for two years," said Emily.

“We had a hotel booked for after the wedding, close to the airport, as we flew to Hawaii for our honeymoon the day after."

After tying the knot in Santa Paula, California, where they are originally from, the couple could not wait to seal their love by finally enjoying physical intimacy.

Emily recalled: “Collapsing onto our hotel bed, things became intimate, but when we started trying to have sex I suddenly felt a lot of pain.

“The only way I can describe it is that I felt like a knife was being shoved inside me, like Ben was hitting a brick wall."

She continued: “My body seemed to just have this defensive reaction to being touched and tensed up."

“I've never been abused in any way, so I couldn't understand why this was happening."

Putting it down to nerves and adrenaline because of the wedding, Ben reassured Emily, saying it did not matter and vowing to try again on honeymoon.


Emily and baby Holden (PA Real Life/Courtney Tole Photography)

“Ben said we had the rest of our lives to be with each other and was so understanding," she continued.

“When we arrived in Hawaii, it was the perfect romantic setting so, when the moment arrived, we tried again."

Devastatingly for the pair, the same thing happened.


Emily and Ben failed to consummate their marriage for six years

(Collect/PA Real Life)

“My body seemed to instinctively reject what we were trying to do, and what I so wanted to do," Emily added.

“It was like my vagina turned into a brick wall, and nothing could go inside.

“I started to panic, worrying that I had something wrong with me. We were supposed to be on our honeymoon, hardly leaving our bedroom, but instead my body seemed to say 'no' despite my mind and the rest of me saying 'yes'. "

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is the body's automatic reaction to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration.
Whenever penetration is attempted, your vaginal muscles tighten up on their own.
You have no control over it.
Occasionally, you can get vaginismus even if you've previously enjoyed painless penetrative sex.
Vaginismus doesn't necessarily affect your ability to get aroused and enjoy other types of sexual contact.

Trying exercises to stretch her vagina in the hotel room, still nothing worked.

Determined not to let it ruin their holiday, the newlyweds tried to enjoy the break and not to worry until they got home, when Emily could visit the doctor.

Seeing a gynaecologist two months later, she could not even proceed with an internal examination, because her vagina just clenched.


Emily, Ben and baby Holden (PA Real Life/Courtney Tole Photography)

“The doctor thought it was a size issue, so gave me some dilators – narrow silicone tubes which looked like tampons – to widen the vaginal opening, but even they did nothing as I couldn't get them in," she said.

“I was told just to relax and have a glass of wine and that 'sex can be painful the first time,' but I wasn't scared of the pain, we just couldn't have sex."

After the dilators failed, Emily and Ben continued to try and have full sex twice a week, but to no avail.

“I felt ashamed that I couldn't give Ben what he wanted," Emily said. “Of course there are other ways to be intimate, but we both wanted to have proper sex and consummate our marriage.

“Friends would ask me, 'What's the sex like?' I would lie, being vague, saying, 'Yeah it's great,' before changing the subject. Some people I did confide in suggested to me it was all in my head and that, somehow, I didn't want to make love, but that wasn't true."

“I worried Ben would become resentful of me. I'd often say to him, 'I am sorry you have a defective wife.' But he was so understanding. He really is the most handsome, hard-working, sacrificial, patient man in the whole world and supported me completely."


Having sex felt like a knife being "shoved inside" Emily, pictured with Ben

(Collect/PA Real Life)

Her inability to have penetrative sex also made Emily concerned that she would not be able to have a family.

She continued: “We tried everything we could at home to make it work. From stretching exercises, to different sized dilators and we even bought a small vibrator, but still no change."

So, in 2013, four years into their marriage, Emily had a hymenectomy, to remove her hymen in a bid to reduce the discomfort.

But, after a month's recovery, again their attempt to make love was hopeless.

Then, in March 2015, Ben called his wife into the living room where he was watching a video online.

She said.“There was a woman on the screen talking about her symptoms and, as I started listening to them, I began to sob. They were exactly the same as mine, the same problems I'd had for over five years. It was the first time I had ever realized I wasn't a freak and there were other people, just like me. I felt validated, finally."


Emily and Ben on their wedding day

(PA Real Life/ Cassia Karin Photography)

The video was from the Women's Therapy Center, in Plainview, New York, USA, a place Ben had heard about through a friend.

And the condition Emily suspected she also had was vaginismus, where the vaginal muscles tighten when penetration is attempted.

Contacting the center straight away, Emily discovered they ran two week treatment courses, costing $11,000 in New York. “Ben told me it didn't matter what the cost was, we needed to do this," Emily added.

So, in August 2015 Emily flew 1,500 miles for the first week of twice-daily sessions on her own, before Ben joined her in the second week.

For two hours a day, throughout the fortnight, Emily had a combination of “hands on" guided penetration training – where she inserted the dilators repeatedly as well as touching herself to get used to the feeling – pelvic floor rehabilitation and sexual therapy.

And, on August 10, during the second week, she and Ben tried to have sex again – and this time, it worked.

She said: “Having sex for the first time with Ben was amazing. I said to him, 'Are we really doing it?' as I couldn't believe we had finally made it that far.

“Ever since then, we have made love without any problems. We now enjoy a very healthy and happy sex-life – making love every week."


Emily and Ben on their wedding day

(PA Real Life/ Cassia Karin Photography)

And amazingly, just six months after they first had sex, Emily fell pregnant with Holden, who was born on October 30, 2016.

She said: “I love being a mum and want to have more children, too. Ben has been so supportive, but I want to tell other women who might be feeling like this that they can get help. I've never been able to identify what caused my pain as I had a really open relationship with my parents and felt able to talk about sex.

“So I want mums to talk to their girls about the issue, and not make it into such a big deal. Sex is a positive, fun thing and should be celebrated."

Meanwhile, Ben is delighted that his wife is now happy and healthy and that they enjoy such an incredible love life.

He said: “I know Emily wasn't withholding from me, and I knew deep-down we would be able to sex eventually. We had talked about adopting if we couldn't have children.

“But when we did eventually have sex, it was well worth the wait, we have Holden too, and I wouldn't change a thing."

A version of this article originally appeared on Press Association.

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel

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Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.

calypsodweller

We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.

cookiearthquake

A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest

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Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.

FrankDrakman

Damn! That's smart. Wow.

fangxx456

Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.

DankeyKang11

The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.

oddstodd

Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.

Subwoofy

I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed

draculacletus

Sleeping Beauty

Giphy

I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.

DrMethusael

Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.

All-Seeing_Elon

I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.

smerter

A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.

Augumenti

This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.

blackbird77

Put This To The Taste

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My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.

turkeypr0

So what was the candy?

Poster_Main

Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."

turkeypr0

This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.

GodOfTheThunder

The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"

NO!

"Does it go on my head?"

NO! IT GOES ON ME!

"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"

NO!

"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"

NO!

[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.

insertcaffeine

Some Foot For Thought.

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My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.

Splittsky

That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.

PJQueen

Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.

SheaRVA

I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.

laik72

This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.

Galaxy_Ranger_Bob

The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.

AppealToReason16

The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'

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I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.

pedanticProgramer

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