Your Call: I Can’t Have Intercourse, Should I Let Him Sleep Around?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below. 

Dear Em & Lo,

My husband and I married when we were 17. On our two-year anniversary, we separated for over six years (we’re back together now). The reason? I can’t have vaginal sex. My OB-GYN says that I have a very rare condition where my cells didn’t form a complete vaginal passage and because of that, my vagina is too short and my pelvic bones grew into the wrong place. She says that is why I feel extreme pain during attempted vaginal intercourse (he’s hitting the bone). There is corrective surgery available but my insurance is saying, “No, it’s not necessary for life.”

This has made my husband very angry and one day he blew up at me saying that he missed having vaginal sex (he was sexually active with other girls while we were separated). He and I have oral sex and anal sex, so we are having sex. Needless to say, his comment hurt me a lot. With the way things are going, I may never be able to have vaginal sex. Should I offer to let him sleep with other women so he can get some vaginal sex? Or am I asking for more problems than I’m trying to fix?

— Two Out of Three

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13 Comments on "Your Call: I Can’t Have Intercourse, Should I Let Him Sleep Around?"

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Oral and anal, sounds like a lucky guy. Maybe start saving for the operation may help.

A lot of these comments seem to be coming from moral stand points that may or may not be the same as yours, If the idea of letting your partner seek outside intercourse doesn’t bother you, don’t let anyone else tell you it’s wrong. That being said there are a few things to consider. As human beings, sexual intercourse is generally an emotionally bonding experience due to the hormones released. Which in some situations can cause your partner to fall out of love with you and in love with the other party. There are also dangers with Sexually transmitted diseases… Read more »
I’m really impressed with all the comments here. I wasn’t sure at first, but it is remarkably selfish for him to blow up at you just because you grew a few bones in the wrong place. I don’t have a penis, so I wouldn’t know, but my male friends have often said that anal is really not that different from vaginal intercourse, and some men even like it better. It seems that you’re making every possible accommodation by offering this, and really, short of enduring excruciating pain, what else does he expect you to do??? I’m sure you’d happily have… Read more »
Based on all the great comments from everyone else, myabe this should be your course of action: Push the issue with your insurance company. Possibly contact a lawyer to help you with your case. While you are trying to address the issue medically, keep things the same in your relationship. If you take the insurance issue as far as it can go (or as far as you are willing) and you cannot get the surgery, at that point maybe reconsider the open relationship thing. But, only do all of these things if they are truly what YOU want to do… Read more »

Many insurance companies deny all claims that aren’t immediately life threatening. However, if you are persistent and keep harassing them they will eventually cave and allow the surgery/treatment.

This comes from both my personal experience and my wife working in psychiatry (where many medications aren’t “life threatening”).

Also, ask if your insurance company covers Viagra. If it does, it almost has to allow your surgery since then are for similar problems.

Best of luck.


Johnny and “anonymous” both make excellent points.

I wonder if a doctor would be willing to help you with the insurance issue. Make a stronger case, possibly including the ability to have children.

If you do decide to allow him to sleep with other women, be very clear about your boundaries and find what set up you could be comfortable with. Communication with this sort of thing is paramount. If you aren’t comfortable at all with the idea, then don’t go for it.

Everyone has made such fantastic comments, particularly Johnny’s. However, I’m tending towards the belief that this man is an asshole. As Johnny said you have been more than accomodating with your husband. I just don’t understand why you got back together if your inability to have vaginal sex was such a deal breaker for him. I have vaginismus so I completely understand the frustration this causes both parties. However, not one of my partners ever made me feel inadequate and most importantly none of them would have been happy having sex with me if it meant that I was in… Read more »