, , ,

What Does Surrender Have To Do With Vaginismus?

What’s ironic is that for many of us…

The very thing that has kept us safe in the world is the thing we NEED to set aside in order to enjoy penetrative sex.

That’s right.

We’ve grown up in the world where having control over our external circumstances is what has kept us SAFE.

That certainty of the known is comfortable.

The unknown? It’s scary!

So we make a detailed plan of our days and weeks, are extra prepared for the new places we visit and tread carefully with any new people in our lives…

We live on trying to hold onto that sense of safety. By clenching on to our sense of CONTROL.

For me, control has been my life line. It is what had kept my nervous system in the green while I was a kid and as I grew into a teenager and then an adult.

I dove deep into the aspects of my life that I felt I had a handle on – so I become an extra high performer in school and later work.

I excelled in sports and kept myself busy with extra-curricular activities.

I left the following impression on people.

Can you relate?

The aspects of my life that I DIDN’T have a handle on? Like my sex life, or my attempt to ‘fix’ my parents’ relationship?

I did my best not to think about those things.

Because what happens the minute we feel like we’re not in control? Anxiety levels spike and the alarm system of the body goes into overdrive.

Our nervous system enters alert mode.

Anticipating, bracing, protecting.

A familiar call? Yep, that’s the Cycle of Pain deepening.

What does this have to do with sex?

Sex is arguably the MOST vulnerable thing in the world!

It’s two people coming together, fully open, exposed. Emotionally, and physically…

But to a nervous system who’s survival strategy so far has been to be in control? Being fully open is SCARY, on steroids!

Control is what has kept us safe in the world.

Being fully open is the opposite of safety.

Like walking through a dark room, EVEN if it’s a familiar one, the body is unsure of its every step.

It must tread extra carefully to survive. So sex for us?
OF COURSE our bodies react in a protective way.

Specifically in the most vulnerable form of sex, penetrative sex, our thighs close up, and our pelvic floor muscles tense.

Because being a receiving partner to penetration literally requires to open fully in a relaxed state of being.

Is the HIGHEST level of surrender.

Control brings no benefit in this circumstance (other than the protection it has always been meant for of course).

Penetrative sex asks us to strip away the very thing that has kept us safe in the world.

It’s like believing sex before marriage is shameful for 20 years and then needing to happily have sex and get pregnant soon after you say “I do.”

We are expected to flip the switch.

Our nervous system simply CANNOT flip the switch so quickly!

So to avoid our nervous system going bonkers, we need to create a sense of safety amidst SURRENDER.

To set control aside and to TRUST. To open. To be fully at the whim of the unknown… Yet feeling safe.

So how do we engage in the practice of RELINQUISHING control, safely?

Of finding SAFETY amidst surrender?

There are 2 ways to help our nervous systems adjust to feeling safe in the midst of the unknown:

A slow and steady transition into that sense of safety… OR a more intense approach.

Both methods have helped me…

But the intense approach in particular has been surprisingly effective.

It helped me feel safe AND with the extra turn-on from this approach, my physical body literally relaxed as though by command.

Yes, my pelvic floor too!!

This method took away ANY glimpse of hope that I’m in control.

Taking away ALL hope of control showed my nervous system that I don’t have ANY chance at being that alpha woman I’m used to being in the world.

The go-getter. The one that always knows what’s next and how she can get there.

The alpha woman needs to be OUT-alpha-ed.

With this intense approach, control needs to be fully stripped.

Yes, I’m talking about…

Dominance and submission dynamics in the bedroom.

ONLY WHEN I was in a situation to feel out-alpha-ed in intimate play, my alpha backed down.

And she melted. She released all control.

And relaxed into the safety of her partner’s arms.

She found safety and pleasure in SURRENDER. My alpha submitted to the dominance of my partner.

Although this has the potential to be scary for some people, for MANY, it has the same effect as it did for me. It allows us to exhale, relax and release any inhibitions.

And to allow ourselves to be TAKEN. Opened, EVEN though we don’t know what’s coming next.

In this moment of turn-on, what’s next doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have nowhere else to be, nothing else to do.

We are dominated in the safe space held by our partner and we can JUST BE.

And IF you choose to dive into this approach of relinquishing control, just watch what happens to your physical body.

Mine was…

1. Extra turned-on and…

2. In a state of relaxation like never before.

I credit a LARGE part of my vaginismus success to that very journey of releasing my desire to be in control. I needed to start living from more of a place of peace and surrender. A place from which pleasure can be celebrated even in the complete UNKNOWN.

So exactly how can you go about achieving a surrendered state of safety? By…

Exploring Intensity

I share one solo exercise on the topic, in this blog post about the darkness of your sexual desires – a great intro to this conversation.

I explained that intensity can be YOUR key to re-discovering pure pleasure in your body, which can actually help you overcome vaginismus.

And unlock the closed doors between your legs, IF you desire.

Those of us who enjoy intensity can typically appreciate kink in our lives – scratches, smacks, power play, power dynamics, an edge of taboo and naughtiness.

THAT helps relax our nervous system and really melt into the world of pleasure.

That edginess is the key to turn-on, whatever that might look like for you, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that.

It’s simply one path, out of all of the possibilities of relaxing the nervous system.

And a specific shortcut I’d love to share with you, in line with this path of intensity, is the experience of relinquishing control through physical restriction during intimate play.

Yep, I’m talking about being tied DOWN.

The bondage in Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism (BDSM).

Why so? Being tied down is the ultimate stripping of control.

The ultimate act of being OUT-alpha-ed.

It creates a physical restriction in which your nervous system has no choice but to surrender.

Of course, this should only be done with consent and with clear boundaries set in place so your nervous system feels at ease.

Let’s explore tools that would be helpful in diving into this type of play…

A full body restraint is the ultimate bondage experience.

An under the bed restraint system, like the Sportsheets Under The Bed Restraint System is a great tool for this.

All you do is slide the straps under any size mattress for an instant bondage bedroom.

You can position the straps around the head and foot of the mattress, or around the sides of it.

Alternatively, you can also use something like the Door Jam Cuffs by Sportsheets on a door frame, to create bondage in a standing position.


For those partners who would like to ‘learn the ropes’, any bondage rope can be the fun tool to have your partner show off their skills.

Of course, you can also use a good old scarf or tie that you have in your home.

How else can we sink into surrender?

If you’re anything like me, the idea of making a mess during sex doesn’t allow you to be fully present and relaxed during play.

That’s why another item that is a staple for guaranteeing full and total surrender is a waterproof sex blanket.

The Liberator Fascinator Throw Velvety Sex Blanket is perfect for that.

The inner moisture barrier ensures your bedding and furniture stay dry and spotless. And you can simply toss it in the washing machine!

It’s quite large too – 72″ by 54″.

And it creates an additionally sensual experience – one side is soft and plush and the the other is silky smooth satin.

Price (in USD)

If you were looking to equip yourself with some bondage accessories I mentioned above, the Sportsheets Under The Bed Restraint System retails for $53, the Door Jam Cuffs by Sportsheets are $23, bondage rope is $27 and the The Liberator Fascinator Throw Velvety Sex Blanket is $102.

And… I’ve partnered with Betty’s Toy Box to provide you with a 10% discount! Just use code KATRINWITHLOVE at checkout.


What do you think about YOUR personal relationship to control and surrender? Are you open to diving deep into dominance and submission dynamics to achieve physical relaxation?

Would you give it a try? Have you already?

To giving yourself permission to embrace your intensity!

– Katrin, with Love