- Work with Dr. Turndorf
A Man in a Seemingly Cumbersome Situation
August 24, 1998 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dear Dr. Love,
I, first off, would like to applaud you for the wonderful service that you are providing to people that, may otherwise, be unable to find someone or be unable to afford the services that you are providing.
In doing some research, I happened to stumble upon your site and was astonished to find that someone is actually trying to help people and doing it for free. Thank you for all your time and effort.
I apologize for the story part being so long, but I thought that is needed to better understand my questions. But to the story and question at hand.
I am a 19 year old male and have recently fallen head over heals for a wonderful 21 year old woman that I care for and love very deeply. We are extremely close and have a wonderful open and honest relationship that we both had been searching for a long time. I hope that she is the one that I will spend the rest of my life with.
We have recently become closer and made the decision together to become sexually involved. She is the first woman that I have had sexual relations with. This wasn't her first time, but she was sensitive to my feelings and made it a comfortable and wonderfully memorable experience.
Being my first time and not really knowing what I was doing, afterwards I asked her how to make sex more enjoyable for her and how to please her. She informed me that she has never had an orgasm but enjoyed everything that I had done. At first this didn't surprise me because, as you probably know, a lot of women don't have orgasms through intercourse but I wanted to make sex a wonderful event for both of us.
I took it upon myself to do a little research. I looked into different positions, techniques, and advice from other women, etc. I tried quite a few of these and some seemed to be quite effective, but it startled me to find out when I brought her close to having an orgasm, she would pull away or start showing signs of discomfort and seem to be scared, upset and distraught. On occasion she would even break down and cry. I would immediately stop and just hold her and be there for her because she often couldn't or didn't speak afterwards so I was there for her until she was ready to talk about it.
After one of these events occurred, she felt that she was ready to talk about it. I removed us from the bedroom and tried to talk about what has happened. Sometimes when we would talk she is unable to tell me how she feels so I just hold her and am there for her. Other times when we are able to talk, she tells me that she seems to be frightened at attaining an orgasm but tells me that she wants to have one, just that when she reaches a point that she is overwhelmed by pleasure and the fear to go on. I try my best to 'read' what she is experiencing and stop the instant that it looks like she is uncomfortable because I don't want to push her in any way or to hurt her.
One evening when we were talking, she started crying and telling me that she had something to tell me. When she was about 9, she was playing with one of her friends and her friend brought up the subject of sex. (Pardon my candor, but I want to tell it how she explained it to me.) When her friend started explaining that sex was when a boy put his 'pee-pee' in a girl's 'pee-pee' she instantly spoke up and said 'Really, that's what my daddy does to me'.
After this had occurred, the sexual abuse stopped but her father had, and still has, a drinking problem. Due to this, he has always been physically and verbally abusive to her and the rest of her family.
Because of this, she has been in relationships before that had men that were abusive towards her. As I am sure you are aware, abuse victims unfortunately gravitate toward relationships that are abusive because they would rather have familiar abuse than unfamiliar abuse.
I had known that her father was physically and verbally abusive because some early events that we worked through in our relationship.
After I heard all of what she had told me, I broke down because I had also had an experience with a woman that abused me and had mentally played games with me to keep me from telling anyone. I have since overcome this tragedy in my life through personal strength and the help of a therapist. That experience has made me who I am today, but that's another story.
I came to the conclusion that her fear could have stemmed from her past abuse. The question that stumped me was'Why is she possibly associating her orgasm with the abuse and not the act of sex itself?' After doing some research, shockingly found out that it was possible for young female children to experience pleasure and even experience orgasm. I knew that the female body is designed for pleasure, but didn't know that it was possible for young children to experience this.
I was heartbroken. Not only was I upset that her own father had done this to her, but that she had to go through this. Not only that, but because of her abuse she had possibly created this coping mechanism to deal with her unresolved feelings that the pleasure she was experiencing was either bad, or that because she was experiencing pleasure, she had asked for this abuse.
I have read some books on sexual healing, but I don't believe that she would be open to some of the techniques in these books. I know that she would not be very open to going to a therapist right away, but I thought that some of these techniques could help her work through some of her feelings. One such technique involves her learning to masturbate and for her to use verbal reinforcement that the abuse was not her fault and it was ok to experience pleasure and work through these feelings on her own.
She is opposed to masturbating and / or using'vibrators' or other such toys, but she isn't opposed to me stimulating her during sex. I don't know if I should help her with this by being there and doing it for her, or just to try and convince her that she should do it on her own.
We are currently unable to afford much, but I believe that she needs to work through these feelings with a therapist. Until we are able to get her that type of help, can you give me any resources that I could use to help her or for her to be able to help herself? Also, how could I make it easier for me to talk with her about what she might be experiencing because I haven't talked with her about this yet?
Thanks for any help you can provide,
A man in a seemingly cumbersome situation
Thank you very much for your words of appreciation. You have understood my intentions exactly. I created this site in order to make therapy available to people who don't have access, for various reasons.
Your remarks have sparked me to tell everyone a bit more about the site. First of all, you need to know that I wish I could answer every letter I receive. It actually pains me that my busy practice and media commitments prevent me from answering each letter I receive.
If your question isn't selected for the Advice Column, remember to search my Advice Archives, the world's first searchable relationship advice database. The Archives contain thousands of answers to all sorts of questions.
You can also find answers to your questions by becoming a Chat Member. The Relationship Advice Guides (included with Chat Membership) show you how to start a relationship, how to build a solid relationship and how to solve your toughtest relationship roadblocks.
I have set the Chat Membership fee at the very reasonable price of $25 a year (much less than the cost of one therapy session). I encourage you all to benefit from the various offerings included with Membership. For a complete description, see the list of offerings on the Chat Membership main page.
If you find yourself stuck for an answer to your problem, you can always receive a private answer from me. I have set the fee for a private email consultation at less than the customary cost of a therapy session, to make it easy for everyone to receive the help they need.
Now, on to your question. Why is she possibly associating her orgasm with the abuse and not the act of sex itself?'
You actually answered your own question. Orgasm is pleasure, and she is terribly conflicted about allowing herself to have pleasure with you. Why? People who have been sexually molested carry terrible guilt. Deep down, they think that the abuse was their fault, that they asked for it, that they didn't stop it. The guilt is compounded by the fact that almost every abused person experienced sexual pleasure while they were being abused. And, why not? The body is wired to receive pleasure. Unfortunately, when a person experiences pleasure during a sexual encounter with a forbidden object (a parent or other family member), the guilt feelings are all the greater. The abused person thinks that he or she is a terrible person for enjoying a sexual experience with a person that he or she is not supposed to have sexual contact with.
The guilt over feeling pleasure during sexual abuse, leads to various sexual inhibitions. It is not uncommon for a person who was sexually abused to feel too guilty or anxious to allow him or herself any sexual pleasure at all.
Your question to me was how can you help your lover achieve orgasms. You also discussed all kinds of excellent sex tools and toys. But, these tools and toys are not for her, not now. Why? By trying to help her to have an orgasm, it feels like a violation to her, like someone is forcing sex on her. She needs to seek out the toys on her own, if she wants them. They should not be offered by you.
In fact, I wouldn't press her to have an orgasm at all. Again, a previously abused person must feel the master of her own sexual ship. She is in charge, she must decide if she wants to float her own boat (have an orgasm or not).
If you want to help her, talk about her feelings and her memories. When the time feels right, you can tell her what I said--that it was normal for her to have experienced pleasure with her father. You might also point out that even though it felt good, that doesn't mean that she is responsible for what he did to her. She may say, but I didn't stop him or tell on him. You might say to her, what kid is going to refuse an ice cream cone? Explain to her that being offered an experience that was too pleasureable to refuse is also an abuse.
The more she talks about the fact that it felt good with him, the more her guilt will subside. And, the more her guilt subsides the more she will be able to open herself to pleasure with you.
There are a couple of other things that you can do to help her heal. One, whenever she becomes upset during lovemaking, she needs to realize that she is having an emotional flashback--she is unconsciously recalling an incident in which her father abused her. Ask her to talk with you about the flashbacks that come to her mind. As she describes what her father did to her and how she felt about it, she will be draining off a lot of the emotional intensity and working through the trauma. After she has talked, try to bring her back to the here and now with you. At first this may not be possible, but try to bring her back to the now.
After she has worked the feelings through and she isn't literally choking on them (this could take months), you can work on breaking her negative association. Meaning, we eventually want her to stop thinking about her father when she has sex with you. Remember, don't try to get her to focus away from the memories of dad until she has worked-through the feelings associated with her previous abuse.
After she has worked through the most intense feelings, here's how to help her begin to focus more on her sexual experience with you. When she becomes upset, you can suggest that she stop thinking of dad and refocus on the here and now. If she needs to bring up the memory that she's associating to fine, but, let the memory go and tune back into this moment of pleasure. Our goal is to help her become more willing to experience pleasure with you. Try the sensate focus technique (see my Archives), which will help her tune in to non-genital pleasure. She can also say to herself. I am with my lover, I am supposed to have pleasure with him. If she can allow herself to experience non-genital pleasure, she may find it easier to graduate to gential pleasure as time goes on.
To also help her break the association to previous abuse, it would be good to encourage her to call the shots. If she feels in charge and can tell you what she wants you to do to her and when she wants it, she may come to associate her sexuality with an in charge feeling, rather than a victimized, helpless feeling.
Please keep me posted and let me know how the various suggestions I mentioned work out. Lots of luck. You are a wonderful man, sensitive, patient, respectful and loving. You are God's gift for her. Keep in touch.
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"Love Never Dies is guaranteed to give immense hope to those grieving the perceived loss of a loved one. Dr. Jamie Turndorf, together with her husband, Jean, now in spirit, provide stunning evidence of the continuity of love and life, along with the tools to help anyone connect with those in the unseen world."
Author of Messages of Hope
"Dr. Turndorf's eternal love story powerfully proves that our loved ones in spirit are waiting for us to reconnect with them! Read this amazing book and discover her new dialoguing technique, which enables you to reconnect and turn grief into peace and joy."
-- Mira Kelley,
bestselling author of Beyond Past Lives
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-- Fr. Richard Rohr,
Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and bestselling author of Falling Upward
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Part 1 was her story of losing the love of her life. Reading about the pain and agony she experienced and SO MANY people experience will be healing to know that others experience the same emotions after the passing of a loved one. I think the first part could be a book on it's own merit because it is so beneficial to people dealing with the same intensity of grief.
As a scientist myself, I was glad to read that she didn't focus on a religion. As a medium, I have come to know that "god" not of a religion, but is the consciousness of all living things. Like Dr. Turndorf I've learned that all people are equal and all creatures part of all existence (and with "souls.").
I particularly enjoyed reading how she used her talent/mediumship to help people overcome their grief. Readers will get a lot out of this book and know that their loved ones are always connected.”
-- Rob Gutro,
Author, Medium, Scientist
“I could not put this book down!!! It is so gripping from the first few words, and beautifully written. Dr. Turndorf’s courageous story of her reunion with her beloved husband after his death and the heartfelt stories of others serve to validate what many may have privately experienced but discounted as just a by-product of grief and loss and not really “REAL.” The book’s simple and powerful techniques provide essential tools for connecting to loved ones in spirit and will allow scientists to amass new data from lay people, other than mediums. Your book will make a profound contribution to the now significant scientific data already collected in laboratories around the world studying survival of individual consciousness after death, while adding richly to our own sense of love and peace. Thank you for the Gift!”
-- Linda G. Russek, Ph.D,
Former Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory, U of Arizona, Co-author of The Living Energy Universe
“This is the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. The depth of the author's love for her husband and her terrible grief at his death, and then her triumph as she learned to continue her relationship with him even after his death are all palpable. I lived it with her, and her story has stayed in my mind. For me, though, the reason to read this book is the author's wisdom in teaching her readers how to heal rifts across the death boundary. As one who has done extensive afterlife research, I can attest to the importance of post-death healing of relationships to both our dead loved ones and ourselves! Yet few people know how essential this healing is, and fewer still know how to begin it. As a prominent relationship counselor, Dr. Turndorf tackles this essential area, and she does it well. Hers is a wonderful book.”
-- Roberta Grimes,
author of The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next and The Fun of Staying in Touch
“Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased is as informed and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Especially recommended to the attention of anyone who is suffering from the loss of a loved one.”
-- Margaret Lane,
“Midwest Book Review”
“Love Never Dies is an astonishing and refreshing story of survival of consciousness. She clearly shows the many ways spirit can communicate through us and with animals and even objects. I could hardly put the book down, and I have read many of these types of books. This is a great read for those who have lost a loved one and are looking for answers to the ways spirit makes contact with us, and also how we can contact spirit to make peace. I highly recommend this book.”
-- Dave Campbell,
Certified Windbridge Research Medium (WCRM)
“When I held this 248 page spiritual giant in my hands, even before I started turning the pages I knew I had found a special guide that would help me through one of the hardest journeys I have taken. To love so deeply and completely and then to have the person removed from my physical life is hard enough, but then to find a way to stay connected with them is even more frustrating. So it was totally Heaven sent when I was asked to review this gentle messenger that helped me to stay connected, to recognize the connection and to even validate the connection. I also loved the way the author shared on such a deep and personal level it helped me to not feel alone and gave me courage to bypass my mind. I would recommend this sweet giant to anyone who feels the loss of a loved one. Thanks so much Jamie for the awesome blueprint. “
-- Riki Frahmann,
Chief Reviewer for the ezine Mystic Living Today
"As a colleague of both Jamie and Jean, I have been blessed with firsthand witness to their devotion and mutual love, in life and now through death. In her eloquently written new book, Dr. Turndorf has made their everlasting love accessible to all. Just as the uniqueness of their emotional connection radiated to me, it will radiate to you, the reader, in this groundbreaking work that will guide you to reestablish your relationships with loved ones in spirit... and even make peace, if needed."
-- Dr. Robert S. Pepper,
author Emotional Incest in Group Psychotherapy
"In her book, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased, Turndorf teaches a method for dialoguing with the departed which holds tremendous healing potential for everyone who has lost a loved one. Turndorf is passionate in her certainty that we can actually communicate with those we’ve lost. Since reading Love Never Dies (which describes the dialogue process in great detail) I’ve used Turndorf’s technique and it has opened life-changing doors for me. It’s a powerful process, and I encourage everyone who feels ready to try it."
-- Ken Page,
L.C.S.W. from "A Life-Changing Exercise for Anyone Who Has Lost a Loved One" published in Psychology Today
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author of Dancing on a Stamp and Dancing Forever with Spirit
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
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Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
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Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
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Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
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Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
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Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
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Syndicated Radio Host
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-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show