The Interactional View

The interactional view assumes that vaginistic complaints have a function in maintaining the balance between partners, or in the emotional functioning of the woman herself. In this sense, the complaint can form a solution! There are very few authors who explain the phenomenon of vaginismus fully on the basis of this view. However, much of the literature mentions the behavior and the personality structure of the male partner. He comes forward as a low self-confidence, anxious, passive, dependent person who is afraid of failure and for whom sex is a loaded subject (27,38,39). The partners of vaginistic women are believed to often suffer from sexual problems themselves, such as impotence and premature ejaculation (29,35,39,40). Despite these problems, the couple usually look very harmonic on the outside. They give the impression of being very well suited (18,37). In a recent study, rates of parital discord were equal to the general population (3). It speaks for itself that within the interactional view, partner-relational therapy and sexual therapy are not considered to be two clearly distinguishable specialties. Both concern the same system of two persons. Although the majority of therapists agree that the partner can play a major role in maintaining the complaints, very few actually involve the male partner in the therapeutic process. This is where we pay the price for the fact that in vivo observation is missing from the sexual anamnesis.

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