Hi Leslie – I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with your neighbor, that sounds really hard both emotionally and physically!
Speaking as someone who had vaginismus for about a decade before finally seeking successful treatment that now leaves me able to have pain-free sex, I got into this sort of situation a lot where I would be embarrassed to bring up my situation and hope for the best, only to get into a far more awkward situation in which I failed to be penetrated and felt ashamed in front of my potential partner.
Vaginismus is so hard to talk about, but to share the truth of it is also an unburdening. Something I hope you will remind yourself at this difficult time is that having vaginismus is NOT your fault or something you deserve – it’s something that happened to you. It takes a long time to untangle the shame that builds up around not being able to have sex as women, but it’s an important starting point to know this is something you’re dealing with but not something you caused.
As for whether to tell your neighbor about your experience, I think that you should. The fact that you’re still distressed about the encounter after 6 weeks is an indication that this is important to you and that it feels unresolved for you, that there’s more you want to say. I suspect based on your neighbor’s behavior that he’s very caught up in his own shame and probably has no idea what even went on for you. Telling him could both unburden you and create a new way to connect with him, to feel more at ease around each other.
In terms of how to talk to him, I think it might be best to reach out via text or an email and lay your cards on the table. It would give you space to express things how you wanted and also give him the option either to engage or not to discuss it since it sounds like he has some social awkwardness. You could say something like:
“Hey Neighbor, I find that I keep thinking about our encounter a few weeks ago and there’s some things I wanted to tell you about how that went for me. I have a condition called vaginismus that makes sex painful if not impossible for me… [however much more you want to explain your experience of vaginismus] I enjoyed your company and think we could have fun together in creative ways. Do you want to talk more about this?”
I’m sure the prospect of opening up to this man about your vaginismus is really scary – and this would be a very brave thing to do! But I think you have already made yourself vulnerable in ways that make you feel misunderstood, and this could be a kind of vulnerability that leads to understanding. If nothing else, you would know you did what you could to try and salvage things and could reside in the knowledge that you tried.
Let us know how it goes, and I’m so sorry you’re dealing with vaginismus. We have a lot of great treatment information here on the forums if that’s something you’re interested in!