Hi LLbeano – thanks so much for commenting and sharing your story! It is definitely very normal for people who struggle with vaginismus to have some issues making the transition from dilators to a penis for a lot of the reasons you mentioned – you’re often in less control than when you’re using the dilator yourself and you’re not in the same position you normally dilate in, all of which makes for different sensations.
There are a few things you can try to make this transition easier while you’re still getting used to sex. Dilating causes the best results when you’re consistent with it, so while you’re making the transition, if at all possible it would probably help if you were able to dilate every single day. It can be for as little as 5 or 10 minutes, but just that little bit will still help and make a big difference in getting your body more used to penetration. It makes sense why you can’t dilate RIGHT before intercourse, but it would probably help if you could do it even a couple or a few hours before you planned to have a session – I think you’d see better results than doing it the day before if you’re able to make it work. Finally, if you have a friend/friend with benefits/partner with a penis that you were comfortable having sex with, you could try penetration with someone you’re more familiar with to get comfortable and take the pressure off yourself.
I hope this helps! Let us know how it all goes for you!