Being single and dealing with vaginismus

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    Probably not the right place to ask this, so mods, please move my text when needed.

    I discovered I had vaginismus when I met my first boyfriend. We broke up while I was following pelvic therapy for a month or two, due to reasons not related to vaginismus. I’ve been able to insert all dilators so my therapist told me I was “ready to go”… but where “to go” to? I don’t have a boyfriend right now and I’m afraid all my efforts will be worthless when I don’t have sex soon. So what do you guys suggest? A one night stand? A friend with benefits? But what if things don’t work out with my vaginismus? Wouldn’t that be very awkward when you’re not in a steady relationship? What’s the best advice in a case like mine?

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi Patty22,
    You have come to the right place! Congratulations on completing your pelvic therapy and being able to insert all the dilators. Even if you don’t currently have a partner it’s important to continue some form of “maintenance dilation” to ensure that the muscles stay stretched,open,relaxed… Your “efforts will not be worthless”. You will be able to now have gyn exams without dread, and if you feel like using tampons they will now be comfortable to insert and remove. You can use an internal vibrator which will offer an internal massage and is less clinical than inserting a dilator. It’s important to be dilating with a size that is a touch larger (wider) than a partner when you feel ready to have intercourse. It’s important to be ready both physically and emotionally . You get to choose who it is you want to have first intercourse with, whether it’s a one night stand, a friends with benefits arrangement, a surrogate, or whomever you feel safe to share in this experience with you!
    Take care and keep us posted,


    Hi Patty22 – I just want to second Helen’s excellent advice! There is no wrong way of doing it, it just depends what you feel you want out of sex when you do have it. If it’s a priority for you to explore intercourse with someone you trust and you know someone you feel you could have a friends with benefits arrangement with, go for it! But if you’d rather wait to find a partner you see yourself having a relationship with while maintenance dilating along the way, that’s totally okay too. There’s also nothing wrong with a one-night stand, but while you’re working on transitioning from dilators to a penis, it often helps to dilate right before trying to have intercourse which might not be as natural a “flow” of events with a total stranger. It helps for the other person involved to at least know that you’re working on something related to intercourse in case it takes more effort than you were expecting. Hope this helps and good luck out there!


    Hi Patty
    Just keep on dilating by yourself until you find a partner. You can do it daily, weekly or on alternate days. Your muscles won’t tighten if you regularly dilate yourself and believe me your efforts will be worth it!


    Hi patty22! Congratulations on all your hard work!!!!!!!! In my opinion, after all that hard work and dedication, I’d need to feel safe with the man I share my body with. And connected on an emotional level so that I could really enjoy it and let my guard down. I would continue my dilating routine, however. It’s recommended to continue those exercises between 3-5x a week.


    Hi Patty22,

    I agree with all the excellent advice above surrounding continuing dilation and self exploration as you open yourself up to finding a partner to explore with. Just a small addition: Whomever you choose to share your body and being with, you want to feel safe with that person. Whether it’s a one night stand, FWB, or person that you’re in a relationship with, choose someone with whom you can be confident in your communication about your pleasure and comfort. It might help to practice lines with which you can communicate that you may need to go a bit slow such as “I’m excited to explore with you. I’ve struggled with pain during sex so I may need to go a little slow to ensure maximal pleasure, and I’ll communicate along the way.” You can dress this up to be a bit sexier as well, if you’d like (words about what you’re excited to play with). You can further the discussion by asking him what he likes etc. Reminder that even though you are ‘ready to go’, you can still continue playing with outercourse as a part of the fun!

    Communication is helpful in any context, even with a one night stand.

    Congratulations on your work and progress!

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