Disconnect between dilators and sex?

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  • #46991
    newbie
    Participant

    Hi everyone, I’m very new here but not to vaginismus. I’ve undergone surgery that didn’t seem to help and am now back to the dilator therapy with my physio. My question is, does anyone else feel like their progress yo-yos? Like I might have a 3 good days but then be back to that brick wall again and I just feel like will this ever get better? Also I have been frustrated that I can use the dilators with relative ease and then when we try intercourse 2 minutes later it’s complete agony. I’d appreciate any advice because after so many months of this I just wonder will this ever really work?

    #47055
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi newbie – I had vaginismus for almost 10 years and started dilating after getting the botox procedure, and I DEFINITELY felt like my progress yo-yoed at times! This is an under-discussed but super normal part of the process. Like many aspects of our bodies and their health, there is a LOT of fluctuation and variety day to day. Your vagina’s tightness and sensitivity can change throughout the weeks based on the phase of your menstrual cycle, your stress/tiredness level, and tons of other factors. It doesn’t mean you’re losing progress, but emotionally it’s definitely frustrating and can set you back. It helps to work with smaller dilators even if you aren’t necessarily hitting your highest level every day just for consistency.

    As for your issues transitioning to intercourse, have you been able to comfortably insert dilators larger than your partner’s penis? Do you think there might be more anxiety for you about that type of penetration? Feel free to share more info about what the sensations or emotions are when you try to have penetrative intercourse.

    #47088
    newbie
    Participant

    Hi! Thank you so much for replying to me – it’s reassuring to hear I’m not alone with the yo yo progress. As for intercourse, I tend to use sizes 2 – 4 of dilators but the problem is my fiancé is a bit larger than a size 5, which I don’t tend to use at all and I know this might help me but it just looks so scary in comparison to the others. Everyone has said that it would be easier to accommodate that sort of size when you’re being intimate as you’re naturally more relaxed and lubricated, whereas to even think about size 5 when I’m doing my dilator practice feels impossible! Does everyone tend to be able to use all 5 before progressing to comfortable intercourse? Sorry for all the questions!

    #47184
    Heather
    Participant

    Hi newbie! When I went for my BOTOX treatment, Melissa from Maze was guiding me through proper dilation and she told me that in order to have comfortable sex, my vagina would need to be able to stretch bigger than my partners penis. That way, the penis would fit easily and comfortably.. as I’d actually be able to stretch bigger. And progress is not linear! But consistent is key. It took me much longer than a lot of the success stories here to have penetrative sex after my procedure. Every body is different and you don’t want to push the process. Your body is learning, and changing and overcoming. Be gentle and patient with yourself 🙂 Like Recessivenessqueen said.. even if you have to dilate with the smaller dilators.. that is still progress! That is still physical therapy! And that is keeping up with consistency! Don’t forget that our lovely vaginas are muscles! They get sore and tired too. There are also lots of cool tips and tricks to hack a better dilation session such as: yoga poses for the pelvic floor muscles, dilation breathing techniques, stretches and, my favorite, tons of relaxing tips to make dilating more enjoyable! Like laying on a heating pad for comfort, or maybe taking a really hot shower before hand, candles! Etc. But you can Google any of these! That’s how I found what worked best for me. I really hope this helps! You’ve got this!

    #47471
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Really great additional advice here about dilation, Heather! Newbie, this is useful to know. I totally get it – the “big pink” dilator in the set I used was the one that just seemed absurdly big and hard to work with. That one was never a walk in the park to insert and I couldn’t get it very far in, but it WAS an important step of the process to be able to work on it at even a preliminary level. There’s a lot of reasons why the Maze Clinic’s suggestion not to attempt penetrative intercourse until you can insert a dilator larger than your partner’s penis makes sense. For one thing, it ensures that your muscles are stretched and familiar with an object of that size so there isn’t a shock or major pain from your partner’s penis. It also has a useful psychological effect because once you KNOW you can insert an object bigger than your partner’s penis, you’ll have confidence when you try to transition to intercourse.

    Dilation takes how long it takes, and every woman is different. I think you just need more time with the dilators and to work toward being less scared of the largest one so you can start to move more toward your partner’s penis size. If the difference between the biggest dilator and the next-biggest dilator is larger, you might also try ordering a dilator from another set in an in-between size so that you can work up more gradually. Hope this helps and let us know how it goes!

    #47665
    newbie
    Participant

    Thank you both – I can hardly put into words how incredibly helpful, supportive and relieving it feels to hear from people who have actually been there. I have been doing well with sizes 2-4 but was wondering what you would class as ‘success’? For example, after a little warm up with 2 and 3, I am able to insert 4 slowly most of the way and have been trying some in and out motions. This ‘works’, however feels tight and slightly like a burning/hot sensation. Is this normal? Also I would be so grateful if you give me some tips on the breathing techniques you mentiones Heather. Just to say also, your insta live was what brought me to this forum and community and I found both your insta live and all the support on this website so incredibly helpful – thank you SO much 🙂

    #47680
    redrose
    Participant

    When insertion of a dilator hurts, I wouldn’t call that a success. I think the purpose is to be able to insert a dilator painless.

    What helped me to relax is getting as close to an orgasm as possible before dilating. This widens the vaginal walls and makes it easier to do the exercises. There is a thread on this technique over here:

    I’ve also got an article here somewhere which describes this technique in more detail, I’ll see if I can scan it for you.

    #47738
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    newbie, we’re glad to help! This stuff is not something people just know how to do right off the bat, we all have to learn and be taught. To your question of “success,” I would consider someone to have “mastered” a certain size if they can insert and remove it comfortably and without pain. HOWEVER, something I didn’t know at first was that you rarely feel this way until you’re able to work your way up to the NEXT size. By this I mean that you might be working with one size that you’re pretty comfortable with, you only have a small amount of discomfort using it, so you move up to the next-largest size and then suddenly that SMALLER size doesn’t give you any trouble at all. This is how a lot of people move through the dilators, so it sounds like you’re still getting used to the 4th size, but I bet the 2nd size feels like hardly anything at all to you. That just means you have more work to do with the 4th one and will make progress as you’re able. I hope that helps but let me know if you have other questions or I didn’t explain that well!

    #47781
    newbie
    Participant

    Hi recessivegenequeen, thank you so much for your encouragement. That’s a good point about going back down one size to see if it feels easy – I’ll have to try that. Would you have any advice on for how long each day it’s advisable to dilate, like should it be 15 mins, half an hour, more? I’m also interested in learning more about the pain aspect, because for me I don’t feel a pain when there’s resistence, just more like a brick wall – it feels like the walls have gone very tight but there’s no pain as such. Is this normal too?

    #47999
    recessivegenequeen
    Participant

    Hi newbie! In my personal experience, time spent dilating is less important than dilating on a regular schedule. I think it’s better to dilate 10 minutes every single day than to dilate every other day for 30 minutes, for example. By dilating every day, you’re getting your body used to a routine, and it’s also easier in my opinion to say to yourself “this is something I need to do every day” rather than try to decide on a day-by-day basis whether you “feel like” dilating. You may already be doing this, but if so, I want to enforce that I think it’s one of the most important parts of the process! Also, there WILL be some days that dilating is harder than others – our bodies change a lot over the course of our menstrual cycle and in response to things like stress in other parts of our lives, but i think if we dilate every day it’s also a little easier to notice that we’re struggling because it’s an off day and not because we’ve hit a wall of some kind on that progress.

    In terms of what’s best to do DURING dilation, especially if you’re doing it for a shorter time, I think it’s more valuable to practice inserting and removing the dilator several times as well as wiggling it around. There is also value in just leaving the dilator in for a few minutes, but spending more time practicing insertion and removal and moving the dilator once it’s inside you emulates some of the in-out motion of intercourse and can be a good way of being able to tell how comfortable you are with a dilator size. I recommend during a session, starting with the size you’ve already “mastered,” doing the in-out-wiggle routine for a bit, then moving up to the size you’re currently working on mastering and leaving that one in for longer to stretch out your muscles. Then you’re getting a lot of different kinds of stretching in!

    if you have more time to dilate every day, that’s great and will never hurt i think. But if you have less time but can use it on a more active and engaged session with more dilation movement, I think you’ll see more results!

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