Welcome New Members!

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    Hi Sophie – welcome to the forums! I haven’t heard of the tampon/masturbation technique before but have to admit it seems like the right IDEA pursued the wrong way. A tampon isn’t meant to create pleasure – its purpose is hygienic by design – so masturbating with one seems ineffective. I tell the same thing to people who wonder if they’re supposed to feel sexual pleasure from using dilators. They’re more medical by design, so it doesn’t mean anything if masturbating with them isn’t working for you! If you’re able to insert something the size of a tampon into your vagina, I’d instead recommend getting a small vibrator (they truly come in all sizes and shapes) and working with that to see if you find it relaxing or pleasurable. If you’re able to insert tampons, I’d also recommend you get a set of dilators. Being able to put in tampons is an excellent start, but since penises are larger, getting your body accustomed to gradually larger objects is a better method of preparing to have sex.

    It sounds like you’re doing a really good job of keeping a positive attitude about this, which is rarer than you’d think! Being able to talk to friends is a great resource – even if they don’t totally get what you’re going through, the fact that you can confide in them means you have people can support you as you process the feelings of your experience. I think your male friend has a good point – it can be really hard to determine what you do and don’t like sexually when there’s so much anxiety and pain surrounding certain sex acts. When I was treated for vaginismus I assumed penetrative sex was something I’d tolerate for the sake of stability in a relationship once I could do it, and now it’s something I LOVE. I hope you’ll keep exploring how you feel and what you like with the same bravery you’ve already demonstrated – I think it’ll make your life even better.



    Hi everyone,

    I’m Gemma and i’m 19. I’ve never really joined a forum like this before so I’m a bit nervous.

    For a long time I struggled with inserting tampons and I worried how I would cope with sex. I went to the doctor asking about why I was feeling so much pain when trying to insert a tampon but she told me that I just needed to relax and that she couldn’t examine me because I was a virgin and wouldn’t be able to do an internal examination. She basically gave me the advice of “relax, use lube and lots of foreplay and your first time will be fine” i’m sure a lot of you can relate to this response. As I expected when me and my boyfriend tried to have sex for the first time over a year ago it was near impossible and very painful. After various appointments it was finally diagnosed as vaginismus and i’ve been prescribed the dilators. My boyfriend is wonderful about it and continuously tells me that it doesnt matter that we cant have penetrative sex yet. (We are very close emotionally) However, I know that i’m not his first sexual partner and that he does miss penetrative sex. I often feel very very down about it as I desperately just want to be able to do it, but I just can’t. I’ve watched all my friends have difficult first times but are now having great sex together and its so difficult to not compare and wish you were ‘normal’.

    I’m using the Amielle dilators, and at the moment I’m up to number 3. I find it difficult to build up the motivation to do it a lot. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on this. I don’t know much about botox options so am hoping to learn about them here.

    I’m so glad I found this page. Vaginismus feels so desperately lonely sometimes and its just nice to have a bit of a vent to people who understand!! Thank you to everyone who continues to fight stigma and educate on painful sex and thank you to those who set up this page. I’m going to go read some success stories to try and motivate myself for this journey.



    Hi Gemma, and welcome to the forums! Good for you for joining – it’s can be a really scary thing to do but seeking answers is the first step for sure. And I’m so sorry for your experience with vaginismus – it sounds like the exact combination of frustration and sadness I felt at 19, with a loving partner but no way to give him the sex life we both wanted.

    The fact that you’re working with (and able to use) dilators is huge! It means you’re well on your way to being able to have sex. The key to dilating successfully and seeing results is consistency. You’re right – it’s HARD to want to do this challenging thing every day! That’s why it helps not to treat it as something you feel deep motivation to do but as a habit or chore you do every day, like brushing your teeth. Even if you just try to dilate for 5 minutes every day, you’ll be better off than if you do it a few times a week intermittently. The muscles will get more used to stretching and also you’ll better be able to assess your progress. If you can find a little sliver of time to do it every day (especially if it’s the SAME time every day) you’ll just treat it like another thing to do every day rather than having to talk yourself into it.

    As you get further along with your dilating, another thing that can help is including your boyfriend in the process. You can start by having him watch you put in a dilator, then by having him hold it with you as you insert it, and finally by having him insert it himself – this lets you get more comfortable with ceding some of the control to your partner, which to a degree is necessary in sex.

    As for the botox procedure, it’s what I had because I wasn’t able to insert a dilator – you can read a lot about it on the Maze website, but basically what it entails is that you’re put to sleep under anesthesia, botox is injected into your vagina to curb the spasming of the muscles that make your vagina so tight, and then a large dilator is inserted and left in until you wake up and feel/see it inside you. For many of us this is the first time we’ve ever had something inside of us, so it helps make the connection that our vaginas aren’t broken and we just need to work to get used to penetration.

    Botox is great for people who can’t insert anything or who feel like they can’t progress sufficiently with dilators. In your case I would recommend trying to dilate more consistently first to see if you can make progress that way – especially since that the post-botox treatment plan is to dilate everyday! But botox is always an option if you feel stuck.

    You’ve already been really brave in sharing your story and beginning to tackle this, so remember that as you pursue whatever option for treatment suits you best. And celebrate your achievements along the way (a new dilator, less pain, etc.) – this is a journey and it happens one step at a time!



    Hi Recessivegenequeen,

    Thanks for your reply it was so informative and helpful, I really appreciated it. I’ll buy a small vibrator as you suggest! Glad to hear you recovered from vaginismus, I wasn’t sure that really happened. How long did it take you?

    Thanks again for the strong words 🙂


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