how long did it take you to enjoy sex?

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    Hi all, I’ve self diagnosed myself with vaginismus for 4 years now. I wish that I came across this forum earlier.

    3 months ago, I broke up with my long-distance boyfriend of 1.5 years. It was my first serious relationship. We were very compatible in many ways, but he was very frustrated about my vaginismus. I’ve been traumatized to find out that he had been cheating on me and I wish I had done more about my vaginismus…

    Throughout our relationship, I’ve made much progress with dilators and was able to have penetration for the last year. We only saw each other every 3-6 weeks. I felt like my pelvic floor muscles had to be re-trained every time. Having dilators in the bedroom took away quite a bit of momentum/romance. While I may enjoy some outer-course, penetration was associated with burning and was tolerable at best.

    My questions for those who successfully overcame vaginismus – how long did it take you to enjoy intercourse/penetration?

    Now that I’m single again and attempting to start dating again, any advise on how when to tell the new partner? (I’m trying to date more locally now…but I currently live in a small town and don’t have that many choices). I realize the best thing to do is to do routine dilation now…but I’m having trouble finding the motivation. I’m very committed to get on a routine dilation schedule once I find another partner.


    Hi Cl1101,

    For sure coming up with a routine dilation program is key. Some women find that buying a decent size internal vibrator can be a more pleasurable experience to use on a regular basis, rather than just straight dilation.

    For many women with vaginismus intercourse might not be their favorite way to have sex. But you should be able to have intercourse without pain, and without anxiety.

    Only 30% of women will have an orgasm from intercourse alone, so if you don’t have an orgasm from intercourse alone, that is OK. You are with the majority of women.

    I think telling a partner about your vaginismus history is important, and I would think that there will be a point in the relationship that you feel comfortable to open up about it. I suggest that happen before getting to the bedroom, but probably not on the first date.


    Hi Melissa, thanks so much for the fast reply. The internal vibrator is a great tip and I wish I had been doing that more consistently. I think it’ll help me to associate the practice experience with more enjoyment rather than just work…
    Thanks so much for the rest of the advice. key is to practice enough to not have anxiety/pain.


    An internal vibrator is a great option. We recently purchased a new one that we use when patients are comfortable inserting the larger dilators. It is called Inspire and it is from the company Sinclair Select. It has multi-speeds and is smooth and supple.
    Agree that consistent dilation is the key to success!


    Thanks Aimee. I’ll check out the product.
    One of the biggest reasons that turns me away from dilating on a regular basis is’s painful and uncomfortable. It’ll be good to get my brain these exercises with positive vibes.


    Hi cl1101! Welcome to the forums! I’m so sorry to hear about your relationship with your former partner – I think a lot of us with vaginismus fear that it will cause trouble in our relationships, and I know how painful it is to have those feelings confirmed by experience. Please know that a good long-term partner will understand and want to work with you on these issues.

    I’m someone who has overcome vaginismus and encountered a lot of these same milestones as you. This stuff is hard! Especially the dilation, and especially when you aren’t also with a regular partner. I was lucky that I had a boyfriend when I was going through vaginismus treatment, because I had something I was working towards in the form of someone to have sex with. I think using a vibrator is a great suggestion by Melissa – dilators feel very clinical and using sex toys that might normally become a part of bedroom behavior anyway is a good way of handling that transition.

    As to your question of when sex becomes pleasureable, I’m sure it varies between people but for me it was surprisingly just a few times after the first time I had sex with my partner. After getting the botox treatment, I dilated every day and on the 20th day was able to be penetrated by my partner the first time. Our first few times were uncomfortable (but NOT painful – just kind of weird-feeling). Then a few times in (couldn’t have been more than 2 weeks after that first time), for whatever reason, it just felt good. And it’s continued to feel good ever since. So much of this treatment is just about training your body for sex like you’d train if you were an athlete training for a race. You’ll be surprised how fast progress happens if you’re consistent.

    Finally, when entering a new relationship, I have many times gotten myself into the situation of not wanting to tell someone about vaginismus and then going into a panic when things got more physical and it was clear the other person wanted to have sex. Then I’d have to tell them in a way that felt very sudden and awkward – it wasn’t good for anybody. What I think would have been better would be to, as you get to know someone and a physical element starts to creep into things, simply tell them you don’t have sex with new people right away (which is a decision LOTS of people make for all kinds of reasons) and see if they’re okay with that. As you get to know them better, you can begin to share more of what you know of yourself and the ways that you’re coping with that situation, thus easing the new person into things more gradually.

    Let us know if you have other questions! Those of us who have been there before know how hard it is and are always happy to help new people dealing with vaginismus.


    Hi Recessivegenequeen, thanks so much for the detailed response! I really appreciate the encouragement! It definitely feels like a lonely road. It’s awesome to know someone who’s been through this and came out from the other end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing your experience.


    Of course! I know when you’re at the starting end of the tunnel it can feel like an impossible thing to overcome, but step by step you CAN walk through it, and it’s amazing to reach the other side. Not only do you get something you’ve wanted for so long, but you learn along the way just how strong you are, which is a lesson you can carry with you through so many of life’s challenges.


    well said, two thumbs up!!


    Hi C11101. I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through with vaginismus and I’m so glad you’ve found this Forum. I overcame vaginismus after having the Botox treatment program. After this, my hubby and I were able to have sex. It took a while and was a learning process until we both really started to get into it and enjoy it. In the beginning, we used the dilators just prior to intercourse. To get over this clinical feeling, we started using a vibrator in place of the dilator and this made it so much more fun plus I felt mentally ready for intercourse as I had dilated with the vibrator. We were able to have sex 2 weeks after the Botox procedure but I think it was a couple of months until we both really enjoyed it and found it pleasurable. It was a learning process with a lot of practice but now, even after the birth of our little one, we are enjoying it again and learning new things about one another.

    I also wanted to share a great thread about talking to new partners about vaginismus.

    There are several great posts but I really like what Vashalla said about it:

    “When I first told my boyfriend, I said something like, “Before we go any further (sexually), I want to let you know that I have something called vaginismus. It’s not a disease or anything; it’s just that my vaginal muscles contract, making it very painful for me to have sex.”


    “Another suggestion if you have trouble saying words like “vaginal” is to say that “your muscles contract so much down there that it makes sex very painful.”

    I hope this helps and send you my support today.

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