A typical comment/question raised by our patients with vaginal penetration problems (vaginismus, dyspareunia, vulvodynia) as they are practicing with dilators is: “I cannot see how this will ever be enjoyable!” A valid, realistic concern; let’s sort it out:
- The treatment itself is not arousing. Read Treatment & Arousal
- For the woman, enjoyable intercourse is not fathomable when penetration is painful and distressing, or while ‘in training’
- Conversely, sexual arousal will not make penetration possible nor will it take pain away (a common misconception)
- However, once penetration is available and is pain-free, she can ‘turn on the sexual switch’ in her head and find enjoyment and arousal
Conclusion: first step is owning the vagina and being able to have vaginal penetrations in neutrality (no pain, no distress); next – opt to allow enjoyment/arousal to happen.