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"Partners do themselves a favour and the relationship a service when they become involved in sexual healing in a positive way"


The SEXUAL HEALING JOURNEY is a beautiful compassionate book written by Wendy Maltz to help women heal from a sexual abuse..

Although vaginismus does not always stem from sexual abuse, I realized that this book had deeply inspired me when I wanted to write about partner's involvement in helping women heal from vaginismus..

I wonder why now, since helping women dilate is not the same as helping women recover from a traumatic sexual abuse, but I guess that book inspired me because the writer constantly reminds partners of the need to be gentle, understanding, and to let the woman be in charge and how working together can be a beautiful experience if both partners are doing it out of love and not out of duty or pressure.

I remember her practical suggestions and soothing words were extremely healing for me, so I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who is dealing with vaginismus together with a supportive partner, but in particular to those women whose vaginismus was caused by a bad sexual experience or abuse (physical as well as sexual)...

However, I am not saying you SHOULD involve your partner.. Choosing to involve your partner totally depends on you. Research shows that there is no difference, in terms of final results, whether a woman dilates on her own, with the help of a therapist or with a partner. So donít worry if you should both decide she will go through this journey on her own.

It seems evident that if you donít feel confident enough asking for his support or if he should feel annoyed at the thought of having to help you out, this may be an example where your vaginismus may be telling you something important about your relationship and you may wonder if solving it for him is worth it in the first place or if you should first work on the relationship instead (or on ending it!).

Some women may have a very willing partner but they think that there would be a lot of pressure if he was too involved in the dilating process, or they just donít feel too comfortable so they prefer to do things on their own and just Ďincorporateí him towards the end, when they try and transition from dilators to intercourse.
But if you liked your partnerís help and involvement and heís enthusiastic about being part of this, then it will certainly be a beautiful experience for both of you and we just have some advice to give to make a deal that works. You can print them out and have him read them too:

Practical Tips when involving the partner in a dilating session

NO pressure, no threats and NO deadline from him

Unfortunately some partners will threaten you of divorce (or of doing other quite nasty things), hoping that will speed up your process. Well, it may, but it's truly sad and there would be nothing loving about that kind of involvement, so why even bother going through it... ?

YOU are in charge!

This is a golden rule. If he/she decides to help you out, youíll be the boss, and they may even enjoy being bossed around that way :). You should dictate when, how, in which position to try dilating and you can stop at any time.
If you decide to use his/her fingers for instance, itís important that you tell him when and how and how far to insert them and how to move them. And he has to be able to stop without sulking (and if he's mature, he will be).

No messing!

You need to be adamant with your partner about how he must not mess with you while dilating, since that could make your vagina fear and close or hurt. For instance, a woman's partner had managed to slip his penis inside, during a dilating session, but instead of just leaving it inside as she has asked him to do, he slid it back out and then tried to reinsert it, which of course was too soon for her cause inserting something is the hardest part, and she needed time to just get used to the feeling, so she panicked!

So, if you donít trust your partner to be able to be patient, gentle and Ďobedientí, then think twice about involving him in the process.

You can try some Sensate Focus exercises before starting a session or anything that connects you deeply.

Remind him that just watching is alright too. Some couples find it a turn on for him to just sit and watch as the woman dilates. Thatís fine too. You choose the boundaries though. He needs to know that he is not entitled to a peek unless you feel like it and it is totally up to you whether you feel comfortable to let him help you or not.

If he accepts this deal, and they usually help quite gladly, whatís important is that you set the pace and that heíll stop as SOON as you feel uncomfortable or experience some burning or pain. Itís ok if you feel that youíre ready to put up with a tiny little bit of discomfort, but the idea has to be yours. He shouldnít pressure you whatsoever into anything.
Itís not his vaginaÖ

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DISCLAIMER: This site is not designed to provide medical advice. All material is gathered from the experience of hundreds of women who experienced vaginismus but it is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on vaginismus-awareness-network.org carefully and confer with a health care professional specialized in vaginismus, as needed.