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Don’t push: A mindfulness-based approach to using vaginal dilators

Mindfulness based dilator insertion does not view insertion therapy as necessary in order to stretch the vagina enough to accommodate a penis, but rather, emphasizes experiencing vaginal penetration in a positive, desired and controlled way.  Admittedly, referring to this experience as vaginal dilation is unfortunate, and some suggest that sexual health professionals consider an alternate nomenclature to dilators, such  as  inserts or accommodators. The following principles may be helpful in creating a more mindfulness- based experience when working with inserts:

·      Create a space for the activity. Turn off communication devices, put on soft music and candles and begin with several minutes of  deep breathing.

·      Always begin with the smallest dilator and work up gradually to the next size.

·      Allow, rather than push  the insert inside.  First,  gently contract and then relax the pelvic floor muscles. Upon relaxation of the muscles, wait until you feel the vagina  allowing the insert to enter.

·      Consider fantasy and masturbation while using the inserts, in order to best simulate arousal, which is the circumstance under which vaginal penetration is most comfortable.

When working with couples, the woman can gradually transition with her partner from self- insertion to inserting with her partner’s hand on hers. The next transition involves the partner inserting with her hand on his until gradually she can stay relaxed while he inserts the insert in her. It is emphasized that she is not expected to be passive, submissive, or give up her autonomy or control. Rather, the mindfulness principle of trust is being developed.

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