Step 6: working the edge

Your V responds to pressure. If you are not feeling much pressure, the process will be slower. But, if you apply too much pressure, it could hurt too much and might make you feel less mScreen Shot 2016-03-06 at 11.52.44 AMotivated to continue.

So, when you dilate, you want to work the edge between considerable pressure and p
ain. If it is painful, ease up on the pressure and—if at all possible—leave the dilator in. Try it again, this time with less pressure. And keep your courage. It can take a few tries to get the hang of it.
Dilation is relatively safe and low risk, but it does require a bit of trial and error to get to know your body and develop the confidence to keep going.

More about pain

If you find it painful, remember the difference between training pain and injury pain. Injury pain is when you break a bone, dislocate your shoulder, spraining your ankle, or pulling your neck. In general, you know when it happens and it HURTS.

Training pain is kind of like the feeling you get after an intense workout. You might feel sore. But that feeling means your body is changing and your workout was effective.

So, the pain and discomfort you will feel dilating is like the soreness caused by a workout. If it is too painful, ease up a bit on the pressure—you can decide then whether or not you
want to continue or call it a day and start back tomorrow, just like a workout.

When some of us have dilated, we’ve found that relaxing our lower half of the body keeps the pain down. Some tricks to remember are to keep breathing so your pelvis muscles won’t tense up. Instead of dilating the soft tissue, you might press on your muscles. Breathe slowly and steadily, not too deep, and let go of tension in the body. This is also when a vibrator can be useful. Even if you just touch your back and arms with it, the vibrations of the vibrator might help you relax a bit more and focus on another sensation while dilating.

If you start to bleed or feel a tear, don’t panic but do stop dilating and check in with your doctor.

My hands get tired sometimes when I dilate—what can I do?

It’s difficult to keep the pressure constant—your hands may get tired. Maybe experiment by keeping up pressure for 10-15 seconds and then release for 5 seconds, or alternate holding the dilator with your left and right hand once.

It hurts when I dilate, and I don’t know what to do.

Starting to use a part of our body that has never been worked out is hard.

Dilating is kind of like running—you can’t expect to run a marathon the first time you go for a run. You build up your ability with training—starting with small, slow runs and building up to further distances and faster times.

Dilation is the same way—you start small and with less pressure the first couple of times. Then, as you get more comfortable with the process, you work in more pressure and intensity.

The difficulty can be physical, like pushing too hard with the dilator and feeling pain. When this happens, instead of pulling out your dilator entirely, leave it inside. Take a deep breath, hold the breath in for three seconds, and then ease up a bit on the pressure. Then push gradually harder to a pressure that feels less harsh. You should feel lots of pressure and will figure out how to work the edge between pressure and pain as you gain experience dilating.

The difficulty can be in your mind, too. It’s easy to get distracted or lose motivation.

Slow breathing, privacy, and a nice distraction like music or Netflix can be a great way to maintain focus while relaxing your body. Try to imagine that your bottom half is limp as a noodle. Whatever happens, don’t let go of your confidence, and try to end each dilation session on a pressure that doesn’t feel painful.

Step 7