Vaginal Dilator Exercises for Psychosexual Therapy

vaginismus dilators

Although these plastic sets are called “vaginal dilators” the name is not ideal, as nothing is being dilated (expanded) when you use them.

Often dilators are recommended for a combination of reasons. They can help retrain the soft tissues in and around the vagina to behave more normally. This may include improving scar tissue after childbirth/surgery/radiotherapy, or to help train the pelvic floor muscles to relax and lengthen as part of a structured program. Dilator use can also help to reduce vulval and vaginal hypersensitivity to touch.

Exercising the pelvic floor is essential to help to improve the strength, flexibility and control of the pelvic floor muscles. For penetration to be pain free, the pelvic floor muscles need to be able to relax fully and lengthen around something in the vagina. Dilators can help you to practice this.

Plastic dilators provide a pathway, allowing you to practice relaxing your pelvic floor muscles around something, increasing in size gradually, under your control.

If the smallest dilator is too big to slip into your vagina, you may need to start with something smaller, such as a cotton bud.

Dilators come in a set of various sizes. The smallest is the size of a slim finger, or a medium to large tampon. The largest is the size of a large erection. It is worth noting that an average erection is about the size of the 4th dilator in a set of 5. Dilators with a tapered end are often easier to use than those with a blunt end.

A plain lubricant is provided with most dilator sets. You will need to use lubricant for all these exercises. You can use any lubricant that you know suits you. Advice on lubricants that don’t contain many of the ingredients that irritate genital skin is available from your doctor, physiotherapist, nurse or psychosexual counsellor.

Sometimes they are available on prescription, or they are easy to order online or from your local chemist.  Dilators are available on prescription from your GP.

The exercises

It is best to practice little and often. 1 minute (building up to 5-10 minutes), 5-6 days per week is best.

Each step is likely to take weeks. The aim is to progress slowly and steadily, being comfortable with each step before moving on. If you go too fast and provoke lots of pain then you are likely to trigger muscle spasm, vaginal tightness and therefore more pain.

If you are unable to progress up the steps after weeks of trying, see your doctor, nurse, physiotherapist or psychosexual therapist. They may refer you on to someone for a more detailed examination and advice.

You will need to set aside some time each day to be relaxed and take your time with this process. Our minds and bodies are linked and if your muscles are to relax you need to feel relaxed and not rushed. How you think and feel about using dilators can affect your experience. Try to approach it with positive, optimistic attitude (even if this doesn’t come automatically). Last thing at night is not ideal,  as it is easy to put it off when you are tired at the very end of the day.

Please remember: the idea is to do what you can without causing pain. You may feel a little discomfort when first starting the exercises.

  • Start with the smallest
  • Prop yourself up semi-reclined on a bed/chair/sofa. Bending your hips and knees a little may
  • To prepare, you could try actively relaxing your pelvic floor muscles using your breathing (see our separate information leaflet – Pelvic Floor Exercises for Psychosexual Therapy).
  • A helpful first step can be to practice resting the tip of the smallest dilator at your vaginal entrance and using your breathing to keep your pelvic floor This will help you to overcome the reflex you may have developed, where your pelvic floor tenses up at the prospect of something entering your vagina.
  • When you think your pelvic floor is relaxed, take your time to gently slip the smallest dilator (covered in lubricant) into your vagina. Most vaginas slope up and backwards towards your tailbone. It may help to focus on your breathing, to reduce any physical and mental tension. The dilator doesn’t necessarily have to be fully
  • Leave the dilator in place for 1 to 10 minutes, keeping your pelvic floor You will be able to increase the length of time gradually with practice. If you stop noticing that the dilator is in there this is great– you are really relaxed! Repeat daily until comfortable.
  • When using the dilators, try not to get too caught up with thoughts or focused on emotions. Instead, bring your attention to your physical sensations as you use the dilators, or to the sensations of your breath in your body.
  • When ready, try the next size up from the one you are using. You may find it helpful to try 1 minute of the size that you are comfortable with before using the larger size immediately after. Continue in this way until it is possible to insert the larger size straight into your vagina.
  • Gradually increase the size of dilator you are using, remembering you should be comfortable with a given size for up to 10 minutes, feeling the muscles are fully relaxed around it, before you move on to the next.  If these exercises cause bleeding, or if you have difficult thoughts or feelings about using the dilators, which you feel are getting in the way, please discuss this with your doctor, physiotherapist, nurse or psychosexual counsellor.

Cleaning the dilators

Dilators should be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed thoroughly after each use. They do not need to be sterilized. They can be stored in the case provided.

Honeymoon Cystitis

urinary tract infection

Cystitis is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) that can last for a few days, with the most common symptoms including the constant urge to urinate and a burning sensation when peeing. There are numerous causes for Cystitis, including falling estrogen levels during menopause, using a birth control diaphragm, and even from changing tampons (if susceptible to UTIs, perhaps look at changing from tampons to menstrual cups).

However Honeymoon Cystitis is caused by sexual intercourse and almost only ever in women. This is for two reasons, firstly that a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a mans, and secondly because of the close proximity of the vaginal opening and anus to the urethral entrance.

Honeymoon Cystitis is typically caused when the bacteria E. Coli is spread to the urethral opening either from the anus or the vagina, from there it moves up into the bladder where the trouble starts. Despite originating from penetrative sex, Honeymoon Cystisis is not a STI. As such, and while safe sex is always recommended, condoms do not prevent Honeymoon Cystisis, and some studies even indicate a higher chance of getting a UTI with the use of condoms (perhaps try a non-latex condom if you have reactions to your current choice of protection).

Symptoms

Some of the typical symptoms of Honeymoon Cystitis are:

  • A strong and persistent desire to pass urine
  • A sensation of burning while passing urine
  • Passing a small quantity of urine frequently
  • Hematuria (presence of blood in your urine)
  • Foamy urine, sometimes with a strong smell
  • Low-grade fever
  • Feeling discomfort in the pelvis or lower abdominal region

While the spread of the E. Coli bacteria is the cause of this UTI, there are two completely different ideas as to what makes someone more susceptible. Some say it is the first time of penetrative sex after a long spell of abstinence. The other end of the spectrum says that it can happen after intensive or frequent penetrative sex.

Prevention

However both sides of this agree on ways to prevent Honeymoon Cystitis:

  • Urinate immediately after intercourse to ensure you eject any bacteria that could have entered the urethra
  • Drink plenty of water every day
  • Always wipe front to back to avoid bacterial spread
  • Using a good water based lubricant, even if there are no issues with vaginal dryness, will help provide a good glide and prevent micro tears, especially around the vulva and vaginal opening.

Treatment

It is recommended to see your GP should you experience any of those above symptoms, as some of these also overlap with symptoms of a few Sexually Transmitted Infections that only a blood test will be able to reveal. If it is Honeymoon Cystitis, your GP will probably suggest the following:

  • Prescribe a short course of antibiotics
  • Maintain fluids
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid more penetrative sex
  • Cranberries (as in the actual fruit) may help with an active ingredient that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. However, cranberry juice or capsules may not be potent enough for this to happen. In fact, despite popular belief, cranberry juice adds hippuric acid to urine, and Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, and actually feeds the bacteria that cause UTIs.

 

On a final note, while you can indeed have penetrative sex while suffering Honeymoon Cystitis, as it isn’t an infection that can be passed on to the other partner, you will feel extra discomfort and even exacerbate the problem even further.

 

Why do Women Lose Libido Over Time in a Relationship

Aphrodisiac

Do women lose interest in sex as a relationship grows old? How do you ensure you rejuvenate your relationship over time? The early days of a relationship can seem great, but how do you keep on rekindling the flame over and over again?

It’s difficult but if you know how to ensure your libido levels remain high as a woman, it can help.

So, do women not have the same libido level always? If you go through research, women do lose interest in sex over time in a relationship. An open study conducted on 6,669 British females and 4,839 British males found both men and women to lose interest in sex. Overall, 34.2% of women lacked interest in sex, while for men, the number was only 15%.

Women are also more likely to lose their sexual appetite as a relationship gets old with time. Here are some highlights from the study that shows how women are prone to lose the sexual drive for relationships that are:

  • 1 and 5 years old – Women are 45% more likely to lose interest in sex
  • 5 and 15 years – Women have 137% more chances of losing sexual drive
  • Over 15 years old – Women are 131% more likely to lose interest in sex

It’s clear that women are more prone to lose interest in sex in a relationship more than men. But what actually makes them lose their passion? Let’s find out!

Why Women Lose Interest in Sex Over Time?

Research says both men and women may feel a dip in their sex drive beginning from the 30s. Women are more affected by men from these physical changes. But a woman in her 30s or 40s is still at her sexual peak and can lead a fulfilling sexual life.

That brings us to the point that losing interest in sex is not always due to low libido. According to the North American Menopause Society, a women’s sexual desire is dependent on many factors, and not always age and sex drive. Things live beliefs, values, expectations, and intimacy play a big part in keeping up the sexual vigor as a relationship gets old.

Issues like conflicts with partners, stress, and other things can also rob the passion out of sex. In short, women can lose the motivation to have sex over time in a relationship.

Now, we will see why and how women lose interest in sex as a relationship ages.

Subsiding Feelings About Your Partner

The feeling for each other is strong when a relationship starts. You are attracted to each other and feel like spending all day together. Sadly, this feeling doesn’t last for long. Women can start losing interest in sex within just a year of the relationship.

Jennifer Landa, MD, and an ob-gyn, says feelings about your partner can affect sexual desire. Over time, the bond between partners can fade, resulting in a loss of interest in sex.

To counter the problem, both partners should try to keep things exciting. Couples should also prioritize sex and keep aside time for sexual activities.

Conflicts in Relationship

According to Psychology Today, anger and resentment are two of the biggest factors that lower sexual drive. Couples are all for each other in the initial days of the relationship. But as time moves on, they tend to disagree more on different topics. As a result, conflicts arise in relationships and take a toll on the desire for each other.

Women are also prone to negative thinking patterns more than men, which could affect their sex drive. Thoughts like “You are mean or selfish,” or “You don’t give me any time” can make women hostile to their partners and make them lose interest in sex.

Lack of Communication

Communication can make or break a relationship. Communication is the key to happy marriages. Couples going through a rough patch can change their way of communication to make their marriage work.

When you first fall in love, you are talking to each other whenever you get the opportunity. But as the initial attraction fades, the frequency and openness of communication can take a downward curve. You disclose fewer things to one another and don’t bring up issues you should talk about.

Women are more likely to hold things down and feel disconnected due to a lack of communication. We suggest you talk to each other, be honest, and talk about things that are hampering your relationship and sex life. Open communication can also eliminate the negative habits women develop over time.

Internal Emotional Struggles

Women can lose interest in sex for several internal emotional struggles. Work pressure and stress can decrease sexual drive in women, according to Psychology Today. Women can also have negative body perceptions that creep up more frequently as a relationship gets old.

Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress are also known to affect sexual desire in females.

These problems may be present in us even when a relationship begins. But as time passes and you get more comfortable with your partner, the demons begin to come out.

If you are struggling with internal emotions, share them with your partner. Else, confide in a close friend or go for therapy.

Final Thoughts

It’s common for women to lose interest in sex over time in a relationship more than men. Unless you have a medical condition of low libido, working on your relationship can bring your passion back. Develop open communication and ask your partner to talk without judging or prejudice. Both of you should also make efforts to spice up your relationship and prioritize sex.

Maybe you can try new locations or experiment with new positions to make things exciting once again. If you need a bit of help with arousal, try natural aphrodisiacs like Spanish Fly right before sex and enjoy ultimate satisfaction and increased sexual appetite.

Hold On Tight!

Pelvic Balls

As we get older, we tend to find that our muscles just aren’t as firm and tight as they once were. This goes for all muscles, including your kegels. That’s right, vaginal muscles, pelvic floor muscles, or PC muscles. But never fear, as with every other muscle, with a little work, these can be back in tip top shape, even after childbirth. In fact, you can get them into better shape than ever before, giving you a firmer grip, stronger bladder control, and more intense orgasms.

“More intense orgasms? Where can I find these kegel muscles?”

Quite simply really. They’re the muscles you use when you hold in a wee and by activating and holding them, you can start to work them to be stronger and firmer. And just like using weights with your presses, crunches and squats, using kegel balls can help greatly with the process of getting back to a tighter vagina.

 

The Basics

 

There are a heap of kegel training kits out there, one of the most popular are the Satisfyer Balls. There are three styles, and each one comes with three different weighted balls to step up from beginner, intermediate and advanced. The options are single balled, double balled, or double balled with moving balls inside, which causes a vibrating sensation with movement, and helps trigger your kegels into action. Each one of these kegel balls have a ‘retrieval’ loop at the end for simple and safe extraction.

What to do with your kegel balls is fairly straightforward. Always make sure they’re nice and clean before and after use. Apply some water-based lubricant to the kegel balls and with your legs open and your vagina relaxed, slowly ease the ball in. There are a few ways to go from here, either by staying prone or standing upright, start to relax and contract the muscles, by exhaling and aspirating respectively.

You can also just go about your day, at work, exercising, cooking, as your muscles will activate to keep the kegel balls in place. Also check out this simple chart for a visual picture of the above words.

 

In the Meantime

 

While you’re starting out with your kegel training, there are a few other ways to have that tighter feeling to enhance those intimate moments. You’ve probably heard of or seen a pussy pump before, well by swelling the labia, this will give a similar feeling to having a tighter vagina. Or using a serum like Intimate Earth’s Embrace offers the same result and effect.

For those with male partners, there are some other options for them as well. They could wear an extender, like one from Fantasy X-tensions, or use a larger sized hollow strap-on.

 

Exercise with Rewards

 

If you would like to incentivise your kegel workout, here are a few, more advanced kegel trainers that will also deliver a happy ending.

Aneros is a company that started with designing prostate massagers but have since added Evi to their product lines under the banner of Aneros Femme. The Aneros Evi is an odd design to look at, but its form is all about function. The inserted, bulbed end will rest against your g-spot, while the ‘handle’ sits outside to connect with your clitoris. The Evi doesn’t vibrate, instead the wearer uses their kegel muscles, which moves the device and stimulates both the clitoris and g-spot simultaneously. Like other fully inserted kegel balls, the Evi is wearable, so can be used while out and about, though you may find it becoming hard to concentrate with the pleasures this unit will bring you.

If you want to take it even further, Aneros now have a vibrating version of the Evi, the Vivi. The Vivi is a rechargeable device, and while very similar in shape to the Evi, is in fact a little smaller. Best of all, there is a free phone that can be downloaded to take full, hands free control of the device. As with the Evi, the Vivi is wearable and the app can even send you reminders throughout the day to do your kegel exercises.

There are other rechargeable vibrating kegel balls such as the remote controlled Alulah Poppy or the app-enabled We-Vibe Bloom. The Bloom has three weighted, screw-on heads so you can amp up your exercises as you progress along. And as with all We-Vibe app-enabled toys, you can also connect the free We-Connect app to your lover’s phone, where they can control it from anywhere in the world!

The next step up from the app-enabled Bloom is the Lovelife Krush, powered by the tech-centric OhMiBod company, that kicked off in 2006 with an iPod reactive vibrator. The Krush is a sleek little pink device with some awesome control provided by the free Tasl app. Krush has a slew of built in sensors designed to measure your pressure, endurance, control and grip. The app translates all of this info as it guides you through a range of exercises.

Krush is also now able to connect with the OhMiBod Remote App, adding a whole new level of fun to this already amazing little toy. As with the We-Connect, the OhMiBod app can connect with lovers around the world, but also has an in-app chat function to keep those sexts going during play. There are a range of other features in these apps, but maybe you’ll just have to see it for yourself to believe.

All these products are available at the best prices from the Oh Zone adult shops Australia.

Now that you’ve chosen a kegel exerciser and worked your muscles back into shape, you can now look forward to:

  • A vice-like grip during intercourse (or holding a strapless strap-on in place)
  • Enhanced arousal through increased blood flow
  • Enhanced bladder control
  • Enjoy more intense, multiple orgasms, more often
  • Being a step closer to squirting!

Hey babe, anal tonight?

butt fuck

Anal is a really scary thought to some people. It’s seen as unnatural, dangerous, painful or weird to some, and that’s totally fine! But here’s my anal sex advice, don’t knock it till you try it! Once you’ve accomplished anal once or twice you’ll find yourself totally surrendered to it’s amazing feeling. Here are some tips and tricks to getting comfortable with this new move in your sex
arsenal.

Lube, lube, lube!

A lot of people forget that our butts aren’t naturally lubing like vaginas, so you can’t expect to slip on in right off the bat! You should take some time to research and buy some different anal formulated lubes, they tend to be thicker and longer lasting then regular water based lube which is a huge plus in the comfort list. Take it slow, really lube the area up well and then begin. Don’t
expect to be hardcore thrusting away (if at all), you need to give your partner plenty of time to get used to your size and adjust. If either of you feel like it isn’t gliding smoothly then add more lube. You can never use too much lube!

Warm that sucker up!

Make sure to take some time to get your partner relaxed and in the mood, it will make it much harder if one of you is still a bit tense! Start with a nice massage, some kissing and caressing and go from there. Try using some toys such as anal beads or plugs to get the area open and prepared for more. If your partner is more comfortable using fingers then go ahead with that, start at one and do your best to get comfortable with 3. If you feel like it’s not working,  take a deep breath, reevaluate, communicate and try again. Your partner will tell you when they’re ready.

Miss Independent

Sometimes it might ease your mind if you were to pre plan an anal date and spend some time alone at home getting yourself ready. If you’re an experienced analler you will already know about all these things, but to someone new this will be very helpful. Picture yourself at home with a nice glass of red, some background music, some luke warm water and a douche. Weird scene right? But it has a purpose, if you want total peace of mind in terms of cleanliness when doing anal then you’ll want to flush out your bowels an hour or two before hand. Usually you can get away with having done a number 2 not long before anal, but it’s all about knowing your body and what you’re comfortable with.

Next, would be to grab your anal lube and plug set and have a go at warming up that area yourself. It will help to start with the medium plug, and then the
largest plug. Once the largest plug is in leave it till your partner gets home so you’re still feeling comfortable and ready to go straight away.

B-Vibe training kit

The B Vibe anal kit is by far the most educational and revolutionary anal kit. It comes with a complete plug set (small, medium vibrating, large weighted size), anal training and sex guide, anal douche and lubricant launcher. It also has a cute little bag to store everything in. It’s your go to for anything anal. It’s also a great way to try their products. B-Vibe has a wide range of anal products including weighted plugs, vibrating plugs and beads, and their very popular
rimming plugs. The best part about the B-Vibe kit is the guide that comes with it. It’s an in depth, step by step guide on how to have conversations  surrounding anal, what to do and what not to do and simple tricks to make it more fun.

All in all, anal is fun. Getting the right products is only half of the work, communication is another. Your partner will love it and so will you! Like I said, don’t knock it till you try it and relax. It’s a great way to instantly bring a new spark to the relationship and spice things up. Just ensure you have the right products made from 100% silicone, lube and toy cleaner and you’re well on your way to anal paradise!

If you are still unsure or want some further tips and tricks why not speak with one of our consultants at the Adult Lifestyle Center closest to you!