Some of folks were curious about the dilators used post-surgery.
The hotel key gives you a sense of scale. Generally, you only use the clear ones with the markings on them (so you know whether you’ve reached the proper depth.
However, the clear ones can chip if they’re dropped (easy to do with lots of lube), so the clinic also gives you the white one, which is unbreakable.
Initially you start with the smallest dilator for the first 15 minutes, and then switch to the medium-sized one for another 15-minutes. Over time, you switch to the medium and large.
However, the whole process takes considerably longer, usually an hour minimum, since you need to do prep work to make sure everything’s sterile, and then clean-up work afterwards (dilating is pretty messy).
More to the point, it can take some time for your body to relax enough to get the dilator to “full depth,” which is when the clock officially starts. I’ve heard of people for whom this can take an hour or more.
During the official dilation session, you press hard inwards for 10-15 seconds to stretch the scar tissue at the end of the neo-vagina, release for a couple seconds, then “stir” the dilator for another 10-15 seconds to stretch the scar tissue at the entrance of the neo-vagina, then release for a couple seconds. And then repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
(FWIW, this method of “active” dilation seems to be unique to my particular surgeon, although preventing scar contracture definitely makes sense, since I had to do scar stretching exercises after knee surgery, and yeah, that hurt like hell.)
As mentioned previously, I’ll need to do this three times a day for the first three months, twice a day for the next three months, and once a day for yet another six months (and then 1-2 week for the rest of my life).