‘Vaginismus’ means you have persistent or recurrent difficulties in allowing your partner's penis, a finger, or any object into your vagina - despite your expressed wish for penetration to happen.
This is not something that you are choosing to do, so it can be an extremely distressing sexual difficulty for both you and your partner.
Some women with vaginismus will never have had penetrative sex, and may have found tampons and/or smear tests difficult or impossible.
Many women have 'partial vaginismus' which means that sometimes penetration is possible, and sometimes it is not, and it is usually always painful. The pain often feels like a burning, itching sensation, and the whole vulval area can be sore when it is touched. This might be something called 'vestibulodynia' (literally, 'pain in the entrance of your vagina'), and I'll talk to you about how to treat this. Having vulval pain and partial vaginismus at the same time is very common.
Sex therapy helps you understand vaginismus and/or vulval pain, and teaches you and your partner techniques to overcome it.