As you expand your sexual horizons, take the time to maintain your sexual health and wellness, too. There are many obvious ways to keep your sex life healthy, including regular STD/STI testing and choosing communicative and respectful partners. But have you ever considered adding Kegel exercises to your routine? They've been breaking into the mainstream more and more in recent years, and for good reason. So, we’re going to teach you a little more about how to do Kegels and fill you in on how their benefits can make your sex life even better.
What Are Kegels?
A Kegel (rhymes with "bagel") is an exercise for your pelvic muscles, specifically the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises were originally developed as a way to prevent and control problems like urinary and bowel incontinence, and can be particularly helpful for women whose pelvic floors may have been weakened due to pregnancy and childbirth. However Kegels aren't just for women — Kegel exercises for men can help with issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and even incontinence.
What Are Reverse Kegels?
Kegel exercises involve contracting your pelvic floor muscles. As such, reverse Kegels involve relaxing and stretching those muscles. This might not seem like much of an exercise, but knowing how to relax and elongate your pelvic muscles can help relieve pelvic pain and discomfort caused, in women, by conditions like dyspareunia (which literally just means "painful intercourse"). While Kegels have the joint benefit of preventing problems like incontinence along with the possibility of new sexual sensations, reverse Kegels are more explicitly designed for people looking for longer-lasting, more comfortable sex.
What Are The Benefits Of Kegels?
...An even better question, why are we writing about them on PinkCherry? Aside from helping strengthen your pelvic floor, Kegel exercises, and even just using Kegel balls, can increase libido and strengthen orgasms. And reverse Kegels? They can help improve vaginal flexibility, or stamina for men, meaning the fun can keep going and going and going.
In short, both kinds of Kegel exercises help you learn more about an important part of your body and how to take care of it. With Kegels, you’ll strengthen muscles (and maybe your sex drive, too) while also learning how to relax them for smooth and sensual bedroom fun.
How To Do Kegels
Kegel exercises can be performed with or without the help of Kegel exercisers like weights or the ever-popular Ben Wa balls. However, the techniques for Kegels and reverse Kegels slightly differ based on anatomy. Here are some tips to get you started.
Kegel Exercises For Women
First, you’ll need to find the right muscle set and make sure you're not flexing anything else, like your hips, glutes or lower abdominals. An easy way to find the right muscles is to try stopping your urine flow as you pee (but don't do this all the time, as incomplete urination can lead to a UTI). You can also insert a finger into your vagina and try to clench it. If you're really having trouble, you can even schedule an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist — they can help you not only find your pelvic floor muscles, but they can also give recommendations on how frequently to exercise them and whether you should use a vaginal cone or Kegel balls.
Once you've identified the right muscles, it's time to get down to business. You can perform Kegels in any position, but if you’re a beginner it's a good idea to either sit or lie down. As with any exercise, breathe deeply and evenly as you contract and release your muscles. It's commonly recommended that you perform three sets of ten or fifteen repetitions each day. Start with five seconds per repetition (or whatever feels comfortable) and work your way up to ten seconds. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take a month or so to really start feeling the results of Kegel exercises, although sexual stimulation can happen much faster.
As for reverse Kegels, keep your breathing even as you focus on completely relaxing your pelvic muscles. Since there's lots of relaxing and contracting involved with Kegel exercises, you should always, at the very least, go pee before starting to avoid any accidents. To make sure you're performing the exercises correctly (regular or reverse), you can use a mirror to watch your pelvic floor muscles; the skin between your pubic region and tailbone should contract and elongate.
As you get used to the exercises, you can introduce a vaginal cone or Kegel balls to create more of a challenge. We'll get into the best Kegel exercisers after we go over Kegels for men.
Kegel Exercises For Men
For guys, finding your pelvic floor muscles is done similarly to the way that women can find theirs — try stopping your urine mid-flow or stick your finger into your rectum and clench it. You can also try to lift your penis and testicles using your pelvic muscles, being careful not to involve your glutes, lower abdominals or hips. And don't forget to breathe!
Once you've identified the right muscles, the routine is the same as the one for women. You can perform 10-15 repetitions up to three times a day. Try to hold the contraction for five seconds at a time. To make sure you're performing them correctly, use a mirror to watch your penis and testicles — they should rise and fall as you contract and release.
As for reverse Kegels it's a good idea to at least pee before starting. Then, direct your focus to your pelvic area and relax. Keep your muscles completely relaxed for about five seconds before returning to normal. You'll gain more mastery over your pelvic muscles and maybe even build up some additional stamina for playtime.
Improve Your Results (And Increase Pleasure) With Kegel Exercisers
Kegel exercisers like Ben Wa balls are geared more toward the ladies (sorry, gentlemen). However, the potential increase in libido can benefit everyone. If you want to experience more results than what you're getting from regular stretching and contracting, using a Kegel ball (or two) can help add an extra challenge to your routine. Just be careful not to strain yourself — you're supposed to be alleviating discomfort, not creating more. The sensation of inserting the balls or beads along with clenching your pelvic muscles can enhance other forms of sexual play, whether it's solo or with a partner.
The best Kegel exercise tools or devices that we prefer at PinkCherry are the classic Ben Wa balls and silicone beads, which can come with extra-enticing vibration settings. At PinkCherry, you can buy up to four Ben Wa balls on a string, egg-shaped beads and the perfect size for your comfort and experience level. Our Kegel exercisers are available in steel, glass, silicone and even magnetic hematite. After use, clean them as you would any other sex toy: with warm, soapy water to wash away any lingering bacteria.
Ready to improve your sexual wellness or try something new? Shop PinkCherry's collection of Kegel balls and other high-quality sex toys today.