We see Kegel or Pelvic Floor Muscle (PFM) exercises as just one of the many ways you can enhance your sexual health and pleasure on your own terms! While Kegel exercises are often seen as a way to ‘tighten’ (often for the pleasure of one’s partner), doing Kegel exercises regularly has been shown to increase orgasmic responsiveness, prevent incontinence, assist in recovery from childbirth and even encourage prostate health. Heck, any one of those benefits should be motivation enough for any of us - regardless of sexuality, gender, and orientation - to go do our darn Kegels!
What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Pelvic floor muscles are a bowllike group of muscles that support the internal organs and are responsible for the closure of the urethral, vaginal and anal openings. Exercises that target these muscles can contribute to stronger control of bladder and bowel functions, as well as more intense muscle contractions during sex play and orgasm.
How To Locate Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
- While urinating, try to stop the flow of urine midstream, and then restart it. Only do this to learn which muscles are the correct ones to use do not repeat this exercise often, as it may interfere with normal bladder emptying.
- You can also use a mirror to look at your vagina and anus, and see what happens when you contract and relax your PFMs. With PFM contraction, you will see a tightening in this area, and an opening up when letting go/relaxing of the contraction.
How To Do Kegel Exercises
- Locate your Pelvic Floor Muscles (see above)
- Find your baseline by squeezing your PC muscles as hard as you can, and hold them for 35 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds.
- Start with 5 repetitions (squeeze/hold/release). Judge for yourself how long you can hold the squeeze for, but don’t push yourself too much at first.
- Every couple of days, increase both the length of time you hold the squeeze for, and the number of exercises per set. As a guideline, try to work up to a point where you can hold the squeeze for ten seconds. And try to work up to doing ten reps of Kegel exercises per set.
- Try to do your exercises three or four times a day.
- Vary the intensity and time of your Kegel exercises. Remember not to push yourself to the point of pain or discomfort.
Having A (Kegel) Ball!
While many people do Kegel exercises without using any toys or tools, others have discovered that inserting something into the body to contract against makes Kegel exercises easier and more effective. While fingers, a dildo, a partner’s penis, or a vibrator (all well lubricated!) are all great items to insert and squeeze one’s muscles against there are also devices designed specifically for pelvic floor exercise. For vaginal Kegel exercises, you can choose from a range of weighted Kegel balls, vaginal barbells, and dilators – and there is even a line of pelvic muscle exercisers designed by Aneros that are inserted anally.
Sometimes called ‘duotone’ or ‘ben wa’ balls, Kegel balls usually consist of two small balls connected to one another. Small weights roll around inside them as you move your body to help trigger a contracting response from the muscles you are working with. You can increase the difficulty of the exercise by pulling gently on the cord and playing a game of ‘tug-of-war’ with your pelvic floor muscles.
Vaginal barbells (like the Njoy Pure Wand) tend to be made of stainless steel and weigh up to a pound. We recommend you sit on the edge of a chair or bed to get the benefits that the weight resistance provides.
Vaginal dilators are a great option for folks who are experiencing vaginal pain. Please see our silicone dilators info sheet for more information on dilator exercises.
The PelviWand (formerly known as the 'Therawand', 'Honey Dipper', or 'Crystal Wand') is a slim and smooth curved acrylic wand designed specifically to assist folks experiencing pelvic pain and is ideal for Kegel exercises. The newer Pelviwand LA Wand is also designed to accommodate anal use.
Aneros has developed a wide range of exercisers for people of all genders. The Aneros Helix, Eupho, and Vice have been designed specifically for prostate massage and Kegel exercise for men, while the Aneros Evi is designed for exercise and g-spot stimulation via vaginal insertion.