#SexColumn: Don’t underestimate the importance of kegel exercises for women - and men
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By Sharon Gordon
As part of my anti-aging fight I have started going to the gym. I have muscles aching in places I didn’t know I had muscles and this week I was subjected to a “Glute bridge”. My trainer is a young man, Bryan, who is polite and slowly learning that I see the world just a bit differently.
This particular exercise seemed to be working all the right muscles for tightening my kegels, and we started discussing how important these muscles are for men and women.
Men need their kegels to be strong to help maintain a strong erection and for women a tight, healthy vagina is important for better sex and for maintaining better bladder control. So this week we’re talking about kegels or PC muscles.
How do you find your PC muscles and why is it important?
The pubococcygeus or kegel muscles are located in the pelvis area.
For men, a strong PC muscle and pelvic floor means that the erection will be stronger and higher. For women it is important because it keeps the vagina tight which in turn intensifies the orgasm, but more importantly when you get to my age and you sneeze – you do not pee in your pants. It is just not sexy.
The PC muscles are also used to control the flow of urine so the easiest way to find the correct muscle is to stop the flow of urine the next time you go to the loo. Take notice of which muscles you are using to stop the flow, these are the ones you should be exercising.
There are a number of exercises you can do to strengthen these muscles including, the glute bridges I refer to above, squeezing the muscles and holding for 10 seconds before relaxing. For women, the use of Benwa Balls, are also recommended. They are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes and weights.
You may have seen or read about them in the new 50 Shades Movie. Your friends have discussed them and maybe even giggled. They have been referred to as Kegel Balls, Jade Eggs, Vagina Balls, Love Balls and historically Benwa Balls.
They are manufactured out of a variety of materials and are different sizes and weight. Satisfyer and Je Joue have a range that includes 3 different weights for your training success.
They are generally are two weighted balls joined to each other by a string of some sort. They can also be two separate weights with no adjoining string. These balls are inserted into the vagina like a tampon and yes you insert both and no they are not too big!
They are essentially dumbbells for the vagina.
Just remember that exercising your PC muscles is just like exercising any other muscle. Six sit ups every 6 months is not going to give you washboard abs. It has to be at least 2 hours a day, three times a week.
Their use as a turn on is undisputed but they have a far more important function. Strengthening your Kegel or PC Muscles!
The pubococcygeus muscle (PC for short) is the sling of muscles that support your genitals. Both women and men have a PC muscle and can benefit sexually from exercising it.
Exercising increases blood flow to the genitals, and improved muscle tone will enhance your sensitivity to all genital stimulation. Many people report easier and stronger orgasms when their PC muscle is in tone. We often forget that we have to keep all our muscles fit and toned.
As we get older muscles soften and sag and the kegels are no different. As they start to sag and soften bladder control becomes an issue especially if you sneeze, skip or laugh and that’s just not sexy! That’s plenty of reason to exercise!
To find your PC muscle, practice stopping a stream of urine in mid-flow. The muscle you tighten to do this is the PC muscle. Kegel exercises (named after the gynaecologist who first popularized PC exercises) involve rhythmically contracting and relaxing this muscle. Using Benwa balls is far sexier and easier in our opinion.
Many women find it easier to locate and exercise their PC muscle when they have a resistive device in their vagina. This resistive device can be a finger, a carrot or even a dildo! I however recommend Ben Wa Balls.
Ben Wa Balls can be made of silicone, jelly, glass or hard plastic. They can also be gold-plated or solid metal balls, slightly larger than a child’s marbles. Whatever your Benwa, they are intended for vaginal insertion. (They are not for anal use.) In some circles, rumour has it that their movement inside the vagina can cause a high degree of sexual arousal.
The question is, do BenWas work?
Here are two opinions:
NO! Benwa Balls are a load of rubbish!
Benwas are not like Mexican jumping beans. Women’s vaginas envelop the balls quite securely, and you would have to jump up and down to get them to move around at all. On the other hand, whenever a Benwa wearer sneezes, or has a good laugh, the balls can pop out of her vagina.
So first the unsuspecting customer thinks she’s a sexual failure because she can’t feel a thing, and then she blows her nose at a dinner party and the balls come roiling down her leg! (This opinion was contributed by a person who does not know what they are talking about – probably a man.)
Some say that I wore them but nothing changed. If you are one of them read on.
YES! They are miracle workers!
It is true that Benwa Balls have enjoyed a mystique that may result in disappointment for women who expect shock waves of ecstasy when trying them for the first time. We first hear about Benwa balls in ancient Chinese script from about 500BC, so we are not the first generation to use them.
The use of Benwas can teach attention to subtle sensations in the vagina and present an opportunity for us to experience our vaginas in a very different way. When you start using your kegel balls you should remember that it just like any other exercise. Start with 30 minutes a day working your way up. Patience is necessary. It is just like going to the gym. One run does not make you fit or thin.
There are several sets on the market, take a look at Je Joue Ami. There are a set of three different weighted and sized balls. You work your way up to the heaviest. A word to the wise, always wear them with panties because if they do slip out in the supermarket it takes a very brave woman to bend over and pick them up!
They are like every other toy. Ensure that they are cleaned thoroughly after use giving special attention to the cords if they are not silicone coated.
They can and should also be used for sexy play. I know someone who wore them out to dinner and then passed them to her date over the table as an indication of the play to happen later. He called for the bill soon after.
Because they are weighted they move freely, which if you are into spanking can add an extra dimension to the sensation. You can even wear them while you’re at the gym, but don’t tell Bryan.
Let’s not forget that you now have a perfectly legitimate medical reason to buy them and if that doesn’t convince you, then nothing will. May your muscles be happy and snappy!