Q: I keep hearing people talking about kegel exercises and kegel balls and how they make sex even better. Is this true? I thought it was all to do with having babies and not peeing when you sneezed. Can you shed some light onto the subject for me?
Well, actually, you are both right! Kegel exercises are done to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These are the muscles that you use to hold in a wee, they are also used to help push out a baby, support the rectum and small intestine, and they are also one of the muscles that contracts when we orgasm.
For the most part, and especially in the days before the internet, no one really talked about your pelvic floor until you were pregnant. I know I had never been really aware of them or the importance of them before that. I was encouraged every day leading up to the birth to do pelvic floor exercises for about five minutes a day to help with not only the labour and pushing out of the baby, but also for afterwards and the recovery from birth. This is because a lot of the muscles in and around your vagina can get rather stressed during birth, and the more you exercise them beforehand, the easier and quicker it is to get them back to normal. Basically all I had to do was to clench the muscles you clench when you're holding in a wee. Clench for as long as I could hold it, then let it go and then repeat. The longer you do this, the stronger they become and the longer you can hold them.
It worked. It worked so well that I was the only mother in my mother's group who could jump on a trampoline and sneeze without fear. And not only did it help with all of that light bladder leakage stuff, it also helped with sex! Not that I had a bad sex life anyway... But both my partner and I noticed distinct changes the more I exercised. My orgasms were stronger. Heaps stronger. And lasted even longer. The contractions and pulsing of the muscles was felt all over my body and deep within too. And my partner noticed a definite change in how tightly I could grip onto his cock with the muscles in my vagina. Like super tight! Like make-him-come-just-by-squeezing-a-few-times tighter. It was incredible.
And then I discovered the balls!
Kegel balls are smallish weighted balls or thin tampon-like objects that are inserted into the vagina and used to help exercise the muscles. They do this basically just by sitting in there. The heavier they are the harder they are to hold inside, and therefore the more your muscles will grip on to them to hold them in. It's almost automatic so you don't even have to think about it. These day most kegel exercisers are sold in graded weight sets so that you start off nice and light and move on to heavier weights as you get used to them. Have a chat to your local adult shop staff, and they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
You can also get exercise balls that vibrate. These can be used for both pleasure and exercise and often have settings depending on what you are using them for. The two I always recommend to people are the Swan Clutch and the FT G-Balls. Both of these use a squeeze sensor to activate the vibration, so basically the harder you squeeze, the harder the vibration is. It's not necessarily a pleasure thing either, more a way to gauge your strength and stamina. The FT G-Balls even come with a smartphone app to help you keep track of your progress as well as fun little games like the one where the harder you squeeze, the higher a little bird flies on your screen. Fun and a great reminder every day to do it.
I set myself a challenge when I first started using them, and it's a challenge I set for all people who ask me about them. The goal is to be able to get the small, heavy metal balls inside you, and vacuum the house naked without one falling out. It's harder than it sounds, and takes a lot of training, but it's a fun goal to set. I've surpassed that one now and am on to my next challenge which is being able to do ten squats and not have them drop out. So far so good, but I haven't quite made it to ten yet.
But really, you don't need fancy apps or even balls. You can do them anywhere, anytime, and no one will even know. Sitting at the traffic lights? Squeeze. Watching the news? Squeeze. Doing the dishes? Squeeze. Reading this article? Squeeze!
Your body, your bladder, your orgasms will thank you!