Sexpertise: Pelvic Floor Conditioning #SHW20

In the spirit of Sexual Health Week 2020 (14th – 20th September), we’ve got together with a sexpert to educate us with her comprehensive knowledge of all things sex… #SHW20

Proudly presenting:


  1. Expert skill or knowledge in the field of sexology.
  2. The advice provided by a sexpert.
  3. Bondara’s latest blog series featuring Women’s Wellness Specialist, Sex Positivity Advocate and Trainee Clinical Sexologist, Michelle Jermy (MSc, BSc, PGCE).

Kegel Kulture

Last month, rapstress collaborators Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion broke the internet with their sex-positive phenomenon WAP

Lapping up the duo’s iconic display of unabashed female sexuality, fans dissected the hit, lyric-by-lyric…

“Hop on top; I wanna ride.

I do a Kegel while it’s inside!”

Cardi B – WAP (2020).

“I thought a Kegel is what a horse did when it kicked back” mused enlightened fellow chart-topper, Lewis Capaldi, “but apparently, it’s an exercise to help something with the vagina!”

Sure, Kegels are having a cultural moment right now. But what exactly is a ‘Kegel’ and how do you do them? And most importantly, do they give you a wet-ass p*ssy?!

Let’s ask our resident sexpert all about it…

Hi Michelle. What are ‘Kegels’ and what part of the body do they relate to?

The word ‘Kegel’ often confuses people, but we have all heard of the pelvic floor.

Kegel exercises are simply ‘clench and release’ exercises that make the muscles of the pelvic floor stronger. They were named after the Gynaecologist Dr Arnold Henry Kegel who was known to use these exercises for the treatment of stress incontinence, and many of his patients who completed the treatment did not go on to need surgery.

Yes, that’s right! Kegels really help you later down the line…

Why is pelvic floor conditioning important?

A weak pelvic floor may lead to issues such as the inability to control your bowels or bladder. Many people only start pelvic floor conditioning once they start having problems.

Just a few minutes a day can strengthen the sling of muscles that hold your internal organs in place.

How do I exercise my pelvic floor? 

The most common question I get is ‘How do I know if I’m doing it correctly?

There are various ways to find the right set of muscles. So, let me explain, but please do not run away! I will also talk you through a less invasive way…

  • For women, one way to find them is by placing a clean finger inside your vagina and tightening the vaginal muscles around your finger.
  • For men, this would be to insert a finger into the rectum and try to squeeze it — without tightening the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs.

You can also locate the muscles by trying to stop your urine mid-flow. The muscles you use for this action are your pelvic floor muscles. This method is for learning purposes only. It is not a good idea to start and stop your urine regularly!

When working with clients, I have the following phrases to help locate their pelvic floor muscles.

  • Imagine you are in a crowded lift and you need to pass wind.
  • For women; imagine your vagina is drinking a smoothie through a straw.
  • For men; imagine you are lifting your testicles upward to your spectacles.

If new to Kegels you may prefer to start lying down. But, always empty your bladder before doing pelvic floor exercises! 

When you first start doing Kegel exercises, tense the muscles in your pelvic floor for a count of three, then relax them for a count of three. Keep going until you have done ten repetitions. 

Over the next several days/weeks, practice until you can tense your muscles for up to 10 seconds; repeating this 6-10 times. Your goal should be to do three sets of 10 repetitions every day. These repetitions will strengthen the slow-twitch pelvic floor muscles which we need when we are stuck on the motorway needing the bathroom!

Additionally, practice 10 short, strong, quick clench and release cycles to work out the fast-twitch muscles fibres that we need when we cough or sneeze.

With practice, it gets a lot easier, and you’ll find you can do them anywhere!

How does a stronger pelvic floor improve sex? 

Stronger pelvic floor muscles can really enhance sex by boosting circulation, maximising blood flow, increasing arousal response, and triggering nerve impulses to the pelvic floor.

You will find stronger muscles resulting in the ability to hold your favourite positions for longer with increased sensitivity to be able to enhance your sexual experience – not to mention, more intense orgasms for both sexes.

How do Kegel balls and Ben Wa balls help women tone their pelvic floor?

Kegel Exercisers work in the same way as vaginal cones. Worn vaginally, you will feel your muscles instinctively contract to hold them in place. Some people can be very apprehensive on using anything that inserts into the vagina, but there is a wide range available of various shapes, sizes and weights. 

High-quality products are made of body-safe, hypoallergenic materials, such as silicone, to ensure that individuals who are highly sensitive feel safe and enjoy the results. 

Wear them for less than 30 minutes per day and within a few weeks, you will notice a stronger pelvic floor, improved bladder control and stronger orgasms! 

For individuals recovering from surgery or have experienced a loss of sensation due to trauma, a medical condition or menopause; Kegel balls improve sensitivity and nerve impulses. This practice builds confidence in allowing yourself to enjoy, to explore and regain your pelvic floor strength, but also your desire for sexual pleasure.

Should young people (18-25) incorporate Kegels into their exercise routine?

When we are younger, we tend to focus on the muscles we see, those that give us definition and shape. The important muscles get forgotten – including the pelvic floor muscles.

But, as stated, the benefits of pelvic floor strengthening result in greater sexual satisfaction for both guys and girls, no matter your age.

I’ve heard that squatting is bad for the pelvic floor – is this true and why?

Resistance or core strengthening exercises cause you to strain downward. If you’re straining and pushing your pelvic floor down – whether you are doing core exercises, sitting on the toilet constipated, or lifting a child/something heavy – you are creating a lot of downward pressure on your pelvic floor. 

Over time this can cause damage. If you can envisage lifting whilst performing squats, then you limit the risk.

What else weakens the pelvic floor?

We often associate weakening of the pelvic floor with women as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. But, many factors can weaken the pelvic floor in both women and men; such as ageing, weight gain, overexertion and surgery.

Do Kegel exercises effect pregnancy?

If you were not doing Kegel exercises prior to pregnancy, I highly recommend starting! The benefits include improved bladder control, pelvic organ support, i.e. reduce your risk of prolapses and reduce your risk of bowel incontinence. 

I cannot emphasise enough – the pelvic floor muscles literally hold everything in! 

Though please note: do not overdo your Kegel exercises. If you work the muscles too hard, they will become tired and unable to fulfil their necessary functions!

Thanks for all the great advice! Anything you’d like to add?

Yes. Remember – If you have concerns regarding your pelvic floor, always speak with your GP or pelvic floor physiotherapist. 

With special thanks to Michelle Jermy, Women’s Wellness Specialist & Trainee Clinical Sexologist.

Michelle’s new research will be exploring the wonderful world of dating, sexual enjoyment, reigniting passion in relationships, in addition to my desire of helping women recognise the power of self-love, self-worth & body confidence.

1 comment
  1. gino
    September 28, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Congratulations, this post is really very interesting 🙂

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