Ah, the orgasm. What makes it so delicious? And what can we do to make it feel even better? Firstly, we need to know what happens to our bodies when we orgasm to figure out how we improve the experience.
For more information on this, we can look at the studies of famous sex researchers William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, who tracked all the changes that happened in a woman’s body in their seminal work Human Sexuality. This is what they found:
During foreplay, blood rushes to your vagina and clitoris
Vaginal walls secrete beads of lubrication which get bigger and flow together
Breathing speeds up, heart rate increases and nipples become erect
The lower part of the vagina narrows to grip the penis while the upper part expands to give space
Nerve and muscle tension build up
Your body involuntarily releases the tension as the uterus, vagina and anus contract simultaneously at 0.8-second intervals. Boom! Orgasm central!
Apparently, women can increase their orgasm strength (and increase the pleasure of their partners) by practising Kegel exercises.
We asked Dr. Elna McIntosh, a clinical sexologist at the DISA clinic in Johannesburg, for her opinion.
“The single most important exercise for a woman’s sexual health is Kegel exercises,” says Dr. McIntosh. “However, it is extremely important for women to do it correctly, otherwise they may cause more damage than good.”
Dr. McIntosh states that Kegel exercises help to strengthen a woman’s PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. This muscle forms a figure-eight outlining the vaginal and anal opening.
“Strengthening this muscle has a host of benefits,” says Dr. McIntosh. These include:
Orgasms become stronger for men and women
There is more control over sensation during intercourse
It’s easier to reach orgasm; you feel more when you need to, and less when you want. More control over the sexual experience, a feeling of power
Childbirth can be easier, more controlled, leading to fewer complications.
The vagina heals more quickly from the effects of childbirth.
Partner feels more during intercourse – can pull and squeeze penis with vaginal walls.
Prevent/stop incontinence/prolapsed uterus.
Men can have harder erections. Men can have harder erections. Men can have harder erections.
So, great benefits to exercising your PC muscles then! But how do you know what they are, and how do you do it? Dr. McIntosh suggests the below:
How to find your PC muscle:
Sit on the toilet with your legs parted slightly.
Allow yourself to start the flow of urine.
Stop the flow – Remember that feeling.
How to work the PC muscle:
Dr. McIntosh recommends the following exercise routine:
Find a time each day to practice (i.e. driving to work, on the bus, in the shower, watching TV, at a boring meeting). No one will ever know.
Commit to this time each day.
Do your reps: Basic:
Get comfy, breathe slowly.
Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds.
Relax for 10 seconds.
Repeat 2 more times.
Shake it up
Alternative A: Advanced
Squeeze lightly – hold 5 seconds
Squeeze stronger – hold 5 seconds
Squeeze really tight – hold 5 seconds
Reverse Relax – Do this 10 times
Take a break – Repeat 2 more times.
Of course, this can be difficult to remember to do while you are at work, or shopping for your supper.
Put the Ben Wa balls inside and walk around holding them in. They are a great way to mix up the sensation and advance your training.
Do them while you masturbate.
No quick fix
Dr. McIntosh stresses that there is no quick fix when it comes to Kegel exercises. “It takes dedication. But don’t give up! Even doing Kegels on a somewhat regular basis can help you get greater feeling, control and stronger orgasms within 6 weeks,” she said.
Tips and Tricks:
Don’t do Kegels while urinating – just use urination to understand the feeling of flexing the PC.
Put a finger in vagina and clench, you can feel the muscles working.
Men can practice by putting a towel over their penis when they have an erection and then attempting to move their penis up and down. They can train up by adding weight just by wetting the towel more each time.
Never use your back, anal, stomach, or buttock muscles.
Women with prolapsed bladder or uteri should not use kegel balls.
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Sex is one of the more FUN parts of life. But what happens when sex is more pain and stress than it is satisfaction and joy? One of our favourite pelvic physios, Lulu Becker, talks about the various reasons behind painful sex, and how you can overcome it.