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When you imagine your honeymoon, you're likely picturing fuzzy robes, lingerie and the most mind-blowing sex of your life, right? So why not start your marriage off with a bang (pun intended)! How can you make this fantasy a reality? The answer is through a miracle exercise that you may have heard of before, but we're not talking squats and cardio.
We're talking about Kegels - think of them as crunches for your pelvic floor muscles. But unlike fruitlessly striving for a six-pack, you'll actually see results within 6-8 weeks.
Not into "exercise?" Dr. Katherine Ellin, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist brings up a good point: "Your vagina is a part of your body, so you want to pay attention to it with the same regard that you care for the rest of yourself."
Some of the most exciting benefits of Kegels include more frequent and intense orgasms, decreased vaginal pain during intercourse and increased sexual sensation. Now we've got your attention!
The surprising news is that men can do them too. Throw out "increased ejaculatory control" and "prolonged climax and enhanced pleasure" and he'll be all about it. Now you can "work out" together - even sitting on the couch.
Before we give you the exercises, let's first locate your PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. You may already be familiar with it if you've had to stop a stream of urine mid flow, or when you clench down on your man's penis during sex (he loves this by the way). If this doesn't ring a bell, you can also insert a lubricated finger into your vagina and tighten the muscles around it - now you've got it!
So without further ado, it's time for some exerciseвЂ¦
1. Beginner: 3-5 second hold
Hold or squeeze the PC muscles for three to five seconds. Focus on a slow release, which is just as important as tightening, and make sure you're not accidently squeezing your stomach or thigh muscles. How many reps can you do?
Dr. Ellin suggests isolating and tensing the front, middle and back of this area separately.
2. Intermediate: Try different sets of repetitions
Sexuality educator, Cory Silverberg, M.Ed., on About.com recommends practicing Kegels every couple days until you can hold and squeeze for ten seconds. "Try to work up to doing 10 reps per set. So you squeeze, hold for ten seconds, release, relax for ten seconds, and repeat ten times," says Silverberg.
Want to mix it up? Dr. Carol Queen, Staff Sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer at Good Vibrations suggests the following reps, beginning with five of each and increasing with time:
- Squeeze/release slowly (two-count for each)
- Squeeze/release quickly (one-count for each)
- Cycle: Squeeze/hold/release/relax (four count each)
- Butterfly (quick squeezing)
3. Advanced: Kegel balls, toys & apps
Though not necessary to reap benefits, you can really increase the difficulty in these exercises by incorporating special toys. Dr. Queen reports some people prefer to use tools, such as a Kegel exerciser or Kegel balls, which are resistive devices that help develop muscle tone. Tell your bestie you now know what you want for your bachelorette party gift!
Dr. Emily Morse, Sexual Health Expert on About.com suggests her app, Kegel Camp, which lets you set a daily reminder on your phone, and provides 20 challenging levels with increasing difficulty so that you can reach new levels of pelvic floor strength.
And the best part? You can complete all of these exercises at home while you're doing other things, like scrolling on Pinterest for the perfect wedding ideas!
Are you honeymoon ready? Get squeezing.
Samantha Burns, LMHC is a Relationship Counselor and Dating Coach at LoveSuccessfully.com. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.