Who doesn't want to make her time under the sheets even better? When in search of the Big O, you may need to look a little deeper, as in deep inside. I'm not talking about touching your heart here — I'm talking about getting in touch with your pelvic floor muscles. I agree that doesn't sound too sexy, and neither does the word Kegels — the name of the exercises used to strengthen those muscles — but once you learn to control them, get ready for some major pleasure in the bedroom.
If you're unfamiliar with where your pelvic floor muscles are, or how to engage them, you're not alone. Here's a simple trick I learned from my Ashtanga Yoga instructor (since mula bandha is another name for these muscles). Pretend you're in the bathroom, and the guy you just started seeing walks in. Faster than you can scream "I'm in here!," you'll automatically engage your muscles and stop peeing midstream. Those are your pelvic floor muscles. While sitting at your computer reading this, practice squeezing those muscles. Be certain you're not just clenching your glutes or engaging your abs. It may take some practice to find your pelvic floor.
Once you do, here's an exercise you can do anytime, anywhere, to strengthen those muscles. It involves thinking of your Kegels as an apartment building.
- Come into a comfortable seated position, either in a chair or on the floor. Some women prefer to do their Kegels in a wide squat. I like to sit on the floor with my knees bent and my feet wide and about two feet in front of my hips. I place my palms about a foot behind me for support. I also close my eyes to help me focus on the part of my body I'm trying to engage.
- Now think of an apartment building that has three floors. You just entered the elevator in the lobby. Engage your pelvic floor muscles slightly — rising up to floor number one. Engage them a little more — moving up to floor number two. And then engage them fully — hitting the third floor. Hold here for a few seconds, and then go down the elevator, releasing your muscles slightly at floor number two, releasing them a little more at the first floor, and then relaxing them all the way once you reach the lobby.
- Continue "riding the elevator" for 10 repetitions. Take a break and eventually build up to repeat two more times.
Not only will working these improve your love life, but they can also prevent incontinence and get your muscles back on track after delivering a baby. Complete this exercise while driving to work, waiting in line at the grocery store, or checking email at your desk.