Are Kegels really all that great? Whenever I’ve tried them, I don’t feel like they’re really doing anything, but then again I’m not really that dedicated. Am I missing out on some magical vagina secret? Or can I just forget the Kegels?
Oh God, no, your precious pelvic floor! No, I know what you mean. Some people are as religious about Kegels (pronounced KEEgul) as everyone around me suddenly is about juice. Kegels will change your life! I come so hard I black out thanks to Kegels! I realized that the sex I was having before Kegels was the equivalent of fucking a pile of filthy leaves!
But I dunno. I have never been a consistent Kegeler, so I cannot speak from personal experience. Sidebar: I am also not a juicer, much to the horror of all the other people I know. Did you know that green juice is the essence of life, and you can feel your cells being refreshed by the nutrients in juice the same way you can feel your thirst being slaked by drinking water when you are parched? Me neither.
So, it seems like doing Kegel exercises—which, I suppose I should explain, is squeezing your “pee muscle,” like you would to stop the flow of urine midstream—is actually pretty important during pregnancy and childbirth. Whether they will transform you into a multi-orgasmic Naomi Wolf’s Vagina yoni massage goddess is up for debate, but strengthening your pelvic floor will definitely help if you are planning to push a baby out, and even more so if you’re planning not to pee yourself a little sometimes post-baby-push. Pregnant and postpartum women are definitely advised to Kegel.
They can also be helpful for any non-baby-related incontinence issues, both pee and poop. Basically any kind of leakage from that area could maybe be helped by Kegels. Also, did you know that men can benefit from Kegels? Yes, it’s true. Allegedly, it can help with their orgasms. Or with erectile issues. Or incontinence. Or! The little bit of pee that dribbles out after one finishes peeing and shaking off, the bit that comes out and makes a dot on one’s pants that, yes, people do notice. Kegels can perhaps eliminate that. They truly are the green juice of the pelvic world.
And, like juice, though I personally am too lazy to do them, they are firmly in my mental category of “stuff I’d probably do if I had my shit more together.” It couldn’t hurt, right? And if it does, just stop doing it.
The Mayo Clinic recommends three sets of 10 squeezes per day, with each squeeze 10 seconds long and a 10-second rest in between each. They, like everyone, love to talk about how you can do them whenever you’re bored, like in a meeting or while you’re riding the train. But I actually find that particular brand of squeezing a strange combination of distracting and boring. (Like I said, I’m not a great personal advocate.)
There is also a multitude of Kegel exercise devices, like a tiny silver dumbbell/dildo combo to shove up in you, or thighmaster-looking things for your legs, or brightly colored little weighted eggish things to practice holding within. I’m not really sure about any of those. But I would say, to all of the Kegel-curious: try it! And if you’re so inclined, let me know how it goes.