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Archive-name: Miscell/kegel.txt


Archive-title: Kegal Exercises

     Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but there's now a simple,

foolproof way for men to boost their partners' and their own

pleasure during lovemaking. And it doesn't rely on aphrodisiacs or

drugs. Instead, it involves doing a set of easy to learn

pelvic-muscle exercises called Kegels (after Arnold Kegel, M.D.,

the gynecologist who developed them over 40 years ago). Women have

been practicing these moves for years to intensify their orgasms

and increase their partners' stimulation. Now, sex therapists and

researchers have discovered that both partners can benefit sexually

when men do Kegels, too.

    Kegel exercises both strengthen and tone the pubococcygeal (PC)

muscle-which runs from front to back in men's and women's

pelvises--as well as the surrounding pelvic muscles. The PC muscle

is what helps bring a man or woman to climax, and, along with other

pelvic muscles, it also controls urination.

    In his recent book, "The New Male Sexuality (Bantam Books,

1992), psychologist Bernie Zilbergeld, Ph.D., claims that many of

his male patients who practiced pelvic-muscle contractions over

time reported increased sexual sensation and more intense orgasms.

That's not all. Over the past 20 years, William Hartman, Ph.D., and

Marilyn Fithian, Ph.D., co-directors of the Center for Marital and

Sexual Studies in Long Beach, California, have prescribed Kegel

exercises to more than 1,300 male patients who were troubled by

erection problems. Most of the men who did the exercises as

prescribed reported firmer erections than before.

    What's more, nearly 200 of Dr. Hartman and Dr. Fithian's male

patients who practiced Kegels learned to delay ejaculation,

enabling them to prolong sex to their own and their partner's

satisfaction. And most surprising, 10 percent of these men were

eventually able to have multiple orgasms--that is, two or more

climaxes during a single act of intercourse before ejaculating.

(Orgasm and ejaculation don't always occur simultaneously in men.)

    With so many sexual benefits, Kegels are the perfect

"sexercises" for men as well as women to master. Besides helping to

create the physical conditions that enhance lovemaking, the

exercises can spice up sex in another way as well. "Partners can

take turns tightening their pelvic muscles during intercourse,"

explains Dr. Hartman. "Each will feel the other's muscle contrac-

tions, which adds to the excitement."

     For a man who wants to learn how to perform Kegels, the first

step is locating the PC muscle. Here's how: Some time when he has

the urge to urinate, he should sit on the toilet with his legs

spread, start to urinate, then try to stop the flow. (The PC muscle

is the one he squeezes to do this.) After restarting the flow, he

can practice stopping and restarting the stream of urine. It may

take several attempts to actually isolate the PC muscle--the

buttocks muscles have a tendency to kick in if the legs aren't kept


    When a man has familiarized himself with the sensation of

contracting the PC muscle, he's ready to practice holding the

contractions. He should first try holding a contraction for several

seconds three or four times a day. Over the next few weeks, as he

continues doing Kegels, he can gradually increase the time of the

contraction until he is holding it for 10 to 15 seconds. Next, he

should alternate these Kegel holds with a series of short, quick

contractions. Dr. Hartman recommends that men gradually work up to

a daily routine of 100 quick PC contractions and five holds. (Women

who want to learn how to do Kegels should follow these same steps,

but they only need to do the long holds for five seconds; men,

however, need the 10- to 15-second hold for delaying ejaculation.)

     After a few months of diligent practice, a man should be ready

to try using the Kegel hold during intercourse to delay ejacula-

tion. But first he must familiarize himself with the sensation

known as ejaculatory inevitability--the point at which he can no

longer hold back an ejaculation. He will feel an uncontrollable

urge to ejaculate as his prostate gland and seminal vesicles

contract. Once a man has developed an awareness of this sensation,

he can then learn to produce a PC contraction before he reaches

that point of no return. (Another option is for a man to try

practicing this technique on his own while masturbating.)

    Most men can do Kegels anywhere, since they're seldom aroused

by the exercises; women may want to practice Kegels in private

since for them, the increased blood flow to the pelvic region is

more likely to spark arousal. Continued over a lifetime, the

exercises can help men (and women) head off urinary incontinence

later in life. That plus greater arousal, enhanced orgasms and

longer-lasting sex make these some of the simplest, most beneficial

exercises a man or woman can do.



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