Lovehacker: Can A Pelvic Floor Exercise Tool Improve Your Sex Life?

A weak pelvic floor has the potential to ruin your sex life. Imagine tossing a hot dog down a hallway and you might understand why.

Pelvic floor exercise tools help in this area by strengthening the vaginal walls. According to some sources, they can also improve sex for women who are already nice and tight down there. To find out, I tested the 'Pelvic Toner' for three weeks. Read on for the sordid verdict.

Orgasm picture from Shutterstock

I laugh a lot. I also sneeze a lot. I can’t imagine how annoying it would be if I peed a little every time I did either of those things, but that's exactly what women with weak pelvic floor muscles frequently suffer from. Not only that, women who have weakened pelvic floors may not be able to enjoy sex as much.

There are a number of causes for the muscles down there to weaken including ageing, inactivity, and -- of course -- childbirth. None of those things apply to me but I was still curious to see if pelvic floor strengthening techniques could improve my sex life. It's something various sexologists swear by and you can even buy non-medical gadgets specifically for this purpose.

Now, my vagina is by no means weak. I'm not saying my genitals can crush Coke cans or anything, but it could probably pulverise some tofu blocks without any trouble. Besides, there's always room for improvement, right?

Most women are familiar with kegels, a form of exercise for the vagina popularised by TV shows like Sex and the City to increase the pleasure of coitus for women and men.

"Squeeze, hold and release" is generally what is involved in kegels and it is done without equipment although there are products available to take kegels to the next level. Pelvic Floor Exercise is a company that sells said products, which I liken to dumbbells for your box.

The Pelvic Toner Vaginal Exercise, an unassuming white plastic contraption, is what I ended up testing for three weeks.

"Where you will see improvement with pelvic floor devices is if there is an established weakness and they are used to strengthen the muscles and hence improve function," Pelvic floor physiotherapist and owner of Pelvic Floor Exercise, Fiona Rogers, told Lifehacker Australia.

"One part of that function is for sexual pleasure as a female orgasm involves rapid rhythmic contractions of the pelvic floor. Obviously, if the pelvic floor is well toned it contracts better -- there is better blood flow and a healthy nerve supply, all of which contributes to a lovely orgasm."

I'm down for that.

Putting my box on the line

If you're female, you might think the Pelvic Toner, pictured above, looks eerily familiar. Yes, it is reminiscent of a speculum or, as I would like to call it, that duckbill thing doctors shove into your vagina to open you up for a pap smear swab.

Being someone who isn’t fond of pap smears (who is?), I was a bit reluctant to use the device. But for the sake of a good article (and better orgasms), I laid back on my bed, took a deep breath and pushed the lubed up plastic wand up there.

I’m not going to lie; it’s uncomfortable. The device opens up just like a speculum and the objective is to squeeze it down, hold the position, relax, and repeat. Much like doing weights for strength and muscle definition, you do a certain number of reps with small breaks in between.

The coiled spring wedged in the middle provides the resistance for you to challenge your pelvic muscles and in turn strengthen them. You start off with the spring with the least resistance and gradually level up to the tighter one.

Drum roll for the results

So I did the exercises for three weeks. I definitely feel that I have powered up my pelvic muscles but how would it fare during intercourse?

I tested it out on my then sexual partner (how romantic). I won’t get into the gory details, but what I will say is it did feel better although it wasn’t as significant as I hoped it’d be. My sexual partner didn't even notice any difference.

While I didn't get the results I had hoped for, that's not to say pelvic floor exercise tools wouldn't help other women out there. As Rogers points out, you can have a strong pelvic floor but poor sensory awareness which can make sex less pleasurable.

"Some women, for many reasons, disconnect with their pelvic floor if there has been trauma in the past," she said. "In those cases, using a weighted or cone device may help them reconnect with their pelvic floor and ultimately be able to enjoy sex again."

Rogers did advise that it takes longer than three weeks to strengthen a weak pelvic floor to a significant level and she generally recommends using the device for a period of three to six months.

Will I continue to use the Pelvic Toner? Probably not. But if you're a woman who has lost the love for sex due to your pelvic floor muscles letting them down, why not give it a go? A little exercise down there might make a world of difference.

WATCH MORE: Healthy Living News & Ideas

Comments

    “Some women, for many reasons, disconnect with their pelvic floor if there has been trauma, etc. in the past,” she said. “In those cases, using a weighted or cone device may help them reconnect with their pelvic floor and ultimately be able to enjoy sex again.”

    Did Rogers mean that the women had disconnected physically or mentally ? Could see it applying either way.

    An interesting article, and the Pelvic Toner appears to work on the same principle as those grip exercisers, though with significantly less tension.
    The mind boggles at what the male equivalent of this would be - little dumbbells suspended from a O ring ? Suction pumps ? Using the erect penis like a trebuchet and catapulting pieces of popcorn across the room ?
    That'd soon turn into a competition for accuracy and range, and Alex, Luke and Chris would... you know what, I'm just going to leap off that train of thought right now.

    Certainly is a bold article for your first week, I'm sure our female audience will appreciate it all the more than us men.
    Can't think of too many situations where men could discuss this with a partner without getting mixed looks of horror and suspicion - "It's just like a pair of BBQ tongs, see?"

    And yes I know I'm reading Lifehacker articles on a Friday night, instead of having a life. Shut up.

      You just planted images in my head that cannot be unseen...

      Also... they DO look like BBQ tongs! By the way, I'm at home on a Friday night checking in on the website so I, too, have no life...

      The disconnect is a bit of both - women in particular can have a lot of damage done to pelvic floor muscles from pregnancy and childbirth. The muscles can get stretched or torn, and a mental association with pain can result.

      Not only can it affect sexual pleasure, but it can cause incontinence. These muslces also tend to lose tone as you get older (like your other muscles). A device like this could certainly help women to focus on isolating those muscles and getting them stronger - much like some people like to use a balance ball to help them strengthen their core.

      And guys can strengthen their pelvic floor too!

        You make a good point, its one of the things men really should do, especially as they get older. Helps in a number of ways (think:dripping tap), and as well as sexually.
        I seem to recall reading an article on how men can have stronger climax by training the muscles down there, as well as attaining several orgasms without climax. Not sure how valid that last claim is, but the first one makes sense.

        Doesn't have to be just for sex either, evolution gave us the ability to pull our testicles up into the abdomen to protect them or keep them warm, but modern man has generally let that slide, predominantly because most men don't know it can be done.
        The Samurai trained themselves to be able to do this when in a hostile situation, so its easily achievable.

        It would, of course be a hilarious trick to play on an unsuspecting partner...
        "Go on, just touch it with your finger"
        <SPROING>
        "OMG ! They disappeared !

        Or maybe I'm just too easily amused with silly ideas..

        I should look into a follow up article on tools that can help men in this area!

        Need to hunt down a volunteer...

      That said, pelvic floor exercises also do help men quite a bit.

    Thought it needed reading because Panda was involved.

      I really need to replace my author icon with a panda picture.

        Step away from the Upload Image button, and no one gets hurt.

        No I should call you by your correct name.
        My apology.

    Alternatively
    I've been planning to let the ladies around me know about a winner from earlier this year at the Wearable Technology Awards. Haven't got around to it yet, so I'll do it here.
    http://www.wearabletechnologyshow.net/awards
    The best start-up business award was for the Elvie. www.elvie.com 'Your most personal trainer.'
    Looks as though it's the solid-state version of your tongs, Spandas. I can imagine a lot of staring, unseeing, eyes amongst the ranks of its users.
    BTW, not like your Shutterstock photo, above. That's not how you would do it, is it..?

    Thank you for the article Spandas and for not misquoting me , which often happens! The disconnect I talk about is generally emotional after any trauma to the area - usually child birth but also pain conditions and sometimes a result of abuse. Many of the other devices we sell are much more comfortable to use than the Pelvic Toner. And to follow up on some of the other comments above , yes there is a new wave of techno devices for pelvic floor strengthening coming onto the market if you are that way inclined .And for your male readers there is the private gym which ,yes , are weights which attach to the penis !

      You're welcome! Thank you for provided me with the information I needed to make this article as informative as possible :)

    The Chinese, fantastic overachievers that they are, have already put Westerners to shame when it comes to strengthening their genitalia:
    A year earlier, his 70-year-old student Huang Tian-Yu made the news by putting his manhood on the line. He lifted 150 kilograms (330 lbs.) using only his male genitalia

    Grandmaster is hoping to get twenty to twenty-four of his top students and strap their male genetalia to the plane. Six to Eight men per wheel and with their power combined it will be powerful enough to move a 18,000-kilogram (39,780 lbs!) 747

    If that doesn't start making you feel inadequate, not much will.

    Seriously, I'm not making this up, it even has a name: Iron Crotch
    http://mastertu.com/iron-crotch
    http://www.shou-yi.org/qigong-choyleefut/chan-tze-tan-master-of-iron-crotch-qigong

    Last edited 11/08/15 11:34 pm

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now