(* In response to a man who said young women should “exercise their PC muscles even if they are still relatively young there are so many benefits,” to which I disagreed and was asked by another man to provide “some instructive reasons” to support my feelings. *)
I’m a hu(wo)manist, and activist, and a temperamental Irish redhead, so any statement that includes “most women should” just naturally gets my hackles up. Nothing personal.
I think younger women are usually more physically fit and tend to be more sexually active than women who have the pressures and time constraints of work and kids, with added weight post-partum (leading to body image issues, lack of sex drive due to hormonal changes, and just being tired all the damn time). Therefore, younger women would not need to exercise their PC muscles because the muscle tissue is already firm and toned, through athletics, going out dancing, being more open to sexual adventures, et al.
It is the women in their 30’s and 40’s who have had physiological changes to their vaginal area, the widening and contracting of the hip joints and ligaments, and changes to the pelvic floor from carrying a child in utero and then giving birth that changes and possibly stretches the PC muscles to feeling weak. As we get older, the body parts shift, and sitting at a desk all day, in front of the TV at night, with such bad posture, certainly doesn’t help. This lack of general exercise women get once they are on the career path and have had kids tends to be quite sedentary compared to the long-ago traditions of walking for purposes of migration, foraging, and finding water.
Also, most PC muscle exercises (a.k.a. Kegel exercises) focus on squeezing UP. This is because the Kegels were designed to help women who were experiencing urinary incontinence — to encourage the sphincter qualities of the muscles and control “urine” leakage, especially during sex. (Those of us who subscribe to the veracity of Female Ejaculation as a legitimate sexual phenomenon wonder just how many of these women were actually ejaculators but forced into shame by an ignorant male medical system.)
For female ejaculation, the emphasis is pushing OUT, therefore Kegels are NOT the answer to better orgasms, but rather the death of the female orgasm. Squeezing UP cuts off sensation and compresses the tissues restricting blood flow and nerve endings. (NOTE: This purposeful “squeezing UP” is NOT to be confused with the natural reaction of the PC muscles to squeeze IN / vice-grip on their own, called the “clitoral cuff,” toward the entrance of the vagina as the vagina expands at the top during arousal and near orgasm.)
Women have lost our wymyn circles. In wymyn circles, we used to share these kinds of stories and experiences amongst each other. For instance, belly dancing, now a highly sexualized form of stripper / hooker / tease, is actually based in teaching teenage girls how to move their bodies during childbirth (and such movements’ obvious use in sexual / sensual settings with a partner). Hence the reason it’s CALLED Belly Dancing — you have to HAVE a belly to do it properly!
It annoys me to no end to hear women say they “can’t do belly dancing” because they don’t have a 6-pack. I quickly and, in no uncertain terms, explain that no woman with a 6-pack is geared for belly dancing because she doesn’t HAVE a belly. It is the breast-obsessed American perspective that has shifted the emphasis of belly dancing to breast-shaking. Belly dancing is an ART. And that “belly” isn’t just curvy flesh — there is extremely toned muscle underneath that has been trained to operate and shimmy in minute precision.
The “belly” comes from body fat as well as carrying a child. (NOTE to all: Women are SUPPOSED to have body fat!) The hip rolls, arches, hip drops, and other hip isolations are to stretch through the hip joints in preparation for the spreading of the hip joints beginning in the third trimester, as well as exercising the lower abs no one ever talks about. The rib isolations are NOT just to have the breasts go up and down for men’s ogling pleasure — they are to learn how to move your upper torso so you can still breathe when the kid inside is pushing your thoracic diaphragm up into your lung space. Abdominal and back rolls also help the body get used to involuntary movements during childbirth contractions.
If more women had a connection to our traditional women’s circles and sacred women knowledge, we wouldn’t need sex toys OR books. We would have elders to teach us and show us, passing the knowledge from one generation to the other. But until we officially shake off the mortal coil of western patriarchy and institutionalized religion that has made the female body sinful and sex evil, we have to get the knowledge somewhere and learn how to access these innate feelings somehow. So I am grateful for toys, books, CD’s, men who try so hard to understand us, and the women who are on the path of experimenting and experiencing what we are truly capable of sexually.
Aroused and journaling,