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The Quickie
3 minute read

Did you know that having a healthy pelvic floor is important for your sex life? That’s right, this network of muscles inside the pelvis not only supports the pelvic organs, plays a key role in pregnancy and childbirth, and contributes to healthy bladder and bowel function... it’s also a major player in a satisfying sex life and earth-shattering orgasms!

How Your Pelvic Floor Affects Your Sex Life

When your pelvic floor muscles are healthy, you are more likely to have an orgasm when you want to (and not when you don’t want to), less likely to have pain during sex, have more control over your erections, and are better at squeezing your vaginal muscles.

When your pelvic floor muscles are healthy, you are more likely to have an orgasm when you want to (and not when you don’t want to), less likely to have pain during sex, have more control over your erections, and are better at squeezing your vaginal muscles.

On the other hand, if your pelvic floor is either overly weak or overly tight, you are more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm, pain during sex, premature ejaculation and difficulty maintaining an erection. In other words, there are lots of bedroom advantages to having a well-toned pelvic floor!

Pelvic Muscle Tone And Orgasms

So, how does pelvic floor tone actually affect orgasms? Well... an orgasm is actually a series of muscle contractions around the genitals and anus. During sexual stimulation, arousal builds and muscle tension increases; this tension is eventually released with rhythmic pulsations. When the pelvic floor muscles are working well you have more control over whether, and when, these pleasurable muscle contractions occur.

Is The Pelvic Floor Behind Your Sex Problems?

So when you have pelvic floor dysfunction what effect can it have on your sex life? There are a number of common issues that may arise:

Pain During Sex

A pelvic floor that is overly weak or overly tight can cause pain during sex (also known as dyspareunia). Pain can be due to a number of causes, but when pelvic floor issues are at play the pain is most likely to be felt during vaginal or anal penetration. When vaginal penetration is painful this may be due to vaginismus—a condition where the muscles spasm painfully when anything is inserted.

Erectile Dysfunction

For the penis to become erect, the pelvic floor muscles need to relax enough to let blood flow into the penis and make it hard. Likewise, to maintain an erection the muscles need to be strong enough to keep the blood inside and prevent it from flowing back into the rest of the body.

When pelvic floor muscles are not contracting and relaxing properly this can lead to difficulties with erection.

Orgasm Difficulty

When the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, reaching orgasm becomes difficult as they lack the strength to tense and release as needed. When the muscles are stronger you can squeeze them to intensify sensation and they will be ready to pulse with the contractions of orgasm when the time comes. On the other hand, when the muscles are overly tight you may have difficulty reaching orgasm, or you may orgasm more quickly than intended.

Premature And Delayed Ejaculation

Pelvic floor issues, especially muscle tightness, can be an underlying factor with premature ejaculation, also known as “rapid ejaculation”. The pelvic floor weakness may also be a factor in delayed ejaculation.

Sexual problems due to pelvic floor dysfunction can be frustrating and stressful.

Sex is about so much more than orgasm; paying attention to and taking pleasure in your whole body and mind with things like dirty talk and sensation play can expand and intensify your sex and pleasure no matter your level of physical ability.

Still, sexual problems due to pelvic floor dysfunction can be frustrating and stressful. You can read up on different practices to combat orgasm challenges and painful sex, like Kegel exercises and pelvic floor stretches, and be sure to reach out to a medical professional if in doubt. Striving for a healthy pelvic floor is an important step towards a healthy and happy sex life.

Related Articles:

How To Do Kegels

How To Relax And Stretch Your Pelvic Floor

Why Does It Hurt When I Have Sex?

What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Tips for Managing Premature Ejaculation


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Video transcript

So when it comes to your orgasm, when it comes to pleasure, there are many pieces that are contributing to your orgasm and your sexual pleasure. And your pelvic floor is just one of those things. Do you have problems with erections or premature ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation? It could be that your pelvic floor is a little too tight or not tight enough. And that is really, really important to understand how to control those muscles so that you can improve your sexual performance and experience your pleasure a little bit more. For example, some people come to me with issues with premature ejaculation, right? And sometimes the problem is that the pelvic floor muscles are too tight, right? Their masturbation techniques are kinda promoting that tightness. And what we have to do is consider, okay, number one, we need to relax the pelvic floor, but we also need to change our technique in masturbation to help give us a little bit more time before the big show arrives. Does that make sense? That's also common for people who struggle with their orgasms, where they feel they hit a glass ceiling and they can't quite get it to the promised land, if you will. And so, oftentimes that requires a lot of pleasure-centric sexual activity verses orgasm-centric. Right? And if I'm thinking that I'm always wanting to tighten my pelvic floor, or I need to relax, I need to relax, we're not focusing on the pleasure. Right? And if you don't know how to control your pelvic floor, that's gonna be dominating. That's gonna be the dominating dialogue in your head during sex, and it's gonna take you away from what you really wanna do, and that's to enjoy your pleasure.

Sensual Sex: How To Use All Your Senses In The Bedroom

Bring more sensuality into your bedroom. Explore ways to engage all your senses in sex and erotic play.

Fact No. 1
Fact No. 2
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Fact No. 4
The Quickie
5 minute read

From what we’re taught in sex-ed, to portrayals in porn and popular media, it’s easy to get the impression that sex means penetration—perhaps with stops along the way for making out and manual or oral stimulation. But sex can be so much more!

Tuning in to the sensual aspects of sex, can bring a new level of richness and intimacy to sex play. It can also be a creative way to take things slow, accommodate an injury or disability, or heal from trauma, allowing you to be sexual together in a context where intercourse isn’t necessarily the end-game.

Tuning in to the sensual aspects of sex, can bring a new level of richness and intimacy to sex play. 

Focusing on each of the five senses is a great way to bring more sensuality into the bedroom. If you’re ready to incorporate new ways of being intimate with a partner, read on for some simple suggestions.

Erotic Sounds

Talking dirty, putting on music to set the mood, encouraging our partner with moans, gasps, and screams—sound is something many of us already incorporate into our sex lives. Talking dirty can be a wonderful way to build tension and amp up arousal without ever laying a finger on your partner. 

Tell them what you love about their body, what you’re feeling, what you’d like to do to them or have them do to you. If you find yourself tongue-tied when it’s time to talk dirty, reading erotica to your partner can be a super-sexy way to incorporate aural pleasure—without the pressure of having to come up with something yourself!

Music is nearly universal in its appeal and power to evoke feeling. Check out a sexy playlist on Spotify, or make your own.

What it’s great for: Particularly for those in long-distance relationships, sound can be a great way to stay connected. For people who want to get to know their partner better, exchanging fantasies, reading to each other, or trading sexy playlists can be a wonderful way to get closer. 

Tantalizing Tastes

Eat together! Fruit—sweet and juicy, with many varieties resembling vulvas— is one of the sexiest foods there is. Slowly savoring a ripe peach while letting its juice drip down your chin—while your partner watches, of course—can be just as erotic as a strip-tease. 

Drizzle each other with honey or paint each other with chocolate, and revel in the combination of sweetness and the natural saltiness of their skin. Yum! Just remember, don’t put these on the genitals because they can cause yeast infections.

Talking dirty can be a wonderful way to build tension and amp up arousal without ever laying a finger on your partner. 

What it’s great for: If you want to experience something deeply sensual with your partner, but aren’t quite ready for genital play, taking pleasure in food and a variety of tastes together can be extremely sexy. For people who have experienced body dysphoria or struggled with their body image, enjoying food in a sexual context can be a liberating way to redefine their relationship with food and their bodies.

Sexy Sights

Watching porn together is a classic way to enhance a sexual experience and spark conversation around preferences, boundaries, and new things you might like to try. Beyond porn, though, there are numerous ways to have a sexy visual experience. 

An erotic coloring book can be a fun way to explore new sexual territory in a low-stakes, playful context. Playing dress-up, or experimenting with different makeup looks, can allow you and your partner to explore diverse roles, play with gender, and bring a sense of fun to your sexual expression.

What it’s great for: Like sound, sight can reach across distance: if you have a phone or webcam, you can put on a show for your partner, no matter how far away you are. For gender-diverse individuals, exploring different looks with your partner can be intimacy-building, and increase your confidence. Sexy coloring or drawing is a wonderful way to spark conversation around what turns you on and what you might like to try without the expectation of full-on intercourse.

Stimulating Smells

Scented candles, essential oils, and perfumes all have their place. But there are many ways to bring your sense of smell alive during sex play. 

Although many of us have been taught that natural body odors are offensive, in reality, the wealth of pheromones and other volatile compounds in your partner’s sweat, breath, and genital aromas can be among the most powerful aphrodisiacs in existence! Close your eyes and inhale your partner’s unique aroma - because smell is so closely tied to emotion and memory, you may be surprised by what it evokes.

What it’s great for: Reveling in the natural scents of your partner’s body, and witnessing them enjoying your own, can be a tremendously powerful way to unlearn body shame and unlock new horizons of sensual pleasure.

Arousing Touch

There are many ways to enjoy sexual touch—from massage to sensation play. Gentle stroking with fingertips or a toy, even playing with your partner’s hair can all be great ways to share pleasure and build intimacy. 

Sensual touch away from the genitals can be especially suitable for people who are uncomfortable with genital touch—because they’re experiencing body dysphoria, processing trauma, recovering from an injury, or simply aren’t interested—being touched in a caring, sensual way by a partner who isn’t expecting the encounter to end in intercourse can be tremendously healing. 

What it’s great for: Having a safe place in which to experience sensual touch without the pressure to have penetrative or oral sex can be affirming, healing, and intimacy-building. 

Close your eyes and inhale your partner’s unique aroma.

Even if you usually want sex to result in intercourse, exploring diverse ways to experience sexual pleasure can enhance your sex life and your bond with your partner (and yourself!). 

Related Articles:

What Is Sensation Play?

How To Flirt

How To Talk Dirty 

How To Make Out

The Best Sex Toys To Spice Up Your Long-Term Relationship

How To Talk To Your Partner About Watching Porn Together


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