While 2020 sex talk started out as being all about that WAP (wet ass pussy), we noticed a new phrase trending: “gorilla grip.” Not to be confused with the brand name of a popular glue (where we assume the slang term originated), it refers to the tightness of a vagina. While we’re not huge fans of corelateing a vagina to a glue OR a big hairy gorilla, the term does tie in nicely to today’s topic!
Now, everyone’s bodies are different, but generally speaking, women and people with vaginas are able to control the ‘grip’ of the muscular walls inside their vagina. Flexing the muscles that form the base of the pelvic floor can make intercourse more enjoyable for all parties involved.
Pregnancy and hormonal changes that occur naturally as we age can weaken the pelvic floor, as can certain health factors. When this happens, experiences range from mild discomfort during sex to vaginal prolapse. So, it’s important to take care of your vagina in all ways possible, and that includes maintaining your pelvic floor strength.
All About Kegel Exercises
What are they
Kegel exercises can help you to strengthen your pelvic floor. They can be done by both men and women, by flexing and holding the Kegel muscle. The pelvic floor muscles support many organs related to sexual and digestive health, like the bladder, rectum, small intestines, and uterus. You can do these exercises almost anywhere, so it is easy to fit a quick Kegel workout into your daily routine. Also, since the exercise is focused on an internal set of muscles, no one will be able to tell you are doing them.
Why do them
There are many benefits to Kegel exercise. It can prevent vaginal prolapse and reverse urinary and/or fecal incontinence. You can even enhance your tightness around your lover’s penis or sex toys during intercourse. Kegels are often recommended after pregnancy and childbirth, when the pelvic floor has been stressed. While Kegels can be extremely beneficial, there are reasons you shouldn’t do them. If you’re experiencing symptoms of incontinence, your pelvic floor may be too tight rather than weak. Kegels can worsen this problem, so it is always best to consult a pelvic floor therapist when experiencing medical issues.
How to do Kegel Exercises
If you aren’t sure how to activate your Kegel muscles, you can take a trip to the bathroom. Begin to urinate but stop the flow. The muscles you feel squeezing and tightening are your Kegel muscles. You should finish urinating at this point and try not to make a habit of doing Kegel exercises while eliminating. Now, you can flex this group of muscles whenever you want to strengthen your pelvic floor. You can do them standing around while waiting in line, while sitting at work, or even while lying in bed before sleep or when you first wake up. If you develop incontinence symptoms after incorporating Kegels, you should immediately discontinue the exercises and consult your doctor.
5 More Ways to Take Care of Your Vaginal Health
A healthy vagina does a great job of self-regulating its own chemistry, pH and natural bacterial balance. While gently cleansing the outside (vulva) of your vagina is okay, the interior should be left mostly alone. Unfortunately, some marketing companies prey upon the insecurities some women feel about their vaginas, and use it to sell various cleansing and ‘maintenance’ products that could actually do more harm than good. Are they necessary? What are the things we should do and things we shouldn’t do to keep our nether regions healthy? We’ve got some answers.
1. Is shaving necessary?
Removing genital hair is not necessary at all! BUT it can improve sensation during sex and foreplay by allowing for more direct skin-to-skin contact. Oral sex may be more enjoyable (or even easier) for your partner. Talk with your partner about their pubic hair preferences, and let them know about yours. If you do decide to go bare, use a sharp razor or hair removal products specifically designed for the delicate public areas..
2. Is it supposed to smell like that?
Vaginas have a natural odor, and everyone is unique. The scent can vary throughout your menstrual cycle, and can be more pronouced after sweating or sex. It’s important to know what’s natural for you, because certain smells (often combined with itching or burning) can be indicative of an issue like bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, or an STI. There can also be more serious issues that cause vaginal odor. If you suspect something is wrong, talk with your gynecologist or doctor as soon as possible.
As far as products aimed at improving vaginal odor, they aren’t necessary. For instance, douching is not something you should ever do unless directed by your doctor. Douching can mess with the delicate balance of your body, which could lead to infection down the line. Using a deodorant on the external vulva areas can lead to dry or damaged skin, since this area is so sensitive. Instead of douching or deodorant, try a feminine wash (externally!) that works to balance pH levels, rather than strip away your natural bacteria.
3. Should I be worried about discharge?
Many women experience discharge on a regular basis, while others don’t. Clear discharge usually does not signal a problem with your health. Cloudy, yellow, or green discharge can warn of an STI, like Gonorrhea or Trichomoniasis. Bacterial vaginosis typically produces a white, gray, or yellow discharge, and a yeast infection typically produces a thicker discharge (resembling cottage cheese) that is white in color. If you have concerns about your discharge, see your OBGYN for diagnosis and treatment.
4. Is vagina size determined by my height?
Nope! Just like the whole penis size to shoe size correlation, this myth is a total farce. Every vagina is different in shape, size, and color, and that goes for inner and outer vaginal areas. The inner and outer labia are unique to every person. No two will ever look the same.
5. Will having frequent sex make me “loose?”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the vagina. During arousal, the vaginal canal will relax and expand, but it goes back to its normal size once your fun has ended. Vaginal tightness (and the loss of it) is usually not associated with intercourse. However, substantial injury to the vagina during sex or childbirth can cause muscle weakness during the healing process. Like all other muscles in the body, they can be trained and strengthened through exercise (kegels!) and physical therapy.
Products to Help Improve Your Sexual Experience
Did you know there are products you can use in combination with Kegel exercises to really pump some iron with that pelvic floor? There are weighted devices (usually balls) you can insert into the vagina that will help you flex your muscles to hold the device in place. There are also products to help ease into penetration if you are experiencing a tight pelvic floor, called dilators. If you aren’t interested in strengthening or relaxing the pelvic floor through physical manipulation, there are also topical products that can aid you into comfortable and enjoyable sex.
Kegel balls (sometimes called ben-wa balls) gained a bit of notoriety after they were featured in “Fifty Shades Darker” in 2017. This handy sex toy/tool helps you to strengthen the pelvic floor by tightening the vaginal wall to hold them in place. You can start out by wearing one ball and holding for one to three minutes at a time before releasing. When you begin the work with two balls, you may notice a natural vibration whenever they clank together as you move. There are many different variations on Kegel balls including differences in size, weight, materials, even shape, and some include vibration. Take your pick from over 50 Kegel ball options at PinkCherry.
You can think of dilators as the opposite of Kegel balls. They are usually styled in a wand shape, but sometimes have a slight curve. Dilator sets often have several sizes, so you can start out small and work your way up to the larger ones. Dilators are a great way to ease vaginal pain and discomfort during intercourse. You should never force your body to change, so stop any time you feel resistance or become uncomfortable. Some dilators feature vibration or textured sleeves (like the Dr. Berman Dilator Set) for added sensations when you’re ready. Others are wearable (like the She-Ology 5 Piece Wearable Vaginal Dilator Set) to take your vaginal therapy discreetly with you. You can also use dilators in combination with Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Clitoral and Arousal Serums
If inserting something into your vagina for pelvic floor benefits doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are topical solutions you can use instead. PinkCherry has many different arousal creams, balms, and serums to help you get in the mood or intensify your excitement. A little dab on the clitoris goes a long way. Some formulas are also made for internal use. Vaginal tightening creams and serums are also available if you are looking for the opposite of relaxed. There are also anal relaxers and numbing gels and serums to help you with your hiney. Whatever you’re looking for in topical temptation, PinkCherry has you covered.
Get Good Vaginal Strength with a Little Help
When you consider strength training for the vagina, you should always consult your doctor to ensure you don’t have any underlying issues that could be worsened through vaginal exercise. Kegel training can be accomplished with nothing more than your own body, but you can enhance your vaginal workout with Kegel balls or vaginal dilators. Vaginal dilators can also be used to aid those whose experience pain during intercourse from a constricted pelvic floor. You can find sex toys and tools as well as topical options for all your vaginal needs at PinkCherry.