Pelvic Floor Flex/Relax Continuum… | Counseling | Therapy

Pelvic Floor Flex/Relax Continuum Exercise

Shannon , LCSW — Therapist, director of intern program, director of rhode island office

Though many men have never paid much attention to their pelvic floor muscle, it plays an important part in maintaining erections. If you are experiencing difficulty with your erections, strengthening your pelvic floor muscle could help. This is because of the connection between anxiety, the pelvic floor muscle, and blood flow. Typically when you are aroused, blood flow to the penis increases, resulting in an erection. When you experience anxiety, many muscles, including your pelvic floor muscle, tighten up. The tightening of the pelvic floor muscle cuts off blood flow to the penis, making erections difficult. Anxiety can come up for many different reasons (unhappiness with your relationship, stress at work, family conflict, etc.) If you are interested in getting help for your anxiety, or gaining more understanding about how anxiety interferes with your sex life, make an appointment with a trained Sex Therapist in Philadelphia today.

The following exercise is meant to help you create a more precise control of your pelvic floor muscle contractions, so that you can intentionally relax them during arousal or intercourse. Before working to control your pelvic floor muscle, you need to strengthen it. If you haven’t already, check out the Pelvic Floor Muscle Strengthening exercise before proceeding.

Locate the Pelvic Floor Muscle

If you have never before located your pelvic floor muscle, you can do so by “twitching” your groin muscles like you would to cut off the flow of urine mid-stream. You will notice a tightness in your groin, penis, perineum (area between the testicals and anus) or anus. If this is a new experience for you, don’t worry! Many men will never practice flexing their pelvic floor muscles, and it may feel unusual at first. You should also practice the Pelvic Floor Muscle Strengthening Exercise before proceeding with this one, as control will be difficult to exert if the strength isn’t there.

Flex/Relax Continuum

  • Create a scale of pelvic floor muscle tension. Flex as tightly as you can- this will be your level 10. Release completely, so you hold no tension in your pelvic floor muscle - this will be your level 1.
  • Flexing and relaxing, fill in the rest of the scale. What does a level 5 - exactly halfway between the hyper-flexing of 10 and complete relaxation of 1 feel like? Attempt to flex at a level 3 and level 7
  • Sequence 1 (10 → 5 → 10): Practice flexing at a level 10 and holding for five seconds, then relaxing down to a level 5 and holding for five seconds, then back to a level 10 for five final seconds. Repeat this sequence until it is easy for you to find what a level 10 and a level 5 like, without too much thought. When you are able to flex to a level 5 and 10 with relative ease, move on to sequences 2 & 3.
  • Sequence 2 (10 → 5 → 3): Practice flexing at a level 10 and holding for five seconds, then relaxing down to a 5 and holding for five seconds, then relaxing down to a 3 and holding for five seconds, then back up to a 10 for a final five seconds.
  • Sequence 3 (5 → 3 → 5 → 2): Flex at a level 5 and hold for five seconds, then relax down to a 3 and hold for five seconds, tense back up to a level 5 for five more seconds, then relax back down to a level 2 - just barely engaging the muscle for the final five seconds.
  • Repeat Sequences 2 and 3 three times a day, every day. Repetition will help you to have better control over the amount of tension you hold in your pelvic floor muscle.


Go Deeper

Incorporate your pelvic floor muscle flex/relax continuum into your masturbation. Before you begin to masturbate, flex your pelvic floor muscle to a level 10. What happens to your ability to concentrate at a level 10? What happens to your ability to perceive arousal? What happens to your erection?

Release your pelvic floor muscle to a level 2 and continue masturbating. Now what happens to your ability to concentrate? To perceive arousal? To your erection? Release your focus from your pelvic floor muscle.

As you continue masturbating and become more aroused, check-in to see what level your pelvic floor muscle is flexing at. Play around with flexing and relaxing at different points throughout your masturbation session to see what effects it has on your pleasure, concentration and erection. What lessons can you implement during partnered sex?

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscle, and your level of precision when engaging it can both help strengthen your erections. If you’d like further assistance with obtaining and maintaining a satisfying erection during partnered sex, make an appointment with a talk-based sex therapist today!

Find a sex therapist near me. Call The Center For Growth at 215 922 5683 x 100 and speak with a sex therapist now.

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