Tight, toned genitals are for everyone, people. The Kegel, an exercise typically associated with vaginal strengthening, is not the vagina's exclusive domain — anyone can exercise their pelvic floor muscles, although it may be a slightly less discreet process for penis-havers than it is for vagina-havers.
"People do cardio exercises for their heart, and they do strength training and work on their six-pack, but the pelvic floor is neglected," urologist Dr. Andrew L. Siegel told the New York Times in 2014. "These muscles are the backboard of sexual and urinary health."
According to Everyday Health, Kegels can improve erections and help rein in "urinary incontinence" — which the University of California, Los Angeles, urology department said is particularly helpful for those recovering from surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Kegels are also key to "stronger erections and orgasms," according to Cosmopolitan.
But why should men, or really, why should anyone do Kegels? What even is a Kegel, you may ask: It's a tightening and release of the pubococcygeus, PC, muscle that comes with a few noteworthy benefits, doctors say.
One of the small handful of benefits attached to having internal genitalia is the ability to stealthily work it out whenever you please, wherever you please, without the people around you noticing. Male Kegels can be comparably subtle; it all depends on how hard one wants to go.
"Kegels are not something to be whispered about," according to KegelsForMenTips.com. "They are an important part of a healthy sex life and everyone needs to know about them."
So let's not whisper about them. Let's talk about Kegels loudly and in mixed company, because it's 2016 and 2016 is sex-positive.
Step one is figuring out where the pelvic floor muscles are. This handy booklet from UCLA, "Kegel Exercises for Men," said not to worry, "it may take you several tries to find your pelvic muscles. So, take your time." Here's how you can locate them, according to the booklet: Assume urination position at a toilet or urinal as usual, but instead of letting your stream flow freely, try stopping it and restarting it a few times.
The muscles you use to do this are pelvic floor muscles; to do Kegels, simply squeeze the muscles and hold for five seconds, then release and repeat, 10 to 20 times, three or four times daily. Another way to work those muscles, the booklet advised, is to tighten your anus "like you are holding a bowel movement," relax the pelvic floor muscles upon release and repeat for 10 or 20 reps.
When doing a Kegel, don't hold your breath or bear down, and clench only the pelvic floor muscles, the booklet said. This exercise does not involve the abs, butt or thighs; this is all about your pelvis.
Kegels needn't stop with mere squeeze-and-release motions, though. Some penis-havers may want to go further. Some may want to hang weights off their members and strengthen them more intensively, in the hopes that targeted exercise might give them bionic boners. Siegel's system, the Private Gym Exercise Program, blends male Kegels with resistance weight training, the New York Times reported, and there are options like the Kegel Male Exercise Trainer (which also calls itself "The Stud Trainer"). There are many choices for male Kegelers who want more out of their genital workout than mere flexing can offer.
Whether or not any of these weight programs actually produce stronger, longer erections, Kegels do seem to help men control their urinary tracts, which is important as they age. So if you do Kegels early and often, your privates may thank you.