Throughout pregnancy, one is likely to be lectured on the importance of doing kegel exercises. "Kegels," refer to strengthening the muscles that hold everything together "down there," including your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. This can be especially important after birth, when "down there" can take a bit of a beating (or at least an intense stretching). But, if you're anything like me, making a concerted effort to sit around flexing your fancy bits feels boring. So I have come up with a way to make things more interesting by imagining 10 "naughty" places to do kegels. Have I personally performed kegel exercises in these locations? Maybe I have and maybe I haven't. A lady does not reveal her sexy, muscular secrets, dear reader.
Before we get into the "where" let's talk about the how. There are a number of ways you can strengthen your pelvic muscles, but my favorite (which you can do literally anywhere) is as follows:
Step 1: Squeeze your muscles like you're trying to hold in pee.
Step 2: Hold it for about three seconds.
Step 3: Release those muscles.
Step 4: Congratulate yourself on having just done a kegel.
There are myriad benefits to performing these simple exercises. They can get your vagine back into fighting shape after having a baby (or into fighting shape before baby); improve urinary incontinence (most sneezing mothers can assure you this is an issue); and improve your sex life. But, as with any exercise, you have to have some fun with it in order to keep the regimen going. So where can you perform these otherwise uninteresting duties that will make you feel powerful, subversive, or maybe even a little bit sexy?
A Fancy Tea Party
I feel like there is something exhilarating and refreshing about doing kegels while engaging in such a dainty, traditionally-seen-as-feminine activity. It's like, "Yes, I am a demure, cultured woman of sophistication and grace who can crush walnuts with her vaginal muscles even though her power tunnel shot out a 9 pound baby and lived to tell the tale. Milk and two lumps of sugar, please, Lady Josephine!"
Chuck E. Cheese
Because there is nothing quite like seeing a horde of screaming, sugar-high children running around like orcs from Lord of the Rings to make the ol' baby shoot super tense as it silently screams, "No! No (more) babies!" I figure: may as well make the most of it, right?
Sure, it might feel sort of naughty to concentrate on kegels in the middle of a children's restaurant, but no shame in the pelvic floor game.
A House Of Worship
Maybe this is just my Catholic upbringing, but thinking about vaginas in church (even in a completely non-sexual context) seems super naughty. But, verily, is not a vagina sacred unto the body? For, lo, on the sixth day, God created both Man and Woman (and, by extension, I'm figuring vaginas) and said unto them, "I hath given thee thine pelvic floors: strengthen them, my children, as thou strengthen thy love in Me."
I imagine, anyway. I wasn't really paying attention in church. I was too busy doing kegels.
Your Uptight Aunt Lucinda's Parlor
You know the "company parlor" where you're not actually allowed to sit on the furniture or touch anything. Why do you even have that room, Aunt Lucinda? Anyway, kegels in such a location would be deliciously naughty, because you know that if she knew that's what you were doing she would probably have some sort of prissy conniption fit.
A Business Lunch
You know when corporate motivational speakers talk about "power poses?" Particular (usually hyper-masculine) stances you can take on in order to assert dominance over your employees, co-workers, partners, and clients? I feel like this is the feminist answer to a power pose. Just sit politely, make direct eye contact with your associate and clench. Eventually, they may figure out what you're doing: let them know. And if they don't know, that's OK, too. They will never the less sense the awesome powers at work going on in your pelvic region.
But at, like, a museum dedicated to classical art. In a Modern art museum I feel like someone sitting around doing kegels would be an insipid, self-congratulatory installation that some critic would describe as "bold and genius." Kegels in an art museum would feel naughty for similar reasons it would feel naughty to do kegels at a tea party, but, really, it makes sense. There are so many naked images in a museum, it stands to reason you'd start thinking about your own meatbag and perhaps even be inspired to keep it going healthy and strong.
A PTA Meeting
Just because you're so damn bored and over it and Julie Henderson won't stop whining about the agenda items from last meeting. That's old business, Henderson! Let's figure out what we're doing for the Kindergarten end-of-year party and move the eff on. Jeez.
Kegels are a great way to appear engaged when, in fact, you've completely checked out because you can't get a word in edgewise if you tried. It's basically the non-sexual equivalent of masturbating just because you have nothing better to do. (Don't you look at me like that: we've all been there.)
People look at you and see a nebbish bookworm, what with your downcast looks and glasses. But deep inside you are a powerhouse, contracting and releasing like a damn champion. Yours is the Andre the Giant of vaginas: athletic, epic, mythical, larger than life, a force of nature. This is the beauty of kegels: things are not always exactly as they appear.
Here's a fun activity: try doing kegels to the rhythm of the ocean tides. Simply sit in your beach chair, stick your toes in the sand, feel the warm sun on your face and one, two, three, release. Good! Keep that up. People can go on an on about getting in shape for the beach, but much more exciting, fun (and, dare we say, maybe a little naughty) is getting your vag in shape on the beach.
On An Airplane
Join the Mile High Club of those of us dedicated to maintaining a pelvic floor you could bounce a quarter off of. Besides: it's a plane. What the hell else are you going to do as you aimlessly tool around the runway waiting to take off? Don't think of it as a delay. Think if it as an opportunity to improve your inner-most self.