Do kegels really help with PE?

A strong PC muscle has multiple health benefits. But do kegels help with premature ejaculation? Or make us come sooner (ouch)?

Guy working out hard

Alex’s story: powering through with kegel control

Alex read up on how to last longer in bed, and every article talked about the benefits of kegel exercises. He learned how building a stronger PC muscle helps men to enjoy firmer erections and have more control over when they come. He even joined a penis training forum, where an enthusiastic community discussed advanced kegel routines and positive results.

As a dedicated gym-goer, the idea of training muscles appealed to Alex. It felt proactive – something positive he could do to build up his sexual stamina.

He diligently did his kegels every day, gradually increasing sets and reps. He did them on the way to work, watching Netflix, lying in bed. He went back to the forum to get inspiration and ideas from the PC muscle gurus.

Alex had always struggled with lasting longer, so he was prepared to put the work in. He read that pelvic training takes time before it starts making a difference, so he tried to be patient.

After a couple of months, however, Alex couldn’t help feeling disappointed. Sex with his girlfriend Sarah felt the same. He could hold on pretty well when she went down on him, but as soon as intercourse began he could feel the tingling of ejaculation. Shouldn’t his PC muscle be trained enough to withstand the stimulation by now?

Alex could kegel and reverse-kegel for over 50 reps, and no longer considered himself a beginner. He tried to activate his kegel powers during sex, by squeezing his PC muscle as soon as he felt himself approach orgasm.

This had mixed results: sometimes he lost his erection, or he came anyway with a weaker orgasm, or he ejaculated without any orgasm sensation at all.

Much to his frustration, he just couldn’t hold back his ejaculation. Doing all these PC exercises started to feel pointless, but what else could he do?

If anything, all this effort was making sex less pleasurable and more stressful. Sarah noticed his distraction and discomfort too. A sense of hopelessness set in. Alex worried he’d be an early-finisher for life.

Why did kegels work for all those guys on the forum, all those guys in the advice articles, but not for him?

What’s going on?

There’s something about kegel training that appeals to our masculine mindset. There is a problem because I have a weakness, but I can train my body to get stronger and take control.

I’ve seen those forums and subreddits too. There are guys in there who dedicate vast amounts of their time to PC muscle development, often accompanied by eye-watering penis stretching and lengthening techniques.

Perineal muscle strengthening in a nutshell: what is a kegel?

Doing a kegel is easy, and you already do them without trying. You’ve noticed those pulsating contractions that you feel just before and after you come? That’s your PC muscle activating, and ejaculation wouldn’t happen without it.

When you squeeze out the last few drops after urinating, you also contract the same group of muscles. To really feel a kegel squeeze as opposed to just clenching your butt, pretend that you are stopping an imaginary flow of urine.

That squeeze, the contraction and release of the muscles between the base of your penis and ass, is a kegel. You are activating your PC muscle each time you do it.

Conditioning this area will pay dividends in later life. You’ll enjoy fewer nocturnal toilet visits and lower risk of leakage when you laugh too hard. If you ever undergo prostate surgery, kegels will assist your recovery too.

But what about sexual benefits right now?

So do kegels help with premature ejaculation? Numerous studies have been conducted and the results say yes.

For example, a 2014 Italian study took 40 men with lifelong PE and put them through a PC muscle rehab routine. Initially, their average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (lasting time) was less than 1 minute.

After 12 weeks of kegel training, there was a significant improvement. At least 33 of them were averaging well over 2 minutes. When 13 of these guys were evaluated 6 months later, they were still pushing almost 2 minutes on average.

The study concluded that PC muscle rehab was a much more viable treatment for premature ejaculation than SSRI medication. It’s infinitely better for our long-term health too.

But a strong PC muscle can backfire too

So far, so good. But here’s where we tend to go wrong (and where many forum posts and clickbait articles get it wrong): trying to use our PC muscle to stop ourselves from ejaculating.

Clenching the muscle and stopping those contractions seems so logical, right? A million men try it. Alex tried it. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t work.

In fact, repeatedly kegeling during sex has the opposite effect. This is why some guys find themselves coming even more rapidly, despite having a pelvic floor that could swing a kettlebell.

Holding it in may work for other bodily functions (urinating, defecating) but it cannot fend off the ejaculation reflex.

Muscle contraction around the pelvic floor, glutes and whole lower body primes the pump for ejaculation. It’s an essential, natural part of the ejaculation process. Deliberately squeezing the PC muscle stimulates the prostate, which also encourages ejaculation.

Here’s the painful irony: if you have strengthened your PC muscle by doing kegels, and you contract it hard during sex, you may well come even faster. Try too hard and you might even damage yourself.

Ouch. That’s not what Alex trained for.

What works best?

Yes, do your kegel exercises. If you struggle with PE, by all means work on strengthening your pelvic floor. Reverse-kegels are possibly even more effective, so look them up too if you aren’t familiar.

Training helps us to feel like we are working towards positive changes and improvements. It can help with general confidence building. And the physical benefits are legit.

Doing kegels helps us to get better connected with our bodies and more aware of the sensations and muscle tensions of imminent ejaculation.

But overcoming PE isn’t all about kegels. PC muscle training can be part of a strategy to develop our sexual function. We need to get better at noticing our arousal levels and switching to a more relaxed state. So how does having a stronger pelvic floor help in this respect?

When we’re able to flex and tighten a muscle on demand, we’re able to relax it too. We know exactly how to locate that specific group of muscles and actively discharge tension, right in that spot. We know what PC muscle relaxation actually feels like.

Takeaway tip: During sex, try doing one brief kegel and then relax. Focus on that feeling of pelvic relaxation, breathe and stay relaxed down there. You don’t need to freeze or stop moving, just get used to moving with less tension and muscle activation.

Don’t wait until the point of no return to try this. Get into the habit of relaxing your pelvis and midsection before it feels necessary.

When you are approaching the point of orgasm and you want to stay in control, fully relax without kegeling. This might take practise, but it’s an effective way to lower your sexual excitement in the moment.

Alex continued with moderate kegels to keep his PC muscle in shape. When he was having sex with Sarah, he would try to stay as relaxed as he could. They enjoyed finding positions that helped make this easier and seeing just how long Alex could go. He would kegel briefly for the relaxation reflex, and then completely let go.

So enough trying to make sex last through sheer kegel-power. Understand how ejaculatory control really works. Breathe, pay attention to your partner, connect and relax into sex.

And if you find yourself on the PEGym Kegel Mastery forums, feel free to spread the word.

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