If you haven’t heard about Kegels before, girl, are you missing out! No matter what your age or gender, Kegel exercises make for happy and healthy sex organs.

First described by gynecologist Arnold Kegel in 1948, Kegel exercises are the contracting and releasing of the pelvic floor. Exercising these particular muscles helps in urinary (and fecal!) incontinence in both men and women, especially for women during their pregnancy, as well as positively contributing to one’s sex life. A woman who does her Kegels regularly can have longer and more intense orgasms, and men who also make the exercises part of their daily lives, can see increased intensity and size of their erection. (Note: I said erection, not penis.) I mean do you really need another reason besides a better sex life to get your Kegels on?

First of all, let’s get familiar with the area in question. Your pelvic floor is just where it sounds like it should be: underneath the pelvis. It’s comprised of three layers of muscles, which function as a support network for the bladder, intestines, and the uterus. It also plays a major role in the pregnancy, especially the birth, as it guides the baby out through the pelvic region.

How To Do Kegel Exercises:

1. Find the right muscles. The easiest way to find your pelvic floor is to stop mid-pee. Yes, this cannot feel so great if you really need to pee, but if you can do it and hold it for a second then you’ve properly located the correct muscles. Woo hoo, go you!

2. Practice flexing a bit.When you stopped your pee midstream, you were probably able to feel exactly what you contracted, then released to finish going to the bathroom. It was that contraction and release that is, essentially, on a small scale, a Kegel. If you can make the muscular movement while sitting, standing, or lying down, then you’re more than halfway there to perfecting your Kegel exercises.

In any of those positions, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles in and up, as if you’re trying to pick up something with your vagina. Hold it for three to five seconds, then release for three to five seconds. Do it a few more times until you really get a grasp of what it feels like to make this exercise with your body. It will require some focus, in the beginning, but remember, it’s for the sake of your sex life, (and other things too, of course). Your focus is a wise investment on this one.

If you find you’re squeezing your butt or your stomach, then you’re doing it wrong. You may have to head back to the toilet to remind yourself how it should feel.

3. Make it a regular exercise. The thing with exercise — all exercise — is that the best results come from doing it on a regular basis. Doctors suggest that doing 10 to 15 repetitions of Kegels, at least three times a day, will make for a very happy body. And once you have your personal technique down, you can pretty much do them everywhere and anywhere. (And if for some reason you’re not into doing Kegels, you can try these five alternatives to strengthening your pelvic floor.)

What Do Kegel Exercises Do? 

Quite a bit, actually. As Dr. Marianne Brandon explains, “Many women don’t realize that their pelvic floor muscles are involved in urinary, bowel, and sexual health. If these muscles are weak, doing Kegel exercises daily can help strengthen them.” Simple and the point, yes? Here’s a list of the wonderful things that Kegel exercises can do for your pelvic floor:

1. Aid in incontinence. If you don’t know what “incontinence” means, then consider yourself lucky. In the simplest terms, it’s loss of bladder, and sometimes, anal control. No one, and I mean no one, wants to be out in a social situation, or even home alone, and have to deal with this kind of leak. But doing regular Kegel exercises will strengthen the muscles around the bladder and intestines and help keep any unnecessary incontinence far, far away.

2. Keeps things in place down there. A necessary part of aging is that everything starts to sag. And yes, we mean everything: aging and even childbirth can result in a uterine prolapse, which basically means that your uterus drops out of place and, in some cases, can actually dangle out of the vagina. So, if you ever wanted to see your uterus up close and personal, then skip your Kegel exercises. If not, then you know what you need to do.

3. Makes for better orgasms. If you haven’t already learned about Kegels from the pages of Cosmo, consider this your introduction: these are the muscles you use during sex, both by yourself and with partners. When you contract and release your pelvic muscles, you’re toning the pubococcygeus (along with all those other parts that are more than a mouthful to say). In keeping these muscles in tip-top condition, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that not only will your orgasms be more intense, but you’ll find it easier to get to them.

4. Ease the final trimester of a pregnancy. As we already covered, Kegels are great in incontinence issues, which is something all pregnant women experience toward the end of their pregnancy. But overall, they just make those final weeks more comfortable. When you think about the stress that your body is under by that point, you’d be crazy not to get your Kegels on as soon as possible, if you’re planning to have a child.Takeaway? Start doing your Kegel exercises tonight!