The first step in learning how to exercise these muscles is to locate them. Stopping the flow of urine midstream tends to be an easy way to figure out where and what these muscles are. Though, as is the case with women, men shouldn’t exclusively rely on this technique. “That’s not good for your bladder, constantly stopping and squeezing,” says sex educator and author of "Sex Yourself" Carlyle Jansen. “But you can do it a couple of times to isolate those muscles.”
“One fun way to exercise these muscles is by putting a towel over your erect penis so you can raise and lower your member. You’ll see the towel going up and down,” Jansen says.
But perhaps the most pleasurable means of performing kegel exercises is through sex. Strong pelvic floor muscles are often associated with improved orgasms.
“Those are the muscles that contract when we orgasm. The stronger they are, the more powerful the orgasm,” Jansen explains, adding, “For men who have a hard time controlling their ejaculation, learning how to do this will also help them delay ejaculation.”
In some cases, Jansen explains, kegel exercises can help men learn to become multi-orgasmic. Achieving multiple orgasms as a man often involves what’s known as squeeze techniques. Through this method, men are taught to place their index finger and thumb around the shaft of the penis upon reaching “the moment of ejaculatory inevitability." Jansen explains that men who have strong pelvic floor muscles are able to perform this technique through kegel exercises alone, no hands needed.
"The idea with squeezing your urethra is that you get closer and closer to having the orgasm while stopping before the ejaculation," says Jansen. “Orgasm and ejaculation are two separate events. But for most men, with penile stimulation, you have the orgasm and ejaculation within one second of each other, so it feels like it's one and the same." (There are also other ways for men to achieve multi-orgasmic experiences.)
Jansen suggests that men try performing their kegel exercises in the nude.
“When we try to squeeze our pelvic floor, we often engage our abdomen, and/or our butt muscles, and/or our thigh muscles," she says. “One advantage of doing it naked is that you can look in the mirror. When you squeeze, you shouldn’t see your abdomen, your thighs or your butt moving, or feel them moving."
Of course, kegel exercises aren’t just about sex. In many cases, Jansen says, men are instructed to perform pelvic floor exercises in order to address urinary incontinence, which can be brought on by a number of different factors, including diabetes and prostate surgery. “It’s sort of something doctors tell you to do behind closed doors, “ says Jansen.
Carrie Weisman is an AlterNet staff writer who focuses on sex, relationships and culture. Got tips, ideas or a first-person story? Email her.