In Her Words
Pilates to Get Your Sex On
Workouts for a better sex life
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been horrified by all the gruesome things ladies are doing to their vaginas lately. From the grossly misnamed “vaginal rejuvenation” procedure to the g-spot shot, women are paying medical professionals to cut, tighten and adjust – all in a quest for great sex. Surely there must be a more pleasant way to make our bodies more receptive to the big O. And certainly that method wouldn’t involve lasers or (ack!) otherwise maiming our delicate vag tissue.
There is an easier way. It’s called Pilates. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but what you probably haven’t heard is that it’s a great workout for what Oprah has dubbed your vajayjay (God, I hate that word!).
Clare Amory has been practicing Pilates for 10 years and began teaching four years ago. Last year she opened her own studio, Flesh and Bone, in scenic Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I caught up with her to get the skinny on how Pilates can impact a lady’s sweet booty action.
Clare, tell me about Pilates – specifically, Pilates and sex. I’ve taken classes with you and you’re always talking about the pelvic floor. This sounds vaguely dirty …
The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles at the base of your pelvis. Some people hold a whole bunch of tension there, but if you have the ability to contract and fully release your pelvic floor at will, you’re open to a whole bunch of new sensations.
The more familiar you are with what these muscles can do and how to use them, the more possibilities you have.
How do I figure that out?
To feel your pelvic floor – it’s not quite your peeing muscles – but if you think about where your sitz bones are, when you sit on someone’s lap, the sitz bones are the ones that dig into their legs. By squeezing those bones towards each other, you activate your pelvic floor.
Which is orgasm central!
It’s not just about that – the Pilates philosophy is that you’re always involving your whole body. Just like when you’re having sex, you wouldn’t just use your vagina.
If I was going to give someone a workout focused on the pelvic floor, I might start with a modification on an exercise called the Breathing, where you lay on your back, with your feet flat on the floor. You pull navel to spine, and then tilt your pelvis so that you press the air out from under your back, squeeze your butt – your sitz bones – together and then lift your pelvis off the ground. Stay up for a long, soft inhale and then slowly roll your spine back to the floor or bed. Don’t forget to pay attention to the feeling of release in your pelvis as you come back to rest. Repeat this five times.
I hate my abs. I’d rather have someone put a finger up my pooper than touch my tummy. Any advice for improving that situation?
The connection between your abs and your pelvic muscles is something that people take for granted. What happens in the rest of your torso affects the muscles in your privates. So learning to understand and control your abdominal muscles will give you a lot more options in bed – and a lot more awareness of the possibilities of your sensations.
What other exercises can improve my sex life?
You should do push-ups too.
Ugh. I knew you’d say that. I hate push-ups.
Make a plank by getting down into doggie style and then walk your knees back so you make a diagonal. You never want to do more than 10, and really you should probably only do five, but do them well. Because you’ll need your arms and your back in bed.
Oh, yeah, your back – that’s important!
A lot of people can’t have sex because they have back problems. The thing with doing smart push-ups is that they strengthen and support your back.
Form is very important. The most important thing is, first, you don’t want to sink in your lower back – you want to think of your navel lifting up to the ceiling behind you. Think about it for a long time while you’re setting up, and then exercise for a short time.
Another thing that most people do is move too much at their shoulders and drop their head crunching their neck. Ouch! You don’t want to move your shoulders too much, so push down through your hands to lift your back. Most people – when they do that properly – can only bend their elbows two or three inches, until they get strong.
So it doesn’t matter how low you go, as long as you do it right.
Exactly. If you do these two exercises, you’ll be strengthening your legs, pelvic floor, abs and arms; strengthening and supporting your back; and developing your awareness and ability to have greater sensations.
(Translation: sensations = orgasms.)