So you want a workout that makes sex more pleasurable, huh? You and me both.
From increasing testosterone levels to making your orgasms more intense, exercise is one of the quickest routes to a more satisfying sex life. And that’s true across the board, whether it’s partnered sex you’re having, solo sex, or both. But what specific fitness hacks yield the most sexual benefits?
Come with me (to the gym), and let’s get you a training program that meets your sex goals.
1. Weight Lifting
If there’s only one exercise strategy you try on this list, make it this one. Strength training encourages your body to produce more testosterone, which increases sexual desire. (And can also help with erectile function, if you’re a penis owner.)
The devil is in the details, though. When it comes to testosterone production, how you train matters. Follow these tips:
- Make it a full body workout. That will positively affect your testosterone levels more than isolating one muscle group (only doing squats, for example).
- Lift heavier weights with less reps, rather than lighter weights with many reps.
- Don’t overdo it: overtraining can lead to a drop in testosterone levels and a corresponding rise in levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.
One of the easiest, most impactful ways to “work out,” you can do kegels any time of day, with any set of genitals. Doing so will intensify your orgasm, giving you stronger pelvic floor contractions. Can I get an amen?
The key here is consistency. To get in the habit of doing your kegels, here are my tips:
- Set a daily timer on your phone.
- Squeeze your pelvic floor: it should feel like you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
- Release slowly, and repeat 10x.
- Once this feels good, work up to three sessions a day.
Disclaimer: if you experience vaginismus (involuntary tightening of vaginal wall muscles), kegels are not recommended. Find a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy.
Another way to practice kegels is during intercourse itself, aka edging. Personally, I enjoy this with the assistance of a couple’s toy, where both partners are receiving simultaneous, orgasm-inducing stimulation. That means you both have to work that much harder to resist climax, leading to a more intense finish. (And, a stronger pelvic floor.) For hetero sex, LELO’s couple’s ring Tor 2 is a great option to practice edging, helping a penis owner maintain erection by keeping blood in the penis, and, keeping it bigger. Meanwhile, the built-in vibrator gives the vulva owner targeted clitoral stimulation. If you want to try it, enter EMILY at checkout for a 25% off discount.
3. Core Training
As mentioned above, your pelvic floor muscles are the ones responsible for orgasmic contractions. These muscles form the base of what we colloquially call “the core,” so when you train your core muscles, you’re strengthening your pelvic floor as well – especially when the exercise targets your transversus abdominis. It’s your deepest abdominal layer, and great exercises for it include:
- Forearm plank
- Leg lowers/raises lying flat on your back
- Hollow body hold
4. Cardio of your choosing
Whether it’s a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout, a swim or even a walk around the block, the most important thing is that you’re doing it consistently. Ideally, on a daily basis.
When your body is used to creating full-body blood flow, that’s good news for your genitals. They get habituated to engorgement, which is necessary for sensitivity, sexual arousal and erectile health. If you’re a penis owner, erectile dysfunction is very rarely a problem isolated to the penis itself, it’s often a cardiovascular health issue related to blood flow efficiency. If you’re a vulva owner, sexual responsiveness is heightened when you’re doing cardio on the regular. The more you work out, the more your genital nerve endings get stimulated.
No, this isn’t the time I’m going to tell you about tantric sex (although you can listen to me speak about tantra and its intimacy benefits here).
When it comes to sex, any yoga practice will improve your breathing: crucial for calming your mind, and getting into your body. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing – the kind we do in yoga – stimulates your vagus nerve, a very cool nervous system pathway that runs from your brain all the way down to your lower intestine. It’s in charge of your “rest and digest” response, rather than “fight or flight.”
Deep breaths stimulate the vagus nerve, which is the body’s way of saying: “ahhhh. Things are all good and I can relax now.” This is the state we need to be in for sex, especially if you deal with intrusive thoughts that block your erotic flow.
What workouts are you doing lately, that amp up your sex drive? I’d love to hear from you. Come talk to me on Instagram, at @sexwithemily.