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If you have had a baby, it is quite possible that you are concerned with more than just the tightness of your abs since giving birth. Let’s just say that your other set of lips may not be as resilient as you would like them to be, and after pushing a 6-10 pound screamer out of your love kitty, you might just notice a difference in the amount of sensation and, let’s just say “tightness” (or lack thereof) during sex once you have gotten the go-ahead to resume sexual relations with your partner.

Although your partner may be worried that it will be like “throwing a hot dog down a hallway;” in reality, most women do not notice much of a difference in the tightness of their vagina after giving birth nor do their partners notice that anything has been stretched out or malformed. But for a certain percentage of moms, sex just doesn’t feel the same after the miracle of childbirth, and this could be due to a loosening of the pelvic floor muscles-you know, the ones you used to push that slimy ball of joy out of your uterus. Is it really all that surprising that things might not bounce right back to where they were before the blessed event.

Perhaps you aren’t able to orgasm as easily because there is not enough friction, or your partner feels like the fit isn’t quite as tight as it used to be. Maybe, even maybe, you are experiencing urinal incontinence and discomfort, something you thought would disappear once the oven roaster stuffer wasn’t pressing on your bladder anymore. In these cases, there are very simple exercises that can help get your vagina back into tip-top shape. You may have heard of them – they are called KEGELS and they are really easy and painless (and may be priceless for your sex life, and your ability to hold your pee, in the long run).

Now, most women will recognize Kegels already from learning from their midwife or obstetrician that doing Kegels would strengthen the muscles that assist in childbirth. Turns out that those same muscles also determine how tightly your partner fits in your “love glove,” so it only makes sense that these exercises would also serve a sexual purpose as well, right? Right. So here is how it works:

The pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder and bowel, as well as provide the necessary friction during sex to create stimulation. When these muscles become lax due to childbirth, being overweight, a chronic cough, or aging, certain undesirable symptoms can occur-such as urine or bowel incontinence (can you say EW?), inability to reach orgasm (double EW), or a lack of friction on your partner’s member during sex, thus decreasing the amount of pleasure during lovemaking sessions for both of you. Kegel exercises involve contracting the vaginal muscles on a regular basis to tone them (just like crunches tone your abs) so that they are more elastic, tighter and stronger. This will lead to a decreased likelihood of those nasty side effects, and perhaps a better (and more orgasmic) sex life. RAWR!

So you think you are ready to transform your loose, flaccid cooter into a tight, wet love muscle? First and foremost, you have to isolate the muscles you need to contract. To contract your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping the flow of your urine while you are on the toilet-those muscles that you use are exactly what you need to contract to do your Kegels. Or, put your finger up inside your vagina and try to squeeze against your finger. There you have it. You may feel like you can’t contract very hard, but the more you do so and strengthen them, the more pronounced each contraction will be. Then you are ready to jam out with your clam out, just like before that baby pushed itself into this world and changed the topography down south.

Once you have determined where exactly you are supposed to be focusing, you can begin your Kegel routine. First of all, empty your bladder before beginning, because contracting the muscles with a full bladder can actually end up weakening them. Sit or lie down and concentrate on contracting the pelvic floor muscles, holding the contraction for three seconds, and then release for three seconds. Do this 10 times in a row. Once you feel comfortable with the three-second contraction routine, move up to four, then five, all the way up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds. Be sure you are ONLY tightening the pelvic floor muscles and not your abs, thighs or bum-this will isolate the correct muscles to provide the proper amount of contraction to get them nice and toned. Also, remember to breathe and don’t hold your breath. Relax the rest of your body and focus on those muscles around your vagina and rectum-those are the ones that will make the difference!

For the best results, perform three sets of 10 Kegels per day, getting yourself into a routine so you remember every day. Try doing them while making the coffee every morning or walking the dog. Maybe you want to make it a point to do them while checking your morning e-mail at work. Don’t worry, nobody will be able to tell what you are doing; Kegels are VERY discreet. You can also try mixing things up a bit by varying how you do your Kegels. Instead of holding each contraction for a long period of time, try contracting and releasing very quickly for 20 seconds, then rest and repeat. Or start contracting lightly and each time you contract, contract harder until you are contracting as hard as you can, then work your way back down. All these variations will work your pelvic floor muscles in different ways to get the ultimate results and get your hoo-ha taut and tight in no time.

So what do you do if you try and try and just can’t seem to contract ANYTHING down there? Some women have a hard time contracting the proper muscles for Kegels, occasionally because the muscles have become so weak that they don’t contract very easily. In this case, pulling out the good ‘ole toy box can be a great way to get more acquainted with the area, while stimulating yourself at the same time. Try using a non-vibrating dildo, such as the NJoy Pure Wand or something similarly designed. Put the wand inside your vagina and notice which muscles are hugging the toy. Try to squeeze against the dildo and when you bring the balls at the end in and out, notice where it feels tighter as it enters and exits. This will pinpoint the muscles you need to contract to do your Kegels.

If you start doing your Kegels today, and do them religiously every day, you should notice a difference in your “loose lips” within six to 12 weeks, maybe even sooner. Every woman (and her vagina) is different, so results may vary, and they may be dramatic (a significant increase in sensation or ability to orgasm during sex) or subtle (more like throwing a big Polish sausage down a hallway instead of a hotdog). But the more you do them in the long term, the more you (and your partner) will benefit from the orgasmic results.

AND you won’t be investing in adult diapers anytime soon. There’s always that too.