Since the 1940s, women have been instructed to do their kegel exercises to keep their pelvic floor muscles nice and strong, prepare the body for childbirth, and ward off a number of health issues. These days, things have gone a step further — we have Ben Wa balls and fitbits that measure and reward your kegels, and then there’s the curious phenomenon of ‘vaginal weightlifting’.
While the women of the world are busy squeezing away and attaching tiny weights to their most intimate parts, it seems men have been handed a free pass… or so we thought.
Evidently, penis strength training is very much a real thing. Vice writer Justin Caffier recently dipped his toe (well not his toe, exactly…) into this brave new world after learning of Private Gym, a ‘pelvic muscle exercises system for men’ — in other words, a gym for your penis.
It’s pretty compelling stuff, so you can’t blame Caffier for placing an order. His Private Gym delivery contained a book and instructional DVD, along with a “rubberised snap bracelet” for the penis with a 70g weight attached — and another 70g weight that could be attached when more of a challenge was required.
Before he could use the weights, Caffier had to build up “base strength” by squeezing and releasing his pelvic floor muscles for 10 minutes at a time, without an erection. He soon learned the joys of exercising your bits in public while strangers around are none the wiser — something we vagina owners are well familiar with.
“I did this routine while crawling in traffic, while watching a movie, and while seated at cafes with nice families strolling by, blissfully unaware of how hard I was squeezing,” Caffier writes for Vice. (Post continues after gallery.)
After a few weeks of this, it was time for the weights — a squeeze-and-release process that proved a little less dignified than simple pelvic floor exercises. For one, Caffier had to remain “pantsless and erect” for the duration of the exercises.
“I live alone, but the idea (unlikely as it may have been) of the police or a burglar breaking down my front door and catching me in the act was enough for me to relegate all that undignified nonsense to the shower,” Caffier recalls.
"Inevitably, I'd lose my hard-on after a few "reps" and have to joylessly stroke myself back to rigidity able to hold the weight. My dick seemed to know this ploy was not rooted in pleasure, and stubbornly refused to cooperate... It was as perfunctory and boring a jerk session as you might imagine."
Pardon the pun, but you have to admit that sounds like hard work. After a month of penile weight lifting, Caffier asked a sex partner whether she'd noticed any changes in his performance. The verdict? Not exactly.
"I wasn't exactly imagining my dick was going to suddenly grow a bicep with a waving American flag tattooed on it like I was living in a Popeye bit, but finding out there was no discernible change in performance was a bit disheartening," Caffier writes. (Post continues after video.)
According to Private Gym's website, pelvic exercises offer as many health benefits for men as they do for women. These include reduced incontinence, prevention of prostate inflammation, and stronger erections and ejaculations. In a 2005 study into the effects of pelvic muscle exercises on men, 76 per cent of subjects improved their erectile function.
Regardless of the immediate outcome, we're secretly quite happy the pelvic floor strength onus doesn't lie exclusively with women.
Do you regularly do your pelvic muscle exercises?