As I’ve been making eco-friendly changes and learning more about childbirth and my body, I’ve realized that there will always be opposition to these topics. I feel lucky to live in a time when I have so much access to what I consider important information. I am also glad that I have a network of like-minded supporters for my choices.
The fact that this poster, about KEGELS, is turning into a controversy is mind blowing to me. The ad is part of a greater wellness campaign by Veria Living, a health and wellness cable network. I think the original ad is great. However, telling a woman that it’s wrong to do kegels is like telling a runner that it is wrong to exercise his or her legs. We were made to have babies and it takes a muscle to push out those babies.
(Courtesy Kara Rozansky)
An article on Gothamist hastily declared that this poster is making some wonder, “What is wrong with this World?” I couldn’t disagree more. If anything, I think that this poster should be in every midwife or Doctor’s office as a friendly and funny reminder to squeeze. I think that a sex-ed class that focused on this topic instead of how to select a tampon would be much more effective for the next generation. I wish someone had said to me in my teens, “There is nothing wrong with your body. This is what it can do. It’s beautiful, natural, and you don’t need a man to use your parts. Also, try a menstrual cup instead of a tampon so that you stop having cramps and headaches.”
First of all, we need to stop sexualizing Kegel exercises. When I was pregnant, I desperately searched for an app to find out how to kegel, what to kegel, and why to kegel. My best option was called, “Sex with Emily.” I think that this is sad for two reasons. How, at 25 years old, did I not know anything about kegeling besides Cosmo’s hasty instructions to ‘squeeze like you have to pee’? The other reason it is sad is that a 8 months pregnant, the last thoughts I wanted to combine were sex and exercise. If someone developed a Kegel App that ended with a nap, I would be all over that.
Since we’re on the topic, I’ll tell you what I know. Kegels are important. You need to do them or your vagina will fall out. I don’t know if that is exactly true, but I know that kegels are exercise and they are good for you. When you stretch and tighten muscles they work better in the long run. Exercise is a key component of pregnancy, too. Many workout videos suggest a few kegels in the middle of the program. I imagine that is why my step-mother chose not to do her videos in front of me and the additional teenagers in the house during her pregnancy. But, so what if she had? We could have all giggled about it the first 19 times and then, by the end of it we would be well on our way to being strong enough to give birth. It takes effort to push out a baby. This is why we call it labor.
How do you Kegel?
I don’t know how you kegel. Maybe you squeeze at every traffic stop. I’m truly asking a question here. I kegel infrequently, but I wish I remembered to do it more often. I love that Lindsay Brin reminds me to do them during toning exercises so I truly feel that I get a full-body workout. There are some serious kegel experts in this world and I would welcome the opportunity to learn more from them. Again, a kegel class would have been much more beneficial than AP calc at this point in my life. I plan to have more babies. There is no more space in my mind for differential equations.
Kegels aren’t just for Hippies
Women who give birth naturally aren’t plagued by stretchy vaginas. We can all tighten, relax, and rebuild our muscles prior to birth and after. Having a c-section also doesn’t prevent pelvic floor injuries. The benefits of kegeling reach far beyond the bedroom. We need these muscles to have more babies, to jump on trampolines, and to sneeze. Think of all the sanitary napkins we would save! While we’re on the topic of sanitary napkins, maybe it’s time to talk about mama cloth, too. There are helpful resources all over the internet on how to have a “greener” period. The experts in the eco-friendly world of feminine care are certainly less patronizing than Kotex. It’s true- you can run while you have your period!
Will Learning about Kegels Make my Teenager More Sexual?
I’ve made a decision to be a willing and honest resource for my girls when they are older. We’ll talk about kegels, natural labor, childbirth, sex, periods and I’ll answer their questions as honestly as possible. I will probably giggle because I am very immature about the topic. In my experience, the friends that I have known with open-minded parents have very reasonable attitudes about sex.
If you are offended by this post in any way, I would encourage you to start kegeling right now. Be sure to hold your breath while you hold your vagina. Keep holding… keep holding…