Staring unblinkingly at your screen thinking: ‘What the hell’s a perineum?’
You’re not alone.
But like the Toblerone bear – or how the UK/Ireland’s shaped like a man riding a pig kicking a dog – once you know it’s there, you’ll wonder how you ever missed it.
The perineum, or ‘gooch’, is the area between the anus and the scrotum. Or vulva. Or whatever super amazing sex organs you’re rocking down there.
But it’s also much more than that.
Think of it as the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It’s just like that. But on your body. A hardworking, fascinating part of the body at that, and one that has the potential to reenergize your sex life… Here are five fast facts about it.
1 It’s full of nerve endings
Mr Alfred Kinsey (of the Kinsey Scale fame) classified the perineum as a male erogenous zone in his famous Kinsey Report books in the 1940s. His classification system is probably a bit outdated by today’s sex and gender perspectives. So suffice to say, everyone’s perineum is sensitive to a degree.
It is especially erogenous for penis owners though, as the muscles become engorged with blood during sexual intercourse and stimulation. So that’s the best time to explore it!
2 Strengthening it can prevent premature ejaculation
Exercising the pelvic floor muscles couldn’t be more straightforward. (For a detailed breakdown on how to do it, the NHS has got you covered.)
What’s more, the myriad benefits of strengthening the perineum include weight loss, preparation for childbirth, an increase of orgasmic pleasure and also the delay of premature ejaculation.
3 It helps you hold in urine
Another amazing and essential function, no? Indeed another huge benefit of ‘Kegel Exercises’ – as they’re known in the US – is to help you control when you pass urine.
It’s the same regardless of what sex organs you have – when you stop urinating mid-flow, those are the muscles you use. (But that in and of itself does not constitute a Kegel Exercise; experts say it’s bad for you, so avoid that when you can!)
In France, these muscles are so respected that child-bearers are offered physio on the state to ‘re-educate’ the pelvic floor to help ensure continence. Fantastique!
4 It aids erections
Penis owners, take note: protecting your perineum from injury is important for a healthy sex life.
The area contains vital blood vessels that send blood to the genitals, while the nerve endings send sexual messages to the brain. Damaging this area – for example, from certain sexual practises (involving broomsticks and the like…) or excessive cycling – can cause sexual problems.
Avid cyclists: avoid the issue by opting for comfortable, and preferably noseless, bike seat. Boris bikes, begone!
5 You can use it to indirectly access the prostate
The G spot extraordinaire that is the prostate is located two inches inside the rectal canal.
Stimulating it – for example, through receptive anal sex – can of course lead to intense sexual pleasure.
But if you or your partner aren’t into bottoming or fingering, a perineum massage is a light, noninvasive alternative. Try a combination of fingers and knuckles to find the right amount of pressure. YOU’RE WELCOME.