Why Bearing Down During Sex is Bad

Why Bearing Down During Sex is Badlemon

Getting your pelvic floor involved in making penetrative play more enjoyable can be an excellent way to enhance sexual pleasure for yourself and a partner. Yet there’s a lot of misinformation and lack of awareness on how to use our pelvic floors during sex and masturbation, it can be very easy to get it wrong, sometimes even leading to discomfort and even in extreme cases, injury. There are some sex guides that are even advertising the wrong methods to help enhance pressure onto a penis when it is inside the vagina.

This method of pelvic floor contraction is known as bearing down, and whilst it can be used to put a lot of pressure on a penis or dildo shaft, it can cause pelvic floor weakness and tightness in the long run. A few of these guides written for cis-gendered women generally make me wonder if they really were designed to help women achieve pleasure, as this way of utilising the pelvic floor really only have benefits for the person with the penis once inserted into the vagina. I’ve known women try and do this method as they are taught to believe it’s how they perform functional movement with their pelvic floor, and it really makes me wish pelvic floor exercises were taught to all within the school environment correctly, to prevent later in life injuries. Not only could we prevent unneeded and expensive surgeries with correct pelvic floor movements and functions, many of use can have better and stronger orgasms as a result of it.

Good pelvic floor function can also help our bodies produce lubricant. When we squeeze our pelvic floor correctly it brings blood flow to the genitals and helps with arousal. However, when we bear down on the pelvic floor the muscles can become tense and go into shock to protect the organs from prolapse. This can then also result in pelvic pain and discomfort during penetration and climax. We aren’t always aware that we are bearing down during sex or masturbation, and this is where getting to know your own body is key. There are many fancy biofeedback devices out there, but our fingers are the best ones we have on hand to check how our pelvic floor is functioning.

To see if your pelvic floor is doing the correct movement, simply relax your body and lie on your bed or couch. With lubricant at the ready, slip a finger inside of your vagina and see if you can tighten around it. Next, see if you can grab and squeeze the finger up inside your body. If done correctly you will feel the walls of your vaginal canal go upwards, if it’s done incorrectly, you will feel these very same walls push into your finger trying to eject it out of you.

Even when we have the correct way to use our kegels during sex and masturbation sometimes we can still bear down. If you’re stressed and the rest of your body is tense it can cause a kinetic chain effect on the pelvic floor. Stress is probably one of the worst things when we want our body to function correctly, and the traditional hunching over reflex can not only upset how your muscles behave, but can put more internal pressure on your pelvic floor and push it down. If we have a bad sexual experience that causes a fight or flight response it can lead to a similar reaction, making penetration difficult and painful in the future. This can then become habit forming and lead to pelvic pain conditions. Pelvic pain conditions can benefit from help from a good sex coach or therapist to help re-establish a positive mind body connection. A pelvic floor corrective exercise specialist or women’s health physio can then help get the pelvic muscles firing correctly too.

There’s still very little evidence that large sex toys can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. If you try and go up a sex toy size too rapidly it can lead to the body try and reject the toy as you haven’t warmed up the muscles enough, meaning they become tight and automatically try and protect itself by pushing down and out. This is why it is always important to take things slow and incorporate foreplay into your masturbation and sexual play.

If you’re someone who chronically bears down when you perform a pelvic floor contraction it’s worth noting that it can take time to correct this dysfunctional pattern. There may also be other muscle dysfunctions in the area that are making it harder to perform a kegel correctly. When checking your pelvic floor, if there’s a sexual position you find particularly uncomfortable, it’s worth checking if your pelvic floor is bearing down or squeezing up during these positions. Some may find they are more likely to bear down in one position but not others. Gravity can be a factor to influence our bodies pelvic floor function and if there is pelvic floor weakness then the added resistance from gravity may be too much and instead of lifting it the PC muscles push down.

How we breath can influence our pelvic floor and encourage it to lift or bear down. Every pant we make during sex, to intense screams, all work alongside our pelvic floor and help you feel more pleasure. Often when your panting is quick and forceful your pelvic floor contracts quickly and works its fast twitch muscle fibres. When you experience that loan climatic groan, it can make your pelvic floors slow twitch muscles kick in and squeeze and lift up and hold for one amazing orgasmic moment. This is why faking orgasms can work if you get the breathing right. It’s easy to get the breathing wrong though and cause pressure on your pelvic floor and make it bear down. When we breath solely into our bellies it can cause lower abs to bulge and put pressure onto the bladder and pelvic floor. Breathing just into our chest can also lead to issues and reduce the enjoyment received from sexual stimulation. Our bodies and pelvic floor work best when we learn how to breath into our back and front evenly, and this is why mindfulness is helpful.

Mindfulness and bringing awareness to your pelvic floor can help wake up your body and also relax you so you can fully enjoy sexual pleasure and stimulation. Simply whilst sitting take a deep slow breath in, making sure it expands your back, front and sides equally. To check you can put one hand on your stomach and the other on your back and feel your body push against them as you breath in. As you breath out, breath from your mouth and gently squeeze your pelvic floor together and up. Aim to breath out to the point where you make a groaning sigh or cough even. If your pelvic floor lift and squeeze stops and drops before the end of the breath, don’t force it up and strain yourself, just have it as something to work towards. Once you have mastered the long slow breaths you can then use the same method for quickly rapid breaths, but always making sure the expansion in and out of your body is balanced.

It’s important to learn how to lift, squeeze, and breathe with our pelvic floor muscles correctly, not only to heighten sexual pleasure and stimulation but to help prevent POP (pelvic floor prolapse). If you feel deep tensions and pressure in your pelvic floor region it is important to always get it checked out by a medical professional.

If you’re struggling to get the correct mechanics in your pelvic floor but aren’t comfortable to see a pelvic floor exercise coach or women’s health physio, you can invest in pelvic floor apps that help cue you to do the correct movement. There are even some sex toys that act as biofeedback devices, from ones that vibrate when you lift and squeeze to others that connect to a mobile app and keep record of the improvements you are showing throughout every use. Jiggle balls or also known as free roaming kegel balls can act as a form of sensory biofeedback as you can feel them vibrate inside your body as you squeeze and lift. These are often weighted and can help some people build a stronger pelvic floor, however, it’s worth noting without good function strength cannot form fully. Starting at the lightest weight is key with free roaming kegel balls because if you are only just learning to become aware of your muscles you don’t want to rush and overdo it.

There’s more and more knowledge on pelvic floor function now, and the bearing down method for sexual pleasure is thankfully being educated less. It’s worth remember our vaginas aren’t trying to project missiles across a room, but more that if you enjoy penetration that the squeeze and lift can be erotic and romantic when done with a lover with a penis as it pulls them closer to you literally.


Some top options for those just learning to squeeze and lift their pelvic floor are:

Squeezy The App.

Squeezy is an NHS backed app that is often recommended by pelvic floor specialists and physio. This app is pretty good at helping you keep progress of your pelvic floor workouts, and helps you set achievable goals. It can help you remember how to do kegels effectively and safely. It can also be used as an affordable way to keep up motivation when using other biofeedback pelvic floor home devices, but if you are working alongside a health professional, they can help you put together a personalised workout that you can revisit when needed too. At £2.99 it’s a really good investment, and some people find that it is all they need for encouraging a healthy pelvic floor workout routine.

Squeezy NHS app

The Lovehoney Main Squeeze Single Kegel Ball 30g.

This single kegel ball may seem small, but it’s worth remembering the focus shouldn’t be on using too heavy of a weight at first. This kegel ball should be enough for you to bring awareness to your pelvic floor muscles whilst avoiding to over strain them. Once you’ve worked on getting the correct function, and perfected your squeeze and lift, you can then look into going up to more weight if these balls are a sensation you enjoy.lovehoney single kegel ball


The Elvie Rechargeable App Controlled Kegel Exercise Trainer.

This pelvic floor trainer is the gold standard of the pelvic floor exercise device. The Elvie is built with the ability to tell you when you are contracting your pelvic floor correctly. It records your progress and pelvic floor strength via an app on your phone and can be a reassuring method to see the results displaying that your pelvic floor is not only functioning correctly but it also is strong too. The app also helps cue you on how to squeeze and lift, adding visual stimulation to help the brain’s mind-body connection sync more fluidly.

Elvie app controlled kegel device



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