Andrew Siegel, MD 1/3/2015
(For those not into current slang, BFF refers to “Best Friends Forever,” describing a long-standing friendship that will go on forever.)
** Although this blog is seemingly directed towards men, au contraire. This information is equally relevant to the ladies! Remember that the clitoris is the female counterpart to the penis and it is qualitatively the same, although smaller in stature, and the pelvic muscles that support the genitals are virtually the same.
(Thank you Gray’s Anatomy 1918 for above image of comparative embryology of male and female genitals.)
> 600 Muscles, But Some You Just Can’t Live Without
There are over 600 muscles in your body and let’s face it, they are all important. However, some muscles are more critical to your survival and well being than others. It’s a no-brainer that your heart muscle is valedictorian, followed by your diaphragm. Your heart pumps blood and your diaphragm moves air, functions essential to your existence and quantity of life. Not far down from the top of the list are your pelvic floor muscles (PFM), which provide support to your pelvic organs, allow urinary and bowel control and give you the means to function sexually. Without them you are nothing other than diapered and limp.
A Brief Review of Muscles
There are three kinds of muscles: cardiac (heart), smooth (arteries, intestine, bladder, etc.) and skeletal. Skeletal muscles have numerous different functions, acting as movers, stabilizers, and compressors.
Movers (such as your biceps) act across joints, which allows you to curl your arm up. Stabilizers (such as the multifidis of the back) enable you to maintain good posture and stability. Compressors (such as the rectus abdominis, obliques and transversus abdominis) squeeze the abdominal contents. Other compression muscles act as sphincters; wrapped around the urinary and intestinal tracts, they open and close to provide valve-like control.
(Thank you Gray’s Anatomy 1918 for images of male and female PFM)
Two of the PFM —the bulbocavernosus (BC) and ischiocavernosus (IC) muscles—are particularly beneficial for your sexual health. They function as movers, stabilizers and compressors. When your penis is erect, these are your friends that are responsible for lifting your penis up and down as you contract and relax them. They stabilize the erect penis so that it stays rigid and skyward-angling with excellent “posture.” They compress the deep roots of the penis, responsible for the transformation of the penis from plump to rigid and maintaining that rigidity; additionally, they compress the urethra (urinary channel that runs through the penis) rhythmically at the time of ejaculation.
The BC surrounds the inner, deeper portion of the urethra. I refer to it as the ejaculator. In its relaxed state, it acts as an internal strut that helps anchor the deepest, internal aspect of the penis. When the muscle is contracted actively after urination, it compresses the urethra to expel (ejaculate) the last few drops of urine that sit in the deep urethra. During sex, it helps support the spongy erectile body that surrounds the urethra and the head of penis. At the time of climax, it is responsible for the expulsion of semen (ejaculation) by virtue of its strong rhythmic contractions.
The IC surrounds the inner, deeper portion of the erectile bodies, so I refer to it as the erector. In its relaxed state, it acts as an internal strut that helps anchor the deepest aspect of the erectile bodies to the pelvic bones. The IC stabilizes the erect penis and compresses the erectile bodies, decreasing the return of blood to foster penile blood pressures in the severe hypertensive range that allow the penis to have bone-like penile rigidity. At the time of climax, it contracts rhythmically and is responsible for maximal erectile rigidity at the time of ejaculation.
How to Turn Your Best Friends Into Super-Compressors
Use It Or Lose It. Keep your BC and IC muscles in shape by using them the way nature intended. Studies have clearly demonstrated that men who are more sexually active tend to have fewer problems with ED as they age.
Exercise Your BFF Muscles. The BC and IC muscles play a vital role with regards to both erections and ejaculation. Numerous studies have documented the benefits of pelvic exercises in the management of erectile dysfunction. But why wait for dysfunction to set in? Since sexual function inevitably declines with aging, whip your pelvic muscles into shape to help maintain your function. Take it even one step further: work out your pelvic muscles to achieve optimal function. As your pelvic floor muscles increase in strength, tone, and endurance, erections and ejaculation will improve accordingly. The pelvic muscles—like other muscles in your body—will gradually and progressively adapt to the load placed upon them and will strengthen in accordance with the resistance applied.
Bottom Line: If the core muscles are the “powerhouse” of the body, the pelvic floor muscles (floor of the core) are the “powerhouse” of the penis. To maintain optimal “horsepower,” keep your pelvic floor muscles fit and toned.
Wishing you the best of health,
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Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo) and paperback: http://www.MalePelvicFitness.com
Co-creator of Private Gym pelvic floor muscle training program for men: http://www.PrivateGym.com Gym-available on Amazon as well as Private Gym website
The Private Gym is a comprehensive, interactive, follow-along exercise program that provides the resources to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are vital to sexual and urinary health. The program builds upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, who popularized exercises for women to increase pelvic strength and tone. This FDA registered program is effective, safe and easy-to-use: The “Basic Training” program strengthens the pelvic floor muscles with a series of progressive “Kegel” exercises and the “Complete Program” provides maximum opportunity for gains through its patented resistance equipment.
Tags: Andrew Siegel MD, Arnold Kegel MD, best friends forever, BFF, bulbocavernosus muscle, clitoris, compressors, erection chamber, ischiocavernosus muscle, male pelvic fitness, movers, muscles, pelvic floor muscle training, pelvic floor muscles, penis, Private Gym, stabilizers