Forget perfume, whipped cream and the small fortune you’re about to drop on some slinky lingerie. With this simple technique you’ll be well on your way to the ultimate pleasure

You’ll do sit-ups to whittle your middle and lunges to tone your thighs. But when’s the last time you did Kegel exercises to strengthen your pubococcygeal (PC) muscle? Working out your PC muscle—which stretches from the pubic bone to the tailbone and is engaged when you squeeze your pelvic-floor muscle to stop urination—can make lovemaking explosive. “Strengthening the PC muscle almost guarantees a woman more pleasure during sex because the exercises heighten her response to vaginal stimulation,” explains Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., ESSENCE sex columnist and the author of Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve (Putnam, January 2006). “And if the sex leads to orgasm, her orgasm will be much more intense and satisfying whether she’s alone or with a partner.”

You can do Kegels anytime, anywhere. Just imagine that you’re stuck in traffic after drinking three glasses of water. Contract the pelvic-floor muscle, and hold it in for as long as you can. Once you have the technique down, do 25 to 50 squeezes twice a day. Inhale as you contract, exhale as you release. If you make Kegels part of your daily routine—say while you’re brushing your teeth or lying in bed—you won’t forget to do them.

As you’re mastering this move, you may want to invest in a sex toy specifically designed to work your love muscle. Don’t blow your dough on tools that overpromise (“You’ll have the best orgasm of your life!”) Keep it simple. Some ideas: Kegelcisor ($79.95, or Betty’s Vaginal Barbell, a slightly lighter model that was designed by sexologist Betty Dodson ($74.95, These vaginal barbells are made of metal and have balls on each end for an easy grip. Énergie ($49.95, This plastic-coated, ergonomically correct tool does double duty as a G-spot stimulator. GyneFlex (two for $39.95, The tension in these pretty plastic tongs varies so you can tailor it to your growing PC muscle strength.

Once you have built up your PC muscle, you’ll be able to work some magic between the sheets. Hutcherson suggests that you flex as your partner moves his penis in and out during sex. “Squeeze down on the most sensitive part of his penis—the rim around the head and the area underneath it—as he withdraws,” she explains. “Do it tightly enough and you’ll hear a popping noise. It drives men wild.” If your muscles get very strong, you’ll even be able to use them to move his penis deeper inside you. As he strokes your most sensitive spots, you’ll both be on your way to a powerful orgasm.

Working the PC muscle isn’t just for women. Twice a day your man should squeeze his PC muscle 25 to 50 times as if he’s stopping urine flow. His payoff? Deeper orgasms—and more control over how quickly he climaxes. How’s that for a win-win situation?