Wiki

Perineum

By Jayne Renault

The perineum is the anatomical area located at the base of the pelvis diaphragm between the anus and vulva or scrotum. 

Common slang terms for this area of the body include taint (as in “T'ain't your balls [or vagina] and t'ain't your ass”) gooch, and grundle. Chode can also be used to refer to this area, though it is more typically applied to a penis whose girth is greater than its length. All of these names are also still commonly used as insults or derogatory language.

Anatomy of the Perineum

The perineum is broadly defined as the superficial area between the pubic symphysis (i.e. the anterior connection of the pubic bones beneath the flesh of the mons pubis) and the coccyx (i.e. the tailbone), though this definition can vary. In some cases, it refers merely to this external sensitive fleshy area between the legs, while in others it also includes the deeper structures in this region of the pelvis.

An important component of the perineum is the perineal body, the central tendon that runs through the middle of the perineum that maintains the integrity of the pelvic floor. It is possible to rupture this tendon during childbirth, which can result in the prolapsing of internal structures including the uterus, rectum, and urinary bladder.

This area around the perineum can be strengthened through performing Kegels, exercises designed for pelvic floor muscle strengthening, and tended to with massage.

The Perineum as an Erogenous Zone

The perineum is not only located near the common erogenous zones of the genitals and anus, it is an erogenous zone in its own right. Packed with nerve-endings, the internal structure of the perineum, the external tissues, and the skin around this area have been identified as erogenous zones which can be stimulated to experience pleasurable sensations. 

Pleasure responses will vary depending on intensity of stimulation (e.g. light stroking versus more focused pressure or massage), style of stimulation (e.g. fingers versus a vibrating sex toy), the immediate level of arousal the person being stimulated, and one’s body’s unique preferences.

How to Stimulate the Perineum

Where a prostate is present, it can be palpated through the perineum. Applying pressure to or massaging the perineum can therefore serve as a means of stimulating the prostate during sexual play with the intention of enhancing sexual pleasure and possible orgasm. This method can be explored either alone during a masturbation session or with a partner during partner sex activities.

The internal structure of the perineum can also be stimulated internally. It can be accessed by inserting a finger or sex toy just beyond the opening of the vagina and applying pressure towards the anus, or via tha anus and applying pressure in the direction of the perineal area.

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