You’ve probably noticed that your erections aren’t always consistent—you may be standing at attention one day, but flying half-mast the next. What gives?

Well, there are lots of things that affect the strength of your erection, from mental factors such as stress or anxiety to physical factors such as exercise or alcohol. And the strength of your penis is also, not surprisingly, a factor.  

Well, sort of. Your penis isn’t a muscle, so you can’t really make it “stronger.” “You don’t need to do anything to keep your penis in working shape,” says Los Angeles-based urologist Philip Werthman, director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal. “It’s not a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario.” But there are some things you can do to improve your sexual strength, including Kegel exercises. Click to the next page to find out what they are. 

Your penis may not be a muscle, but it is surrounded by muscles, which are collectively called the pelvic floor muscles. And you can strengthen these muscles with Kegel exercises (no, Kegels are not just for women).

Kegel exercises are simple contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to identify these muscles is to try to stop urinating halfway through your stream—the muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. To do Kegel exercises, you will need to contract these muscles for five seconds and then release them for five seconds. Do this 10 times, three times a day.

According to Werthman, Kegel exercises are the first step to helping you last longer in bed, in effect "strengthening" your penis. “Being able to contract your pelvic floor muscles will let you ‘shut off’ your orgasm when you’re getting close,” Werthman explains. “This will let you have sex for longer without orgasming quickly.” And, of course, when you do finally orgasm it will be much more intense.

Kegel exercises are the only specific exercises that can improve your sexual strength, but hitting the gym is also good news for your sex life. Sex is an aerobic activity, after all, and being in good aerobic shape will help your stamina in bed. Werthman also points out that full body weight workouts help boost testosterone, and higher testosterone leads to improved erections.