Are you a tight ass? What does your pelvic floor say about your mental health and well-being?

by ih-mmd ih-mmd

Muscles in all areas of our bodies, including the pelvic floor, have the potential to be affected by emotional forces. Pleasurable experiences and emotions tend to relax, energize, or expand us while non-pleasurable ones tend to make us tense up, contract, and perhaps depress us. Most of the time these reactions are transient, just as our experiences tend to be, and our muscles will return to a baseline range of function. If, however, the emotional impulse is strong enough or if it is present for a significant length of time, the potential arises for our muscular response to evolve into a chronic pattern which could eventually result in pain and dysfunction.

The pelvic floor includes the genitals and anus, and the muscles that attach to the tailbone (coccyx) are the pubococcygeus, Iliococcygeus, and ischiococcygeus, as well as some fibers of the gluteus maximus.  This region even in our very open oversharing society is taboo for many men. Often we are taught that this area of our bodies is dirty or shameful, and embarrassing to discuss. We learn as children that it has something to do with bodily functions and is somehow connected with sex, and when we explore it we can be reprimanded, punished, or made to feel guilty. Sometimes this can result in lifelong patterns of unconscious protection or guarding in this area. Even as adults, our culture has a difficult time talking about it in a straightforward manner. We sometimes refer to it as "down there", as if using real anatomic terms would be too awkward.

For some men, letting go and feeling open in the pelvic floor can be especially challenging because being "in control" often means holding on, repressing feelings, being uptight, and distancing themselves from their softer, more receptive sides. The person who is rigid in his [pelvic floor] frequently also suppresses his emotions, with overemphasizes intellectual control and is very driven. Another name for this individual is the typical 'tight-ass' who is holding on to all his expressions and feelings. Allowing oneself to relax and be vulnerable by voluntarily surrendering control can be a psychological and interpersonal asset.

In many cultures and traditions the pelvic floor, including the perineum, is an often a significant and sometimes central aspect of the practice of philosophy. The pelvic floor is understood to be a vital energy center and learning methods of accessing, expanding, and channeling this energy through awareness, intention, and physical contraction and relaxation of the muscles may offer you a beneficial therapy. Beyond the purely physical realms of anatomy and movement, the pelvic floor plays an important role in a man’s mental health.