What Is Pompoir & Would You Really Want To Do It?

Because there’s no such thing as knowing too much about sex—especially if you always want to keep it—there’s a new word to add to your sexual vocabulary: pompoir. Personally, I thought it was somehow related to pompadours and immediately started picturing pubic hair all big and stylish. However, a pompoir is anything but that. Instead, it’s some proper penis “milking” action and then some.

  1. It kind of sounds like Kegels. Pompoirs require that a woman use her vaginal muscles to stimulate her partner’s penis. At first you might be thinking, “Oh, Kegels during intercourse! I’ve done that! It was great and relatively easy!” But there’s more to it than that. Like, way more.
  2. Pompoirs are far more complicated than regular vag exercises. While Kegel exercises are done to strengthen the pelvic floor, helping with incontinence and orgasm strength and frequency, pompoirs are a bit more involved. It’s not just about squeezing and contracting those muscles in a way that lifts the pelvic floor, but about two other movements: pushing and pulling. That’s right; you push and pull your partner’s penis with your vaginal muscles. Oh, you also do this pushing, pulling, squeezing, and contracting at the same time, because of course.
  3. It’s actually not something new. Like most (if not all) sex-related things, pompoirs aren’t some new trendy thing that someone just made up last week. Pompoirs actually date way the hell back, thousands of years ago to “ancient” India, when Hindu dancers used it. However, there’s no explanation as to how or what type of dancing this was, if it involved a pompoir or two, but I guess that’s not the point. It also has some history in Arabic nations as well.
  4. Don’t expect to be able to figure out how to do it. According to pompoir expert Denise Da Costa, because you’re forcing your vaginal muscles to push, pull, twist (we’ll get to that), and basically give a wild and crazy dance routine, all for the pleasure of your male partner, it’s far from easy to pull off. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll live your whole life and never figure it out. I’d like to be positive, but sometimes it’s best to just be honest.
  5. You can easily practice the aforementioned twisting technique at home. If you just said, “WTF?” out loud, please know that you were not alone. I, too, just did the same, while recoiling away from my computer. As expert Da Costa told Cosmo, “The easiest way to explain this is if you hold a pen between your thumb and pointer finger. You then move them in opposite directions, twisting the pen. You do the same concept with your vaginal muscles on your partner’s genitals.” Easy-peasy pumpkin pie, right?
  6. It’s about manipulating your partner’s junk. While no guy is likely to complain if you give a little squeeze with your vaginal muscles during intercourse, that’s no pompoir. To properly pompoir, you’re supposed to “manipulate” your partner’s genitals, as in move them. That’s right, sort of toss them around with your vagina, almost as if you were flipping dough to make a pizza. THE WORLD’S BEST PIZZA.
  7. It’s mentioned in The Joy of Sex. In 1972, the world was rocked to its very core with the publication of The Joy of Sex. Sex? A joy? (At this time, it was still believed women didn’t have sexual fantasies, but I digress.) Although outdated now in many ways, the legendary how-to manual mentioned the pompoir but, being that it was still 1972, it didn’t fully explain it in detail. It just told women that should they be able to master such a technique, she would instantly be turned into a goddess. Seriously.
  8. If you can pull off the pompoir, you’re the greatest women on the planet. Because women comparing themselves against other women is always healthy, as is taking advice from books written in 1972, according to The Joy of Sex, if you can master the pompoir, your “husband will then value [you] above all women, nor would exchange [you] for the most beautiful queen in the Three Worlds.” Last I checked, there was only one world, as we know it, and like a never-ending amount of planets, but, again, I digress.
  9. You can invest in toys to help. If you’re reading all this and shaking your first at the sky wondering why you can’t do the pompoir and what it will it take to procure not just a man but keep a man, taking your rightful seat as the most beautiful queen of the three worlds, then investing in vibrating Ben Wa Balls — you know because trying to keep those things inside you with your vaginal muscles wasn’t hard enough as is, so they needed to throw some vibration into the mix — will help get you one step closer to pompoir. Maybe. (But probably not.)
  10. I mean, you might as well try it. Takeaway? Pompoir exercises are hard and you’ll probably never be able to do them, but you can buy some Ben Wa Balls to help you out, because why the hell not? Ultimately, sex is about experimentation and exploration, so trying something new, even if it doesn’t go as planned, it isn’t a failure or even a waste of time. If anything, it gives you and your partner a proper giggle, and if you can’t laugh during sex, then you’re taking yourself way too seriously. Sex is supposed to be fun and, on occasion, funny, too. So, you might as well add it to your sexual bucket list for shits and giggles.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.