Have you ever wandered around an adult store and wondered what the sets of small, metal, silicone or plastic balls are that hang around in the vibrator section? Or why they’re strangely heavy when you pick them up? Well, my friend, you’ve just picked up some kegel balls! Don’t be scared, they’re friendly.
So, what are they? Well, firstly ‘kegel balls’ (sometimes called Ben Wa Balls: see the Blink 182 song of the same name if you think you’ve heard this one before) are named after the pelvic floor muscles, and the exercises we do to strengthen them, kegels! Kegels get their namesake from an American gynaecologist, Henry Arnold Kegel, who first defined such exercises (I live to go down in history in a similar way). These exercises involve tightening and holding, then releasing the pelvic floor muscles, these are the same muscles we use to hold on before urinating, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.
To make it clear, those with penises do have kegel muscles and associated exercises too, but today we’re talking about vagina havers, as these balls are designed for the vaginal kegel muscles!
So – what do we do with these elusive little balls? It’s fairly simple – they go in the vagina, and we tense our muscles to keep them in. Using kegel balls is like adding a 20kg squat bar to a body weight squat – they’re like going to the gym for your vagina (don’t worry though, these exercises are not strenuous).
The first step – the most important – is to come into Oh! Zone Caringbah and buy a set! A great set of kegel balls are the We Vibe BLOOM set – these come with 3 weights that you can unscrew and change on a base object. It has a string for easy removal and comes in an awesome peach coloured silicone. Oh, AND, they vibrate! AND you can control their vibration from your phone with the awesome We Connect app! There are so many great features to these kegel balls, come in and check them out and we can tell you all about it at Oh!Zone Caringbah.
The second step is to thoroughly clean the balls before the first use and before every use after that. Cleanliness is important, for many reasons, but mostly to avoid growth of bacteria and infections down there!
The third step is to get into a comfortable position to insert them, relax and take it easy, ensuring that if there’s any discomfort, you grab some water based lube (pjur AQUA – available at Oh! Zone Caringbah), and stop if any pain is felt.
Step four is to assess how you feel, are they comfortable? Heavy? Too heavy? Adjust accordingly.
Then – clench! Step five is to stand up and clench your muscles, keeping the balls inside, or trying other movements like moving them up and down. You can squat, lie down, stand up, walk or try keeping them in while you go about your morning or daily routine.
Finally, when you’re finished with your ‘exercise’ the balls can be removed by the string attached. If you’ve chosen balls with no string, you can ease into relaxing the muscles and allowing them to fall out. If you have any trouble with this, you can use your pjur AQUA water based lube (or whatever lube is on hand) to use your fingers to get them out. Be assured there is no way they can get lost up there.
Choosing the right balls:
Importantly, when you come into Oh! Zone Caringbah, we can help you choose the correct size and weight for your kegel balls. Consider things such as the ease with which you use tampons, whether small tampons easily fall out, or are too big. Kegels generally come in 3 sizes, small, medium and large, though this can vary between brands.
Kegel balls also come in different weights, usually light, medium and heavy sizes. They’re mostly sold in sets, some individually, but it’s a good idea to buy a set so you can move up or down as necessary. If the balls are too heavy, and hard to keep in, start lighter and work your way up to the heavier sizes, which you will be able to use as your muscles become stronger.
Firstly, as I mentioned above, there are kegel balls that vibrate. What does this add to the exercise you ask? The most important part – pleasure! Kegel balls can provide an awesome pleasurable experience and be used in foreplay as well as being an exercise tool.
Another pleasure related benefit – tighter kegel muscles can improve the overall tightness of the vagina. As we all know, some penises (and the people attached) LOVE a tight vagina, so this can increase his pleasure as well as yours.
Finally, these are the same muscles we use to hold on before we go to the bathroom for a number one. For women who struggle with leakage, or who have had problems with their pelvic floor since having children, strengthening these muscles can help with that. We absolutely recommend seeing your GP before committing to a kegel ball based recovery plan, especially if you have had gynecological surgery, are recovering from childbirth, pregnant, have an intrauterine device or have an active pelvic infection or pain.
To summarise – we thank our American gyno Dr Kegel for figuring out such an awesome exercise for this part of our body, and we would love to see you at Oh! Zone Caringbah to pick up a set!
Katie is a sales consultant at Oh! Zone Adult Store in Caringbah