Friday, December 28, 2012


A fellow reviewer, Pandwhora on twitter, has started a year-long project to do kegel exercising daily. She'll be documenting her experiences under the hashtag #operationkegel on twitter.

View of female lower abdomen
showing pelvic floor muscles,
courtesy of the Incontinence Foundation
of Australia. 
I think this is a fantastic idea. Kegel exercises- exercising the Pelvic Floor Muscles- are beneficial for a variety of reasons. Through regular exercise (with or without an aid), you can squeeze these muscles during intercourse, which is pleasurable for your partner and doing so during orgasm can result in more intense orgasms. It can help you 'revive' your vagina after a vaginal birth, and can also help prevent tearing during a vaginal child birth if you've taken the time to work the muscles out before hand. Having stronger pelvic floor muscles can also prevent incontinence as you get older. This is because the pelvic floor muscle encases the urethra, anus, and in the case of women, the vagina.

There are quite a few ways to work out your kegels, but the two factions are with and without an aid. Here's a step-by-step guide from the Mayo Clinic on how to find and exercise your pelvic floor muscles without an aid:

  • Find the right muscles.
  • To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you've got the right muscles.
  • Perfect your technique.
  • Once you've identified your pelvic floor muscles, empty your bladder and lie on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions
    Maintain your focus.
View of male lower abdomen showing
pelvic floor muscles,  again courtesy
of the Incontinence Foundation of Australia.
    For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.
    Repeat 3 times a day.
    Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

Don't make a habit of using Kegel exercises  to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.
There are currently a large variety of kegel exercisers on the market- Ben Wa or 'Pleasure Balls', Kegel Balls, The Aneros Evi, a few different Kegel Wands, and the Magic Banana are the basic groups as I know them. 
Red Jasper Luz de La Riva Ben Wa Balls.
At $600 (that's the sale price) these are incredibly expensive,
but they are certainly lovely. 
Ben-Wa or Pleasure Balls are small, solid, usually metal balls that are inserted vaginally. Because they're heavy, they'll start to try to fall out of your vagina, and you need to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles to keep them inside of you. Some people are concerned that they'll "get lost" but your cervix will make sure they don't go anywhere. If they travel farther up the vaginal canal, all you need to do is stand up and let gravity do it's work. For use as a kegel exerciser (they were originally created to be used during intercourse), these can be difficult though. Their small shape and heavy weight means that they are more difficult to use than their larger cousins, the Kegel Balls, and are better to use if your muscles are stronger, to make your exercise more challenging. Examples range significantly in material and price, and sometimes even size. Some examples include the simple Stone Egg, the luxurious Red Jasper Cautiva Spheres by Luz de La Riva, and you can find typical metal ben-wa balls in most adult stores. Climax used to make glass ones tethered together by a silicone sleeve, but apparently they are no longer in production. A shame! If you know of any good glass kegel exercisers, please let me know. 
Lelo's Luna Beads, showing the two different weights
and the silicone holster.
Kegel Balls Though sometimes put in the same category as Ben-Wa balls, I generally put Kegel Balls into a separate category. Ben-Wa Balls, in my mind, are solid, whereas Kegel Balls are hollow with another ball inside that moves around, usually larger than your typical Ben Wa, and  they have a sleeve or are connected -frequently in pairs of two- and have a 'retrieval cord' rather than having to let them fall out to get them back. There is a little bit of over-lap between the two groups, though. Kegel Balls sit snugly with your pelvic floor muscles and the movement of the internal balls is not only pleasurable but elicits contractions from your kegel muscles- meaning they are considerably easier to use than Ben Wa Balls (they don't fall out, it's less 'work' to use them) and I recommend them as a good beginning choice. Some fantastic examples of this kind of exerciser are Lelo's Luna Beads, which in their original form come with a sleeve that can hold two balls, and 4 balls with 2 different weights. This means that you can have a more custom experience- in each weight, there's one ball that has a retrieval cord, which can be used alone- or you can use any combination of weights in the sleeve. They also make Luna Beads Mini, which are good for people who have smaller vaginal canals or find that anything too large is painful for them, and Luna Beads Noir which only come with two balls rather than four. Fun Factory makes Smart Balls in single and double  ball forms, and Je Joue makes their Ami set, which comes with three different exercisers in varying forms and weights. 
The Aneros Evi is a completely unique and new form of kegel exercise- while doing kegels with it, the toy moves back and forth, stimulating your clitoris and gspot. Though it may not work for everyone, as everyone is shaped differently, I believe they've put the same amount of research into this as they have their award-winning prostate massagers. The Evi is something I hope to try sometime- though other kegel exercisers are meant to be pleasurable, none are quite like this one. 
Kegel Exercising Wands come in all shapes and sizes. Some items whose main function aren't kegel exercise, such as the Njoy Pure Wand, are fantastic Kegel Wands as well. The main difference here is that you'd have one end of the toy inserted, and the other hanging out. You'd have to be naked, using the outer portion of the wand for it's gravity, holding on so it doesn't drop. I'd say this is definitely a more advanced exercise, especially with the Pure Wand which is heavy stainless steel. Some other examples include the hard plastic Energie Kegel Exerciser, the silicone Kona, the stainless steel Betty's Barbell, the Berman Center Acrylic Weighted Dildo, and pretty much anything else that you can put in your vagina and hold on to. The Tantus Realdoe and Feeldoe as well as Fun Factory's Share line (all 'strapless strap-ons') are also great for kegel exercises- and if you want to use them without a harness, you're definitely going to have to have strong pelvic floor muscles. 
There are few toys catered specifically to pelvic floor exercise for men,  but Aneros makes a Unisex Anal Exerciser and as far as I'm concerned, you should be able to do exercises with the right anal plugs, though I'm not sure which would be best. Here's a guide from the University of Michigan on determining which muscles are your pelvic floor muscles and how to exercise them if you're male-bodied. 


  1. Fantastic post! - Thanks for the mention of Operation Kegel!

  2. This was such a great post! I love my Lelo Luna Minis - if I use them a few hours before sex, they really help to increase my natural lubrication. Plus, they're fun to wear!