Kegels… These pelvic floor clenching motions are often described in terms usually saved for the gym: “exercise,” “workout,” “strength.” Those words can be helpful descriptors, because doing kegels definitely makes the pelvic floor stronger. But this language can also make kegels sound dreary—because exercise, for a lot of us, falls under the category of “duty,” the same as doing the dishes, flossing, or looking over a bank statement.
That’s sad, because kegels can be easy and even fun—for almost any body*—everyone’s experience will be different, but pelvic floor strengthening can produce concrete, noticeable results above and beyond those of your typical gym routine. There are countless cases where people (especially people with clits and vaginas) have experienced one or more of the following after strengthening their pelvic floor: First orgasms. Stronger orgasms. Multiple orgasms. And in people with penises, kegels have the effect of allowing for better stamina and ejaculatory control, as well as being a helpful step toward prostate orgasms.
Kegel exercises aren’t just another chore that you have to do, they’re an erotic upgrade. Here are are the basics behind kegels and how to do them, plus a few suggestions on how to work them into your playtime!
Kegels are often associated with medical issues or recent trauma, especially urinary incontinence and/or recovery from childbirth. And those are certainly important reasons to do kegels, which were developed as a therapeutic tool. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (also called pubococcygeus muscles or PC muscles) so that kegel-doers have better bladder control—as in, not peeing a little when they sneeze, cough, or laugh too hard.
But you know what? Turns out, it’s all connected. Tightening the muscles around the urethra also impacts orgasmic function—obviously, in people with penises since semen also comes out the urethra; but also in people with vaginas, since the same muscular structures underlie the clitoris, vagina, and anus too.
To get an understanding of the muscles they’re supposed to clench to do a kegel properly, people are often directed to stop partway through peeing. (The first time only, not on a regular basis.) Once they’re identified those muscles, kegel-doers are advised to tighten them, clench and hold for three to five seconds, release for the same period of time, and repeat—up to ten times per set, two or three times a day.
That’s a lot of reps! Medical sources on kegels recommend incorporating these exercises into one’s daily routine along with activities such as brushing teeth, to make them less easy to forget. But luckily, there are even simpler ways...
Recommended Kegel Toys
Buying a quality, body-safe sex toy is, IMO, the easiest way to make doing kegels regularly seem less boring, less like a chore.
For anyone with a vagina, you can just insert a kegel ball or kegel ball set, and the balls’ weight and motion as you go about your day causes you to contract your pelvic muscles, no reminders needed. (But, hey, if you do want reminders, there are toys for that too—the OhMiBod Lovelife Krush and the Minna kGoal both feature an app that delivers personalized feedback and guidance.)
Kegel balls come in both non-vibrating and vibrating versions. For extra stimulation, the non-vibrating ones often include added weight or bearings that create a vibration-like effect. Here are some good choices:
- Satisfyer Balls Single Balls Weighted Set: Sets with differently weighted balls are excellent for the beginner, because you never know exactly how much your body will be comfortable with at first. Affordable options like the Satisfyer Single Balls give you three different options—from just over 2 ounces to almost 3.5 ounces—so you can start small and work your way up.
- And if you think you’d like a little more texture, Satisfyer Ball Sets come in a double-ball version too, with slightly more weight overall for each loop.
- LELO Luna Beads (which also come in a smaller version, also with two differently weighted sets of beads; and a heavier version): This collection offers 2 differently weighted sets (4 balls total), each with a rolling bearing encased inside the bead. That means that as you move around, the beads create a rolling effect—and the more you move, or rock your hips with them in, the stronger the effect.
- The same concept is found (in a more budget-friendly form) in the Satisfyer Balls with Vibration. These also have an “oscillating metal core” rather than a vibrating motor.
- FT London Geisha Balls: These are a really versatile system because you can use anywhere from 1 to 4 balls at once, through a magnetic stacking system. All 4 balls can’t be held inside the silicone harness at the same time, but never fear, the vagina is a closed system and kegel balls can’t be lost. (You may have to do some digging if you have a longer vaginal canal and/or shorter fingers.)
- Pillow Talk Frisky Set: With a single-ball and a double-ball strand, Pillow Talk Frisky balls also let you progress upwards in weight. The silicone in these toys has a lovely satin-like feel (would recommend!), and the retrieval string ends in Swarovski crystal for a luxe touch.
- CalExotics Rechargeable Kegel Ball vibes: These are very affordable vibrating options, great if you want to experiment with adding even more sensation along with your pelvic floor strengthening.
Start with wearing your kegel ball(s) for around 5 to 15 minutes at a time, to get used to the experience. Wear as long as you feel comfortable; you may want to limit yourself to an hour at first. Listening to your body is key, because everyone is a little different. For best results when you first begin, it’s recommended that you wear your kegel toy at least every other day.
Of course people with penises don’t have option of using kegel ball sets (which are not anal-safe). That said, prostate massagers like the Aneros toys are designed to be clenched around, thus working the whole pelvic floor. Even if they never reach a pure prostate orgasm, many Aneros users report that having something pressing on their prostate as they rhythmically tighten around the toy makes them come harder and longer, often with more ejaculatory volume.
So What Now? Using Kegel Balls in Other Ways
Unlike normal exercise, the nice thing about kegels is you don’t need to keep doing them regularly for the rest of your life. You can always stop your kegel routine whenever you’ve achieved the goal you set out to accomplish! Typically, people start seeing results anywhere from two weeks to six weeks after they begin doing kegels. But what about your kegel-training toys after that?
If you’ve enjoyed the sensations that weighted or vibrating kegel exercisers give, then you can use them solely for erotic effect. Put them in to spice up doing the laundry, going for a walk, or taking a shower. If you’re into yoga, then kegel balls are often recommended as an exciting enhancement there.
Kegel balls are also neat because they (especially the more-weighted or vibrating kinds) can heighten arousal during foreplay or any kind of non-penetrative play. More clenching and more pelvic floor activity means more blood flow to your clit and vagina, often resulting in greater sensation.
Or, if you’ve decided on a vibrating kegel ball set, you can always experiment with using the toy as a so-called “love egg,” a vaginal vibe that you can wear anywhere. And if you want your partner to control the vibes while you’re out and about, then there’s the We-Vibe Bloom!
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Stronger orgasms, heightened sensation, and better control—really, what’s not to like about kegel exercises? Because they’re a tool for pleasure and for health, kegels can 100% be an enjoyable addition to both your routine and your sex life.
* In rare cases, kegels are not helpful, specifically for individuals with extremely tight pelvic floors or vaginismus. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain or discomfort with penetration, seek the advice of a medical professional.
Phallophile Reviews explores the world of body-safe sex toys, with a focus on silicone dildos and G-spot stimulation. Follow the author, Felicity, on Twitter or Instagram for toy-related pics and adventures!