The In's and Out's of Kegel Balls
Kegel balls, or Ben Wa Balls, have traditionally been used as a method to strengthen vaginal and pelvic floor muscles. The small, weighted balls come in a variety of different weights and sizes to help you learn to contract and release different muscles and improve your pelvic floor.
However, in recent times they have become better known for use in the bedroom and enhancing sexual pleasure. As a result, they have been given a range of new names, including geisha balls, venus balls, jiggle balls, orgasm balls. love balls, love eggs, and pleasure balls.
If you have a set and aren’t quite sure how to use them, or if you’re thinking about buying a set and unsure of which ones to get, then the following information may help.
Who can use them?
Reading articles such as this, reading the products packaging, and checking with your doctor are all great places to start when determining who can use them and how.
The easiest way to minimize any risk of pain or discomfort, is to ensure that you’re using the correct size, weight, and of course you are using the correct technique. The following information should provide you with the basics to get you started.
Firstly, you should check with your doctor if you:
- are pregnant or recent childbirth
- have any pelvic pain or an active pelvic infection
- have recently had any form of gynecological surgery
- have an intrauterine device
- use a menstrual cup
You are more likely to experience pain and discomfort if you use kegel balls while in any of these conditions.
To get your kegel balls ready for use:
- Make sure your hands are clean before you handle the kegel balls.
- Wash your kegel balls with antibacterial soap and warm water, then dry them with a clean towel.
- Applying a sufficient amount of water based lube on the balls makes them easier to insert.
Make sure you apply sufficient lubrication to your vagina before you get into position. This will help prevent discomfort as you insert the kegel balls.
When you are satisfied with the level of lubrication:
- Find a position that you are comfortable with that makes access and insertion easy for you.
- Slowly and gently insert the first ball.
- Kegel balls are usually connected to each other by a small piece of string or plastic, so insert that into your vagina too.
- Once the string is inserted, start to insert the second ball slowly and gently.
- Push the balls in as far as you find comfortable. If your balls have a removal string, it's best to leave it hang outside your vagina, so make sure it’s not accidentally inserted with the balls.
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles to hold your kegel balls in place.
The balls should feel secure inside your vagina. If you feel like they’re about to fall out, or the first ball is visible from outside your vagina, gently push them in deeper.
How you feel with the balls inside you varies from person to person, but it’s typically a subtle, tingly sensation. This feeling usually intensifies with movement, so the more you move, the more sensation you will get from them.
Now they’re in...
For solo play
Kegel balls typically aren’t used in the same way as traditional sex toys.
The most common method is to leave them inside and utilise other toys such as a vibrator or clitoral stimulator to enhance the sensations of the two toys combined. Experiment with what works for you, as its your body and your pleasure is what's important.
For play with a partner
If you want to increase your sensitivity during sex, kegel balls can help you and your partner get the "ball" rolling, so to speak.
You can either insert them yourself before your encounter, or you can include your kegel balls as part of your foreplay. Just remember, the longer the balls are in, the more aroused you’ll be when it’s time to progress to the main event.
Just make sure to pull the balls out before your partners penis, or another toy, is inserted in your vagina.
Kegel balls can also make anal sex more interesting and pleasurable. Anal penetration can push the balls against your erogenous g spot , increasing the intensity of sensations through your body.
An important note: You should never insert kegel balls into your anus. They aren’t made for this purpose and could cause discomfort, and are at risk of getting stuck.
Anal beads specifically made for anal play are available from Bed Buddies for this purpose.
For pelvic floor muscle exercises only
If you want to add kegel balls to your regular routine:
- Insert the balls as described above.
- Tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor to lift and squeeze the balls.
- Hold the muscle contraction for 5 seconds, then relax for another 5 seconds.
- Repeat this step 5 times in a row to complete one set.
Be careful not to over exert yourself, so pace yourself with what you feel comfortable with. Start by doing up to three sets a day and progress slowly as your body allows.
Once you’re comfortable with these traditional kegel exercises or other pelvic floor exercises, consider adding different weighted and sized kegel balls.
Typically, you can leave kegel balls in for up to six hours, depending on the balls used and how your body copes with them. If you're not sure, please always consult your doctor, who can tell you more about best practices for you and your body.
If your kegel balls have a removal string or chord:
- Find a position that you are comfortable with that makes access and removal easy for you.
- Add more lubrication to your vagina to help take the balls out.
- Slowly pull on the removal string until they come out.
If your balls do not have a removal string or chord:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart.
- Slightly bend your knees until you’re in a comfortable squat.
- Squeeze your pelvic muscles to push them out, much like with another sex toy or even a tampon.
If the balls don’t come out straight away, you may be able to coax them out by adding more lubrication. You can also cough, move around, or even jump up and down to help your muscles contract and release.
Hygiene and Storage
Keeping your kegel balls clean is very important. If they aren’t cleaned and stored correctly, they can introduce bacteria into your vagina which could lead to infection.
After you remove your kegel balls, it is best practice to:
- Wash them with warm water.
- Thoroughly clean them with an antibacterial hand soap.
- Rinse them in warm soapy water, and then run them under water to wash off any residue.
- Dry them with a clean towel. You can leave them to dry for an hour or two before putting them away, to ensure that they’re completely dry.
- Once they’re dry, store them in clean, dry container.
Are there risks?
Although kegel balls are considered safe, there are few things to consider.
You should only squeeze and contract your pelvic floor muscles for about 5 seconds at a time, with breaks of at least 5 seconds between. Squeezing for too long or without a break could over exert your muscles and cause a strain and possibly discomfort.
Kegel balls should not be used for more than four to six hours at any one time. Any longer and you may begin to over exert your pelvic floor muscles.
It is extremely important to always clean your kegel balls before and after every use for proper health care. Using contaminated kegel balls can result in infection.
How to select the right Kegel balls
If you’re new to kegel balls, consider starting with lightweight plastic or silicone set. Make sure the balls are attached to each other and have a removal string or chord.
The beginners sets typically start with two balls attached together, and you can increase or decrease the number as you become more familiar with their use.
Once you’re comfortable, you can take things to the next level by varying the size of the balls, or replacing the lighter materials like plastic or silicone, for heavier materials like metal or glass.
Whatever the reason, owning and correctly using a set of Kegel Balls can be a very rewarding part of your sexual wellness.