There’s a notion out there that says a tight vagina is a good vagina. It’s usually meant as a demeaning compliment extended to women who are celebrated for refraining from having “too much sex.” That’s not the type of tight vagina up for discussion here—please, have as much sex as you’d like. Let’s focus, instead, on how improving the elasticity of your vagina by strengthening it with kegel balls can help with a number of physical issues (orgasms included). Everybody on board?
The muscles in the vagina can weaken naturally over time, or after events including childbirth, which can lead to urinary incontinence (a.k.a. peeing yourself). That’s why pelvic-floor strengthening exercises, a.k.a. kegel exercises, which involve clenching and releasing your pelvic-floor muscles (the ones you squeeze to hold your pee) are so crucial, says Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. (Did I mention that kegels may make your orgasms even stronger?)
One tool that can take your exercises to the next level are kegel balls—a.k.a. Ben Wa balls. They’re like little weights for your vagina, explains Greves. They usually consist of one or several balls lined up in a row with a cord at the end. You insert them into your vagina (with the cord hanging out), then contract and release your pelvic floor muscles around them, Greves says. Doing so helps you isolate those muscles and feel the contractions a little better.
Kegel balls come in tons of different sizes and weights—anywhere from 10 grams to 100 grams. Your best bet is use them daily (or as often as you remember to), and increase the weight gradually as you feel like your muscles are getting stronger. Obviously, the heavier the ball, the more strength you need to hold it inside—so start small.
When you’re not turning to Ben Wa balls for incontinence, you can use them for pleasure and arousal too, says Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. To use your kegel balls as sex toys, she suggests opting for those held together with a silicone cord. “You might insert the balls and rotate or gently tug on the strings to create a range of sensations,” she explains. “Some people enjoy pulling them out very slowly to heighten awareness and bring attention to the more subtle sensations.” To take these sensations up a notch, try running your Ben Wa balls under cool or warm water before inserting them. “Changes in temperature can heighten arousal and change the way we interpret pleasure by activating the body’s sensitive thermoreceptors,” O’Reilly adds.
A quick housekeeping note: While kegel balls are generally considered safe, Greves says, you shouldn’t use them right after you have a baby (you can have vaginal tearing that needs to heal), and you shouldn’t leave them in more than six hours. When you’re ready to go, opt for Ben Wa balls made with non-porous silicone, which won’t irritate your vagina the way porous vaginal tools can since they tend to trap bacteria. No matter what they’re made of, clean them after every use with mild soap and water.
Cool, now that you’re ready to, er, play ball…here are the best kegel balls to check out:
Remote Control Rechargeable Silicone G-Spot Love Egg
Slip this in and hand your partner the remote. Let them surprise you with a combination of this kegel ball’s 12 vibration patterns. It will help strengthen your pelvic floor, while its curved body “caresses your G-spot” at the same time.
Paloqueth Kegel Balls
They’re billed as kegel balls for beginners—and you can’t beat the price. They also look more like a fun gym or pool toy than an actual sexual-wellness prop, if that matters to you.
IntiFit Kegel Exercise Kit
IntiFit Premiere Living
These balls come with a legit training program for your pelvic floor, so you can put your vagina through the paces while following a guide. The pointed tips and long stems make removal extra easy, too.
Ben Wa Hematite Magnetic Love Balls
Whoa, baby! This pair of kegel balls is magnetic, which makes storage easy—but it also has a physiological benefit, too.
According to retailer Lovehoney.com, the magnets attract and repel charged particles in the blood, causing your blood vessels dilate, resulting in increased circulation to your down-there muscles.
We-Vibe Bloom Vibrating Kegel Balls
This set of kegel balls also doubles as a sex toy that you can use with a partner (oh, hiiii). It includes three different weight options, all of which vibrate—intended to make your kegel training a little more pleasurable.
Je Joue Ami Kegel Balls
The Ami set comes with not just three different weighted balls, but also three different shaped balls, to change up the challenge on your pelvic floor. Even the heaviest piece is perfectly balanced to ensure proper muscle activation and no slipping.
Kegel Training Set Strawberry
If you’re someone who likes following strict training plans for your runs or workouts, you’re going to love this six-piece set. Each weight is slightly heavier than the next, so you can gradually work your way up in vaginal strength. Plus, they look like strawberries—how adorbs.
Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights
Use these weights for just 15 minutes a day and you’ll wind up with tighter, stronger pelvic floor muscles, this company claims.
Lelo Luna Beads
These gently vibrate in response to your body’s movements, so you can use them as a sex toy, too.
If you really want to go all out, there’s the Elvie Trainer. This kegel ball is connected to an app that guides you through five-minute exercises three times a week and actually gives you feedback, so you can track your progress.
Zola Luxe Kegel Balls
This three-in-one set has different weights, including one they say is the heaviest on the market. You know, in case you want to be a pelvic-floor beast.