Jiggle balls, Ben Wa Balls, Benoit or Kegel Balls - whatever you call them, just know that you don’t have to be a sports fan to reap the benefits of their strengthening powers.
Since you’re here, there’s a good chance you know—or have at least heard—of Ben Wa balls. These little Insertable spheres make appearances in erotic books, sexy shows, and steamy movies and are basically a sex shop staple. But while Ben Wa balls might seem simple, there’s much more to them what you saw in Fifty Shades of Grey. (Read: the iconic scene where Anastasia Steele, wide-eyed with panic, asks Christian if he’s going to put the Ben Wa balls in her butt. Relatable!)
Ben Wa balls are insertable weights that go inside the vagina to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (also called PC muscles). When you insert Ben Wa balls into your vagina, your pelvic muscles work to hold them in place. And while they were originally designed to rebuild strength and support lost in PC muscles over time, more and more people started using them as sex toys due to the stimulation they provide on the anterior vaginal wall, which is full of sensitive nerve endings.
How do Kegel Balls work?
With regular use, Kegel balls work to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles.
Just like using weights at the gym, the weight of the Kegel balls adds an extra degree of difficulty to pelvic floor exercises, which will build strength in these oh-so-important internal muscles over time.
You can perform Kegel exercises without ben wa balls. However, you’ll be stuck doing a lot more of them. Using Kegel balls adds a little extra difficulty, meaning you get the same benefits with less time and work.
If you’re thinking “Okay, if that’s what Kegel balls are for, what do ben wa balls do and what the heck are jiggle balls?” The answer: exactly the same. Kegel balls, ben wa balls and jiggle balls are all used interchangeably throughout this article, as they’re different names for the same thing.
There are different reasons you or your partner may wish to work on strengthening your pelvic muscles.
Health-related reasons are a huge drawcard for using Kegel balls, including preventing or improving incontinence issues. Both the onset of menopause and childbirth can result in incontinence when laughing, sneezing or coughing.
By using Kegel balls to enhance pelvic muscle exercises, you can help to reduce these issues and have better control over your internal muscles.
If you do suffer from any health issues that have you interested in trying out Kegel balls, we do recommend speaking with your doctor first to get the green light to go ahead.
Whether you suffer from any of these issues or not, there’s another added advantage to strong pelvic floor muscles: enhanced orgasms.
Kegel balls themselves aren’t designed to make you climax. But what they can do is tone your pelvic muscles, which can lead to better orgasms.
When people with vulvas experience an orgasm, the pelvic muscles involuntarily tense and contract. Having toned vaginal muscles makes the sensations during sex more intense, and when an orgasm does occur, the vaginal contraction will be greater.
Another plus? Don’t underestimate the turn-on that is anticipation. Wearing your Kegel balls while in public, or in the lead up to sex, can help build anticipation before sex. Pop them in and let your partner know - they’ll be thinking about it with every step and so will you.
How to Insert and remove Kegel Balls
To insert the Kegel balls, it’s easiest to lie on your back or stand with one leg propped up on a chair. Once you’ve assumed the position, apply some lubricant to the balls.
As with all sex toys, the lube you use will depend on the material the Kegel balls are made from.
Are they metal? Then the choice is yours. But if they’re silicone, avoid silicone lubes and opt for a water-based alternative.
You’ll want to insert the Kegel balls until they sit just above your pelvic floor muscles. If you insert too high, you won’t feel the benefits as strongly. Generally, once they’re in, you should just be able to feel the base if you insert a finger.
Unlike with anal play, you don’t have to worry about losing your Kegel balls in the vagina. So, while often they do attach to a cord for easy removal, you don’t need to hold onto it the entire time.
If your Kegel balls have a retrieval cord, simply hold and remove gently, as you would with a tampon.
If the balls don’t have a cord attached, you’ll want to move into a squat position and insert a finger or two. Use a gentle motion to locate the ball/s, then push the balls until you can grip them enough to remove.
Exercises for strengthening your pelvic muscles
Once the ben wa balls are in place, you can choose what position you’d like to perform your exercises in. Some prefer standing, while others may choose to remain lying down.
Then, engage your pelvic muscles to gently lift the ball. If done correctly, you should be able to feel the ball and the retraction loop (if yours has one) move upwards inside you.
The key here is to squeeze inwards, not outwards as this uses a different set of muscles (abdominal) and will have the opposite effect - you'll feel the Kegel balls being pushed out of your vagina.
Once you’ve felt this, you can relax your muscles and feel the ball move back down into its original place. Take note of how the exercise feels - it shouldn't be painful - and if you had difficulty, it may be worth considering switching to a lighter ball and working your way up.
Just like with other physical exercises, do these exercises in reps. Relax after each rep before beginning the next. You may not be able to perform many at first, but know that this is normal!
You will work your way up to being able to perform more exercises as you build your pelvic floor strength.
Remember to breathe throughout the exercise, as this keeps you and your body relaxed.
If you’re after the perfect pelvic floor trainer, check out one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s and our favourite: the Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer.
If you’re not up for that sort of exercise...
You don’t have to perform just Kegel exercises when using Kegel balls, although they can be a great way to monitor your progress and keep yourself accountable to reap the most benefits.
An alternative is to insert the Kegel balls and then perform normal daily activities for a set amount of time.
Try popping the balls in before light chores, cooking dinner or showering, as you’ll want to be standing up for them to work.
Keep them in for about 15 minutes, as your pelvic muscles will be engaged during this time. Don’t try and stretch the time out to see how long you can go as this can fatigue your muscles, having the opposite to the desired effect.
The goal here is to move up through heavier weights, not to perform a marathon with your Kegel balls inside.
How far up do they go?
You’d put Kegel balls or Ben Wa balls about as far up as you would a tampon, says Sparks. (And don’t worry, they’re not going to go farther than they’re supposed to.)
“You want to put them in deep enough where you can ‘grip’ them with your pelvic walls to keep them from falling out,” explains Sparks. It’s also always a good idea to use lube when inserting them. And if for some reason they keep falling out, Stewart suggests trying a lighter weight to see what feels best.
Can you walk around with Kegel balls or Ben Wa balls in?
Public health practitioner Janielle Bryan says not only is it okay to do, but walking around with Kegel balls inserted might actually help further strengthen your pelvic floor too. “By standing upright, you’ll contract your muscles to withstand the weight of the balls and the gravitational pull,” Bryan explains. “Just remember, start with smaller weights and increase the size gradually.”
Just as it’s important to use your Kegel balls correctly, if you’re wondering what to do with them after you’ve removed them, it’s much the same as the aftercare required with other sex toys.
After each use, wash them with warm, soapy water or sex toy cleaner. Dry them properly and store them somewhere clean and dry.
Many ben wa balls come with a specific storage bag, so keep them safe and within easy reach.
You’ll be looking forward to your daily workout in no time!.