Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Warning re Kegel Exercise "Tools" for Better Sex


UPDATE to IMPORTANT UPDATE, 4/4/13:

I've had a nice email exchange with Je Joue's customer service. They assure me that this was a manufacturing defect that they caught and rectified, and this problem should not ever happen again. They are replacing my broken Ami with apologies. 

I appreciate their responsiveness, and I'm happy to say that I can again recommend the Ami. 

If you have the Ami 1 and I've got you worried, try tugging on the cord. If it doesn't come loose, your Ami is safe and good to go, Je Joue assures me. I'm not deleting either my "shocked" experience nor my previous review, just adding this to the mix so you have a whole story. 

Previous IMPORTANT UPDATE, 3/27/13:

I am truly shocked. I just peeked in the box holding my Ami Silicone Kegel Exercisers, and I discovered that the ball of the Ami 1 -- the largest and lightest of the three -- had become completely disconnected from the pull cord.

Whatever glue had fastened the two sections had dried or dissolved or something -- there was no way to reconnect the parts.

Now understand, this did not happen due to overuse or misuse. I actually only used the other two because their diameters are more comfortable for me. So this broken exerciser was only used once, and then remained in its box for the next three months.

I am appalled: What if this disconnection had happened not in the box, but inside a vagina? How could you ever get hold of the slippery, lube-covered ball to pull it out? Could you even squeeze and shoot with enough force to pop it out? Not if you're an older woman with a tight vaginal entrance. Yikes.

We've all heard shudder-provoking tales of items that ER doctors have pulled out of body orifices. I'd rather not consult a doctor about extracting a Kegel exerciser.

I left the rest of this 12/28/12 post intact so that you can get valuable content from it, but I can no longer recommend the Ami Kegel Exercisers.

ORIGINAL POST:

I just posted "Kegel Magic: Pelvic Floor Shape-Up For Better Sex" on the Post 50 channel of Huffington Post here -- describing how Kegels can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and make sex more enjoyable through easier arousal, stronger orgasms, and more pleasure, with step-by-step instructions for doing them right.

In that article, I referred readers here for an introduction to Kegel exercisers that make Kegels more effective and entertaining. Here are some tools that will make you look forward to your Kegel "workout"! (These are not vibrators -- all movement comes from your pelvic floor muscle power.)

Ami Silicone Kegel Exercisers.You get three separate exercisers in this kit, each a different size, shape, and weight.
  • Ami 1 - 1.65oz, 4.37" (length with cord), 1.41" (length excluding cord), 1.41" diameter
  • Ami 2 - 2.75oz, 6.14" (length with cord), 3.14" (length excluding cord), 1.25" diameter
  • Ami 3 - 3.73oz, 5.66" (length with cord), 2.75" (length excluding cord), 1.1" diameter
JeJoue, creator of Ami, suggests that you start with Ami 1 (the single ball) and work your way up to Ami 3. If your vaginal opening is tight, however, skip Ami 1 because it's the biggest, and being ball shaped instead of tapered, you may have discomfort inserting it. Go right to Ami 2, a double ball which is heavier, but smaller. Ami 3 is the smallest and heaviest.

Why are the so-called harder levels made smaller? Instead of just lying on your back squeezing your Ami, get up and go about your day, Ami in place, squeezing as you drive, walk, compute, do Zumba. The heavier the Ami, the more you have to resist it falling out. (Practice a lot at home before you take it into town!)

You can also use your Ami of choice while you pleasure yourself with a clitoral vibrator. If you like, put one finger in the loop and "yo yo" your Ami, pulling it partway out, using your PC muscles to pull it back in. Fun!



Aneros EVI Hands-Free G-Spot Massager. Insert the bulbous end of this odd looking object in the vagina so that the longest part of the top (heading towards my thumb from my index finger in this photo) is over your clitoris. The idea is that by doing your Kegels, the EVI gives you pelvic floor muscle resistance and stimulates your clitoris at the same time.

I wanted to love this -- it's a great idea and a well made, bodysafe product.

But although I could use it well as a Kegel exerciser, my particular body shape kept the extending part hovering over my clitoris, barely touching it or not touching it at all, when it was perfectly in place vaginally. I could press it down on the clitoral extension, but there goes the hands-free attribute.

The label makes this claim: ""Designed to Fit ALL Women... Both the G-Spot and clitoris are perfectly stimulated in a toe curling rhythm."

I wish this were true, but for me, it wasn't. Other reviews have praised the EVI as a Kegel exerciser, and I concur with that, but I wonder if others actually felt their toes curling with it. FYI, the EVI is 1.5” at the widest insertable part, and if your vaginal opening is tight, you might find it uncomfortable to insert and pull out.



Some useful tips:
  • If you wear a vaginal estrogen ring, take it out before inserting these Kegel exercisers for comfort and ease of insertion.
  • You may feel increased bladder pressure wearing the Ami or EVI. Remove it before peeing, or, in the case of Ami, at least pull the string out of the way or you may splash where you don't want to splash.

Thank you , Good Vibrations, for providing samples of EVI and Ami.



If you've got strong pelvic floor muscles, your next step is weight lifting with a barbell -- Betty Dodson's Vaginal Barbell, that is, available from Dodson's website. This hefty, stainless steel tool weighs almost a pound.

For your first workout with Betty's Barbell, lie on your back, knees bent, feet planted. You can insert either end, depending on comfort and preference, and hold onto the other end. Then let go, and use your PC muscles to keep the barbell in position..
When you do your Kegels and squeeze the barbell, you'll see it lift a bit.

Once your pelvic floor muscles are really strong -- or to find out how strong they are! -- try standing up and see if you can keep the barbell from falling to the floor for a minute. Read Betty Dodson's instructions for using her Barbell here: (Read about Joan's memorable meeting with Betty Dodson here.)
If you've tried these or other Kegel exerciser products, please add your comments and recommendations. (Please, no retailers promoting your own store.)

Enjoy your Kegels!


15 comments:

  1. Hi Joan,

    I've been doing these kind of Kegel exercises (without tools) since a great physical therapist said that the best way to do them is how you suggest: 1) lying on the floor with knees bent and 2) making sure to fully relax as well as contract the muscles. I do a set of 10 every morning.

    I can happily say that my occasional stress incontinence has disappeared completely and I have many more strong orgasmic contractions than average, which prolongs the pleasure of climaxing.

    For a few minutes and no cost, I'd say that's a great investment!

    Anne

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  2. Hi Joan!

    I have started a year-long project on my blog called "Operation Kegel" - I will be doing my Kegels every day and trying out different Kegel exercisers, all while documenting my results!

    I just ordered the Luna Beads noir to try out, I'm so excited! I will keep in mind your "yo-yo" idea when I finally get the Ami, sounds interesting.

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  3. You are right. Kegels are so, so very important. I'm a big fan of Fun Factory's Teneo Uno (one ball) and Duo (two balls attached). I especially like the Uno. It just fits me better. Both work fairly well, but Husband usually has to remind me to put them in!

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  4. should have read this before Christmas! Anyway, thanks again for your Naked book and a question here: You said: "If you wear a vaginal estrogen ring..." What? I'm a guy, 65, read Way Too Much and Think Way Too Much about sex and other things too I'm told...and NEVER heard about an estrogen ring. My wife I think is struggling w/ low libido and I'm on T hormone therapy for same...but does an e ring or estrogen creme mean doing w/o oral? I'd rather do w/o sex altogether than do w/o oral. Your thoughts? My T creme is three dollops of .20 Lipoderm cream to belly and chest daily. Costs me $69 a month...which I find interesting.

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  5. Dan, an estrogen ring is worn vaginally and delivers a low dose of estrogen locally to assist with preventing thinning of the vaginal walls and dryness. It is flexible and easily removed just by pulling it out. It has no impact on oral sex. If the partner feels it during intercourse (some do, some don't), it can be removed and replaced later. Your wife can ask her doctor about whether it would be a good idea for her.

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  6. Are those toys safe enough to use it ? i never tried them :(

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  7. I only recommend toys that are body safe. What is your particular concern, Vlada?

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  8. Scratches, irritations... i don't really know to be honest

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  9. Vlada, the string of the Ami might become irritating if you keep the Ami in through the day and sit on it a lot, or if you choose a size that's too big, insertion could be painful (in which case, stop -- don't ever force it). Otherwise, in normal use, they're made exactly for this purpose and very comfortable. Thanks for clarifying.

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  10. Point taken, thank you :)

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  11. Oh my. I have a set of those! Will have to go check them out before using again! What has JeJoue said in response to this?

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  12. I think it would come out eventually.

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  13. Dang it, I JUST got these.

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    1. I'd never heard about them falling apart until this happened to mine. Check them carefully before insertion, including tugging on the cord to make sure it's firmly attached. I'll let you know if I hear from JeJoue. I'm surprised I haven't yet.

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  14. Hi Joan,

    We’ve just seen your tweet on our twitter account this morning, which has led us to your blog and the problem that you have had with the Ami. We did attempt to respond on twitter immediately but felt that a fuller explanation was required.

    Firstly, we appreciate your shock and upset regarding the situation and are very sorry to hear that you have had this experience, particularly as you wrote such a positive review in the first instance.

    We take the safety of our customers very seriously and the quality of our products is of highest priority to us. We have seen a couple of instances of this occurring; having examined the balls, we have now identified the fault and resolved it. We have also added an extra layer of quality control at our manufacturing facility to ensure that this never happens again.

    Naturally we will replace the defective item, please let us know the easiest way to get it to you,


    Regards, Je Joue

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