6 Reasons NOT to Buy a Kegel Exercise Device
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In this post: Why kegel products are not the correct way to do kegel exercises for your pelvic floor muscles, and how kegel weights and other kegel devices can do more harm than good.
Kegel exercisers. Kegel eggs. Ben wa balls. Vaginal cones. Electrical stimulation devices. Biofeedback devices. Kegel weights for your vagina.
Kegel devices come in every shape, size, and style imaginable. There are plastic kegel devices, metal kegel devices, inflatable kegel devices, kegel devices made of jade, kegel devices that deliver electrical current to your most sensitive body parts, kegel devices with wires and electronic displays, kegel devices with springs, gears, and levers. Some look like medical equipment. Some look like sex toys. And some look like torture devices the aliens want to use on you once they get you back to the mother ship.
What do all these kegel exercise devices have in common? They’re a waste of your time and money. Your pelvic floor muscle workout is easier, more effective, and way more fun when you go natural — without any devices at all. Here’s why.
1. Kegel Devices Train Your Muscles to Do the Wrong Things
Healthy, effective kegel exercises train your muscles to contract and release. Relaxing the pelvic floor muscles is just as important as contracting them. A healthy muscle that works well and feels good is a muscle that is relaxed and supple, not tight and clenched.
But many kegel devices train your pelvic floor muscles to clench. All devices in the “vaginal weights” or “kegel weights” category create this problem. Kegel “eggs,” physician-prescribed vaginal cones, and other weight-based devices are all used the same way. You put it in your vagina and try to hold it in while the pull of gravity tries to make it fall out.
While you’re trying to hold that kegel weight in your vagina, what are your muscles doing? Tightening and clenching — for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. Here’s what happens to tight, clenched vaginal muscles: they hurt. They can make sex intensely painful. Even worse, they won’t function as well, because while you do the big clench they’re not getting the blood supply they need, and because tight, clenched muscles simply aren’t as strong as stretchy, relaxed muscles. Don’t buy kegel weights! And if you already have some, either find a way to repurpose them (paperweights?) or throw them away.
2. Kegel Devices Make Your Muscles Stupid
We’ll talk about problems with other types of devices in Reasons 3 through 6, but here’s one more huge problem with kegel weights. They don’t help you gain muscle control. That’s why the research shows that kegels done without a device work better than kegels done with weights.
Let’s imagine that you’re in a public place, having a conversation with someone you want to impress, and you suddenly need to sneeze. Doing a good, strong kegel as you sneeze will help keep your undies dry by stopping the “sneeze pee.” Which muscles will respond more quickly and effectively — muscles that have been practicing contracting and releasing on cue? Or muscles that have been practicing nothing but one long hard squeeze around a kegel weight?
And here’s the fun part. The pelvic floor muscles are directly attached to your vagina and clitoris. They’re your sex muscles. When you get good at pelvic floor muscle control, you open the door for way more pleasure in bed for you and your partner. If you’re not building muscle control while you do kegels, you are missing out, bigtime. Details are beyond the scope of this article, but hear this: once you find out what better pelvic floor muscle control can do for you (and your partner) in bed, you’ll never go back.
3. Kegel Devices Insist on Resistance, but Resistance Is B.S.
A lot of people out there — namely, the ones who want to sell you a kegel device — will tell you that kegel exercises must be done against resistance. They say that if you’re not squeezing some object inside your vagina, especially the one they’re trying to sell you (which might look like a dildo, a garlic press, or a shoehorn), kegels won’t work.
Why do the kegel device people insist on this? Because it’s what Dr. Arnold Kegel used to say. Dr. Kegel did some very important work in helping people discover the awesome results pelvic floor exercise can provide. (Thank you, Arnie!) But Dr. Kegel released his landmark research paper in 1948, and he’s been dead since 1981. Since then, scores of brilliant modern researchers, most of them women, have shown us how to do far easier, faster, more effective kegels, with no devices at all.
The very best kegel techniques are based on the very best up-to-date research studies. Any dinosaur who insists on resistance devices is either misinformed, or simply trying to make a buck, or both.
4. Kegel Devices Are a Pain in the Butt Because You Need Privacy
Kegels with a device: you have to have your pants off. No kegels on your lunch break at work, no kegels when your kids might walk in on you, no kegels anywhere except at home behind a closed door, alone.
Kegels without a device: your pants are on. To do kegels right, you will need to give kegels your full attention (no driving, please), but you can do them in your parked car, during a break at your desk at work, in your living room while the kids are playing nearby, at the gym during your warm-down, on a park bench during a break in your daily walk… anywhere you can take a few minutes to focus on doing the exercise.
Which way is simpler? Easier? More likely to actually make its way into your schedule? It’s a no-brainer! Keep your pants on.
5. You Will Not Like Explaining the Kegel Device to Your Kids, or to Airport Security Agents
Let’s say you do manage a kegel device exercise session behind the closed door of your bedroom. Then you need to wash the device, and store it somewhere. “Mom, what’s that thing in the bathroom?” “Mom, what’s this I found in your drawer?” “What do you do with this thing again?”
Even more fun would be answering questions like that in the airport security line when you’re trying to catch a plane. “Well, sir, it’s for my vagina…”
6. You Will Give Up on Kegels if You Use a Kegel Device
When you do kegels the easy, effective way without a kegel device, it’s like brushing your teeth: a few minutes a day that you hardly think about. But using a kegel device is a recipe for failure, for two reasons.
First, if you’re just getting started and you don’t have much pelvic floor muscle strength and control, you’ll fail right away with most kegel devices. You can’t hold the weights in, or you can’t squeeze the lever thingy, so you give up.
The other big reason to give up on kegel devices is the inconvenience. This is what kegels look like with a device: Get the kegel device out of its storage place. Take off your pants. Use the device. Put your pants back on. Wash the device. Dry the device. Put it back into its storage place.
Compare that do doing kegels the easy way, without a device, which looks like this: You simply do your kegels.