It’s the sex toy that has hushed a few dinner conversations into an awkward silence. They’re quiet, small and apparently very smart. We all know where to insert them, but what do smart balls actually do?
Smart balls consist of one or two small balls, which can vary in diameter, covered with different materials. The balls also have a string, which allows you to pull them out once inserted into the vagina. Dr Marlene Wasserman, a well-known clinical sexologist, says smart balls are not a new concept. They simply have a new, ‘funky’ name to describe what may be one of the world’s first sex toys ever invented.
‘The basic principle is a set of weights inserted into the vagina for the purpose of tightening the vagina, and strengthening the pubococcygeus [or PC] and pelvic floor muscles,’ says Wasserman, author of Pillowbook (Oshun). ‘It is a wonder toy in that if used consistently it can prevent vaginal and bladder prolapse.
‘It really does tighten the muscles so that women feel increased orgasmic intensity, increases vaginal lubrication and men really get to penetrate a tighter vagina, which enhances their sensations. It is also arousing for a woman to walk around with smart balls because it gets her feeling fun and sexy all day.’
Wasserman advises those new to smart balls to try one ball first, by inserting it into your vagina as you would a tampon. ‘The idea is to get the muscles to clench around the smart ball.’ This makes Kegel exercises (contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles to help strengthen your PC muscles) a little easier.
GET WITH THE PROGRAMME
‘Some women may find that one ball slips right out. This means the muscles are weak,’ says Wasserman. ‘Begin on a programme. Persevere by first lying down and doing Kegel exercises with the smart balls inserted. Then walk around clenching with one ball inside. Once you can walk around a shopping centre with one, then try inserting the other one too.’
Next you can move into the ‘maintenance’ phase – every morning/evening insert your smart balls while brushing your teeth, applying makeup, washing dishes, etc, and then remove them before going out.
‘It really fits quite comfortable, like a tampon. Of course if any pain is experienced you must remove them as soon as possible and go to your gynaecologist for a check up,’ Wasserman warns. ‘It will not get lost "up there" and never be found because of its string and the earth’s gravitational pull.’
Wasserman says, when choosing a set of smart balls, they must be covered with non synthetic material to prevent foreign organisms entering the vagina; silicone is most commonly used. They last for a very long time so it’s worth making a good, once-off investment.
‘Never use a smart ball that has paper or fabric string connecting the two balls’, she continues. After numerous insertions, the string becomes grimy and mucky, which is a big no-no for personal hygiene.
Keep your smart balls in a clean container. ‘Some up market smart balls such as Lelo Luna Balls come in a beautiful box with a velvet pouch for storage.’ Each time, before and after use, wash them with soap and water only.
Wasserman recommends two different types through her online store:
FUN FACTORY SMART BALLS come in a large range of gorgeous colour combinations, while LELO LUNA BALLS are an excellent high-street investment which comes with a separate ball and then a duo.
‘Even though they are really funky and a fashion item, they have enormous clinical benefits to women and their partners,’ says Wasserman. ‘Empowered women use them to maintain their own sexual health and heighten their sexual pleasure.’