Review: Lelo Luna Beads Noir

Someone please explain vaginal balls to me. I don’t understand.

I mean, I understand the theory behind them. They’re supposed to give you some weight, some resistance, with which to exercise your vagina. It’s supposed to be difficult to hold them inside you, forcing you to use your muscles and make your twat stronger. And some of them are also supposed to give you a fun bouncy sensation that’s sexually pleasurable, I guess as a motivator to exercise your vag more often.

But this is never how vaginal balls work for me. It’s never any effort to keep them inside. They never feel heavy or challenging. They just stay put. Am I an anomaly, with a freakishly tight and strong vagina? Or have vaginal balls, as a category of sex toys, just totally lost the plot of what they are supposed to do?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. Please feel free to answer and explain in the comments if you have any theories. For now, I’m going to talk about the latest I’ve tried in a string of perplexing vag balls: the Lelo Luna Beads Noir.

I was sent these balls last year, after having a chat with a lovely Lelo rep about the effect that the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has had on the sex toy industry. Apparently (and I can’t vouch for this because I could only force myself through the first half of the first book), at some point in the trilogy, Christian Grey gives Ana Steele a set of vaginal balls to use, and it’s sexy, or whatever. So as a result, this type of product saw an uptick in sales, and Lelo decided to jump on the bandwagon and make a black/grey version of their Luna Beads Mini.

I will admit that the whole reason I ended up owning the Luna Beads Noir was that I told the Lelo rep how beautiful I thought they were. The smokey grey, the stark black… I dunno, man; I guess I’m a sucker for black sex toys.

Each ball weighs 37 grams and is 1 ¼" in diameter. So, yeah, these are small, but not so small that I can’t feel them. Lelo recommends this size for women who are under 30 years of age or who haven’t given birth. I don’t know how I feel about that type of recommendation, given how much variation there is among vaginas. Let’s just say, you should find out the diameter of your favorite dildo(s) and compare if you’re undecided about which size Luna Beads to get. (The regular size is 1.4" in diameter, which really isn’t that much bigger.)

Unlike the Luna Beads proper, the Noir version only comes with one set of balls, so you can’t swap them out if you want something heavier.

As I mentioned above, my vagina must be a Chinese finger trap because there is no moment during the usage of these balls when I ever feel like they might fall out. I suppose it might be a challenge to keep them in if I were to slather them in handfuls of lube before use, but like, who wants to do that? (Speaking of lube: you should use the water-based kind with these balls, due to their materials.)

The balls themselves are smooth plastic, and the removable girdle that houses them is slightly grippy silicone. This combination of textures feels sexy in the hand but I can’t really perceive it once they’re in my vagina.

The signature bouncy sensation provided by vaginal balls is just dandy with this set. Minimal movement sets them off, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. I am always very aware of their presence, and they make me want to move my hips around and run up and down staircases.

The looped retrieval cord on these is one of the best things about them: it’s very sturdy and has no stretch whatsoever. Many a good pair of balls have been ruined by an insubstantial or overly stretchy string. When I want to remove my Luna Beads Noir, I just pull the cord – no finagling or fretting required. These will never get stuck in my vagina.

So, as far as vaginal balls are concerned, the Lelo Luna Beads Noir are some of the best I’ve tried. If you want a pair, and like the dark aesthetic of these ones, you should get them – especially since they’re just $23.20 with the code “LELO” on PinkCherry. For a high-quality, body-safe, comfortable and functional pair of vag balls, you won’t find a much better price than that.

But I still don’t really “get” vaginal balls. Maybe it’s my body. Maybe it’s the way they’re made. I don’t know. They confuse me. Oh well…

Thank you, Lelo!

Sharing the Sexy #18

• Sex-positive feminist podcast The G Spot has just released its entire first season as a Valentine’s Day gift for you or someone you love.

How to have sex with a survivor. Important stuff.

• I think we can all agree that the new Fucking Sculptures line of glass dildos looks pretty damn excellent. I’m intrigued by the Corkscrew, and laughing at their choice of name for the Hooded Nun.

Porn in space?! Oh man, this should be good.

• A line of lingerie for trans woman has launched.

• Interesting… Apparently gay and bi men are less depressed than straight ones. (Also, please watch the Steve Hughes video at the top of that post – it’s a classic!)

He’s a dildo engineer and Reddit grilled him about his work. Incase you ever wondered. I know I did!

When will feminists stop being equated with bitches?! And did it ever occur to the writer of that piece that maybe the reason it can be hard for a feminist to get with a man is not that she’s a bitch, but that he’s an ignorant, privileged asshole?

• Here’s some important information about the U.S.’s new birth control policies.

• Um, apparently Cosmo thinks you should wear Spanx on dates to keep you from having sex too soon?

• Here’s an amusing urban legend about sexual ignorance.

• Dodson and Ross explain how to use your PC muscle during sex.

• Call a spade a spade? Epiphora says call a sex toy a sex toy. What do you think?

Review: Luscious Playthings glass vaginal egg

The Luscious Playthings glass vaginal egg comes in many different sizes, ranging from extra small to extra large. Normally this would be a good thing, but for a kegel product with no retrieval cord, I can only recommend the extra small size… and only to people who are comfortable putting at least half their hand into their vagina.

I was sent the small size, which isn’t that small: 1 ½” in diameter, the same width as some of the bigger dildos my vagina can handle.

It’s a beautiful product: totally smooth all over, softly pointed ends, high-quality glass. As an object of beauty or a paperweight, it’s flawless. However, as a vaginal product, I can’t recommend it.

I inserted it with only a minimal amount of lube. (Don’t do this. Trust me.) I stood up and bounced around, checking how well it stayed in. It didn’t move or shift at all, which should have been a warning sign; the mechanism by which vaginal eggs exercise the PC muscle is by feeling like they’re almost slipping out, thereby forcing you to clench your muscles to keep the egg inside. There was none of that feeling with this egg, because it’s too big and I’m too tight, evidently, even when totally relaxed.

After noting that the egg’s shape and dimensions fit my vagina so well that I couldn’t even feel the damn thing inside me (disappointing), I tried to push it out with my vaginal muscles.

Nothing happened. I reached inside and tried to pull or push it out of me, and again, nothing happened. This is when I started to panic.

My boyfriend was there at the time, luckily. I laid on my back with my legs pulled up and instructed him to lube up two fingers and try to extract the egg. He did, and we spent a good fifteen minutes like that, him fishing around in my vag and me trying to bear down with my muscles. Let me tell you, it was not comfortable. (Irrelevant sidebar: my boyfriend was hard the whole time. Not because he found my pain arousing, but because he gets hard easily and he was touching my vagina. If I hadn’t been in so much discomfort, I would have laughed.)

We even tried inserting the Magic Banana as a sort of makeshift vaginal lasso, but by then, the egg had gone up fairly deep into me and I didn’t want to push it in any further by accident.

Then I remembered that there is a position in which the contents of my vagina (e.g. a menstrual cup) tend to slip out, even when I don’t want them to. I know this because it’s the position I usually sleep in, but can’t when I’m on my period, lest my cup fall out and ruin my bedding.

The position involves lying on my stomach, with one leg (usually the right one, though it probably doesn’t matter) pulled up and bent. Imagine a flamingo or a person hopping on one foot, except lying down on their front. That’s basically what it looks like.

I laid in that position and pushed out rhythmically with my muscles while my boyfriend looked on. After a few minutes of that, I finally gave birth to the egg. And then immediately vowed never to try it again.

The product itself isn’t a bad one. Having no retrieval cord isn’t a big deal if the toy is shaped and sized in such a way that it can come out easily with a little pushing. But if the “small” size was big enough to get lodged in my vag, I have to wonder who would possibly want to use the medium, large, and extra large sizes. True, they’ll stay in all day if you want ‘em to, but a) that defeats the purpose of a kegel product and b) you might need an excavation team to get them out of you.

Thanks so much to Luscious Playthings for letting me try out this product!

Review: California Exotics Couture Collection Eclipse

Vaginal balls always vaguely intrigued me. The claims they make are so impressive: stronger orgasms, increased muscle control, something to keep you entertained while you wait in line at the grocery store. As someone who cares immensely about maintaining my sexual health, I decided I needed a set – so I asked Sex Toys Canada to send me the Eclipse from CalEx’s Couture Collection. Despite CalEx’s shoddy reputation and sometimes even shoddier products, I’m very pleased with my choice.

My Eclipse balls are white, but they also come in pink or purple. The balls themselves are made of shiny ABS plastic, and are housed in a non-removable, soft silicone casing with circular cutouts that allow some of the plastic to show through. Because the silicone is apparently fused to the plastic, there’s no risk of getting bacteria-laden fluids trapped between the two, though the seams might need some toothbrush-scrubbing during cleaning.

Each ball has a diameter of about 1.4 inches, which (unless you’re a size queen) is nothing to sneeze at. They aren’t always comfortable to insert, so I opt to put some water-based lube on the first ball before pushing it up into me.

In use, the balls feel very bouncy and lovely. Walking up and down stairs is the best way to get that jangly feeling as the balls roll around inside their casings – but even walking around at a normal speed on level ground is enough to get ‘em rolling. It’s my understanding that vaginal balls are meant to be constantly noticeable so that you remember to do your kegels, and these are certainly effective for that – but the bouncing feeling is pleasant enough on its own, even without following it up with kegel exercises.

I’ve worn the Eclipse balls for hours at a time and nothing bad has happened as a result of this. I can wear them while going to the bathroom without incident, as long as I hold the retrieval cord out of the way – though people with narrow urethras may have trouble peeing with these girthy balls inside them.

The main issue I detect with the Eclipse balls is its stretchy silicone parts. The bridge between the two balls is stretchy, and it’s so insanely thin that I frequently get nervous it’ll break. However, I’ve stretched it a fair bit and it’s still perfectly intact. The same is true of the retrieval cord – it’s stretchy, making removal difficult and time-consuming but not impossible. (I usually end up just tugging on one of the balls itself to get them to pop out, since the string is so annoyingly elastic.)

Each of the balls weighs around a tenth of a pound, or 45 grams, which some beginners may find too heavy to start with. I think these balls are girthy and draggy enough that they’d stay in anyway, but it’s hard to say, because my pussy is on the tighter side. Someone with underdeveloped PC muscles might have a better time with a different kegel exerciser toy that is smaller and lighter.

While the CalEx Eclipse balls have a couple of design problems, I ultimately believe they do their job quite well. They remind me to do my kegels, they feel good in use, and they’re cute to look at. I still want to get my hands on some Lelo Luna Beads one day, but for now, these certainly do the trick.

Thanks, Sex Toys Canada, for assisting me with my sexual health!

Review: Magic Banana

As a sex toy reviewer, one of the questions I get asked all the time is, “What’s the weirdest toy you’ve tried?” Up til now, I’ve typically told people it’s the Eroscillator (ridged bronze god that looks a bit like a medieval torture device) or the Pure Wand (large curved hunk of steel that my mom claims she could do bicep curls with) – but I think I have a new contender in my toybox: the Magic Banana.

This toy consists of a yellow resistance cord wrapped in a curved loop of “smooth, non-toxic, FDA-approved” tubing, and a black handle that seems to be made of hard plastic. I haven’t been able to find any concrete claims about the actual materials used, but the instruction manual only recommends water-based lube, so maybe there’s some silicone in there somewhere.

The Magic Banana is a kegel exerciser. That is its purpose, and it lives up to that label. What bugs me about this product is the incessant claims it makes about its purported other uses, none of which it does well.

For example, the Banana’s manual states repeatedly that it is curved to hit the G-spot. Yes, it’s curved. Yes, it brushes past my G-spot when I thrust it in and out. But it certainly doesn’t feel very stimulating, at least not in an erotic way. If I want to writhe with G-spot pleasure, I’ll use a toy that’s actually designed for it, not a kegel toy that thinks it can be sexy.

The Banana’s instruction manual is full of hilarity, but I particularly like this passage: “The Magic Banana expands your pleasure possibilities and can enable you to experience several types of orgasm at once. With practice, the Magic Banana can also help you experience full-body orgasm.” I take issue with this. There is no proof to back this up. Sure, doing regular kegel exercises will strengthen the PC muscles and make orgasms longer and stronger – but “several types of orgasm at once”? “Full-body orgasm”? I think not.

Continuing to read through the manual, though, I came across this: “The Magic Banana can be a great tool to enhance partner sex – especially when used with oral stimulation.” Yes! This is an idea I can get behind. Mainly because, when my boyfriend’s tongue is on my clit, pretty much anything in my vagina will feel good. We tried it out, and to my amazement, the Magic Banana is actually great for this purpose. It doesn’t slide out at all, unlike literally every other toy I own, and it’s fun to feel its resistance cord being squished by my vaginal muscles during orgasm.

I guess I have to talk about the toy’s primary purpose at some point, huh? As a kegel exerciser, the Magic Banana is decent. It doesn’t provide as much of a challenge as I was expecting, in terms of resistance, but it can certainly be felt when I squeeze around it. I think it would be best suited for someone who hasn’t quite figured out how to isolate their PC muscles yet, or hasn’t done much kegeling before. I have fairly fit vaginal muscles and wished I could upgrade to something harder to squeeze.

I’ve tried to use the Magic Banana to stimulate myself internally while masturbating clitorally, as the manual repeatedly suggests, but it just doesn’t feel that great. The tubing awkwardly pulls and stretches at my vaginal opening, and it’s all too easy to bump into my cervix with it on the way in. I inevitably get frustrated with it and switch it out for something more satisfying at some point.

I think I would’ve liked the Magic Banana a lot more if I hadn’t been told, over and over again, that it would be able to do everything for me. It doesn’t please my G-spot, it doesn’t enable me to have “several types of orgasm at once,” it doesn’t induce deeper sleep with better dreams (yes, the manual actually makes this ridiculous claim). It does, however, provide a small-to-medium amount of resistance for doing kegel exercises, and it stays put inside me during oral sex.

You’ll probably enjoy the Magic Banana if you’re looking for a fun new way to do kegels, or you like having people ask you questions about the strange-looking objects on your bedside table – but don’t expect any more than that from this toy, or you’ll be just as disappointed as me.