If you’ve ever even seen a sex shop in person or in a movie/show (cough…Fifty Shades of Grey..cough), you’ve probably at least caught a glimpse of Ben Wa balls. While lots of erotic products can be hit or miss, these insertable orbs - also called kegel weights, kegel balls and pelvic strengtheners - are a key pleasure and toning tool for many folks. So, while we might know that Ben Wa Balls exist, we might not know some specifics, like what they are, how they work and the benefits of including Ben Wa Balls in your sex toy arsenal. Luckily, today, we’re talking about that very thing!
Intro to Ben Wa Balls
First, we should probably explain what Ben Wa Balls or kegel balls are. They’re weighted objects that are inserted into the vagina to strengthen the pelvic floor (or PC) muscles. Many vagina-owning folks also enjoy the stimulation kegel balls can provide to the nerve-ending-rich anterior vaginal wall. Plus, since they’re worn internally, they’re great for discreet stimulation in public.
Ben Wa balls are believed to have originated in ancient Japan, where a single ball was inserted into the vaginal canal to enhance sexual intercourse. Over the years, kegel or Ben Wa Ball design has evolved to include multiple balls -- which are sometimes attached -- and features like vibration, remote controls, and convenient pull strings for easy removal.
Types of Ben Wa Balls
Like most other sexual health and wellness devices (because Ben Wa balls are sort of both!), there are many different types of Ben Wa balls available. Just like dildos, vibrators, or butt plugs, they can be made from many materials, including metal - like the Metallic Weighted Steel Orgasm Balls, glass like the Chrystalino Glass Ben Wa Balls, silicone like the Bfit Basic Love Balls Set, and even ABS plastic like the Inner Goddess Silver Jiggle Balls. The great thing about all of those materials is that they are nonporous, which means there are no little nooks and crannies to harbor bacteria in your weighted ball. That makes these pleasure balls super easy to keep clean, which we all know is super important.
Ben Wa balls come in various sizes and weights, but interestingly, those two things don’t always go hand in hand. For example, you might find a set that is small and heavy or a set that is larger and light. So, how do you know what you need? Regarding weight, Ben Wa balls can weigh anywhere from 10g to 100g, and your ability to use them will depend on your pelvic floor strength. Start with the lighter Balls, and increase the weight as you feel your muscles strengthen. Some sets - like the Intimina Laselle Kegel Exerciser Set - come with balls in several weights to allow you to work your way up.
Now, in terms of size, larger balls are easier to hold in place, so you may notice that heavier balls may actually be smaller. Just something to keep in mind.
Finally, Ben Wa balls have not been left out when it comes to the deluge of bells and whistles available in modern sex toys. You can get your Ben Wa balls in attached pairs or in sets with multiple weights. You can choose ones with a retrieval string for easy removal, ones that vibrate, and even ones that are operated by remote control or via an app.
How to Use Ben Wa Balls
Once you make your selection, how do you use Ben Wa balls? Well, let’s talk about insertion first. It’s a pretty simple process, but let’s break it down
- Start by washing your hands and your Ben Wa balls
- Lie down comfortably
- Apply a liberal coat of your favorite lubricant to the vaginal opening
- Slowly insert the first ball.
- If you are using a pair of balls (pretty common) or two connected balls, gently insert the second ball into your vagina
- Push the balls into a comfortable position/depth. If you are using balls that feature a retrieval loop or string be sure that is hanging outside of the body.
And there you have it, Ben Wa balls in place. So now what? Well, let’s talk about how to use them for both business (well, pelvic floor strengthening) and sexual stimulation!
When it comes to Ben Wa ball use for pelvic floor strengthening there are two techniques and they are both pretty straight forward:
- Technique 1: Simply wear them as you move about naturally.
- Technique 2: Perform the following kegel exercises with the balls in place: squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds, then release for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times in a row if possible (you can work to build up to 10 over time).
Additionally, there are many ways to use your Ben Wa balls for sexual pleasure. Try wearing them while receiving oral sex or during clitoral stimulation, either manually or via a vibrator. While we’re talking about multi-tasking, it can also be fun to wear your Ben Wa balls while enjoying anal play.
The process of removing your Ben Wa balls is slightly different depending on which type you are using. You can generally relax, get comfortable, and pull with a retrieval cord. Voila! For separate balls/balls with no retrieval cord, it’s a little different but still not daunting:
Stand with the legs hips-width apart, squat (sort of like a sumo wrestler) and bear down like you might when removing a tampon. If they don’t move right away, stay calm, add more lube and read on because we get to that in a little bit.
Benefits of Using Ben Wa Balls
The main benefits of Ben Wa ball use relate to pelvic floor strength and sexual pleasure. Now, to strengthen the pelvic floor it is not necessary to use them (one could simply do kegel exercises) but they can help you focus on the muscles that need to be toned. Plus, they’re just a fun way to spice up a kegel workout routine.
For sexual pleasure, Ben Wa balls can contribute to heightened arousal, increased sensations and a more intense sexual experience. Many enjoy using them while engaging in other sexual activities to add another layer of pleasure to their play. Finally, as we know from many media portrayals, wearing Ben Wa balls out in public is enjoyed by some couples as a fun, kinky way to engage sexually with discretion.
Using Ben Wa Balls Safely
Ben Wa balls are generally safe, but also come with a couple of risks, namely overexertion, tearing, and infection. The good news is that these are all easily avoidable.
To avoid overexertion or tearing, start with lighter balls, squeeze for only about 5 seconds at a time, and never keep your balls in for more than 6 hours. Additionally, you should probably not use Ben Wa balls if any of the following describe you:
- Recovering from childbirth or currently pregnant
- Have recently had gynecological surgery
- Have an active pelvic infection and/or existing pelvic pain
- Have an IUD (intrauterine device)
To avoid infection, proper cleaning and storage practices are a must. After use, thoroughly clean your Ben Wa balls with warm water and gentle soap. Rinse them well and make sure they are completely dry before putting them away in a box or case. I advise washing both before and after use.
One last safety thing: Whenever we talk about insertable objects, the fear of getting things lodged in the body comes up and it’s totally understandable. The good news is that the vagina is a cul de sac, not a through road; there is only so far things can go in before the cervix stops them. That said if you are having a hard time removing your Ben Wa balls, there are some things to try:
- Stand up and walk around
- Get into the sumo squat I described above and cough (yes, seriously)
- Jump up and down
While they may feel a little silly these methods have a decent track record for dislodging stubborn Ben Wa balls. However, if this is a big concern for you, I advise choosing balls with a retrieval string that stays outside of the body.
Ben Wa balls are not just sex toy staples, they are sexual wellness devices that have truly stood the test of time. They have the potential to benefit both your pelvic health and your sexual pleasure and today’s market features variations to suit just about every taste. To learn more about this expansive topic,check out some more resources.
To get started exploring Ben Wa balls for yourself head on over to PinkCherry. Their huge selection of adult sex toys, wellness products, lubricant, and more features Ben Wa balls and kegel exercisers in different sizes, shapes, materials, and styles.