Tantus is pretty damn awesome, all around. Their products, their employees, their founder, their entire rainbow-unicorns-glitter existence. And then they had to go and make something that will raise eyebrows everywhere, whilst still being made of awesome.
I’ve seen paddles made of wood (naturally), paddles made of rubber and leather and even glass. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pure silicone paddle. What’s the fuss? Well, it’s Tantus silicone so you can sterilize it (an important feature for the serious kinkster), and each of the 4 paddles is a varying level of wobble ranging from pretty firm to nearly-a-flogger. While I only own one of these, I was able to play with all of them at CatalystCon last month.
Pelt and Thwack
These two are more sturdy, the paddle portion is thicker than the other two. They’re also shorter, and in my eyes look more like a traditional “paddle”. They still have flex and bend, though. A solid, wood paddle is firm and hard, and absorbs the excess energy when you smack someone (there’s a better way to explain this, but I don’t have the words in my brain lately). The “give” and bend of the silicone paddles means that you don’t have to use as much of your own energy to deliver the same amount of pain – conversely it also means that you can deliver as much pain as you want, as hard as you want and unlike the traditional wood paddle, you can’t break it. But the ability to deliver more-for-less is great for people with disabilities, less upper body strength, a wonky wrist, etc. I’ve seen people just kind gently “wobble” the paddles and deliver a satisfying, yet sting-y smack with little effort. This also means that you gotta dial back your swinging arm. I’m accustomed to a suede flogger, the kind made up of strips of leather. It’s more thud than sting. But it also lets me really work out my frustrations/irritations/whatever and feel more, really uh “put my back into it” kinda thing. Pelt is all about the nice, rounded edges and reminds me of a hairbrush. Thwack has a solid, rectangular look to it and is a little more rigid of the two, I think.
Wham Bam and Snap Strap
Ohhhhh boy do these fuckers sting. Wham Bam is the one I own personally, and while it’s pretty wobbly it isn’t exactly floppy – if I hold it upright it lists the side a bit. It’s 15″ long, whereas the Pelt and Thwack are closer to 12″ long, and the paddle portion is thinner silicone than the Pelt and Thwack, which lends to more wobble. And therefore, again, less effort required to really deliver a stinging smack. Even at 15″ though, you’d think it’s not travel friendly but it is. The flexible design would allow this to curve around in a tight U-shape to half its length. The same can be said for the Snap Strap, as it is even longer (nearly 18″) and a little thinner than the Wham Bam. When you try to hold the Snap Strap upright the whole length just falls down, it doesn’t support itself. I would really classify Snap Strap as something more akin to a flogger than a paddle, with Wham Bam being in the middle. Since the body of these is also less wide than the more traditional Pelt and Thwack, you are delivering a more concentrated smack but also a more precise smack on a smaller surface area. Trying to aim for the nipple and not the whole breast? The Snap Strap would really do well at that sort of thing. Into delivering these sensations to the vulva/clitoris? Wham Bam or Snap Strap. Now excuse me whilst I go cringe like crazy for a few minutes after thinking about the last two scenarios.
If the receiver has a high pain tolerance, then these are absolutely perfect. If the receiver can only tolerate dull, thuddy whollops like a hefty flogger can deliver, then they may not be able to enjoy the Tantus Paddles. But I have a feeling that many kinksters will enjoy the hell out of these things. You can’t break them, they’re easy to clean, they’re non-porous and safe to share between partners, the handle will be comfortable for most, they travel well and are lightweight, but best of all? They’re affordable. Right now SheVibe.com has them listed for $33.99 each.
When you purchase one of the Tantus Silicone Paddles, you’ll receive it in a simple, Tantus plastic bag. Attached to the handle is a simple tag with a little about the item and it details basic care. As with every Tantus silicone item, the paddles are phthalates- and latex-free, hypoallergenic, odorless and can be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution, by boiling or even tossing in the top rack of the dishwasher. Less rigorous cleaning could be as simple as soap and water or, for fun at the dungeon, use cleaning wipes unless it came in contact with body fluids and you’d like to go use it on a different body. These paddles will last you a lifetime.
Thanks to SheVibe for sending me one of these to review.
(It will really come in handy for….nevermind. If I tell you, you’re an accessory.)
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I’ve been acquainted with Aneros as a company for almost 10 years now; long ago hubs and I got him one of their first Aneros prostate plugs. It was great and all, with a couple flaws and a big learning curve. A few years ago I found the Nexus Neo for him and he hasn’t gone back to his Aneros since. But suffice to say I’ve known about Aneros and the ground-breaking work they have done.
At last year’s Momentum Conference, Aneros gave out postcards allowing attendees to get their hands on the first run of their new product for vagina-owners, the Evi. I was curious so I asked for one and received it a few months later. When I opened my package I was a little skeptical at the froofy large, red lace drawstring bag that the whole entire box fit into. It was pretty, though, if you like that sort of thing. The modern and sleek boxed opened to show this oddly shaped, bright-red thing – Evi. Instructions and platitudes were included. The shape looked 47 kinds of wrong to me to achieve what they promised, but I tried it anyways.
Where My Vagina Says “What the Fuck?”
The bulbous portion of the toy and the neck will go in your vagina. Yes, it seems to be pointing *away* from the g-spot. The handle bar looking bit rests in between your labia and should come in contact with the clitoris for many women. The handle bar portion isn’t “T” shaped, it won’t be tickling your ass (even if you would like it to). The handle bar portion combined with the weight and the angle made me constantly feel like the thing was about to fall out of me as I walked around. It wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable. Sitting with the Evi in me felt uncomfortable/painful and frankly I have a lot more padding than some women – if I can feel the seat of my chair pressing up on the Evi in an awful way, I can only imagine what that would be like for someone 70 pounds lighter than me with a much smaller ass and thighs. I didn’t last very long before I yanked it out and tossed it in a drawer.
A month or three later, Aneros sent me an email asking me to fill out a survey on how I liked it. They asked if I’d tried it standing, sitting, laying down, etc and I was soon growing as bored of the survey as I had the Evi. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and I paused whilst filling out the survey to actually go try everything they suggested. I sat. I wiggled my hips. I humped the air1. I laid down and thought of England (what? I know a lot of hot English bloggers), I laid down and thought of Brad Pitt, thought better of it and thought of Angelina Jolie instead. I laid on the bed and thrust my hips up in the air like a convoluted yoga move2. I concentrated on doing my kegels properly, just to make sure. I could feel the external portion nudging somewhere in the vicinity of my clitoris but my g-spot was left totally out of the party unless I grabbed Evi by the handle and forced it to speak to my g-spot like a proper young lady. Er, wait.
I felt it coming but I couldn’t stop it in time…
I sneezed. While sitting in a chair with the Evi inside of me. AND IT REALLY FUCKING HURT3.
So if you get nothing else out of my review, please listen to me: Do not ever sneeze with the Aneros Evi inside of you. If you feel a sneeze coming on, no matter what you’re doing you shove your hand down your pants and get that hunk of silicone out of there. STAT.
Here is where I become confused and therefore in turn confuse you. Evi is advertised with phrases like “designed to comfortably and effectively ‘hit the spot’ without the need for vibration.” and “With correct insertion, Evi will alternately stimulate the G-spot and the clitoris with a simple Kegel exercise.” so…is it a Kegel exerciser, or a sex toy? Both? “Mind-blowing orgasms”? I’m side-eyeing you real hard, Evi.
For me, it’s neither. The front curve doesn’t stimulate my g-spot, even with the most enthusiastic kegel crunch. The handle does not even come close to stimulating my clitoris. I don’t require a jackhammer vibrator to orgasm, but I do greatly prefer vibration so that the internal portion of my clit can be stimulated. I have, a few times, been able to orgasm from manual clitoral stimulation. This is not even in the ballpark of a finger. Ok, so a slow-building orgasm is never going to happen for me with this. But couldn’t I just use it as a unique kegel exerciser, and maybe get a little aroused at the same time?
Sex Geek Time
Unlike the Luna Beads which are passive kegel exercisers, the Evi is active. Look, I can forget I’m cooking something on the stove until I hear it sizzling two rooms away or smell it burning. Despite the fact that the Evi isn’t subtle, I still forget to actively do something while wearing it. I think I’m preoccupied by how uncomfortable it all feels. or, ya know, SQUIRREL. After doing some more digging, I may have discovered one reason why it feels so godawful uncomfortable to me:
*put on Sex Geek T-Shirt*
First thing I noticed was a very compressed rectal canal on the left. The second thing I noticed would explain why Evi isn’t really hitting my g-spot – that tiny curved portion of the Evi that is near the g-spot area has very little surface area to actually contact the g-spot – and since there is no one set location of the g-spot (hence my drawing edited to show where the g-spot could be), if yours doesn’t fall in the exact place that Aneros thinks it will, it’s not going to work for you very well. My g-spot happens to be a lot closer to my vaginal entrance than Aneros’ drawing shows.
Aneros Evi is about 5ish inches long, although it’s really hard to determine length in something as oddly shaped as this. It only weighs a couple ounces. It is hard plastic covered in a red silicone skin. Most of the Aneros for Men are just hard plastic. If that might cut down on the price, I’d be all for it – with a Velvet PU coat, ABS plastic can feel almost just like the silicone skin. It’s a matte finish silicone, the kind with the “silicone soft touch” added in like Lelo, Je Joue, etc5. It is all one solid piece so if you really felt the need to, you could add it to your dishwasher on the Sex Toy Cycle6, but I don’t think you should boil this. I’m not really sure, since it’s not 100% solid silicone. Anyways, it’s non-porous and would be easy to sanitize. Other than the odd red lace bag that encased the box I received, they do not include a pouch for the Evi to store it in. The box is nice but it’s not meant for discreet storage. It retails at about $70, and that right there is one part of my two-fold main reason why I won’t be recommending this.
Despite the fact that Aneros tries to specifically claim that Evi will fit ALL women7, Evi is not an every-woman sex toy. Hell, nothing is, this I know. And I know that sex toy makers need to write up amazing copy to sell their wares; nearly8 everybody who makes something does this. But my experience of the Evi vs their shiny, promising copywriting feels quite a bit like advertised burgers vs reality burgers. First of all, I don’t often have the time for an Aneros Experience. I don’t have hours to lay in bed, contracting my muscles, waiting for the 2:00 Orgasm Train to roll in. I just don’t have that kind of patience, frankly. In the pursuit of sex toys I have indeed spent up to an hour trying in vain to reach orgasm – the resulting orgasm was not 10 times better because of the wait. Aneros Evi is quite a lot like a rabbit vibrator – as a woman you could try out 20 rabbit vibes and if you’re lucky, one of them will hit all your spots in the just-right area with the just-right amount of vibration to create your own personal Nirvana. And due to the (in my opinion) grossly inflated price, I’m going to stand by my recommendation of the original Lelo Luna Beads set for killer kegels. They’re very much “set and forget” as they passively go about toning your kegels while you go about your day. I know damn well they work, because I once wore a set of the heavier beads for half a work day; the next morning I woke up with PC muscles that were sore like ab muscles get sore when you do too many crunches.
I’m trying to think up a good explanation for the type of person Evi would work for as advertised, and I really can’t. Not because I think that Evi isn’t right for anybody; but because it was such a complete and utter fail for me personally. After my third and final time (about 4 hours before writing this) of trying very hard to feel even 1/10th of the love that some people on my Twitter feed profess for Evi, as I pulled the Evi from my vagina I swear it said “thank you” to me and I apologized for putting it through that again. I promised to not do it anymore and it mostly forgave me; some weird unnamed spot in there is still quite tender as I write this.
One final tip if you decide to purchase: Evi, like anything Aneros makes, has a learning curve. You’re not going to achieve tantric orgasmic bliss the first time out (if ever). Be prepared to give it a few tries. Carve out some quiet, alone time. But please, please don’t lay there doing kegels like a bunny on meth for an hour just to reach orgasm or I promise you, you’ll be in pain the next day and do you really want to tell your boss what happened or explain to coworkers in 2 days why you’re still walking funny?
- And felt down right ridiculous, like perhaps they put this suggestion in as a joke to make you feel like an asshole after doing it ↩
- Again with the ridiculous measures, does anybody get off from that??? ↩
- And I also piddled a little bit. Yeah I know, I need to work on my kegels ↩
- God I was SO TEMPTED to put in Grumpy Cat here but I just did that in the G-Vibe review and thought it would be a bit much ↩
- This meant that I was able to use silicone lube on it – again despite the Party Line clucking to not mix the two, if you mix smart and right it can work out just fine. I tried Wet’s plain silicone lube and their hybrid, both worked just fine and didn’t damage the silicone skin on the Evi ↩
- And by that I mean top rack, no suds, “sanitize” setting ↩
- The fact that they try to claim that one item will fit ALL women very much irks me because it can’t possibly be true – g-spots are not all in the same location, vulvas and clitoris..es? are not all identical…you just can’t make one thing, especially something that is so oddly shaped, and claim that it will indeed fit every person with a vagina ↩
- I almost just said “everybody” but then I thought about Tantus who doesn’t try to claim that any of their toys will give you earth-shattering orgasms for everyone, they’re very realistic folks ↩
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As someone who vastly prefers grey & black to pastel shades, you would think I would love the Luna Beads Noir. After all, one of the very few aspects that I didn’t love about the Luna Beads from the very beginning was the color scheme – kinda practical/clinical/boring. And I admit I do indeed love the look of the Luna Beads Noir. But the thing is, vag balls are not a fashion accessory. Nobody is going to see them. I don’t wear them on my wrist, or loop them around a lanyard. So the only thing that I can think of as to why Lelo produced these, is to capitalized a little more on the Fifty Shades crap. And yes, that is a factor in the production of the Noir beads. I didn’t feel that the Minis were anything to do with the Fifty Shades crap, because I had read numerous reviews in the past where some women stated that the Original Luna Beads were a bit too big to be comfortable for them. But the overpriced singular pair of Luna Noir in their graphite color scheme? Totally Fifty Shades. I even asked Lelo about that aspect and this was the response:
Fifty Shades did have some influence on the creation of Luna Beads Noir, since we had feedback from consumers to make a more sensual version of the world’s best selling sexual wellness product that is more focused on intense foreplay sensations. Luna Beads Noir are smaller for easier insertion and extraction and are a heavier weight compared to our classic version for stronger, more pleasurable sensations.
However, to me, Luna Beads Noir set is a bit of a head scratcher. They come only in one size – the mini size – and just one weight! The heavier weight. If you’ve never used a kegel bead set I wouldn’t recommend jumping right to using the full set of these. I did that once after going a long time without using any kegel exercisers and I actually had sore, overworked PC muscles the next day, akin to overworked abs after doing way more crunches on the first day back to the gym than you really should have attempted. You could use just one bead at first; I would only recommend using one bead though if your kegels are toned, you consider yourself to have a tighter vagina, and truly do not prefer dildos above 1.25″. Otherwise?
You might very well find yourself doing….whatever it is you do whilst wearing fancy Luna Beads…and out of your pant leg rolls your singular Luna Bead.
Anyways. Since I’ve noted that these are the same size as the Minis that I recently reviewed (and did not like) I also wanted to note that Lelo fixed the problem that I and a few others reviewers had with the initial run of the Luna Minis – the inner weighted ball is back to how it should be, covered in rubber to muffle the rattling sound. But just as with the Minis, the issue is that the weighted ball is too large to produce any real noticeable sensations for me. The less room the weighted ball has to move around, the less you’ll feel it. So to me, not only does it fail as a kegel exerciser (which doesn’t seem to be the intended use if I read Lelo’s answer) but it fails as an “intense foreplay” toy. It was really hard to capture this because of how dark the Noir beads plastic is, but you can see pretty well in the photo below how much more “wiggle room” that weighted ball has in the Original set on the left. I couldn’t show this with my set of the Minis because my weighted balls appeared to be a bit smaller due to the lack of a rubberized coating.
Given the price factor I don’t really feel like these are worth the money. I do like the look better; hell I’m the girl who wanted a new Acuvibe because it came in black and to replace my Devine Play Chest because it was out in a black-on-black (instead of my pink-on-black). If Lelo had made the Noir set as simply another color option to the Originals and Minis and kept the whole system the same I’d tell you that it’s just a color preference. But the Original and Mini set both have the graduated 4-ball weight set that I’ve always loved so much, priced at $42.99 (the not-on-sale price at EF). So when I saw that the Noir set, which only included 2 balls, was $35.99 I felt even more reluctant to recommend them. I’ve always preferred the Luna Beads to any other kegel system out there but the Noir set, as it stands, is another story altogether.Read More
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Same thing, only smaller.
That’s what I said when I first got these and it’s still pretty much true. The set is identical in design, weights and colors to the original Luna Beads – I’m not going to rehash all of that crap, so just go back and read that review if you need that info. The only change is in the size.
Well….the size, and the fact that the weighted ball inside of the plastic bead is naked metal. I own two sets of Luna Bead Original and in both, that weighted bead is coated in something so that the sound of metal on hard plastic isn’t so loud. I have no idea why they didn’t do this with the Mini Luna Beads Pleasure System. The noise difference between the two is huge – but this doesn’t mean you’ll feel the weights rattling and shifting any moreso than the Original beads.
I could hear the Mini’s rattling around inside of me but that was from an internal POV. Externally it wasn’t super bad but I think in a public, very quiet place I would feel self-conscious. There was the occasional rattle but it could be passed off as something else. However, Elspeth recorded the sound her set made as she wore them, and the noise is quite obvious. Is the sound dampened for me because of my weight? Hard to say.
So I guess the question is….why should you purchase the Luna Minis? If you have tried any of the other kegel beads on the market (or the Luna Original) and felt that they were uncomfortably large then try out the Luna Minis. If you’re happy with the Original size or similar in other beads, then I’d say pass. They’re created especially for women who cannot tolerate much girth. You might be able to use these as further exercise if you feel that your kegels need more toning and you’ve been using the Luna Original 2-bead blue set; I did feel that it took a little effort to keep the Mini set inside of me and I was using a holstered 2-bead set. Have you ever worn a tampon and been in a situation where it’s been in a little too long and is over-saturated and starting to poke out a little? That’s what it was like for me wearing the Mini set, that feeling. I like the Luna beads because they’re a passive kegel exerciser, unlike little cheap Ben Wa balls that require active effort to stay inside of you.
The only other kegel bead set on the market that these can be compared to is the awful Bedroom Kandi Hold on to Me set; these are larger that the BK beads with actual silicone for the holster.Read More
For those who have read the 50 Shades of Grey books (I, sadly, read the whole trilogy so that I could comment on it all with knowledge and then I lost the interest to even write the damn rant) you may remember that in a number of scenes, Christian Grey instructs Anastasia to insert a stainless steel (for everything with this damn idiotic man is gray/steel it seems) kegel ball for her to wear once while in public and another time or two during a spanking. It’s been awhile since reading the books though so I don’t know what they referred to it as, exactly. It wasn’t a Ben Wa ball. Those are generally the same theory as the larger Kegel beads on the market, which something rattle-y inside, but are much smaller and have no retrieval cord. As described in the book, the object Mr. Grey used was 2 steel silver beads linked with black thread. That just doesn’t work in reality.
Shelley’s Toy Box asked me to review an item for them and at the time I chose this because I had actually been looking to see if this “fictional” sex toy existed anywhere other than the author’s warped imagination. While the Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball isn’t exactly what Anastasia used, it’s about as close as you’ll find on the market I think. Heavy, cold and made in Germany, these are not your average Kegel exercisers. Shelley’s Toy Box has two styles….with one chain dangling down, or two. I don’t quite understand what the difference is between those, really. More weight hanging outside the vagina to offer resistance, maybe?
As with all steel toys, the kegel ball will be cold at first unless you warm it in your hand a minute, but it does warm up to body temperature very quickly and retains that temperature….the dangling chain and attached little balls are another matter though and they may retail some chill.
The Stainless Steel Geisha Love Ball is sadly not something I will recommend for anyone who actually wants a Kegel exerciser. The Luna Beads have everything over on this item – they are more noticeable during wear, they are easier to sanitize, they are more customizable with weight and just all around more practical. The Geisha Love Ball weighs 90 grams; the chains and balls attached take the entire thing up to 120 grams. Lelo’s Luna Beads can be used together or singularly; each pink bead is 28 grams, each blue bead is 37 grams. This means that the Geisha Love Ball by itself weighs more than two blue Luna Beads together….and unless you have well-developed PC muscles, it is not recommended that you start out with 2 blue balls. Also, the chain with the ball(s) at the end? The chain is fairly long, which is necessary for a retrieval method, but those damn metal balls present a new problem – unless you’re wearing jeans, the clunk of the balls resting inside your panties as you sit down on a wooden chair is noticeable. Even for me.
The description on the site also says that these beads, since they are all metal, will rattle inside of you more noticeably ….. yet they do not. I stood here and danced around and I could barely feel them even whilst trying to simulate the twist. So perhaps these might be good for a novelty item and best suited for BDSM play where the wearer must keep these inside while their dominant tugs on the chains? However at $90-110 each, it’s a little much for novelty.
Since these are stainless steel, they can be sanitized fairly easily. However, I do not recommend that you drop it into a pot of boiling water. As I discussed recently regarding Lelo Luna Beads, the item may sustain a little damage if it knocks the sides of the pot during boiling. In comments of that post, Elspeth told of her marvelous work-around – use a colander in the pot! This way the items never touch the hot metal bottom of the pot, or bang the sides and all is protected. This does matter even with a stainless steel item, as they are not entirely scratch-resistant. However, cleaning this chain is not such as easy task. In fact, it might be the design’s major flaw. That chain is very, very difficult to clean in between the tight links.
While the Geisha Love Ball looks a lot more bad-ass than the Lelo Luna Beads, I would still recommend Luna Beads over this any day.Read More
It’s a bit of a long story regarding how I came to be reviewing the Lelo Luna Beads for a second time, but basically I lost the bead holster of my original set of Luna Beads that I reviewed way back in 2008 and I just happened to put them on my Wishlist. I put them on the wishlist more as a personal reminder that I wanted to replace them but I ended up getting them to review, along with the updated version of the Lelo Mia. By now I’m sure you’ve read tons of reviews on the Luna Beads so I’m going to start out this review with a few facts and dispelling of myths; things you’ve probably not read much about.
1. The “retrieval leash” on the Luna Beads has come under fire by many reviewers who don’t understand the overall design. It kind of looks like a tampon string, sure. But it’s not exactly absorbent. It’s made of nylon and is a very hygienic material. More importantly, this material is compatible with the way the Luna Beads are made which leads me to point #2…..
2. Luna Beads are not held together with glue. They are sealed together with an ultra-sonic welding technology, and the nylon cord was one of the only materials compatible with this technique. This method of securing the two halves of the outer ABS plastic balls leads me to point #3….
3. You can boil the Luna Beads for easy cleaning and sanitizing. YES. You can BOIL the Luna Beads.The beads, the holder, everything. Toss it all in and have some Luna soup. **Please note that you should not boil the beads for longer than 5 minutes. You should not place them in a metal pot directly; either place a silicone colander inside the pot OR place the beads in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. If the beads touch the bottom of the pot, there is a chance they could deform, as the pot bottom is hotter than boiling water**
Luna Beads – Why the Nylon Cord?
I talked to Lelo and found out that they spent years working on the design of the Luna Beads and that they were delayed the most with the retrieval leash. They tried many things but finally settled on nylon. The combination of the material and the way Lelo Luna Beads are made means that it’s going to take a LOT of force to break these or have that nylon retrieval leash come apart from the bead. You’ll probably never need to use that kind of force to remove them from your vagina. Some people have almost vilified this retrieval cord in their reviews, saying that it ruins the material safety issues but really….who are you going to be sharing these with?? These are meant to be a Kegel/PC muscle exerciser (not a sex toy) and they were never intended to be used anally. I recently reviewed one of the only other sets of Kegel balls that come in a varied-size set similar to the Lune Bead system, the Bedroom Kandi Hold On To Me, and at first it seemed like they were trying to improve upon the Lelo design. With the HOTM beads, the retrieval leash is part of the bead holster (which means you need 2 holsters…1 for using a single bead and 1 for using the double bead set) and Bedroom Kandi / OhMiBod claims that this is silicone. But it’s not, it’s a silicone-elastomer blend which is porous. It cannot be sanitized. AND it’s incredibly stretchy, turning it into a rubber-band weapon dangling from your vagina, just waiting for slippery fingers to let go so that it can snap your bits like the 4th grade bully who sat behind you. The Luna Beads nylon cord is not stretchy at all, and it is a loop design, making it easy to grasp and pull out.
The Beads themselves are made from ABS plastic1, which is a body-safe material free of phthalates, latex or other bad softening agents. ABS plastic is non-porous. The bead weights are color-coded (pink beads are 28 grams each, blue beads are 37 grams), rather than a stupid painted-on design which rubs off after the second use. The plastic beads have actually changed slightly since I first got mine in 2008. I had noticed that more recent product photos showed that the beads were a little more “fancy” looking than mine – mine were pink and blue, sure, but had a very slight yellowish cast to the color and the plastic was slightly frosted. The newer beads have a truer pink and blue hue (more noticeable to me with the pink) and the plastic is more clear. All in all it’s a slight design change but it makes the beads look a bit less clinical. They are not, however, as shiny and color-saturated as some of the product photos floating around retailer sites.
The bead holster is easier to use than the Bedroom Kandi set; the silicone is matte finish with a slight texture and isn’t very stretchy at all – just stretchy and soft enough to slide the beads in. If lined up just so, the holster will completely cover the hatch-like markings where the bead halves are welded together. Of course for use purposes it’s not exactly necessary, especially for the bead without the retrieval leash. And yes, the holster IS silicone; it passed the silicone flame test. Babeland has listed that the girdle/bead holder is medical-grade silicone but the Lelo site says “FDA approved” and I’ve been told by them that all of their silicone is food-grade. Food-grade silicone isn’t any less body-safe than medical-grade for sex toy purposes.
Cleaning (and boiling) the Luna Beads
I’d never heard before that you could boil the Luna Beads for a better clean. I think I’d just assumed that they would fall apart. Well, they won’t, because glue is not used. And water will not get inside. With my first set of Luna Beads, I did not clean the retrieval leash very well and it ended up yellowing slightly. I talked to Lelo about this and was told that a simple wash with your favorite anti-bacterial toy cleaner followed by a quick 5-minute boil would ensure that there is no staining and every part of the design will be sanitized. Just remove the beads from the holster to ensure that everything gets cleaned.
ETA Oct 17 2012: A reader contact me to tell me that she boiled her Luna beads, and they became disfigured. Lelo is replacing them for her, and it was emphasized that you should not boil these for any longer than 5 minutes. I think that I was told before about a 5-minute boil but it was not emphasized that it should not be any longer than 5 minutes at max. I was also told this time that when boiling, do so in a large pot….where there is enough water so that the Luna Beads don’t touch the pot or each other.
Lelo calls these “Pleasure Beads“. When I first experimented with sex toys and saw those cheap, metal “Ben Wa” balls in the sex toy catalog I wasn’t sure exactly how to use them but I’d heard they were for sex. I couldn’t imagine having sex with some balls stuffed in my vagina! Let me assure you that the Luna Beads are not meant for use during sex. They’re not even really meant to give you an orgasm. What they are meant to do though is strengthen the Kegel/PC muscles (without any effort on your part) and in turn that will give you stronger orgasms and more pleasurable PIV sex. It will also contribute to a healthier bladder and fewer accidents when you sneeze (if you’re young enough that you don’t know what I mean by that last statement, then STFU and I hate you).
Believe me, these work, and you don’t even have to do anything. I know because once, after being away from the Luna Beads for too long, I thought I’d just go ahead and step right on up to 2 blue balls at once. Not only did I skip ahead a few steps but I probably wore them for a few hours longer than I should have. The next day my PC muscles were sore – just like any other muscle would be if I exercised too much. I can never remember to do active Kegel exercises, so these things are great for me.
I’ve heard from some women that they can feel them moving easily, some cannot feel them, and some are bothered by the movement. It’s actually not so much the large Luna Bead moving around inside of you, but the smaller weighted bead rattling around and pinging off the sides of the plastic ball. Whenever the weighted bead taps your vaginal wall, your PC muscles automatically contract just a tiny bit. The muscle contraction is not something I’ve ever felt. But this is how they work those muscles without requiring you to clench and release yourself. Over the course of a few hours you’ll have achieved the same level of Kegel exercise as if you’d done 4 or 5 “sets” of active exercises throughout the day. These only work if you’re mobile, however, not if you’re sedentary. It’s best to insert them before you go for a walk, run errands, or anything slightly active. The more active you are, the more these weighted beads will rattle around inside the plastic shell and the more your muscles will be tapped.
A lot of women find that wearing the Luna Beads will increase vaginal secretion (during use) and the mere presence of something subtly moving can increase natural arousal. But, please, don’t call these a “sex toy”.
Some reviews I’ve read have claimed that these are “noisy”. Rest assured, there is no discernible noise whatsoever to anyone other than you. You are simply “hearing”/feeling an internal activity. To you it seems noticeable but it definitely is not to anyone else. The metal Ben Wa balls I once owned had a bizarre musical tinkling sound whenever they moved. Lelo Luna Beads have a rubber-coated weight which is virtually silent when they’re in your body.
And the Winner is…
I’ve owned and worn exactly once a set of Fun Factory Smart Balls which did absolutely nothing for me. As I already mentioned, the Bedroom Kandi Hold on to Me balls had visual appeal but lacked in common sense or material safety. Another set of sort-of progressive weighted kegel beads is the Je Joue Ami set; I’ve not tried them but Epiphora has and I agree with her assessment: Bizarre design and what is UP with this stretchy retrieval cord again??