The Review: LELO LUNA Smart Bead
The Verdict: (out of five)
I do Kegel exercises. Well, I sort of do them. I mean, I mean to do them on a regular basis, but what that translates to in my daily life is that I sometimes, occasionally, randomly think to do them when I’m sitting in my car, or waiting in line somewhere. Then I feel guilty about forgetting about them for so long and I squeeze those puppies really hard a few times. And then I move on with what I’m doing and forget about them for weeks.
It’s hardly the regular strengthening regime many experts recommend. Yup, as it turns out, Kegel muscles are just like every other muscle in your body – they need regular exercise if you want to keep them fit. Because strong, fully functioning Kegel muscles can mean a stronger core and less risk of incontinence, which I don't have but would be happy to avoid. And, if that isn’t motivation enough, stronger Kegel muscles often mean more intense – and therefore more pleasurable – orgasms.
I know all this. Totally. But, when I got the LELO’s LUNA Smart Bead in the mail, I pulled it out to have a look, and then left it sitting on my desk for far too long. I was having a really busy week, and I just didn’t feel I had time to deal with trying out this cute Kegel exerciser.
And then it hit me. This toy could be the ultimate device for multi-taskers.
Actually, I kind of think it is. The LELO LUNA Smart Bead is super simple, the workouts are short and easy to do and you can do it while doing just about anything else. Now that’s my kind of device. So, I finally set out to try the LUNA Smart Bead. Over the past few weeks, it has since become something I use on a regular basis.
A Look at Your Pelvic Floor
Kegel exercises strengthen what are called the pubococcygues (or PC) muscle, a muscle that extends from the tailbone to the pubic bone. It is there to support your pelvic organs, but it also helps control the flow of urine and feces and position and move a baby during childbirth; it is, of course, also the key muscle that you feel contracting rhythmically during orgasm.
The typical way to strengthen the PC muscles is to do Kegel exercises, or contract and hold the PC muscles for up to 10 seconds 10 times. According to experts, we should all (men and women alike) aim to do this every day.
And, yeah, Kegels are easy to do. Do them in your car! Do them at work! No one will ever know! Or, so says the Internet. But Kegels are really boring which, for me, means they often don’t get done – or that I start doing them and then rush off to something else mid-squeeze.
The LELO Smart Bead
Enter the LELO LUNA Smart Bead, which bills itself as a “personal pleasure trainer.” I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a personal trainer and while I didn’t imagine getting one for my vag, apparently that might be the part of me that needs one the most. But more on that later. The LUNA Smart Bead is just one of a slew of products designed to help strengthen the PC muscles. But, unlike products like LELO’s LUNA Beads, which are essentially just weighted balls you must use muscle power to hold in place, the Smart Bead provides more of a training system. Which, for a competitive, type-A person like me, was an irresistible draw.
The LELO LUNA Smart Bead arrived like all LELO products; discreetly enclosed in a shipping envelope which contained LELO’s crisp, stylish box. Inside the box was the Smart Bead, a small sample of LELO’s personal moisturizer, a storage bag and an AAA battery.
Most LELO products charge via USB, but the use of a battery here is actually a pretty good idea. The Smart Bead doesn’t use much power (apparently you can run the training regimen up to 200 times on one battery), and the lack of charge port makes the fully-insertable toy easier to clean.
Plus, it meant I got to get going with my workout ASAP, rather than waiting for my Smart Bead to charge!
The (Pelvic Floor) Workout
I’m not much of an electronics geek, so I like things that are simple and that I can figure out how to use quickly and easily. I didn’t relish having to dive into LELO’s multilingual booklet of instructions but, fortunately, I didn’t have to. The LELO LUNA Smart Bead only has one button on it. So, naturally, I pressed it. I small red light beside the button flashed three times.
I put the toy down on my desk, perplexed. And that’s when it started vibrating around beside my keyboard.
That's because once you turn the Smart Bead on, it gives you several seconds to insert it (use lube!) before beginning your pelvic floor workout. So, I restarted the toy, popped it into place and plopped down on my couch.
The Smart Bead’s training system includes five levels of intensity, with one being the easiest and five the hardest. The Smart Bead starts everyone off at Level 3, and uses "smart" technology to gauge the user’s strength and fitness. It then records this information to decide which level to begin with the next time around. The idea is that you’ll progress to the highest level as you get stronger over time.
How that played out for me is that the first time I used the Smart Bead, it flashed three times when I turned it on, letting me know it was beginning a routine at Level 3. The next time I used it, it flashed twice, indicating Level 2. So, apparently, my vagina is a flabby do-nothing that needs serious work.
Apparently, my vagina is a flabby do-nothing that needs serious work.
Once inserted, the Smart Bead emits three short vibrations to signal that the workout is about to begin.The workout itself involves sets of several vibrations in succession, with short rests in between. The idea is that you are to contract your Kegel muscles every time the Smart Bead vibrates and hold them until the vibration stops. Then you can rest until the vibration starts again. At Level 3, the Smart Bead provided four sets of seven squeezes, with the length of vibration increasing slightly with each set. When the workout’s over, the LUNA Smart Bead emits three short vibrations again and then shuts itself off.
Now, squeezing this thing sounds easy, but I actually found it quite challenging, which makes sense if my muscles are actually as weak as the Smart Bead thinks they are. Maintaining the contractions required quite a bit of concentration, especially when I had to hold them for longer. I also felt kind of tired and please with myself after performing these exercises, as if I'd just done a killer set of crunches. Which is saying something, considering I could complete the whole routing while sitting stock-still on my couch.
What I Love About the LELO LUNA Smart Bead
I work out a lot, so I was skeptical about adding another “workout” into my routine. But, what I like about the Smart Bead isn’t so much that it’s a good Kegel workout (which I apparently really need), but that it takes brainless, boring Kegels and makes them a bit of a game. One I can do from my couch. While watching Netflix. And possibly also drinking wine. That isn’t typically how I work out, but apparently it’s just what me and my Kegels were needing. I'd also like to add more such forms of exercise to my regular routine.
On the practical side, I like the fact that the LUNA Smart Bead is super easy to insert. I’ve tried Kegel balls but I preferred this toy’s sleek shape; trying to shove a set of slippery balls up there is no peach. The Smart Bead’s retrieval string makes removal quick and easy too.
What I Didn’t Love So Much
The LELO LUNA Smart Bead is simple to operate and fun to use, but it’s pushing it to call it a sex toy. The toy’s instructions (OK, OK, I read them, but only for you!) say that you can hold the toy’s start button down to create a consistent vibration setting “for your personal pleasure.” I gave it a go, but I have to say, unless you’re either very new to vibrators or very sensitive to vibration, you probably won’t get off on this. Plus, with only an AAA battery for power, I'm guessing you'd drain the juice pretty quickly using this as a vibe. Use the Smart Bead for training and get yourself a real vibrator, like LELO’s SIRI 2 or LILY 2 if it's pleasure you're looking for.
The Smart Bead is also supposed to provide some biofeedback for your squeezing by vibrating harder when you squeeze harder. Now, as we've already established, my vagina is weak and pathetic, but even when I squeezed this toy with my fist, I couldn't notice an appreciable difference in vibration intensity.
I put off testing this toy because I didn’t think I’d like it that much. In fact, I really love the LELO Smart Bead overall. It has made Kegel training simple and kinda fun. Actually, it’s made Kegel training something that I actually bother to do. As a result, I'm giving it four hearts out of five.
Oh, and if you know of any other workouts I can do from my couch, give me a shout.