Are you there Lelo? It's me, Edie.
For a brief period, I was having a really awful time with my ovarian cysts. To be sure that it was just the cysts and it wasn't any kind of muscle spasm that I should be concerned about, my gyno decided to send me to a pelvic physical therapist. She did all of the preliminary checking to see that everything was in working order, and then she had me do a couple of kegels.
"Hmm." she said, and then asked me to do a couple more.
"Hmm what?" I asked, because no one likes hearing that when someone's fingers are up inside them like they're digging for buried treasure.
"If I were to give you a grade on your kegels on a scale of 1-5, I'd give you a 2."
"Are you serious?!" I exclaimed. Seriously, this is the lowest grade I have ever gotten on anything.
Then she went into asking me bunch of questions about how many kegels I regularly do (only a handful, if someone suddenly mentions kegels), and if I have ever peed myself for any reason (yes, but my sneezes are hella powerful, ok?). And then she told me I was to build up to doing 4 reps of 25 kegels a day. I asked her how long I should do this for before things would be back up to a 5.
"The rest of your life."
This brings me to today, after I've spent a full week test driving the Lelo Luna Smart Bead. It's marketed as "Your Personal Pleasure Trainer", basically a sexy little toy to makes kegels sexy and grant you with the power to crush penises with your vagina for mind blowing orgasms. Cool marketing angle, but from reading other reviews of it online it seemed to confuse a lot of people because it was a weak vibrator that everyone expected to magically grant you fairy orgasms after regular use. I, on the other hand, just needed something to remind me to actually do kegels every day because it's a thing I never consciously schedule myself for.
The Smart Bead was actually bigger than I expected so I was a little concerned. I'm used to using the smallest possible tampons because I also have issues with vaginismus (shout out to OB). Was this think actually going to fit and not hurt? I guess we'd find out soon.
Unlike my last couple of products from Lelo, this one is battery operated. Given the complete immersion of the toy in the vagina, I can see the reasoning for this. Though I have to admit, I wish it was something that you could plug in and charge, because taking the battery out for storage is kind of a chore to do every night. Realistically, I could leave it in all of the time like a remote battery, but I don't want it to sit in the toy so long just in case the battery corrodes. Battery acid leaks in the snatch sounds bad. But on the bright side, they were generous enough to send the Smart Bead with a battery included. I can't imagine how many complaints there would have been if they didn't include one.
Important, kegels do not take place in your butt. Do not needlessly stick things up your butt in the name of exercise.
So according to this chart, I'm going to start referring to my vagina as an amateur every time it does something that displeases me. Off schedule period? AMATEUR! Of course the ultimate goal is to have a Master vagina. One that crushes walnuts in a single squeeze and fights crime. MASTERPUSSY!
So how does it work? It's rather a clever little design. When you turn on the machine, the bead will light up and tell you what level you're currently on. It memorizes your training level even when you take the battery out, so no concern about swapping batteries when you need to. And there's plenty of lead time before you insert it and the exercise cycle starts. The Smart Bead gives you three quick little buzzes to let you know everything is beginning and then off you go!
Look at it buzz. It's coming for you, pelvic muscles.
My concerns about the size were unfounded. With a tiny dab of lube it fit without any discomfort. I will warn you that when it is vibrating the retraction leash can fool you into thinking that it's falling out. It might be, but it likely isn't if you put it up far enough and you're actively squeezing. Speaking of which, always pee first! All of that squeezing is gonna put some pressure on your bladder, and you'll give up halfway through the 5 minute exercise cycle.
There are four squeezing intervals total with each set giving you three squeeze times, they get increasingly long and are paced in odd rhythms. Honestly it's kind of hard to focus on anything else while the Smart Bead is going off, so I don't recommend trying to wear it and doing chores or anything else that requires concentration. There were times it stopped buzzing for an extended period, so I thought it was done. But then I'd go about not focusing on it and suddenly feeling BUZZZZZ. I've found it's actually better to use the 5 minutes to just meditate a little and focus on the squeezing, so I do it right before bed. Towards the end, the squeezing time becomes drawn out and I just want to get it over with, and then I started getting a little self conscious and wondering if I was actually squeezing right. Luckily it ends the way it begins with three little vibrations to let you know you're done.
Cleanup is easy, but that's where I find my biggest flaw with the Smart Bead. The seam in between the cap and the body is definitely not a tight seal, so you end up getting gunk on the inside of the Bead right outside of the battery. This is part of the reason why it's best to take out the battery after every use; you have to clean up the inside of the seam anyway. If you're not careful about regular cleaning it could get really gross, and possibly potentially dangerous to use.
The Smart Bead can be used as a regular bullet vibrator, but it's pretty weak in terms of vibrating power so I'd just recommend getting something else if you actually want a bullet vibe. As for walnut crushing ability, that'll take a while to build up to. According to the Mayo Clinc, it could take up to 12 weeks of regular kegel exercises to notice any real improvement.
There are other things on the market that involve weights and such (including the classic Luna Beads), but I like the efficiency of knowing this is 5 minutes out of my day. Besides, knowing me I'd probably be the one who tries walking around all day with weighted beads, only for them to fall out in front of my boss at an important meeting or something.
I'm going to predict right now that a Smart Bead 2 will come out eventually, but I honestly have no idea. But if/when that happens I hope the changes include a plug in/USB charging system, and maybe a Lelo Smart Bead website to go along with it to track your progress. I would love to know how long I am actually squeezing the right way and how long I'm not and just convincing myself I am. This model is overall really great for what it is, but there's a lot of untapped potential to make it much more useful.
The Luna Smart Bead retails for $109, which is really pricey in comparison to other kegel exercisers. But for lazy squeezers like myself it's worth the money. I was super fortunate to get this one from Lelo in exchange for this review, which looking back involves a fair amount of complaining.
At least you know I'm not yanking your retraction leash. (Oh god, I actually wrote that.) And a bonus little note about the links in this post. They did hook me up with an affiliate link, which means if you buy anything based off of my reviews I get a little something special. By no means does this change anything about how I write, and I don't see anything you order. Feel free to type the address into your search bar instead of clicking through if that makes you uncomfortable, it doesn't bother me any. But if you're gonna buy something special anyway, who better to go through than someone you internet know?
Random side note, I bought a Oneplus One the other day on Craigslist because I needed a new phone. Look at how freaking giant this thing is! My entire hand is behind the phone. I'm not gonna write anything more about it, I'm just amazed at how huge this phone is and how I'm probably going to drop it one day.