In need of a redesign since 2011.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Product review: mum, don't read this one

The world post- the invention of the internet is a strange one. You can be famous for a week, reviled for a month, and can meet all your heroes at peculiar conventions. One of the other oddities, one that applies to me today, is that sometimes people think your opinions matter just because you write a crummy blog. Hooray!

As a result, I have been sent, by the very generous Adam of Strawberry Blushes, a women's sex toy to review. At this juncture, I'd like to ask anyone not comfortable with the idea of that to skip this post - I'll be back to normal for the next one. Thanks.

Before I tell you what I picked from the site, here's a bit of background information: Ben Wa balls have been used for centuries to help stimulate women, either during sex or throughout the course of the day. It's thought that Japanese geisha used to use them, hence the alternate name "geisha balls."

They serve as more of a prolonged tease than a masturbation aid, so the aim with them isn't to orgasm. In fact, one of their uses is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, in much the same way as kegel exercises do.

I bought some a few years ago. I liked them, but found them quite tricky to use, to be honest - they were small enough to slip out sometimes, and the feeling of them clicking against each other takes a bit of getting used to!

Anyway. Fastforward to now: I selected a product called "Girly Giggle Balls" to review. They're a bit bigger, because there are traditional metal balls inside the outer layer. Take a look at that outer layer, by the way. It looks interesting in the "tickly soft pink" colour that I chose - I can only imagine how I'd have felt faced with the "daunting black" option. (It's probably not labelled as that, but come on. Look at 'em!)

If I wanted to insert a morningstar I'd - no. When would I ever want that.
So yes, I chose the less intimidating ones. They were delivered quickly and in discreet packaging, so that ticked all the boxes.

My first issue was that there was no real product information on the packaging. You're told that they're made of "soft and nubbly jelly," which isn't very specific - and it does matter, because you're not supposed to use silicone-based lube with silicone toys. Because it might dissolve the surface and make them feel sticky to the touch (thanks, Wikipedia!). Luckily, the Strawberry Blushes website has a lot of information on it - what they're made of (PVC), their size (1.5"), what they do, how to use them... I mean, I know it sounds obvious, 'put them in;' but a helpful reminder to lie down and relax really wouldn't go amiss.

Because, boy, these aren't the same as my old ben wa balls.

They are bigger. And pricklier. And I really think you'd benefit from being pretty turned on before you even started, which I wasn't.

As I mentioned above, the idea is that the movement of the two balls against each other is intended to gently and continuously stimulate throughout the day as you go about your normal life, but the size of these ones means that they just don't do that. Not for me, anyway. It's not better than the alternative of them slipping out sometimes, because I'm pretty sure they're not toning any muscles. Keeping them in is not an effort. Taking them out, however, requires patience and careful positioning. They're not uncomfortable while they're in, but nor are they erotic, just - present, in much the same way as a mooncup (and, oh boy, I need to write a mooncup review one of these days).

In the absence of any product instructions, I thought I'd write some of my own so that anyone curious can repeat the experiment.

HOW TO USE GIRLY GIGGLE BALLS: instructions for use

  1. Lie back on your bed and slowly - SLOWLY - insert the first ball.
  2. Take a breather. Try to internally adjust yourself so that there's more room.
  3. Insert ball two and sit up - slowly.
  4. Question what you're doing with your life.
  5. Wonder why you didn't just take up your hot friend on his perfectly reasonable offer.
  6. Later, squat and pull the string to take them out - slowly, for the love of god, slowly - and wash them, taking extra care with the string because it looks like it's made of the same stuff as bathroom light-pulls and you've seen how grubby they can get.
  7. Have a cup of tea, and try to think of the least undignified way to describe the experience.


Appearance: 2/5
Ease of use: 2/5
Effectiveness: 0/5
Would I recommend them to a friend: maybe, if they'd annoyed me in some way. Maybe by oversharing. I can't think of any other way it would come up in conversation.
YM, as ever, MV.

This has been interesting, anyway! Next time, I think I'll get something else. Maybe a new vibe. Maybe something showerproof.