Photo by: Mary Widdicks

I've Got Balls of Steel... In My Vagina

Photo by: Mary Widdicks

Ever since 50 Shades of Grey took the stay-at-home-mom market by the nipple clamps, sex toys have suddenly become an acceptable topic in polite conversation. A few months ago I was getting my hair cut and somehow the subject of 50 Shades came up. Within five minutes the entire salon was shouting out their favorite parts and which sex toys they’d be interested in trying over the sound of the hair dryers. The proverbial cat is out of the bag. Women are pervs.

Naturally, I started to wonder whether 50 million horny housewives might have a point. I went home that day and googled Ben Wa Balls. They seemed like the simplest and least embarrassing of the sexy paraphernalia. Ben Wa balls are steel balls, a little larger than a marble, that have been used in geisha houses for centuries. They are inserted into the vagina and held in place by the pelvic floor muscles. Supposedly, the keigel-like squeezing increases sexual pleasure as well as reduces some of the less pleasant side effects of childbirth.

They had me at urinary incontinence. It was like vaginal multitasking. I was sold.

I’ve given birth to two very large babies so far, and as much as I hate to admit it, things down there are not everything they used to be. My overwhelming thought while reading the Ben Wa scenes in 50 Shades was, “Oh honey, my vagina could eat you for breakfast.” I’m not sure if I’m proud of that fact or horrified, but it is what it is. I’m sure the main character’s nether regions were petite, pristine, and soft, like a flower in a Georgia O’Keefe painting. Mine, on the other hand, are gnarled and scarred like a war veteran. She’s seen the worst that life has to offer and come out the other side. Ok, so she’s hideously disfigured and would probably walk with a limp, if vaginas could walk, but she’s hard as nails.

I have the utmost respect for my vagina, but I have to admit that after my second baby was born I got a little tired of changing my underwear every time I sneezed, jumped, ran, laughed or made too sudden a movement. I felt like a 90 year old woman, which believe me, does nothing for your sex life. It was time to sit my vagina down and have a stern talk. I said, “Look lady, it’s time for you to quick slacking and get a pair of balls.” That’s exactly what I did.

I’d read that as a beginner you should insert the balls once a day and work your way up to holding them in while walking around for fifteen minutes. That sounds simple enough. I waited until the kids went to bed, because that was a conversation I wasn’t ready to have with my three year old, and popped them in. I’m sure there are women out there for whom cramming foreign objects up her most private of parts would be an uncomfortable experience. Let me tell you. Once you’ve had kids, you’ve had so many objects up there (i.e. hands, speculums, that crochet-hook-thingy they use to break your water during labor, a human head, etc.) you won’t think twice. Your parts are no longer private. Sorry.

They were cold at first, but soon warmed up until I could no longer feel them. I waited curiously for the sexy, tingly feelings to start down there, but I’m pretty sure my vagina is too jaded to fall for such shenanigans. Oh well. My first thought when I started doing my usual end-of-the-day tidying was “I’ve got this.” Maybe my haggard vagina is some sort of Ben Wa prodigy. Fifteen minutes? Ha. I could go all night.

Until exactly 1 minute 48 seconds later (Yes, I timed it) when the first ball escaped. I felt it start to move, but was powerless to stop it. I quickly shoved it back up there. Two minutes later it shot out again. This time I caught it between my thighs as it hurtled toward the ground. As I stood there, knock-kneed, I was grateful I hadn’t attempted this while anyone else was around.

By 8 minutes in I was literally holding them in place with my finger, like plugging a dam. At 10 minutes I gave up and called it a day. The first ball came flying out, but the second one had lodged itself up in my who-knows-where and I had to send in a search party. This was going to be harder than I thought, and way less sexy.

I’m not sure if it’s physically possible, but my vagina felt tired. I’d done yoga the other morning for about 5 minutes and could barely walk the next day. I hoped my vagina wouldn’t be stiff the next day.

I continued to insert the balls, dutifully, every night after the kids went to bed. The second night I made it until 3 minutes before popping a ball. The third night I think I would have made it longer, but the dogs barked. I learned that shouting at the dogs while holding in Ben Wa balls results in something like a blow gun. Those suckers shot out and clanked loudly on the floor. On the plus side, it scared the bejeezus out of the dogs. They stopped barking. Handy new training technique? I filed it away for further consideration.

After one week I was able to make it the whole fifteen minutes with only one or two slips. I’d also perfected the expulsion technique and was no longer having to fish the second ball out of the vacuous abyss that is my lady parts. It seems vaginas learn fast. I wish the rest of me whipped into shape that quickly. I don’t think I could do jumping jacks, run, carry the baby, or do anything other than walk slightly awkwardly around my kitchen while wearing them, but I’d say it was progress. I noticed that I could once again sneeze with impunity, as long as I was careful to stop walking and think about squeezing immediately before. It was a small, but important victory.

I don’t know if I see wild 50 Shades sex in their future, but I will continue to use the balls every night. It’s far easier than remembering to do Keigel exercises five times a day. Maybe someday I will be brave enough venture out of the house, during the light of day, with my little friends in tow. I’ve read that the longer you can hold them in, the more you start to notice an arousing feeling of “lightening” when you take them out. I have no idea what that means, but I’m intrigued enough to keep going.

So should you ever run into me in the check out line at Target and notice an odd, constipated look on my face, don’t be offended. I’m not unhappy to see you. I’m just squeezing my balls even tighter. Trust me. It’s a compliment of the highest magnitude.

Mary Widdicks is a 30-year-old mother of two boys, two male dogs, and an ever­ changing number of gender-­indeteriminate fish. Her husband calls her ‘Honey’, the three-year-old calls her ‘Mommy’, the baby calls her ‘Milk’, the dogs call her their Indentured Servant, and she’s pretty sure the fish have no idea who she is at all. She is also the writer of the humorous parenting blog You can also find her on Twitter.

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