When the Teneo Smartballs showed up as an offering from Good Vibrations for review, I was super excited. I have had a long and loving history with Fun Factory toys, and had always wanted to try their Smartballs kegel exercisers but had been hesitant to drop my dollars on them. What can I say, I’m poor so I’m rather fussy with my purchases. I gleefully sent off my email requesting the toy, and shortly thereafter had a delightful little parcel on my doorstep. I’d like to say that the fun had just begun, but unfortunately that turned out to not be the case.
First, a brief explanation of what the Smartballs are. Basically, these are objects you insert into your vaginal canal to assist in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor (via what are known as kegel exercises or kegels). They are designed to be worn for extended periods of time, or to be interacted with via the pull-cord to create resistance. The Smartballs Teneo come in two models- the uno or single ball version, and the duo which has two balls connected by a silicone band in between.
These are an updated version of Fun Factory’s old Smartballs kegel exercisers. The main differences between these and the originals are the silicone band which runs around the equator of the toys, the textural aspects of the silicone banding, a divot in the back of the toy to “ease insertion” and the retrieval cord is now silicone rather than nylon. Some of these changes are useful and good, such as the changing of the cord to being a silicone strap. This means the whole toy is disinfect-able now when before it wasn’t. Funny thing is, looking at the old version vs. the new version? I wish they’d kept the older design and just siliconized it (is that even a word?).
My first attempts at insertion were horrible. No way I could shove this thing into myself, even with lube, without some warm up. For something which is supposed to be more of a maintenance item and not a get-me-off toy, this kinda frustrated me. Try as I might though, it was a no-go. After a bit of warm up via clitoral action and a trusty vibe, I was able to weasel this thing into my cunt. Not slip, not insert, weasel. See, the ball-like shape combined with the perpendicular raised bands of silicone made for some serious resistance along my vaginal opening. The shape and texture issues, paired with there being nowhere useful to grip the damn thing even with their “easy insertion groove”, meant it took a combination of pushing-rocking-shoving to finally maneuvere the ball into place.
Once there, I wasn’t terribly keen on it either. The lateral ribs of silicone rubbed against my urethral sponge in a way that was not at all enjoyable, but rather scratchy and oddly similar to the beginning sensations of a UTI. Nothing spells fun like simulated bacterial infections now does it? I tried walking around my apartment but couldn’t really feel the weight in the ball at all. I ran up and down my stairs. I hopped on my bicycle and rode around the block. I did jumping jacks. Still couldn’t really feel the ball. I did find that the ball had moved itself up past my urethral sponge, thank goodness, but I’m used to things do that as all my menstrual cups do the same thing when I put them in.
Next go-round with the Smartball I tried laying down and tugging on the string to create resistance. Theoretically this would create a game of tug-o-war between my hand and my cunt, except the size and shape and silicone banding of the ball meant it was firmly lodged in there and wasn’t about to slip out at all. Giving up, I extracted the ball from myself one last time. Pulling this thing out of me was the most enjoyable part of the entire experience, though that’s kind-of like saying that the most enjoyable part of a pelvic exam is the cold metal speculum. In fact, I think I’d have preferred the speculum over the Smartball.
I’ve been loathe to write this review, in part because I don’t like being negative (especially when Good Vibrations was so kind as to offer this to me for review), and in part because I didn’t want to think about the damn thing ever again. In my delay I discovered that a good friend of mine loves her Smartballs Teneo Duo, and since the new version of the Smartballs are disinfect-able I handed mine over to her to test out. Now that we’re both done with SEAF, she’ll have some time to get acquainted with the uno version of her duo and let us know how it goes. I’m hoping she fares better than I did.
Despite not being crazy about the Smartballs Teneo Uno, a huge thanks to Good Vibrations for letting me try this out. For more information on kegels, check out their How to do Kegels and Strengthen PC Muscles page, and browse their array of Kegel & PC Muscle toys.