Meet your vagina's new BFF
Ladies, it's time we had a frank conversation about our "lady parts." Every day, we P90X or Pilates our body, meticulously moisturize our face, and give our nails the mani-pedi princess treatment, all to look and feel healthy, vibrant, and sexy. Meanwhile, we completely ignore the health of the one part of our body that's essential to our sexual enjoyment — the vagina.
If caring for your pelvic floor (the under-appreciated purveyor of pleasure) is even a concept currently on your radar, you've likely been told to do clinical-sounding kegels. However, research indicates that 30 to 50 percent of women perform kegel exercises incorrectly and, even when done correctly, kegels alone won't properly tone the pelvic region. But never fear! The small but mighty Jade Egg (your vagina's new BFF) is here, bringing with it a spectrum of sensual pelvic floor exercises known as the ancient art of vaginal kung fu — or, vaginal weight lifting.
So, what is it, you ask? What do you do with it? And is vaginal kung fu for you? It's time to get acquainted with the little egg made of jade (yes, the stone) that's putting a pleasurable new twist on the age-old concept of getting laid.
Bringing Sensuality to Sexual Function
Once the erotic province of queens and concubines in Ancient China, the Jade Egg practice involves manipulating a Jade Egg (sometimes known as ben-wa balls) inside the vagina in order to retain (or re-gain) pelvic tone and vitality while also enhancing sexual pleasure. So why all the fuss now?
1. It Gets The Job Done.
Vaginal weight lifting gets the job done on the purely sexual function level, working not only the well-known PC muscles, but also strengthening and revitalizing the deeper layers of the pelvic floor (including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels).
2. It Reconnects You — With You.
Jade Egg practice equally emphasizes a woman's reconnection with her intimate, sensual self, which is good news for the 43 percent of women who suffer from sexual dysfunction (i.e. lack of desire for sex, problems getting excited or aroused, or an inability to achieve orgasm).
"We are deep human beings," says Saida Désilets, Ph.D, educator, speaker, and author of Emergence of the Sexual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence, "and sexuality is completely linked with our psyche. I understand the desire to learn physical technique, but the Jade Egg practice is equally a deep return to self. The more women can intimately connect with themselves and delight in their own sexuality, it liberates even more pleasure in the body. It allows women to sense things in their body or experience types of orgasms that they maybe never felt before."
The Perks of the Jade Egg Practice
So, what's so kung fu about getting all woo-woo kumbiya with your sensual self? According to a study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, women who had a positive view of their genitals are more comfortable in their skin, more apt to orgasm, and more likely to experiment in bed. Basically, intimate self-connection leads to increased self-confidence and a self-confident woman is a powerhouse in the sack.
Want proof? Here are just a few notable pleasure perks associated with regular Jade Egg practice:
- Improved Tone: a resilient, trampoline-like tone to the pelvic floor helps increase blood flow, innervates neural pathways, and awakens more subtle sensations throughout the entire pelvic region all of which transmits a spectrum of pleasure messages to the brain. Why does that matter? Because research now shows that the vagina, clitoris, and cervix each illuminate different parts of the brain and trigger different pleasure responses and emotions (meaning you get to feel good all kinds of ways). And, after sex is done, tone pelvic muscles keep your arousal on a sultry low boil. "It takes a lot less time to get you in the mood," says Désilets," for your body to open, and things to get fun when you are focused on your body this way versus if you've ignored it for a week or month on end."
- Suppleness: Suppleness is the ability to melt open your pelvic floor and soften into pleasure and orgasm. The first 2 to 3 inches of the vagina have hundreds of nerve endings and are majorly sensitive. "The vagina is not meant to be pushed into," says Désilets, "it is meant to pull something into itself (as much as push something out [like a baby]). The "sipping" exercise in the Jade Egg practice helps you learn to activate the exquisite sensations of this area and to reconnect to that natural pulling in reflex.
- Dexterity: Dexterity is the ability to isolate different muscles of your pelvic floor and move them individually, in unison, or in sequence, which results in amazing pleasure for you and mind-blowing sexual sensation for a male partner. "A woman's vagina becomes like this living mouth instead of just a hollow tube," says Désilets. "The change is that different."
The Jade Egg practice helps a woman learn how to pull up, push down, squeeze in different ways, what Désilets calls "learning to play the flute". And most amazingly, with consistent practice, this dexterity response becomes a natural occurrence.
Now that sounds pretty kung fu. It may not leave him yelling "hi-yah!" but it will certainly leave him moaning, "oh, hell yes, baby!"
5 Tips for Vaginal Weight-Lifting Successfully
1. Pace Yourself
The Jade Egg practice is process oriented, not goal-oriented. Slow and steady wins the race. It can take a couple of weeks to a month of consistent practice before a change is noticed (and, tip: your partner might happily notice before you do). Remember, the objective is to slow-down and intimately connect with self, not to crank out a set number of reps or beat the world's vaginal weight-lifting record. Five minutes every day will yield faster results than an hour once per week.
2. Relax and Release the Jade Egg
Exhaling and releasing the muscle is as important a part of each Jade Egg exercise as the contraction. Too much tone can actually impede orgasm, can pinch our pleasure nerves and decrease sensation. The ebb and flow of contraction and release in tandem are essential for healthy blood flow and creating neural pathways (think of it like breathing, in AND out). Just like in any other form of weight lifting, you have to release the contraction in order for it to be a dynamic exercise.
3. Lie Down First
Practice with your Jade Egg lying down at first, especially if your pelvic floor is numb or atrophied = picture your egg dropping out of your body whilst standing. (#NoThankYou). Only once you've mastered a variety of exercises (Désilets book alone offers 60), then move to sitting up and then to standing.
4. Thread Your Jade Egg
All quality Jade Eggs are drilled through the center so that you can thread your egg with a thin string or piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss. This thread will help you easily remove your egg after completing your exercises. Also, be sure to learn how to properly prepare and sanitize your egg.
5. Be Your Own Benchmark
Before first beginning the Jade Egg practice, use your finger as a barometer to measure. Practice the sipping exercise and the dexterity exercise with your finger in place and notice where you feel a lot of squeezing strength and sensation and where you might have none. This will identify where you need to focus with your egg to help achieve balance your unique pelvic region. Then, once a week or once a month, re-test your progress. This will help you notice progress more rapidly.
Most importantly, remember the Jade Egg practice is a whole journey.
Sure, it's about conjuring some amazing, Ka-POW (how you like me now) sex skills, but it's also about coming home into ourselves with profound intimacy. And that's sexy! "The power of this practice isn't in the jade egg;" says Désilets "it's in you."