Over the past few years, we’ve heard a great deal about yoni eggs in the media.
This has been in large part because of Gwenyth Paltrow and goop fawning over them and the ensuing backlash and lawsuits for overpromising their benefits. They’ve also been riding the wave of the kegel trend and society’s obsession with wanting a tighter vagina (which is a whole ‘nother matter to disentangle).
I mean, I like rocks and minerals and all … but I prefer them outside of my vagina. And I’m not a big believer in some of this alternative medicine … not everything, but particularly stuff that is imported from the “east” or “Africa” (or some place that sounds “exotic”) and imported/diluted, usually by white people, for white people.
People have claimed that jade and quartz eggs (as well as the less mystical version, ben wa balls) have all sorts of benefits, from preventing you from peeing while laughing or sneezing to helping you have mindblowing sex to using your "heart energy"...for something?
While I’m extremely skeptical, I am a curious human with a vagina—and I also own a Lioness Vibrator, which is able to show your arousal and orgasm with graphs, charts, and even art. It’s magic powers rival that of the yoni egg’s reputation (granted, I made the vibrator, so I may be a bit biased here).
So I’m going to try this vaginal egg for a bit and see if/how my arousal/orgasms change when using the Lioness. Why not, right? I could surprise myself. And hey, maybe you, too, could learn something from me putting rocks in my vagina.
Warning: Don’t try this at home
Yoni eggs aren’t the safest thing out there and I don’t recommend you using them like I’m about to (idiotically) do. They’re made of porous materials, which means that despite your best efforts to keep them clean in-between use, these innocent looking eggs can harbor spores and bacteria and can give you an infection even if you’re careful.
Also, kegels have been trendy, but depending on your circumstances they can sometimes do more harm than good. You can end up hurting yourself if you do kegels incorrectly, so this isn’t just some cool thing you should jump into along with Soulcycle and Moon Juice (or whatever new fad those hip NYC/LA folks are up to these days).
If you hear this and are still really keen on kegels, I advise you to try and consult a pelvic floor physical therapist before you start your exercises. This area is their specialty and they’ll know how to advise better than most OB/GYNs, Gwyneth Paltrow, and me. That way, you can learn if kegels are for you (or if other types of exercises might be better) and you can get recommendations on products that might be helpful for your circumstances. Many therapists I’ve met are fantastic, know their knowledge is underutilized, and are very happy to help. You can find one in your area here.
If you’re determined and want to start something ASAP*, there are a number of glass and silicone kegel products out there that are not porous and will keep infections at bay as long as you keep them clean with soap and water. You can learn more about how to choose one here (it’s our sex toy guide but a lot of the advice also applies to eggs and ben wa balls), and here are a few tips to keep them clean here. I’ll also include some recommendations at the end of this, too.
* I say this not because I 100% recommend jumping into kegels willy nilly, but because you’re an adult who will make your own decisions, and if you’re going to try something you might as well try it in as safe of a way as possible. If you do experience pain or discomfort, please pause the exercises and seek expert help. I might sound lame right now, but hurting yourself can really suck.
Back to our regularly scheduled content—how to use a yoni egg:
Here’s my yoni egg:
And here are the instructions it came with. I circled my favorite part of the instructions here.
It’s made of Obsidian Gemstone—less hard than jade, but cheaper. I didn’t want to add more money to the goop empire so I bought my egg from Amazon. Normally I don’t recommend this because unless you’re buying directly from the brand (on their own site or sometimes on Amazon if they’re a seller there) it can be hard to decipher quality from knock offs and fake products that now proliferate Amazon. Why? You don’t want unknown ingredients entering your vagina and jumping the bloodstream (vaginal and anal tissue are a lot more absorbent than the rest of our skin). In this case, I’ll be sterilizing the shit out of this thing, so wherever this egg has been, I should be killing most everything on it. I think.
Sterilizing the shit out of this egg
With the advice of my husband, I’m following ISO 17665 steam sterilization to sterilize my yoni egg. To do that, I’m using an Instant Pot for 15 minutes, which should kill off pretty much everything on it. Let it depressurize, dry, and cool down before touching it.
Why not just wash it with warm soap and water? Because the material is porous and can harbor bacteria you can’t see, soap and water is not going to clean everything off, unfortunately.
Egg, meet yoni
I thread some unwaxed cotton string through the egg as instructed so I can make sure it’s easy to pull out. Now for the moment of truth, let’s put this thing in my vagina…
It’s not bad! I mean, it’s there. I try some kegels and stretches. Simple enough, I guess? The main thing I notice is that it’s there. Every now and then I feel it and it makes me more conscious of my vagina. I do sneeze and almost shoot the thing out of my vagina, but hey, no casualties yet.
The only thing that came up was when I was removing the egg — I had just painted my nails and wanted to get the egg out before heading out the door … but my nails had wet polish on them … I eventually used the “power of my yoni” to push it out. It was kind of weird but kind of cool, I guess.
I also didn’t have a place to “recharge my egg” near the light of the full moon, as per Gwyneth Paltrow’s sagely advice, because I don’t have any windowsill to place it.
I’ve used the egg periodically while doing a few exercises, stretches, and just going around the apartment. At the same time I’ve been using my Lioness Vibrator now and then to see if there have been any changes since starting this yoni egg thing.
Left: Before Yoni Egg. Right: After.
Before this all started, I was honestly having some of the best orgasms since starting to track them with my Lioness Vibrator. My pelvic floor felt flexible and my orgasms felt good. Since starting these kegel exercises with the egg, it’s been harder to stir up the strength to climax. It looks like one of my more average orgasms. Most notably, it took nearly 20 minutes to stir up the strength to orgasm, and while spending more time is not necessarily a bad thing (in fact, it can be very beneficial), in this case, it was a very unenjoyable 20 minutes that I wish I had back in my life.
Maybe I should have "charged" it with the moonlight. But probably not. I'm not sure if this took the chutzpuh out of my orgasms, but they didn't seem like they really helped either.
What are the benefits of kegel eggs?
As you may have expected, these purported benefits are snake oil. I still don’t believe in the powers of crystals or that there is anything inherently special about yoni eggs. I do think that there are some people who'd benefit from kegel exercises, when practiced correctly and recommended under specific circumstances, such as if you are experiencing certain types of pelvic pain or discomfort. But kegel exercises can be neutral or harmful for others. For example, if your pelvic floor is already painful from being too tight, kegels might make it worse.
I did discover something interesting through all of this — while yoni eggs are not great in and of themselves, I think there may be some benefits to the process of using something like one ...
1. You become much more conscious of your vagina
This might sound weird to folks who don’t have a vagina or folks who have been aware of their vagina all their lives, but some people aren’t really aware of their own vagina. I know because I used to be one of them.
I mean, if you don’t really venture down there as a kid and then one day, whenever you start menstruating and try a tampon, you discover this different part of your body that you intellectually know exists, but never was really aware of. For me, using a tampon for the first time and feeling my vagina holding the tampon almost felt like discovering I had a third hand. I was never conscious of sensations down there because I never had a need to be aware of my vagina until that moment onward.
Having the egg is kind of like that. It’s this thing that you constantly feel there in your vagina, so you become more aware of sensations there and how different things feel.
2. You care more about your vagina
We usually are aware of our vaginas during menstruation or sex and kind of ignore it the rest of the time. When you use a yoni egg, you become conscious about your vagina outside of those two times. You think about it more, maybe a LOT more than you ever did before, and by thinking about it more you’re also caring about it more. You care about how your muscles are moving, if you’re not peeing when laughing or sneezing, or if your orgasms just might be better. That’s already probably a whole lot more thinking about your vagina versus pre-egg.
3. Giving yourself a pretty rock elevates your perception of your vagina
I joke about this being a rock, but I think there’s something to yoni eggs looking like a pretty, simple stone. Most of the products we use with our vaginas are either very functional and feel cold and medical (e.g. tampons, birth control, hormone medications). Other products we might use for our vaginas are sex-related, and depending on your sex toy and perspective on sex, those may make you feel good or pretty meh. Some of us may feel uncomfortable or ashamed about our bodies.
The egg is pretty, doesn’t feel medical, and feels like you’re giving your vagina an exquisite gift. Even if it functionally just sits there and might give you an infection, it’s a way to express care for your vagina that’s beyond addressing necessities.
Maybe our obsession with kegels and eggs comes less from our belief of magic and more with our desire to care and cultivate our sexual pleasure. And there’s definitely a need for that.
Alternatives to kegel eggs
I’m a big believer in having more ways to explore your body, but there are a number of options to do that are better and safer. Here are a few ways you can improve your vaginal health, explore your body, and improve your pleasure:
1. See a pelvic floor therapist
If you think you are experiencing issues with your pelvic floor, genital pain, and/or pain during sex, I highly recommend seeing a pelvic floor therapist first before starting anything. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction for what might be going on and different options for how to treat whatever you need to work on.
2. Glass Eggs
If you’re looking for something similarly pretty to use as a way to explore yourself, these glass eggs are just as pretty as jade and quartz eggs (if not prettier), but because they’re made of glass, they’re not porous and won’t give you an infection. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen many sellers of pretty glass eggs for sex, but one I highly recommend is SimplyElegantGlass.
3. Silicone Ben Wa Balls
If you want something that feels softer, perhaps check out silicone kegel products. Again, I'd recommend instructions from an expert for exercises, but these are easy to use and won't give you infections.
This set directly from Intimate Rose is founded by a licensed pelvic floor therapist, so the quality of their products will be much higher and reliable than most other silicone kegel products out there these days, which are often sold directly by overseas manufacturers themselves and may be more likely to cut corners on costs for profit.
If you want to do kegels and see visual feedback, Elvie’s top of the line there. Think of it as your 21st century kegel product. You can even use the app to track your progress!
5. Vibrators or other sex toys
Honestly, if you’re looking for more ways to explore and improve sex and pleasure, a pretty sex toy can do just the trick. You’re less likely to risk hurting yourself masturbating than trying to do kegels unnecessarily or uninstructed. There are a bunch of options out there, so here’s our guide on what to look for if you need a few tips!
One more thing: The Lioness Vibrator
I can’t forget to toot my own horn here — like Elvie and doing kegels the 21st century way, Lioness is exploring your sexuality the 21st century way. It’s the only product out there that can visualize your arousal and orgasm and track experiences over time so you can learn more about what you like and have better sex. We also designed everything from the packaging to the product to be pretty, accessible, and easy to use, so you can spend more time exploring.