I Tried A Machine That Helps You Do Kegels. Here’s What Happened.

You live long enough, and things start to happen. Case in point: I’ve squeezed two babies out of my nethers. And while I’m still holding things together, a coughing or laughing fit will have me running for the bathroom or wishing for a panty liner.

It’s hard to feel springtime fresh when you’re springing a leak.

I’ve enviously read reports of French women for whom pelvic-floor exercises are de rigeur after childbirth, and explored fancy yet terrifying items I’m supposed to stick in my vee as I go about my day. I’ve been dithering about this for a while, while my gynecologist flat-out told me to just do my freakin’ Kegels and stop wishing for some fancier option.

So when I heard that there was a Bluetooth-enabled dongle that would sit in my very favorite spot and tell me if I was doing my Kegels correctly, I had to try it.

There are a few of these on the market. I chose the Krush from Lovelife because it won an award at Engadget’s CES and is carried by Good Vibrations, my trusted source for all things that go down there. According to their Kegel advice page, anything that’s safe to put in your vagina can be used as a resistive device to train the PC muscles: The key is to both squeeze and relax—don’t forget that vital second step.

But I am the kind of geek girl who wants a dongle. Any dongle. I have apps to track my period, track my ovulation, count my contractions, count my steps, map my runs, track my food, connect with my doctors, manage my medications, do my crosswords. I incentivize my runs with Pokémon. There is nothing I can’t game-ify. I am the praise junkie the parenting books warn you about.

When the Krush arrived, I was due at a get-together for a bunch of mom-friends, so of course I stuck it in my bag for hilarity purposes. It was immediately seized and passed around, and everyone marveled at this odd bit of lady business. It’s shockingly pink, shaped like a figure eight, and has a long tail with a tiny heart at the end.

Finally, I just decided I had to bite the bullet, or squeeze the silicone, or something. I hopped into bed, turned the Krush on, connected it to the app I’d downloaded to my phone, covered it with lube, and slipped it right up the pipe. It wasn’t too big at all; see the photo for a comparison to the average-size dildo-vibrator, which in my experience is a bit slimmer than the average penis, and certainly smaller than a baby.

Then I lay back and pushed the button to start the basic training program, which was an interval-training series of squeeze-and-relax commands of varying lengths.

At first, I was both confused and upset by the fact that my squeezes hardly triggered the heart-shaped indicator at all. “It can’t be that bad,” I thought. “My uterus would just fall out of me if my muscles were this weak.” But when I pushed the Krush further up into my vagina, so that the bottom of it was nearly at my cervix and the top was past my urethra (I think), the placement was more accurate and I was able to close the heart with my squeezy strength with no problem.

If you were thinking this is some kinda concealed pleasure-producing vibrator, you (and Endgadget) were wrong. It’s not unpleasant at all, but the Krush sits deep inside, in tampon territory; it doesn’t come anywhere near your clitoris, and if it was hitting my G-spot, it wasn’t with anything near the force required to send me into space. The vibration is gentle and serves to signal the beginning and end of your squeezes, nothing else. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)

But would I spend $150 for a device to help me do them? I don’t know! On one hand (or fallopian tube), I really, really like charts and graphs, as noted above, and absolutely get a charge out of seeing my performance improve over time. On the other, it’s hard enough for a working mom to get 10 minutes to meditate, let alone to lie down in a quiet room watching her PC muscles work. Plus, I just don’t want that much stuff in me these days; I barely use tampons anymore.

I found the exercises to be easy enough to complete, but hard enough that when I looked at my stats afterward, I did have room to improve. My squeezes are okay, but could be stronger, and my endurance is not so great. Like every woman my age, I could stand to do more Kegels.

Still, I can see that having this thing around does inspire me to make the time for myself. And the payoff is palpable, both in my undies and in my love life. So yes, you can strengthen your Kegels without a ludicrously expensive smartphone-connected silicon barbell. But if such an item exists and will get you to actually do your Kegels,