I was kindly sent the Luna Smart Bead from lelo.com for an honest review.
I have never been very good at following a long term kegel workout routine. The fact is that, with no real way of tracking short term progress, I get bored easily and my good intentions fizzle out. I believed that the Luna Smart Bead would be the answer to my laziness, because it is actually designed to help users train correctly and keep them motivated on improving though different levels of intensity. I couldn’t wait to put it to the test.
The Luna Smart Bead is a kegel trainer with a difference; it contains smart technology that allows each user to create a workout routine based on their own levels of experience. As well as a memory function, which tracks your progress even during a battery change, it also has touch sensors which detect and respond to the contractions of your PC muscles. It uses this information to decide how advanced you are and gradually guides you through five separate workout programs, each one more intense than the last.
The Smart Bead is made from ABS plastic and coated in Lelo’s silky soft, luxury silicone. It measures 4 inches in circumference at its largest point and 3.25 inches in total length. The Smart Bead is a battery operated sex toy, taking one AAA battery to function, but it is still waterproof up to a depth of one metre. Like most Lelo sex toys, the vibrations are extremely quiet, to the point that they cannot be heard from underneath a duvet.
How to Use the Luna Smart Bead:
The very first time you use the Luna Smart Bead, it will be set on level three. As you progress, you can keep track of what program you are on by checking how many times the LED light (found beside the operating button) flashes after you switch the bead on. One flash indicates level one and so on, up to a maximum of five flashes. Depending on your levels of experience, the bead will move you up or down through the five settings. I am not entirely sure how it does this, but my best guess is that the sensors track how hard you squeeze and how well you can keep up with the current setting.
Each workout session lasts for approximately five minutes. The motor will give you approximately thirty seconds (from the time you switch it on) to insert the Smart Bead and get comfortable, after which you will feel three quick pulses of vibration. These three pulses are an indication that the routine is about to start; they also signal the end of the session.
When the routine starts, the Smart Bead will begin to emit pulses of vibration and the idea is to squeeze your PC muscles when you feel the vibrations, hold that squeeze as the bead continues to vibrate and relax your PC muscles when the vibration stops. Each mode is more difficult than the last, so the pulses get longer, with shorter rest breaks in between.
For those who want a little pleasure before or after their workout, simply press and hold the operating button for approximately 3 seconds. This will switch on a constant vibration mode, allowing you to use the bead for clitoral or g-spot stimulation. There is only one constant vibration setting.
My Experiences with the Luna Smart Bead:
With thirty seconds to insert the bead, I recommend doing a little preparation before you switch the toy on. I got myself naked below the waist and applied a little water based lubricant to the tip of the bead and the entrance to my vagina. The manual says not to use oil or silicone based lubricants as they could damage the silicone surface. With this preparation complete, I could insert the bead and be ready for the workout with time to spare. The Smart Bead’s ergonomic shape and silky soft silicone helped in that regard, making insertion quick and comfortable.
Approximately 10 seconds after insertion, I felt the three short pulses of vibration that told me the routine was about to begin. The vibrations were plenty strong enough that I could feel them easily during the kegel workouts, but when it came to pleasure, the Smart Bead was a huge let down. The vibrations are extremely shallow and weak, producing an almost tickly sensation against my g-spot. When I attempted to use the Smart Bead as a clitoral vibrator, I could barely feel the vibrations at all. The more pressure I added, the more the vibrations dampened. I was surprised to find that the Smart Bead felt weaker than even my cheaper, battery-operated bullets. I am a power queen and my clitoris barely responded to the Smart Beads vibrations, so I gave up trying after a few frustrating attempts. If you are rather sensitive, preferring a gentle vibration, then the Smart Bead might be better suited and provide you with some enjoyment.
Before the Smart Bead arrived, I was pretty skeptical over claims that the smart technology could track your progress, so I decided to put it to the test the only way I could think to; my squeezing the Smart Bead in my hand. With the bead indicating it was set on level one, I went through the entire routine, squeezing it in my palm as hard as I possibly could. Next time I switched it on, I had progressed to level 2. I repeated the test in exactly the same way and had moved up to level 3 the next time I turned it on.
Next, I wanted to find out if it would move backwards, so while set on level 3, I let the program run while squeezing the bead very lightly. I wanted to ensure it detected my squeeze, but only just. Next time I switched the Bead on, I had moved back to level 2. I tested the bead a number of times after this, as did my partner and between the two of us, we only noticed one bad result (out of about 10 tests). The rest of the time, the bead did react as expected, moving up with harder squeezes and down with lighter ones.
One thing that confused me is that during my testing, the bead rarely moved up or down more than one setting. For example, if I squeezed it as hard as possible while on setting 1, it would only jump to setting 2 the next time switched it on. Yet my very first time with the bead, I could have sworn it jumped from setting 3 to setting 1. By the time I had finished testing the Smart Bead, I was still a little confused about this, but I was satisfied, for the most part, that the bead did track with reasonably accuracy.
During my time experimenting with the Smart Bead, I came to some rather mixed opinions of it overall. First, let me explain what I didn’t like…
Aside from the extremely poor vibrations (a major downside for me), another thing I wasn’t hugely impressed with is that the Smart Bead is battery operated. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing battery operated sex toys on the market, but the Luna Smart Bead is more expensive than many rechargeables. The retail price seems a bit steep for a battery operated sex toy. I can only guess that it is the smart technology within the motor that bumps up the price.
I was also disappointed to discover that lubricant and body fluid could occasionally seep into the gap where the two parts of the bead come together. The Smart Bead is waterproof (up to a depth of 1 metre), but some liquid can make its way into that tiny gap, leaving gunk behind after cleaning. I recommend removing the battery cap after each use and cleaning the inner lip with a damp cloth sprayed with a little sex toy cleaner. You want to avoid getting liquid into the battery compartment though.
Finally, I found it a little frustrating that I couldn’t manually choose what program to work from. Maybe choosing is beside the point, but despite finding mode three manageable, the Bead insisted I stick at setting one. You can’t change what it decides is best for you.
Features I liked:
The Luna Smart Bead had its downsides, but it also had some features that I liked. I was impressed that this is one of the only kegel trainers on the market that will actually help you train correctly. It lets you know when to squeeze your PC muscles, when to relax and how long to train for. I found it easy to use and with different levels of intensity, the Bead is bound to help everyone train, from beginners to more advanced users. I think the Smart Bead will help to encourage people like me, who tend to give up when they have no way of tracking improvement. The Smart Bead gives you this indication of your progress. It would also be great for women who have no idea how to train their PC muscles and would prefer to be guided throughout. I like that it sets out a clear path to follow, similar to going to the gym. Of course, it is also a confidence boost when you see signs of improvement, such as moving up a level.
I really did have mixed opinions of the Luna Smart Bead. Some of its features impressed me and I can definitely see some benefits to choosing this bead over a manual set of kegel balls. However, it was far from perfect and I was left feeling disappointed in the strength of the vibrations and the fact that body fluids would seep into the gap where the battery cap clicks on. I would have also appreciated the opportunity to manually select the setting/level to work from. Maybe I felt like I knew better, or wanted more of a challenge, but I had to let the Smart Bead decide for me. If I had purchased this at full retail price, I would have been disappointed overall. I think the idea is fantastic, but the Luna Smart Bead could do with some improvements before I can see myself loving it. Right now, I can only see myself recommending it over manual kegel trainers if the technology would be of great use to you (for example; those who need a lot of guidance during their work out).