Remember last month, when the bots started flooding me with ads for leak-proof underwear and dire warnings about the need to improve my pelvic floor strength? And then I wandered into the territory of vaginal atrophy? (Very much a “dear god, this parachute is a knapsack!” moment, leading to all sorts of people giving me Advice about my Vagina).
Well, that first step in that little obsession with something that — frankly — I had literally never thought about before, was an ad for a little device called a “perifit,” a game-ified way to work out your pelvic floor muscles with a cute little blue-toothed app for your phone. From what I could tell, it looks like a sex toy, but promises something far greater than mere momentary pleasure — it strengthens your pelvic floor, prevents incontinence and prolapse, and boosts your intimate wellbeing. It promises a lifetime of pleasure!
Well, sign me up!
I wrote to the maker of perifit, explained the blog and linked the post I’d written. Cyril and Berenice loved it. I asked if they’d send me one to test out. For the good of the community.
(Note: I’m not actually sure what I meant by “good of the community.” We talked about this at my Friendsgiving dinner, and got all excited about having Races, but I wasn’t sure if we were all going to share one and pass it around, like hippie feminists of ye olde days, or sit around in the same room, each of us kegeling on our own and staring at our own phones in glum silence, or maybe just some sort of fitbit-like community where we were collectively counting squeezes. There was a lot of wine and pie and general merriment).
Anyway, Berenice sent me one. She’s really nice.
It was beautifully packaged — like unboxing a new iphone — and just as intuitive. (I mean, intuitive if you assume that your first impulse upon receiving a small pink phallic device is to put it in your vagina. Although you shouldn’t do that until you follow the directions. You’ll note none of the directions say “put it in your vagina.” That’s not on the box. But I’m ahead of myself).
Of course I had to test it out right away, and I rushed off to chase butterflies with my vagina.
Getting it started was easy — the app is functional and really easy to follow, and it blue-tooths itself when you’re in the app. (The white thing that looks like a string is an antenna).
The app is also full of seductive promises about how awesome and fun your life is going to be with this little lass.
Right away, there’s a little test so you can decide what workout mode you need. I threw in a few more problems than I’m really having (Which: again: NOT ACTUALLY HAVING ANY PROBLEMS, bots and people giving me vagina advice!). I ended up with Mixed Incontinence, which made me weirdly panicky for a moment. (EVEN THOUGH I HAD MADE STUFF UP).
So I followed all of the directions, and lubed it up (water based lube only) and stuck it inside me and started the program. First it made me practice three big squeezes to test my force (I got a number that didn’t mean anything to me but I felt cocky anyway), and then started a program. The one that appeared had me chasing lotuses with a butterfly for two minutes. The lotuses would be on the ground, boop boop boop, and then suddenly they’d be in the air and there would be a moment of intense ferocious squeezing then boop boop boop SQUEEZE. (I don’t know why I’m making up boop noises — the thing is a bit eerily quiet).
Here’s the thing (whispering): it’s actually a little boring to lie there squeezing your vagina for two minutes. I wasn’t rolling around or running on the beach with the nice lady, chasing lotuses together — I was lying on my bed, ignoring the cats who were staring at me, just squeezing lotuses. Silently.
Turns out, lifting weights with your vagina isn’t inherently more interesting than lifting dumbbells with your arms. You’re working out a muscle. There’s a point to it. I could feel it work, get tired.
The app does give you all sorts of data I haven’t really figured out yet. I really like this one little graphic, but I think it doesn’t have enough information about me yet to really put me on it. (I don’t see my red vagina dot?)
I am a little dismayed at the score with my deep vaginal strength — because — [whispering] that’s the one that matters for intimate pleasure.
I’ve only had the device working for two sessions, so this is really a sneak peek. I will say, it does tap into my competitive need to Count Things. And honestly — reading about the relationship between weight lifting and incontinence — and the number of people who’ve come out of the woodwork to talk about their prolapses or peeing issues since I made that post — made me realize just how common an issue it is.
So I’m going to keep fiddling around with it. (It needs a name. It kind of looks like Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde, but Elle sounds like the name of the kind of birth control they advertise to young women on the backs of bathroom doors in bars and colleges. Maybe Reese is better. Reese it is).
I’m doing this for my own pelvic floor, but really, I’m doing it for public discourse. What do you want to know about kegels? incontinence? vaginal prolapse? this really quite nifty device?
Off to try the Intimate Wellbeing setting.
Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who lives and squeezes in Toronto.