Toy Review – kGoal by M!nnaLife
This delightful little thing, is called the kGoal. Get it? like Kegel…because it’s a kegel exerciser? Anyway..
First of all, I hesitate to call this a “toy” review, because the kGoal is not a sex toy per se. It vibrates, it’s a sexual aid perhaps in that it’s supposed to help you strengthen your pelvic muscles which has all sorts of benefits related to sex, but you probably wouldn’t use this thing for sexual pleasure unless all your other toys were dead and you were really desperate, because it just plain doesn’t function all that well as a sex toy. At least not one to actually bring you to climax – I wont lie, I’ve played around with mine. It’s a REALLY FUCKING COOL THING, and it feels pretty neat sometimes, but it’s not a sex toy the way that a hitachi or a dildo is a sex toy. Got it? Cool.
I first noticed the kGoal when they were still in development stages on Kickstarter, being heralded by the internet as “the fitbit for your vagina” and immediately felt like I needed one. Not because I really think I need to workout my pelvic muscles all that bad, I already do my kegels with some sort of regularity, my orgasms are pretty good, I don’t struggle with incontinence, never had a baby, I really don’t have any of the things a doctor would recommend someone practice kegel exercises for. I honestly just think genital gadgetry is fucking cool. I hopped over to Early To Bed to pick mine up.
The Kgoal, while perhaps not quite the vaginal fitbit you’d imagine, is still a really neat little doo-dad, if you’re into this sort of thing.
Its makers, M!nna, or Minna Life, or whatever you want to call them I guess, were the first (at least that I know of) to pioneer a squeeze-response technology implemented in an actual sex toy, the Ola, and again in the Limon. The idea is that the harder you squeeze, the more intense the vibrations get. It’s a fairly big departure from the typical buttons or dials and pre-sets other toys trap you in. I haven’t had a chance to try either toy, so I’m not sure how well my usual death-grip on my toys would translate but a lot of people find them quite intuitive.
M!nna uses this same squeeze-response in the kGoal and it certainly works for my vagina. The larger bulb is inserted into the vagina, while the “arm” rests outside the vagina against the labia. Using the pelvic muscles, the wearer squeezes the inserted part of the device, which then measures things like squeeze strength, control, and endurance, and then spits them back out for you into neat little graphs that allow you to track your progress.
Lets dive in.
The kGoal came packaged with a carrying pouch, USB charger, little instruction book, and a sample of lube that I can’t personally use (more on that at a later date)
The kGoal is made of 100% Silicone, which means it’s non-porous, non-toxic, and body safe. The finish is a nice matte feel which I personally really like but does mean that like most toys, it will get linty very easily. The Kgoal is “splash-proof” which means you can CAREFULLY wash it off but you shouldn’t run the charging port or air vent directly under the faucet if you can help it and you should definitely not submerge it in water. Unfortunately boiling and bleach soaks are also out of the question, so this item is not completely sanitizable. Don’t put it in your butt (obviously?) and maybe don’t let your friend borrow it unless you’re fluid-bonded or you put it in an unlubricated condom.
The “back” end of the Kgoal has a little light on the end of the “arm”, which tells you when it’s functioning. The light also doubles as the charging port. It feels a little weird jamming the charger in there, but trust me, you’re supposed to.
On the top of the arm is the power button, and on the “front” end of the bulb is the inflation vent. M!nna recommends pushing the silver button thingy in and squeezing the bulb to deflate it before insertion
And then once you have the device properly placed inside the vagina, pressing the button again to allow it to inflate, for a “customized fit. “
The “customized fit” is only sort of accurate, because the end of the bulb where the motor is, is hard, it stays the same size the whole time. That little bit is about a 5″ circumference. It’s not HUGE, but again, this thing isn’t a sex toy, you probably wont necessarily be highly aroused when your phone buzzes to remind you that it’s time to exercise your vagina, so just quickly popping something that’s 5 inches big inside you might be a bit of a challenge. Or it might not. It is for me. M!nna has tried to be accommodating to the largest number of users, and of course motors that are actually useful can only get so tiny. Some reviewers have said that there is no possible way for them to use the kGoal comfortably, which is the way the kGoal IS like sex toys…theres no one-size-fits-all. If you’re interested in owning a kGoal but are worried that it might not fit…well…try to put something of a similar size in your vagina (if you don’t own any sex toys, for me personally 5″ is about 3 fingers all the way to my knuckles.) I’ve also found it more comfortable to insert when the whole thing is fully inflated, than when I squeeze the air out of it, simply due to the shape. It’s a matter of something soft and pillowy and cylindrical vs. something squished and a bit rigid like in the deflated picture.
Whether or not you choose to “custom fit” the kGoal or leave it fully inflated is a personal choice based on comfort, and wont impact your workout readings so long as you reset the “feedback threshold” each time you use it, change the inflation, change positions, etc. To do that, when the kGoal is turned on, you simply press the power button once, it will flash a green light, and that lets you know that it’s basically been recalibrated. Just like with sex, different positions you put yourself in will have an impact on the shape of the vaginal canal, so if I insert the kGoal while I’m lying on my back, I might not be squeezing at all/it wont vibrate, but if I sit up or roll over onto my stomach, my body has bent in such a way that my vaginal canal is squishing the kGoal without kegel involvement at all. If I don’t reset it, it will screw up my scores. If I reset the threshold, it understands that the position I’m in is my new baseline – I’m at ground zero, not that I’ve got a death-grip on the kGoal. So just make sure you find the position you want to exercise in and reset the threshold before you begin.
Interestingly I have found that I get different scores based on my body position, even after resetting the threshold. I do better lying on my back or sitting upright than laying face down. I do better with my legs together than curled up to my chest. Standing is just bad news bears all around. When you really think about it though, this could be true for a number of other muscle groups, it’s easier for me to flex my abs while doing a sit up than if I’m just standing around or hunched forward.
Your scores will also have a lot to do with how you actually perform your kegels. A LOT of people don’t do them correctly, myself included. On top of working the correct muscles in the proper way, you have to make sure you’re not doing anything unnecessary either. If someone asked you to do some right this second, especially after 5 minutes you might find that parts of your body you’re not supposed to be tensing, are. You might hold your breath, might tense your face, might flex your legs and feet, etc. Stuff like this helps you concentrate your strength but they’re not a part of kegel exercising (or any exercising, any trainer you ever have will tell you to stop holding your breath and working unrelated muscle groups) so experiment with positions and see what little habits you need to stop including in your kegels. If you find that your scores vary between positions like mine do, it’s probably a good idea to pick one position and keep it, so your scores are measured appropriately.
Finding the right placement is important. You don’t want the bulb to be placed too deep into the vagina, because the muscles you’re working are actually closer to the front, but you also don’t want half the device sticking out of you either. For most people, the seam where the arm joins the bulb is going to be a marker of the correct depth placement. If the arm is sticking out way far away from your vulva, it’s probably not in all the way, and if the arm is being really bent backwards, you’ve probably put it in too far.
Everyone else seems to recommend copious amounts of lube, and at least a little is of course great otherwise putting this thing in will hurt, but in my experience there is a such thing as too much lube. I’m often checking to make sure the kGoal has stayed where I put it, sometimes holding onto the arm just in case, because once those muscles get to work, I have a tendency to ‘pull’ the kGoal in further than it should be. This means I’m doing everything right, but it comes with the price of sometimes displacing the device and not getting the right feedback and scores.
As a final note on the custom-fitting, I find the vent rather hard to press in all the way when I have long nails (because they’re often wider than the vent) but it’s also impossible when I’ve cut my nails very short. It’s not possible to depress the vent with just your fingertip, you have to have at least a little bit of nail to get in there. It’s awkward.
So, how’s the app work?
My experiences are only on the iOS app, so keep that in mind. Once you have the device comfortably in place, you’ve turned it on (just hold down the power button until it turns white) and reset the feedback threshold (hit the power button once), you’re ready to go. You can, if you want, operate the kGoal without the use of the app, the instructions are in the book, but I haven’t because I have a smart-phone and the app is free so why not? The app is half the fun.
You’ll have to make sure your phone’s bluetooth is turned on to pair the device. Open up the app, create your account/sign in and then you’ll arrive at the connecting screen. The light changes colors to blue when your devices are synced.
The app is fairly self-explanatory and simple to navigate. Your dashboard is where all your scores are kept, showing you how many days per week you’ve worked out at the top and what the average scores of those days were. Below that your scores are broken up into bar graphs based on different categories.
Each bar represents a workout, so if you do 7 workouts in one day, you’ll get 7 new bars. You have three different workouts to choose from, so if you do more than one, again, you’ll get a separate bar for each. The bars you see in my results are all from one day, I just did a few with my hands to give you something to look at. So, my daily average of those 6 workouts was the 9.5 in the very top section under the Wednesday slot, and then each workout was scored and logged under the other categories.
When I’m actually using my vagina instead of my hand, my scores vary drastically depending on which workout I’m playing, as well as what position I’m in and if I’m working out pre or post-orgasm.
The workout icon to the right brings you to a page where you can choose which of the (currently available) three workouts you’d like to complete.
The first workout “Bricks” is a fun throwback to one of the classics. I remember playing this game on my graphing calculator when I was avoiding paying attention in my algebra classes, and then on my first tracphone, on my first PC while I waited the 15 minutes for AOL to finally connect…I never thought I’d be playing it with my vag but here we are, the 21st century is a gem.
It works pretty much as you’d imagine it would. The game knows which way the paddle needs to move to meet the ball so all you have to do is squeeze. The workout lasts 5 minutes (timer at the bottom) and you luckily never run out of “lives” so no matter how many times you drop the ball, you keep playing until the 5 minutes are up. I’m not entirely sure how the levels and points scored at the top figure into your dashboard scores, but hey, who cares you’re playing brick-breaker with your genitals.
The second workout, “Shape Shift”, is an exercise where you use controlled flexes of your pelvic muscles to open the bars at the top of the screen and “trace” the outline of shapes moving upwards.
The shapes range from circles and ovals to squares and long rectangles, and fat and thin diamond shapes. As you progress in your workouts, they will move up the screen at an increasing speed. The goal is to let the shapes pass through the bars, but you want to trace the outline of the shape as closely as possible, not just squeeze as hard as you can holding the bars all the way open.
The third workout is “Moving Target”
You begin with a graph, charting 0-100 in intervals of 25
The first command is to squeeze as hard as you can and hold it. Other commands are to do a series of fast squeezes, and to do a gradual controlled squeeze and release (one I’m very bad at). You want to follow the commands for the type of flex you’re doing but you also want to try to reach the intensity set by the bar, so if the bar is set at 25, try not to squeeze so hard you go to 50, if the bar is set at 75 try to squeeze hard enough to get there, etc. The type of action you’re doing is displayed at the top, the “Next” countdown at the bottom lets you know how long you have until the current command is over and the next one starts. The “Total” countdown to the right of that lets you know how far into your 5 minutes you’ve come.
You can pause or stop the workouts at any time, as they run for 5 minutes each. Pausing the workout lets you resume it. If you stop the workout, you’ll exit the exercise and come to this page
This page was something I didn’t notice well enough when I first started playing around with my kGoal in my hands. In the iOS version of the app, once you hit this page you have to scroll down to see the “delete this workout” option, so I had no idea it was there. You currently cannot delete a workout once you leave this page. I can’t go back and delete a workout from 3 weeks ago. Consequently, the first couple of scores on my graphs are garbage from me playing around with the kGoal in my hands, they’re not real scores, and I cannot get rid of them. If you want to delete a workout because you changed your mind or you think you did it wrong or you were playing around with it in your hands or letting someone else play with it or WHATEVER, you MUST do it from this page, or it gets stuck in your log for seemingly forever (or until they do another app update)
The settings icon takes you to a page to control your log-in info, set a goal and reminders for how many days and at what times you wish to workout, choose whether or not you want the bulb and/or the arm to vibrate in response to squeezing (can also be adjusted without the app) how many days worth of workouts you want displayed in your dashboard, etc.
The Help icon is, well…the help page. It directs you to usage tutorials on M!nna’s website.
The vibrations – Lets talk about them.
If it’s not a sex toy, why vibrate? Well, two things.
First, it’s to let the wearer know that they’re actually doing the exercise correctly. Many people don’t know how to perform a kegel flex, and many people think they’re doing them correctly but…aren’t. To do them correctly, you want to flex your pelvic muscles in a way that mimics stopping yourself mid-pee, AND holding in a fart. It’s a ‘pulling up’ sort of feeling, and it should engage not only your vagina but the muscles around your anus as well. A lot of people (including me) miss the butt muscle involvement and only flex their vagina. Many people think that it’s a ‘bearing down’ or pushing flex, but it’s not. If you put your fingers inside your vagina and try the two flexes you’ll probably be able to feel the difference, and notice that the pulling up flex is a lot stronger than the bearing down flex. If you have the kGoal placed properly and have reset the feedback threshold, it will only vibrate (or only substantially vibrate) if you do the pulling up flex, it won’t do much of anything if you try bearing down on it like you’re pushing it out. Additionally, if it’s not placed correctly, or you’re not squeezing hard enough, it won’t vibrate. You might think “but I can’t squeeze hard enough” and that’s likely not true, it doesn’t take all that much pressure to get the kGoal responding so you will know when it’s being done correctly.
Secondly, it’s just nice. The vibrations are like someone on the sidelines screaming “go Go GO!” for your vagina. They’re positive reinforcement to keep up the good work. It probably won’t bring you to orgasm but it’s going to at least feel good.
If you’re not into the vibrations, one or both can be turned off.
Do I love the Kgoal? Yes, so much. I haven’t dedicated myself to my workouts yet (I’ve been in the middle of a move and just got oral surgery last week, so vagina workout is sort of low on my daily to-do list) so I can’t say that I’ve managed to track any real evidence of kegel strengthening in myself, but if I can get myself to commit to it, after a few months I would expect my graphs to look far different than they do now. Even if I don’t do workouts regularly and even if I don’t get a vagina of steel out of it, I think it’s fucking cool that I can see real measurments of how strong my muscles are, how well I can control them, how well they endure 5 minutes of flexing, etc. I think it’s cool that I can tell that I do better when I’m at least slightly aroused than when I’m not, I think it’s cool that I could compare my scores of pre-orgasm to post-orgasm (they sucked, btw, once I’ve had an orgasm my vagina basically quits on me) And I think its cool to know that my orgasm flexes rank a whopping 60/100 in strength. Thats a solid C+, which is better than I’ve done on any other test in my life. (If you go into the Moving Target workout but don’t engage it, flexing your muscles will still cause your progress bar to jump on the graph. I held a vibrator to my clit and watched my results without turning on the workout) These are just fun little things to know about yourself. Or at least I think so. I dig stuff like this.
Could the Kgoal improve? Absolutely. The whole thing could get a little bit smaller so it’s easier to wear for people who can’t shove 5″ of plastic into themselves on a whim. The arm vibrations don’t really do anything for me clitorally, because the arm is so wide I can’t really wedge it between my labia, so that function is sort of useless to me. The vent is a little hard to operate. I’d like to delete my screwed up scores. I’d like to be able to add notes to my workouts, like what time of day I did them, if they were post-orgasm, if I was tired or sick or something, etc. And of course I’d love new games, who doesn’t love new games?
Should you own one? Well I dunno, do you think they’re as fucking cool as I do!? I think that if you have a medical reason (or just a reason) for wanting to hone your pelvic muscle strength, something like the kGoal is a good bet. It’s just way more fun than things like the traditional ben-wa balls or plastic/glass “exercisers” (which are for some reason in a different category than the plastic/glass dildos that look exactly the same, but whatever), and it provides you with feedback to let you know that you’re doing your workout correctly, which is really so important. I’ve worn ben-wa balls in the past and honest to god couldn’t feel a thing, they weren’t particularly fun from a sensation point of view, and they weren’t heavy enough for me to even have to flex my muscles to keep them in place, they were pretty pointless for me. The kGoal isn’t something you’d wear out for a fun night on the town, a la 50shades, it’s not a toy, but for legit pelvic strengthening it’s pretty great.
*M!nna is currently as of this writing hosting a second Kickstarter campaign for a kegel exerciser for people with penises. Check em out!
M!nna kGoal TL;dr