Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Oral Sex" in a vibrator? LELO Ora review


"Oh, please, please, please let me review the LELO Ora!" I begged the wonderful folks at Good Vibrations. A toy that simulates oral sex, made by the luxury vibrator company LELO, sounded like a winner.

The description and video (bottom) made it sound lovely: silicone, beautiful design, with a nubbin that worked as a simulated tip of the tongue -- swirling and flicking. Lots of patterns -- some with all-over vibrations plus the "tongue," some alternating, some just the tongue -- and an intensity setting that claimed to be 30% over the manual settings.

Great idea, lovely design, but Ora doesn't live up to the claims, at least in my bed. The tongue flicks and swirls are very nice, but the nub is so small and the motions are so delicate that they don't come close to doing the job for me. You might love it, if your clitoris is so sensitive that light flicking and swirling are all you need, but I I found the "tongue" way too subtle for any more than a nice warm-up. The vibrating patterns felt really good, especially at the strongest settings (which weren't turbo, but still very enjoyable), but at the highest vibrations, the flicks and swirls were barely noticeable. (See update #4 below.)

The box and the marketing messages claim an "ultra-intense power setting at the touch of a button." I couldn't find any "ultra intense" setting, because as many times as I pressed the "+" button, the highest setting was intense, but not what I'd call "ultra intense."

So maybe, I told myself,  I didn't understand how to find that highest setting.

I turned to the "user manual" and quickly became cranky: The so-called manual had warranty, safety and charging information for all LELO products  in 12 languages -- but nothing specific to this product and no instructions!

Finally I found it -- all but illegible with its itty bitty grey font on grey paper, it said to go to LELO.com and click on Customer Care to download the manual. Come on, a $169 toy can't have a page of instructions? A luxury sex toy company makes the "go to" notice practically impossible to read? Hello, LELO, I hope you're listening.

Here's where the LELO manuals are, so you don't have to hurt your eyes trying to find it. Except -- whoops! There is no manual for the Ora! I wrote to LELO:

Where is the user manual for Ora? It's not listed, and the included "manual" has no information whatsoever about using this specific product.

I had no problem figuring out how to turn it on, cycle through the patterns, and turn the intensity up or down. But how do I access that mysterious "ultra-intense power setting at the touch of a button" that the box advertises?

I got a prompt but unhelpful response from LELO, telling me how to turn the Ora on and off and cycle through the patterns. I knew that -- as I had told them. I still wanted to know where the "ultra-intense power setting" was that was supposed to gives 30% increase on the standard maximum power at the touch of a button. If we were just supposed to cycle the "+" button until it could go no higher, then tell us that!

Undaunted, I wrote to LELO again with that question. I added:

I have many sex toys, including many LELO products. I wonder how someone receiving this product as a first-timer would know how to use it when there are no instructions included, and the promised manual is not actually there.

2/10 update #1: LELO wrote me this:


Dear Sir or Madam, 
Thank you for your email. 
 If you press the center button, it will change mode, but if you press and hold it for 3 seconds, it will change to the ultra-intense power setting.

Aha, there's what I wanted to know. Why isn't this in the instructions? Oh, right, there are no instructions. Then why isn't this printed on the box? We're just supposed to intuit that we press and hold the center button for 3 seconds?

I'll try it and get back to you. Didn't want to make you wait for this piece of the puzzle.

2/11 update #2: LELO answered my "Why isn't this information provided on the box, in the instructions (whoops, there are no instructions), or in the video? How are users supposed to know this?" with this:
Our intention was let our customers "discover" it, however I will suggest our departments do some changes about the instruction in case more customers cannot find it.

2/21 update #3: Just received a lovely, personal email from Kathryn Catney, Communication Specialist at LELO, who actually read my review here (and is a "big fan" of my blog). She apologized for the lack of instructions and the useless responses from the Customer Care rep. She said that I must have received an early sample (true), and that all the purchased Oras come with a full "How to Use" manual, which is now online here.

2/26 update #4
I've retested Ora twice with the new knowledge of how to find the "ultra-intense power setting." Yes, it's better with that setting, definitely. However, the shape of the vibrator, while gorgeous and enabling it to stand upright when not in use, prevented it from working right for me. The "tongue tip" section is recessed. I would have preferred that it balloon from the vibrator rather than recede. The vibrating ring of the vibrator was very nice, but the "tongue" part was still barely noticeable. Sorry, LELO. 

We're all different shapes and sizes, including our genitals, so this might be just right for you. Clearly a lot of research, development, and attention to design went into this lovely product. It felt nice, yes, but in the end, it didn't do the job.

All in all, I think the Ora is a great idea, but if your idea of the perfect vibrator is the Magic Wand (reviewed here), you'll be disappointed. However, if you prefer a lighter touch and the idea of subtle swirls and flicks makes you quiver, the Ora might become your new best friend.

Thank you, Good Vibrations, for sending me the Ora and always being supportive of older-age sexuality.




20 comments:

  1. LesserUnknownFebruary 08, 2014

    Thanks for the link to the missing manuals! Great to know that (some of them) are around. I don't think Ora would do anything for me or any of my friends, but I'm sure someone will think it's the best thing ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review Joan! I was curious but also skeptical when I saw this toy...
    xxPenny

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad you posted this, Joan.
    I believe you already know I have the Limon...
    I've been trying to love it, but cannot find a way to enjoy it. My partner and I both have diligently attempted to get me to orgasm with it but alas, it is just not powerful enough for that. So then I thought it might at least be helpful for warming me up to an orgasm, sort of like foreplay. We've concluded it is too distracting to fiddle around with due to difficulties programming it to stay on. Without being programmed, one must remember to keep the fingers pressing the device in the correct spots or else everything stops, including some of our romantic momentum. Add to that the sparse information in the manual (a few pages of basic instruction) and I have set the toy aside.
    I wonder what percentage of seniors are like us: desirous of ultra powerful vibrations? Maybe we should all be concentrating on offerings that others state are super powerful? These new ones, like Lelo makes, are cute, are washable, and make enticing claims, but seem much too pricey for what you end up getting.
    I hope they send you more powerful sleek new models that offer super vibrations next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, would you copy ad paste these comments onto the Limon review post? What you said is relevant to both reviews and would be helpful there, too, to others. I agree that ultra super powerful is a goal. It's my mission to review sex toys with that in mind!

      Delete
  4. Hi Joan, this is beyond off topic, but as I tweeted you yesterday, I simply MUST know the backstory of that adorable little sheep you have in your photos. I just discovered this blog and have been devouring it. Last night had sex toy dreams all thanks to you--and I mean that in a good way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found us, @Cozyvibes. The lamb is a little stuffed toy that Robert (see my posts with the label "Robert Rice" for more) gave me when I was taking my first trip without him. He told me it would keep me safe on my travels and bring me back to him. I never traveled without the lamb since then.

      When I started reviewing sex toys, it was partly a joke but mostly a sweet homage to Robert to let the lamb watch over my sex toys.

      Readers interpret the lamb in the photos in different ways -- one said it helps them judge the size of the toy; another said it makes sex toys less scary; several said it identifies a Joan Price review; one said, "A stuffed animal in a vibrator review? That's just wrong!"

      Hope the backstory makes you smile!

      Delete
    2. Such a beautiful story. Totally cozy and yes made me smile. I had a feeling there was a connection to your Robert but didn't want to assume.

      Delete
  5. I feel like I've become a fortune-teller when it comes to Lelo. Just looking at the thing, I knew this would be the outcome. They have been disappointing me left and right for quite a long time now. They seem intent on making toys that only work for a certain population of women - those with "outtie" clits that are easily accessible and not nestled in labia, and those with very sensitive clits. I don't feel that Lelo is made for the masses anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dangerous Lilly, I think you're right that "those with 'outtie' clits that are easily accessible and not nestled in labia, and those with very sensitive clits" will like this better, leaving those of us with different anatomies frustrated. I appreciate that Lelo keeps trying different designs, and I've loved many of their innovations. But not all.

      I've always appreciated your reviews, Dangerous Lilly, among others who always analyze the experience of using a particular toy. Occasionally I read a "review" from someone who seems to just read the press release and not actually use the toy, which is annoying and useless. Our readers learn which reviewers do hands-on (and clits-on) testing.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for your great review Joan. I think it's harder than people think to design a toy that is pleasurable for everybody. With our vulvas varying in size/shape/design along with each of us having a unique path to pleasure it's something of a miracle that some items actually do work for so many people.
    There seems to be an expectation that each new release will be the one that everybody can get off on & I just don't find that to be the case. It might be time to re-evaluate our one-size-fits-all expectations for this industry.
    I really appreciate reviewers that go into the nuts/bolts of why something did/n't work for them as the common goal (IMO) is to help readers decide whether this item will work for them.
    Again - thanks for great review!

    ReplyDelete
  7. There should be NO vibe on the market that needs directions to turn on. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It turns on easily enough without directions, Searah -- it was the extra power setting that was not intuitive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. haha um, they wanted us to "discover" it on our own... its a piece of technology! a physical product that we paid over $100 for... not a self or a state of mind or a passion, etc.
    Such a silly customer service response. I'm glad they were able to get back to you in a much more helpful way though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheboppin, thanks for posting -- I'm enjoying your clever reviews on your blog!

      Delete
    2. aw thank you, I'm flattered :)

      Delete
  10. You know it's interesting that I choose to read this today of all days. I have just finished what I would call a frustrating experience with a product, all be it vastly different in nature lol.

    I was playing a game in which there are a vast number of options on how to approach a problem however the options available to the player are either barely mentioned or glossed over entirely. This leads to frustration and disinterest in the product, even with the expectation of "pleasure." I suppose the irony here is that this experience did not come with a manual, nor a tutorial either.

    The quickest way to loose a "player" is to assume they know the rules you are playing by.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great review! I actually have th Ora. Purchased it recently and the instructions did come with the package. As a fan of oral I must say it does disappoint. But as a fan of pleasure it

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cont. as a fan of pleasure it is a fun toy. I have to place it very close to my clit and with legs closed it gives me very delicious sensations. I do not regret the purchase. It's a fun addition to my collection.

    ReplyDelete
  13. AnonymousMay 20, 2014

    Hi ... used to be, in the time before the AIDS epidemic, when I first moved to San Francisco ... in the very first Good Vibrations storefront ... right around the corner from my flat... they had a room in the back of the shop with a curtain ... like a dressing room, where one could go to try out samples of the merchandise ... it was a lot easier then to find out what worked for me with a lot less frustration and expense. Ah, for the good old days! Thanks for your wonderful work ... The task of ridding us all of our hangups seems never ending! Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. AnonymousJune 25, 2014

    Love your review. Guess I'm one of the minority who has a sensitive clit. .If this product ever becomes less pricey, I'll be interested in trying her out.

    ReplyDelete

My readers and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Please share your views! Comments are moderated, so yours won't appear until I've seen it. Thank you in advance for commenting!

Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email your comment (with the name under which you want it posted) to joan@joanprice.com, and I'll post it for you.

Retailers please note: I delete comments that attempt to hijack my readers to a commercial site. If you'd like to advertise, contact me at joan@joanprice.com and I'll be happy to send you information.

Authors, therapists and sex educators who have helpful information for readers are welcome to post links to their sites.

-- Joan