"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.
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.