After watching the promotional video for Ida & Tara, Lelo’s newest couples toy, the little sex toy hoarder living in my head desperately whispered… you need to have that.
I told it that I didn’t. That there were other things to covet. That I had my sights on another precious. That it had misled me before, and that because of past indiscretions I wasn’t sure I could trust it again. Yet each and every time I heard someone tweeting or talking about it, there was that familiar hushed voice growing ever more determined… you need to have it. You just, need to have it.
So, when the lovely Carlyle Jensen of Toronto based sex toy shop Good For Her asked if I’d like to review it, the little voice screamed YES! …and with my own curiosities peaked, I really couldn’t say no.
As with every other LELO product I’ve reviewed, the packaging is professional, respectful and ’boutique’ in appearance. The box is sleek, glossy, modern, and classy, with no tacky photos or cheesy slogans to detract from the level of quality the company has come to be known for.
Once open you’ll find a matte cardboard box that cradles both the remote and vibe within a velvety tray. There’s also a small compartment hiding a set of batteries, charging cord, key to open and close the battery cover, registration card for warranty, and instruction book.
For the record I love Lelo’s packaging; it keeps everything in one neat little lint free place, cords, batteries, lube and all, so I never have to rummage through drawers trying to find all the parts and pieces. On that note, do yourself a favor and hold onto it. It’ll likely serve you well in the long run.
Having previously reviewed the Tiani 2, another Lelo vibe with a disc like remote, I was familiar with how Ida worked… or at least I thought I was.
And so I laid, a piece of silicone stuffed lifeless inside me, arm flailing like a maniac having a carpal tunnel fit, cursing every dirty word I knew, hoping against all odds I’d remember and like one of Oprah’s signature ‘Aha! moments‘, miraculously figure it out. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, I caught sight of my partner standing in the middle of room staring at me mid remote controlled flail, looking confused, horrified and amused. After the fact he said he was seriously considering calling 911. Suffice to say, I’ll not make that mistake again. Instructions, people. Even when you think you know better, always read the instructions. And lock the door.
Feeling like a total failure I decided it would be in my best interest to forgo the remote and try the vibe on its own. This posed its own set of problems… the power button is located on the side of the rounded base, which is fine, except that each time you want to switch settings (there’s 6 of them), the entire vibe must be removed. Sure, you could spend a good 10 minutes aimlessly running lubed fingers around the base, feverishly searching for tiny and impossible to find embossed ridges, only to continuously land on the charging port instead. But that would be foolish. Removing it would certainly be easier. And far more time effective. You’d think I’d have learned by now.
Thankfully there’s a silver lining to my lack of common sense… it was during this constant insertion and removal that I came to realize how Ida works best; because the base was too short to rest on the clitoris and offer direct stimulation, placing the edge of it on the clit while slowly rocking with a hand cupped over the the base, so the arm penetrates in a gentle gliding motion, I was able to bring myself to orgasm.
Assuming I was on to something, I tested this method 3 times over the next few days and was thankfully met with the same result; a slowly built release that left a pleasurable and steady wave of orgasmic contractions. Was it a bit more involved than I hoped? Yup. Was it mind blowing or intense? No. But it was effective. That’s better than nothing, right?
For as determined as I am there were times when my wrist started to cramp and I had to stop, rather than giving up and grabbing my Hitachi, I laid there like a lazy little bitch and let Ida twirl away. The rhythmic pressure felt nice as it gently stroked my g-spot and the vibrations did their thing on my vulva, but there was something that lingered… something not quite right… something was missing… then BAM! it hit me, I couldn’t help but notice the arm was pretty wimpy size wise. Even for someone that isn’t a size queen, measuring 3 inches in circumference at its thickest, and 3.5′ inches insertable, it isn’t very impressive. Granted Ida is meant to be a couples toy, so the thinner the better, but in this case, I was left wanting. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say the thickness is pretty close to having a finger inside you. Maybe two, but that’s pushing it.
As for prostate use, my tester said he could feel it and it was comfortably good, but that the wide, thick, and firm base was hard to get used to between his ass cheeks and that finding a good angle while sitting was a bit trying (he’s used to flexible silicone, so that may be more him than the product). I tried it this way myself… it’s an interesting sensation, a little weird at first, then fairly pleasurable. Though I’ll admit, I had the same issue with the base until I wedged it between my butt cheeks and clenched like my life depended on it. Not ideal, but it’ll do.
Unfortunately partner use is where things start to get really tricky, and by tricky I mean worse; once Ida is inserted it’s rather difficult to get a partner in, especially if they’re wearing a condom. In fact, if they’re wearing a condom don’t even bother, it’ll likely end badly – as per the one condom that went missing, and the other that pulled and eventually tore. Yes, we found the lost one, but still. This is not okay.
On that note, I know that Ida was a product designed for couples, couples that presumably don’t use condoms anymore. But for those of us that do, it’s a righteous pain the ass, on top of being worrisome and disappointing. There should be a warning about this somewhere, yet there is not. Lelo, please fix this.
Lack of a condom makes the experience arguably less frustrating, but it’s still awkward and requires effort, lots of lube, a lot of foreplay, and even more patience and perseverance. Getting a rhythmic thrusting going wasn’t easy either, I had to hold Ida in place to keep it from slipping when he pulled out, discouraging to say the least. Of course this wasn’t the only let down; rather than providing ‘more pleasure for him‘, with each thrust (when we could finally manage it, they were few and far between), he was met with the firm base hitting his pelvis. Grinding was no better, the base dug into him awkwardly until he finally asked if we could stop. Even though changing angles and positions provided different results, it’s safe to say Ida isn’t something he’d opt to use again given the choice.
As for the rotations, I could feel them, but it wasn’t what I expected… there was pressure internally, but it was muted, almost like an afterthought, and didn’t add that much to the experience. Externally I felt the vibrations, but I was concentrating so hard on keeping it in place and trying to feel the rotations that I didn’t pay them the attention they deserved.
Thinking it might have been just my partner or the way we have sex, I armed myself with a handful of dildos of varying sizes and materials and settled in ready for a challenge. Again, I was wrong. Even when lubed the silicone on silicone gripped and pulled my skin or each other, making insertion and any thrusting a serious difficulty. I struggled with hard ABS plastic, wood, and glass on silicone that at first dragged, then slipped all over the place. Admittedly, a lack of lube would have solved this problem, but I can’t begin to think of the ordeal it would have been without it. Quite unexpectedly, the last set of materials also made the vibrations pitch take on a distracting buzzy tone every time they unintentionally touched the ABS plastic cover. It was an all around fail.
Now add to all of these experiences a remote, one that requires either constant movement, focus, the ability to multitask, or all of above, and you’ve got one hell of a situation going on. Maybe it’s just me, but sex shouldn’t require this much work, especially from a product that’s supposed to offer “intense satisfaction“. Their words, not mine. Don’t get me wrong, the wireless remote is fun to play with… it’s just a tad involved and seems more like a gimmick to inflate prices than anything else.
Care & Cleaning
Thankfully Ida doesn’t require a heavy duty cleaning after use, the silicone won’t absorb bodily fluids, lube or bacteria, allowing a quick wash with warm water and antibacterial soap. You’ll want to take a few extra seconds to make sure the indent around the gold cover is clean, same goes for the remote buttons. I’ve found fluids will collect around the seam, something you probably wont notice until after the fact. Also, make sure to avoid getting any water or soap in the charging socket of the toy, and that it’s dry before you plug it in to recharge, that could obviously be dangerous.
Personally I think Ida has a bit of an identity crisis to work out, which is crappy since I’ve had really great luck with Lelo toys so far; Ella was one of the very first toys that consistently had me squirting (tmi? meh.), their dual stimulator Ina was one of my go to toys for over 3 years, and I’ve loved the first and second generation Gigi without fault. Maybe if it was thicker, and a tad longer, with a slightly higher resting base, it would make for an ideal solo toy, but as a couples vibe it comes up short. Not to mention being far too complicated.
My advice, if you want a vibrator that has the quality Lelo is known for, are in the market for something on the smaller side, that isn’t overwhelmingly powerful (i.e. NOT a Hitachi), head over to Good For Her and get yourself a Lelo Tara. Sans Ida. It’s basically the same thing without a remote, or the high price tag. If on the other hand you want something a little bit more substantial, I’d suggest snagging a Gigi 2, Ina 2, We-Vibe Touch… or if you’re dead set on a couples vibe, give the Tiani 2 a go. Or maybe the We-Vibe 4. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks a lot more promising than what Lelo cooked up, even without the rotations.
Want to stay up to date with the new reviews? Just sign up through the form below and have them sent straight to your inbox!