Luxury mark Lelo is fast becoming the under-performing offspring of the adult industry – and regretfully so. It’s been downhill ever since designing Cliterati’s favourite vibrator, the outstanding Mona 2. After relentless disappointing attempts at effective innovation we’ve seen so many damp squabs seemingly rush-released by the brand (hello all versions of the Ora, Tiani and Ida – among others) that reviewer faith has been rocked beyond repair. So, when the Mona Wave and Ina Wave arrived at Cliterati Towers it would be fair to say they were received with trepidation.
As with all Lelo items, the Wave range comes packaged in exquisite boxes with a ten-year quality guarantee and one year warranty. The toys’ sensual silicone is smooth and seamless of the high standard we’ve come to expect from Lelo, and the colours are deep and luxurious.
The vibrations of the Ina Wave are suitably rumbly and quiet, whilst the rotating finger wags like a disappointing aunt NOISILY. Apparently the internal shaft is supposed ‘to rise and fall like an expert lover’s fingers’, but whilst our own expert lover can go fast or slow, the Ina Wave plods along at a pedestrian speed which is somewhere in-between.
Due to the narrow area between the main shaft and the clitoral stimulator, Cliterati found the Ina Wave’s predecessor the Ina 2 to be unremittingly uncomfortable – rather like being held in a sharp pincer grip – so we didn’t have high hopes for the Wave version of the toy. Fortunately, the clit stim finger on the Ina Wave is far more flexible than its older sister and immediately more comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s still the wrong shape and dimensions for this particular reviewer’s body. Lelo blurb says the main shaft is angled at 30 degrees for perfect G-Spot stimulation, yet when it comes to inflexible plastic objects precious few people are ‘perfectly’ shaped to match.
That said, we can imagine that if the Ina Wave did suit your dimensions it would do so screamingly well. Indeed, if Marmite were an adjective it would fit here quite comfortably, since both Ina toys are definitely of the love-or-hate variety. Perhaps it would be advantageous for Lelo to offer toys in two sizes (as they did with their Wands), as whilst the main shaft of the Ina Wave may be welcomingly unthreatening for some, for others it could be considerably longer and wider to better embrace the unfathomable variabilities of the female form.
This discrepancy between design intentions and user dimensions makes playing with the Ina Wave more complicated than expected: yes, the new controller interface is pleasingly smooth and the memory setting a welcome addition, but we found the handle itself far too short and tricky to angle or manipulate during use. Luckily, the Ina Wave lends itself well to hands-free fun. However, this has repercussions, as when the vaginal muscles are clenched tightly not only are you unable to feel the toy moving inside but in the meantime the external clit stim end flails wildly around your outside: this can be hit or miss depending on the user’s body shape. It’s worth pointing out that if your PC muscles are really strong you may even be able to stop the inner motor from rotating altogether, a controversial feature of the Wave range considering orgasmic spasms are the name of the game.
Ironically, the best settings of the Ina Wave are those in the more generic rabbit mode that alternate between the two digits: just like the Ina 2 the main shaft of the Wave vibrates before the clit stim buzzes and back again, building up a gratifying rhythm. The vibration and rotating finger patterns are well programmed, and it’s great that you can have one without the other, although when used simultaneously the power of both can feel lessened. With the Ina Wave the internal finger can rotate as well as vibrate, sometimes both at the same time – impressive stuff!
Whilst it’s great that Lelo are innovating where others seem reticent to progress, the brand’s new gizmos continue to fall short of satisfying their intended aim, and for such high unit prices this is inexcusable. Admiring as we are of the Lelo brand, we have to admit that this is testing customer loyalty to the limit.
Cliterati desperately wanted to like the Wave range, but unfortunately although the Ina and Mona Waves have all the right components, as a team none these seem to play together particularly effectively: for all their potential they feel like warm-up toys rather than game-changers. Indeed, judging by their recent performances, if Lelo were a football team they’d have been relegated a good few seasons ago, currently seen languishing at the bottom of the lower divisions.
So pull your socks up Lelo, as we’re all on your side and wishing you every success. But let’s not forget that adult toy production is about customer satisfaction – in more ways than one. Presently, with poor products outnumbering the positive, Lelo are in dire danger of alienating even their most loyal fans. We can only hope for a return to form in future.
This piece was originally posted on Cliterati on 22nd November 2014