Love & Sex

Is the Oral Sex Vibrator Lelo Ora the Best Thing Since Getting Head?

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Is the Oral Sex Vibrator Lelo Ora the Best Thing Since Getting Head? 

You’ll be tickled by the answer. 

By Lux Alptraum

For the past few years a vibrator that can mimic the sensations of cunnilingus has been something of a Holy Grail for sex toy manufacturers. In 2008, Je Joue debuted the SaSi, an innovative item that was sadly scuttled by its overly complex, confusing interface. A year later, LoveHoney introduced the Sqweel, an odd looking contraption which, as Oh Joy Sex Toy's Erika Moen once put it, is like oral sex "if you have [it] with a line of partners who give you one lick each." Now the Swedish sex toy experts over at Lelo have unveiled the Ora, leaving us all to wonder whether someone's finally found success or if the Ora is just one more addition to a long line of toys that don't quite live up to their promises.

In many ways, the Ora seems like a successor to the SaSi. Like its predecessor, the Ora mixes vibration with a tiny, oscillating nub, or "tongue," that creates a pleasurable feeling of pressure around one's ladybits (this being the heavily advertised "oral sex simulation"). Unlike the SaSi, which offered consumers a seemingly endless ability to customize their experience, the Ora offers ten preset modes (some with vibration and pressure, some with pressure only); increasing vibration strength and pressure intensity are the only two forms of customization available.

There are good things and bad things about the Ora. Firstly, and most importantly, it feels really good. I'm not going to say that it's exactly like oral sex, because that's a silly comparison to make, but I did find that the Ora's tongue felt quite delightful. In a market flooded with toys that do little more than vibrate and penetrate, it's always nice to stumble across a product that offers a different sensory experience. Ora manages to be a toy that's not merely novel, but actually paradigm shifting in its difference. I can't give Lelo full credit for this – it was Je Joue and the SaSi that really created the market for this new type of stimulation – but I'm pleased to see a toy that continues this tradition of pleasurable pressure, and hope it's the beginning of a whole new wave of sex toys.

But, alas, the Ora is far from perfect. The SaSi may have been way too complicated, but the Ora feels far too simple. Where the SaSi's tongue could move up and down and side to side and diagonally, the Ora offers only two options: full circle and back and forth half circle. Additionally, using the toy with the vibration on subdues the sensation of pressure. With the vibration on full blast, the Ora feels little different from any other vibrator on the market, its hardworking tongue unable to compete with the more powerful sensations of vibration.

And if you like your self pleasuring to be conducted in total silence, you may find yourself disturbed by the noises that the Ora emits. Movement of the toy's tongue is accompanied by a mechanical sounding whine; pair that with the rumble of the vibration, and it's hard to forget that you're making love to a machine. While noisiness doesn't have to be a dealbreaker here (see: the Hitachi Magic Wand), it's a definite distraction from the toy's pleasurable sensations.

Most distressingly for me, the Ora commits the cardinal sin of multi-pattern vibrators: when toggling your way from stimulation pattern to stimulation pattern, you're only able to move through the selections in one direction. To put it more simply: if you're enjoying a pattern, and your finger slips and sends you into a different one, you have to click your way through eight more offerings before you can get back to the one you want. It's a small thing, but it can make a big difference in the heat of the moment.

I don't mean to come across as totally down on the Ora. Realistically, it's one of two toys on the market that offer this unique pressure sensation, and the Ora is much more widely available (and much more user friendly) than the SaSi. For that alone it's worth considering as an addition to your toy chest.

But I can't shake the feeling that Lelo could have done this toy a lot better. Presumably there'll be an Ora 2 one day; if there is, I hope it includes the following: More movement options for the tongue, less noise, and for the love of god, a better set of controls that allow the user to navigate back and forth between pulse patterns. The Holy Grail has yet to be found, but I’m very happy to take this excellent first step in the journey. 

Image via Lelo