LELO IDA Couples Vibrator

Back in September 2013, I published a Spotlight about LELO’s 10th anniversary and the announcement of their newest couple’s vibrator, the LELO IDA. The IDA is named for a 2005 prototype that never made it to market. Apparently, LELO decided to recycle the name for a completely new design.

The LELO IDA joins the high-end LELO Insignia & Luxe line, as well as the SenseMotion family of products. I’ve written about LELO SenseMotion vibrators before, so what makes the IDA so special? Well, if the IDA Massager looks different and unusual, it’s because it is unlike any other sex toy out there. In addition to its unique silhouette, the LELO IDA not only vibrates, it also gyrates.

What’s all this about gyration? If you recall, the LELO Tiani (which is no longer available in the U.S. or Canada), had an external portion intended to stimulate the clit, while its internal arm was meant to press against the g-spot. The IDA takes this concept a step further.

As its quite large external piece, topped with gold ABS, vibrates against the clit, its internal arm actually rotates inside of you for increased g-spot stimulation. Oh, and like its cousin, the Tiani, the LELO IDA is designed to be worn during penetration.

Quite frankly, when I pulled the IDA out of the box, I had doubts. It is by no means a small, delicate sex toy. It wasn’t the 3.5″ of insertable length that concerned me, it was the slightly less than 1″ diameter of the g-spot arm, as well as the 7″ circumference and ~.75″ thickness of the clitoral portion. Granted, these dimensions are nothing for a plain old vibrator or dildo, but when you’re expected to have a phallic-like object inside of you at the same time, things can get tricky.

First off, you’re going to want to use a lot of water-based lubricant, always what LELO recommends using with their sex toys, as opposed to silicone-based lube. The silicone covering the rigid IDA and its remote is the same smooth and silky LELO silicone I adore. It actually has very little drag, which is helpful is many cases, but doesn’t make much difference with the LELO IDA.

The IDA’s latex and phthalate-free silicone is also hypoallergenic, body-safe, and can be disinfected with a 10% bleach solution, though you can really only wash the ABS, not disinfect it. So, while disinfecting the silicone portion of the massager would normally allow you to share it with a non-fluid bonded partner, the ABS creates a slight issue. Share at your own risk.

The composition of LELO’s silicone is good enough that you may get away with using a very high-quality silicone-based lube, such as Pjur Original Bodyglide. However, mixing silicones can cause a negative reaction and ruin sex toys, so be sure to do a small patch test before slathering lube all over your IDA. I’d try it on the remote because its top uses the same silicone as the massager.

Speaking of the IDA’s remote, though it does close securely enough, I would take care when cleaning it and not submerge it in water. I don’t trust the seal. The IDA massager, on the other hand, is waterproof and can easily be washed with a gentle (non-antibacterial) soap and water or sex toy cleaner, and you can submerge it to your heart’s delight.

When I discuss LELO’s packaging, you’ll notice I make mention of a plastic key. Though it looks odd and unimportant, and nothing like a key, it is your ticket to utilizing the LELO IDA’s remote control. Without it, you may never be able to crack that baby open without literally cracking that baby open. I did manage to remove the back of another SenseMotion remote without killing it, but it’s no longer very pretty.

The little rounded bit at the bottom of the key fits into the groove on top of the remote’s gold ABS battery compartment. This particular remotes requires just a slight counterclockwise twist. When I then flip the remote over, the compartment lid falls right off. However, not all of my SenseMotion remote controls open this easily, so yours may call for more elbow grease.

Pop in the two included, Energizer AAA batteries (because LELO rocks) and carefully line up the plastic bits on the inside of the battery compartment and its lid. A somewhat firmer clockwise twist locks the compartment cover into place. You shouldn’t be trying to wrench the key halfway around the remote. Small movements are all that is required.

The actual massager portion of the IDA is rechargeable and LELO advises charging it for two hours before using it the first time. There is an LED under the pairing button that flashes while the LELO IDA is charging. Once the vibrator is fully charged, this light glows steadily. It only took my IDA around 1.5 hours max to charge the first time, so it obviously arrived with a partial charge.

One fantastic feature offered by the LELO IDA is that the massager tells you when you need a recharge. That LED I mentioned above will start flashing rapidly during use to let you know it’s running out of power. I suggest responding quickly when this happens as it’s never, ever fun when a vibrator dies mid-use.

Your LELO IDA will last up to two hours on a single charge. It really depends on how you use it. The longer it operates at higher levels of intensity, the shorter its life. LELO states you should be able to get up to 10 hours of use out of the included batteries. Mine haven’t given out yet, though I have not run the remote for that long.

In order to use the IDA’s remote with its massager, you must must first pair them by pressing the + button on the remote and pressing the button on the massager to turn it on. When both the LEDs on the remote’s + button and the massager’s power button light up, the devices are paired and ready to go.

Turning off the remote and massager functions as you might expect (or already know if own a LELO SenseMotion vibrator). Hold the – button on the remote and the power button the massager for three seconds to shut each piece down. Keep in mind that if you forget to turn off the massager, it will go into standby for one hour before shutting itself off. During this time it will remain receptive to signals from the remote.

As with other vibrators from LELO’s Insignia Line, the IDA has a travel lock, which operates by pressing the + and – buttons simultaneously for three seconds. Press these buttons for three seconds to activate the lock and three seconds again to deactivate it.

Travel locks are great even when you’re not traveling. More than once I’ve experienced pulling a dead vibrator out of my bedside drawer because it had pressed up against something, accidentally turning itself on. Let me tell you, it’s never a happy discovery.

If you’ve used one of the SenseMotion remotes before, you already know how the LELO IDA’s remote works. It’s exactly the same. As with earlier SenseMotion toys, there are three modes, two SenseMotion modes and one that consists of six pre-programmed patterns. So essentially, there are a total of eight modes.

To turn on the insertable, rotating portion of the LELO IDA, press and hold its button until the LED comes on. You are now ready to use it with its remote. If you’d like to ditch the remote (please tell me you didn’t lose it) and go manual, just press the button again.

Using the LELO IDA Massager without its remote is possible, though I find it a ginormous pain in the ass and so not worth it. However, if you disagree with me (and feel free) and this is your preference, you can simply scroll through the six pre-programmed patterns (obviously, you don’t have access to the two SenseMotion Modes) by pressing the button on the massager.

When first turning the LELO IDA on, you will be in SenseMotion Mode 1, in which vibration is controlled by shifting the remote from a horizontal to a vertical position. The more you tilt, the stronger the vibration.

Pressing the Mode button on the remote, which looks like this- () on its side, allows you to change modes (surprise!). One press of the () button will move you into SenseMotion Mode 2, in which you manage vibration intensity by moving the remote in any direction. The faster you shake it, the stronger the vibration.

Something called “Dynamic Stimulation” synchronizes the intensity of the external vibration with the speed of the internal rotation. Thus, increase the strength of the vibrations and you will also speed up the gyrations within you.

If your arm, or your partner’s, gets tired, another press on the () button will bring you to the first of the six pre-programmed patterns. You cycle through these six modes by pressing, you guessed it, the () button. Once you’ve scrolled through all six patterns, you will end up back at SenseMotion Mode 1. (You see, Son, the antelope eat the grass and we eat the antelope. It’s the circle of life.)

While in the six pre-programmed modes, you increase and decrease the intensity of the vibrations by using the + and – buttons. You are able to control each pattern’s strength separately, which I love.

When using the LELO IDA without its remote, all six patterns will be automatically set at the highest level of intensity. If you want to adjust the power at all, you will have to use the remote. Not only that, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world to reach the button on the massager and be able to press it with enough force to change patterns in the midst of penetration.

Still, if you’re going to insist on using the IDA without its remote or you’re one of those people who is bound to lose it, save yourself a few bucks and go with the LELO Tara instead.

The LELO IDA’s eight vibrations modes are as follows:
1. SenseMotion 1
2. SenseMotion 2
3. Low steady vibration with slow rotation
4. Slow pulse with slow rotation
5. Faster pulse with faster rotation
6. Ramp up with same faster rotation as #5
7. Roller coaster with same faster rotation as #5
8. Dance Mix with same faster rotation as #5

The video below provides some good visuals regarding the way the LELO IDA is intended to function.

The LELO IDA makes a bit more noise than my LELO Lyla, but it vibrates and gyrates, so we’re dealing with two motors. A slight increase in noise is reasonable, especially considering the IDA is still very quiet. It definitely cannot be heard through a thin closed door, nor does it distract from play.

Though both the external clitoral surface and the internal g-spot arm are rigid, the stem of the arm that allows it to rotate is not. This makes it far trickier to insert the LELO IDA than I was expecting. It has a tendency to go all bendy when I’m trying to tuck it inside myself.

This was less of an issue when my partner handled the insertion. Augmenting the slickness of the g-spot arm with additional lube was helpful. Just try to keep the lube from getting all over the place, as this makes the LELO IDA very slippery and further adds to the challenge of sliding it in.

You can see below that the rotations are relatively small, which is understandable as it’s expected you will be penetrated by something in addition to the IDA at the same time. It’s not like you want that arm whipping around in large arcs. Keep in mind, as intensity of the vibration increases, so does the speed of the rotation.

On the lower levels of power, I did feel this internal movement but not much. Obviously, I was able to sense it more as the speed of the LELO IDA’s gyration increased. Unfortunately, it did not feel as pleasurable as I was hoping. While the arm does hit my g-spot, it actually feels rather odd and is more distracting than enjoyable. However, it’s important to remember that my g-spot is not easily stimulated and tends to be very persnickety.

Most of my LELO vibrators are on the deep and rumbly end of the vibration spectrum. Therefore, the IDA’s vibrations are quite a bit higher pitched and buzzier than I was anticipating. They are much more like those of the LELO Tiani than those of the LELO SIRI, which is disappointing. Their maximum power is also rather middle of the road. So, though the vibrations aren’t painful, they are buzzy and weakish enough to make achieving orgasm a serious challenge for me.

The large circumference of the external portion of the LELO IDA sits more or less against my vulva, so it does a good job of effecting the clitoral complex rather than focusing only on the clit. I am not going to discuss the physical structure of the clitoris in this review, but I will point out that this is a bonus.

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that my clit is not only itty bitty, it is also well tucked beneath its hood, which doesn’t make accessing it the easiest feat in the world. Therefore, vibrators with large surface areas are generally not my best friend. In this respect, I think the LELO IDA would be more effective for those who have longer clits that extend out from under the clit hood. They have a better chance at receiving the more direct clitoral stimulation I would need with this vibrator.

So far, I’ve only addressed the effectiveness of using the LELO IDA on my own. Adding a phallic-like object to the mix opens a big can of worms, and I am not a fan of wiggly worms. Let me just straight out report that I have not been able to find a way to make the LELO IDA well for me with any sort of simultaneous penetration.

1. LELO IDA + dildo= failure. Even using my thinnest silicone dildo, the Tantus Rocket (which is still 1.5″ in diameter, so it’s not tiny), and a ton of water-based lube, inserting one while the other was already inside of me was not easy nor fun. I tried my Don Wands Red Sweetheart Glass Dildo on the off chance its 1″ diameter and super smooth glass surface would be more successful. Nope.

2. LELO IDA + penis= fiasco. I thought getting both the LELO IDA and a dildo inside of me was problematic. Swapping a penis for a dildo? To quote Joey Buttafuoco, fuhgeddaboutit. There is not enough lube in the world to make this task less onerous for my partner or myself. Condoms just added another layer of aggravating drag to the mix.

With a dildo, the LELO IDA’s gyrations were uncomfortable, but with a penis? It was all the more more awkward. While I found it simply bothersome, he considered having a rigid, rotating arm slamming into his penis every other second flat out painful. Generally not a fan of testing sex toys that require his participation beyond merely using them on me, he eventually made good on his threat to throw the IDA across the room, ending the experiment with a resounding NO.

The packaging of the LELO IDA Couples Vibrator is typical LELO packaging, which is to say that it’s sturdy and luxurious. The external box is lightweight cardboard with images and a bit of information about the vibrator. The color of the toy pictured on this box corresponds to the color of the IDA contained inside. In this case, Cerise.

Within this outer package is the ever rugged, discrete, black box that has “LELO” imprinted on its top, black on black. It can be used for long-term storage but is significantly larger than the LELO IDA so it takes up a good amount of space. This is one of reasons LELO always includes a good quality, satin storage pouch, also in black.

In addition to the LELO IDA, its remote, and the lovely storage pouch, the box contains the charging cable, which actually plugs into the wall, not a USB port (yes!). Hats off to LELO for not joining many sex toy manufacturers in their quest to rid us all of our wall chargers. While I like the option to charge my sex toys via USB, if I have to choose, I will choose a wall charger every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

In classic LELO fashion, the two AAA batteries required by the IDA’s remote are included (Energizers, no less). Thank you, LELO. They always enclose a sample of LELO Personal Moisturizer (otherwise known as their water-based lube), a user manual, and the basics on their one year warranty and 10 year quality guarantee.

As with other remote controlled LELO vibrators, such as the Lyla, LELO provides the same plastic key you must have if you want to open the battery compartment on the remote without resorting to MacGyver-like trickery. You can pry it open without this key but it’s not easy and will end up damaging the remote, so do NOT lose it.

I vaguely remember complaining in my last LELO review that the user manual was short on info, which had to be tracked down on the LELO website. However, in the case of the LELO IDA (and TARA, its remote control free sibling), there seems to be a return to a more thorough hard copy manual, which I appreciate.

LELO still refers you to their website for more details, but the bulk of what most people want and need to know is in the manual. I actually wasn’t able to find much more on the site for the average user, but it does have specs.

LELO IDA Couples Vibrator Pros:
• Great concept
• Control level of intensity separately for each mode
• Lets you know when it needs to be recharged
• Silky silicone
• Waterproof
• Rechargeable
• Remote (good) batteries included
• Quiet
• Minimal charging time
• Good charge to play time ratio
• Travel lock

LELO IDA Couples Vibrator Cons:
• Uncomfortable/painful with additional penetration
• Worse with condom
• Not particularly pleasant internal sensation
• Buzzy vibrations
• Vibrations not strong enough
• Difficult to insert by self
• Awkward using with dildo

I wanted to like the LELO IDA, I really did. I’m a sucker for new and different sex toys. I still like the concept behind the IDA, I just can’t make it work well with my body. The higher pitch and lesser strength of the vibrations are certainly not helpful, keeping me from enjoying the IDA on my own without additional penetration.

The fact that using condoms made the experience worse is a big downside in my mind because many couples use condoms for a variety of very important reasons. Of course, it could have been the condoms we used or a bigger issue for us than for others.

The LELO IDA may be more effective for women with less finicky g-spots and clits that protrude significantly more than mine. Those who don’t need very powerful vibrations to orgasm nor mind buzzy-ish vibrators (or even prefer them) are much better candidates for the IDA than I am. If this describes you, take time to explore the sensations added by the stimulation of a larger portion of the clitoral complex. This could further your enjoyment.

While the LELO IDA has many of the positive qualities I find in LELO sex toys, their lovely, silky silicone, the straightforward control panel, and the capability to control the intensity of the vibration in each separate mode, these cannot override the reality that this particular sex toy is a complete fail for my body.

Bottom line: The LELO IDA is a cool concept that, unfortunately, is totally off the mark for me. However, it has enough positive aspects that may make it worth trying if you think you won’t have the same issues with the vibrations as I do. If you’re going to give it a shot, the remote really is worth the extra cash. Not for the SenseMotion aspect, but for its hands-free functionality.

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