Review: Lelo Ida

I never knew a toy could make me scream in pain until I tried the Lelo Ida.

I didn’t see it coming, and neither did my boyfriend. So we were both pretty horrified, since pain wasn’t supposed to be on the agenda that night (and vaginal pain isn’t the kind I find hot, anyway).

The Ida is an overhaul of Lelo’s previous couples’ vibes, the Tiani and Noa, meant to be worn inside the vagina alongside the penis during PIV sex. Incase you didn’t know, Lelo got into a legal tussle with We-Vibe when the latter accused the former of stealing their unique toy design, and We-Vibe won, so Lelo had to scrap everything and start from scratch.

I assumed the Ida would be like a poor man’s We-Vibe, and it is, but it’s worse than that: it’s an assault on the genitals. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into my round hole.

I think my major problem with it is that the internal portion is SO BIG. No, it’s not big by dildo standards, but when you try to shove a penis in underneath it, it digs into the vaginal wall and feels appallingly out of place. It reminds me of those occasional awkward moments when my boyfriend’s penis jams my NuvaRing into an odd position and it hurts, except the Ida is so much worse than that, because it’s firm and it’s rotating.

Yep, the internal portion rotates. I thought this would be my favorite feature, because historically I enjoy internal rotation, but actually I can barely feel it. When my boyfriend’s penis is inside me, I can’t tell if the added girth is stopping the rotation entirely or if I just can’t feel the silicone arm’s slow stroking over the wave of pain I’m experiencing. Either way, it doesn’t do a damn thing for me.

The external part of the toy doesn’t cause me pain like the internal part, but it’s still a pretty massive failure. Traditional couples’ vibes have a slim external part, made to tuck neatly between the labia so it can access the clitoris easily and directly. The Ida, instead, has a large round disc, almost as big as my palm. Ain’t no way a disc is fitting in between my labia, so it just sits on the outside of my vulva, the vibrations ever-so-slightly reaching my clit but certainly not enough to induce an orgasm. I would imagine this problem would be even worse for people with thick outer labia.

I had an orgasm from the Ida once – once – and here is what I had to do to make it happen: I had to use it by itself (no penis, no dildo), I had to turn it up to the highest setting so my clit could perceive the vibrations, and when I got close to orgasm, I had to physically press the disc against my clit to give it enough sensation. When the ordeal was over, I felt so drained and disappointed that the orgasm hardly felt worth it. And that was the best session I’ve had with my Ida.

With my partner, no amount of lube and warm-up and patience can make the Ida pleasurable or even comfortable. It just feels like I’m getting stabbed in the vaginal wall. I scream into the pillow and push my boyfriend away. He gets upset and distressed that he has hurt me. And then we give up on the Ida and have sex normally, which still kind of hurts after the Ida’s onslaught on my vagina. This happens every time we use it. I have had enough.

Did I mention that you have to pay $200 for the luxury of getting poked in the vaginal wall with a piece of rotating silicone?

There are other details I could mention in this review – the Ida has a remote, it’s waterproof, it has two high-tech motion-sensitive settings, it’s made of smooth body-safe materials – but really, none of that matters, because I cannot recommend this toy to anyone. I refuse to.

If you want a comfortable couples’ vibe to wear during PIV sex, try the Noa – it’s the only one I’ve ever liked, and it’s half the price of the Ida. If you want to have more control of your experience, try holding a long-handled or small vibe against your clit during PIV: I recommend the Eroscillator, Mia 2, or Tango.

But please, don’t get the Ida. Or if you really want the Ida experience, try putting a sharp rock in your vag next time your partner’s about to penetrate you.

This toy was sent to me for review by Lelo. Dear Lelo: I still love you, even though I hate the Ida.