Lelo Alia

January 4th, 2011

Insignia is the newest line by Lelo, the luxury sex toy company that has pumped out more new items this past year than I have fingers. I have been lucky enough to try several of those items, including the egg-shaped Alia. I was drawn to the Alia because it’s similar to a regular egg vibrator but I have difficulty holding those and I hoped that the hole in the center of the vibrator would ease the stress on my fingers.

Alia is like an egg with slightly flattened sides and a smaller egg-shape cut out of the middle. It is slightly larger than your typical egg vibrator ax approximately 2.5” long and 1.5” wide. While the outsides of this vibrator are coated in a firm silicone, the inside is lined with plastic painted to look metallic. It has a slight golden sheen and, if you found it difficult to tell whether it was gold or silver in images, it’s pretty much as difficult to tell in person. Unlike some other Lelo’s toys, the silicone is not as firm as I expected. There’s just a tiny bit of give, similar to the Estomed of the Layaspot. The velvety finish also adds to the feeling of softness.

Lelo has been experimenting with packaging this year, it seems. Alia comes in a box that contains a foam shape to hold the vibrator and the included brooch while the other side has a liftable cardboard flap that houses the storage/travel pouch and booklets. I have found that the booklets like to slide to the other side, under the foam, and you need to insert your fingers into the foam holes to move the paper back into place in order to access it.

So, the brooch is a small metal pin that is in the shape of what I understand to be the logo for the Insignia line. Imagine an infinity symbol with an extra loop. I’m not really a fan of pins but it’s elegant looking and could spice up an outfit or you could put it on a canvas bag.

Lelo has strayed from their trademark controls with the Insignia toys and the controls actually match the brooch. The logo is engraved into the silicone while the buttons are embossed onto it. There is a + button on one side to turn on and up the vibrator while a – button exists on the other side to do the opposite. The button in the middle looks a bit like this () and allows the user to switch between modes. Those modes include various pulsation and escalation settings. There are around 8 but it’s hard to tell because that middle button needs a lot of pressure in order for the vibrator to respond. Sadly, Lelo has returned to the buzzier type vibrations with Alia. Siri is significantly deeper in terms of vibration. However, Alia is still much more powerful than Lily.

In use, I didn’t find the shape to help at all. In fact, it may have even made this egg-shaped toy more difficult to use. Depending on your finger size, you can fit 2 or 3 through the hole. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t find a comfortable and useful position that made use of the hole and offered the pressure I like. If you simply like to hold vibrators against you, then this may not be an issue.

Lelo has continued to provide the ability to lock your vibrators when not in use by simultaneously pressing – and +. I still say this isn’t as useful and being able to lock it during use but it’s handy for travel. Charging automatically unlocks an Insignia toy, which is important to remember. The manual states that it requires two hours to fully charge; although, mine was already charged. The LED light on the toy will remain white when the battery is full but will pulse as it dies. Users can expect up to four hours of usage from Alia but I have yet to reach that point. I also believe it uses the same adapter as Ina, Mona and Siri. AWESOME!

Now, I have to mention something odd. This toy is supposed to be completely waterproof. My understanding is that the silicone is supposed to stretch to accommodate the adapter when charging but “shrink” to cover the hole when not charging. My hole is completely open all.the.time. (Man, that sounds kinda naughty, doesn’t it?) I would absolutely NOT trust this in water if I didn’t know it was supposed to be fully waterproof. However, I gave it a thorough and fully submerged washing and it came out just fine. I wonder if the silicone port covers that Lelo previously used are a thing of the past.

Another change that Lelo has implemented with this product is that of the storage bag. It is now double layered satin—black on the outside and white on the inside. I don’t think it looks as nice as plain black but it offers slightly more cushion.

The bottom line for me is that Alia really isn’t an improvement over traditional egg vibrators in terms of strength, size or comfort. I would much rather use my $35 BNaughty, which has survived multiple trips to the shower and rough cleanings.

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