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Cory Silverberg

Sex Toy Review: Ola Vibe

By September 16, 2011

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Everything is relative. What you loathe in one person or situation, you might welcome in another. I, for example, really hate being sold to. If someone is pushing me to buy something, or to believe that whatever it is they are selling is something I need, I shut down and walk away just as fast as my submissive Canadian manner allows me to (which usually means I'm standing there for another 10-15 minutes after my American friends have gone).

But that same enthusiasm for the sales pitch which I despise in most commercial settings, I don't necessarily mind so much in the sex toy industry. At least not when the person who is trying to sell me something believes in what they are selling. Which was the case when I started hearing about the Ola, a new and incredibly fun vibrator from Minna, a new vibrator company. I had been hearing about the toy that responds to the users touch - getting stronger as you squeeze it more and softer as you release - for a while before the enthusiastic people at Babeland (buy direct, $165) offered to send me one and discover it for myself.

Ola is a genuinely important contribution to the world of sex toys. The manufacturers have taken careful notes from their still new predecessors who are making high quality and high design silicone vibrators. The innovation is not in the design, it's in the way you use the toy (what designers call the user interface). At one end of the gentle elongated S shaped wand is a soft pad, that feels a bit more like a Martian Popping Thing than a memory foam pillow, but is actually filled with air. When you squeeze the pad a powerful quiet motor begins to buzz. Squeeze harder and the vibrator gets stronger. Tap gently on the pad and create a series of gentle pulses running through the shaft to the tip of the toy. Ola doesn't come with any set programs, it responds to what you do, but requires you to explore what exactly it is that you want. A simple and intuitive "loop" button allows you to create a pattern or set Ola at a single speed, and use it without having to hold the control pad or keep your pressure, and thus the vibration, at a constant speed.

Ola won't be everyone's cup of tea. For one thing, it's a really expensive cup of tea. And it absolutely asks more of a user than standard vibrators. But that's what is innovative and brilliant about it. The toy doesn't offer instant gratification. Instead it provides a kind of open platform, or maybe playground is a better metaphor, for people to discover what turns them on, and then to do it themselves. It's not clear to me that the company fully appreciates what they've done. Their packaging talks about people knowing "what they want and what they need" (actually they say women, not people). I'm not sure that's true. But I do think that Ola is a tool and a toy that can help people figure that out in ways more creative and personal than most sex toys on the market. Conscious on their part or not, it's a good sign of things to come for us.

Read the Full Review: Ola Vibrator by Minna

Read all Sex Toy Product Reviews

Image courtesy of Minna

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