The thing that surprised me most about the Lelo Lily isn’t its power, its smooth shape, or its lovely packaging. It was the fact that, for the first time in my life, I needed to read the instruction manual before I could use a vibrator.
The box is a high-gloss reflection of its contents – light pink, black, or deep plum – with a simple line drawing of the Lily’s curves on the exterior to let you know what you’re getting. I spent a long time taking the box apart, examining the contents, and anticipating the moment when the Lily would be fully charged. Inside, the Lily is nestled inside a black keepsake box that also includes the charger (once you’ve drained the juice, just plug it into the wall; two hours later, you’ll be good for another seven hours of fun), a satin travel pouch, and the instructions. The packaging reminded me of high-end perfume or luxury cosmetics: it’s simple, discreet, but carries an unmistakable aura of rich, tactile pleasure.
The Lily, along with its smooth-plastic sister Nea, is designed to be used externally for clitoral stimulation. I was drawn to the Lily for its simplicity: two buttons, curved to follow the user’s cupped palm, designed to be gripped from any angle, discreetly sized, and still offering the promise of top-of-the-line quality. It’s powerful but relatively quiet, and the wider surface allows for variations in pressure and angle that an experienced tease could use to their advantage. If you want to take advantage of the Lily’s multi-speed settings, make sure you leaf through the instruction manual before beginning to play: the Lily can offer intense vibration, a barely-there caress, and several speeds of pulse and rhythm. The toy can also lock, preventing it from accidentally being turned on in transit. Like all of Lelo’s ergonomically curved and colourful products, the Lily comes with a one-year defect warranty, and a ten-year quality guarantee that offers 50% off your next web purchase with Lelo if a problem arises after that first year. While it was recharging, I registered it online.
With a partner, the Lily’s forgiving shape means that a novice can quickly find satisfying angles, and avoid the pitfalls of bearing down with too much direct pressure. You can feel comfortable handing it off to your partner and letting them play. During penetrative sex, the Lily follows the shape of a woman’s body, discreetly providing stimulation without getting in the way of the main attraction. Holding it in place is simple: use your hand, or allow your partner’s body to hold it against your own. The toy is curved in the middle, so finding and holding an angle is a no-brainer, and leaves you free from mid-sex adjustments. Unlike other toys, which force you to cycle through more and more intense vibrations before finally turning off, you can adjust the Lily’s vibrations up and down. Torment? Maybe. But it also allows you and your partner to fine-tune the level of stimulation and vibration to exactly what’s needed in the moment.
Solo, the Lily suffers from the same problem that other clitoris-only vibrators do: it can feel a little…small. Small doesn’t mean unsatisfying, however. The vibrations were powerful, and its shape encourages motion and experimentation. For women who don’t enjoy penetration (and there are women out there for whom penetration does zilch), the Lily offers enough stimulation for orgasm, without any extra vibrator getting in the way. The Lily is also exceptionally quiet – if your solo time is private (away from the prying ears of roommates or kids), the Lily will help you keep it that way.
I’m not going to lie: Lelo makes expensive toys. The Lily‘s price, at over $100, can make it daunting to a first-time buyer. But the Lily, like all of Lelo’s toys, is worth the asking price. It’s an extremely well-designed, top-quality toy that will last for years. It’s also, once you read that pesky instruction manual, stupidly easy to use. The design allows you to focus on your partner and your pleasure, without struggling to maintain that perfect angle or calibrate the very best vibrations. It’s a great gift – unobtrusively sexy without presuming too much about the recipient – and a great investment. If you’re ready for the next step in clitoral stimulation, the Lily is ready for you.