LELO ODEN — “This toy is too fancy to go rushing in like a bull in an unchaste china shop!”

Let me be perfectly frank, reprobates: the LELO Oden, or any of the new Insignia line of toys from my favoritest-favorite erotic toy company, LELO, is neither for the novice nor for the mentally benumbed. Ok, that wasn’t so frank. Let me be frank-er: the LELO Oden confused the bejesus out of me for the first day and a half that I had it. But — and this is the important bit — my confusion quickly gave way to a totally new appreciation of what technology can bring to the bedroom.

I read the press releases and tantalizing tidbits dropped about the new line of remote controlled vibrating devices ranging from the standard vibe to the attractive but difficult-to-master ring before I got mine pre-release in early September. I was honored and excited (and wet with anticipation, if I’m really being frank) to have gotten an advance copy of the newest leap forward in techno-carnality. I’ve used (and reviewed) LELO devices before, and my lady bits absolutely love them, while my higher senses appreciate their beautiful design and quiet, discreet engineering. So when my Oden arrived, I was pumped, primed, and ready to go.

Of course, the charging process is always trying, as my eyes can’t help but glance at the wall where I have the rechargeable part plugged in every five minutes. But I made it through the trial period and at last was alone with my Oden… Only to realize that the whole point of the couples-friendly remote control Insignia technology is for use with… duh… a partner. The remote can titillate the tawdry tips of your partner’s body from up to 39 feet away, and this snazzy slice of sex toy gadgetry isn’t only operated with your standard series of “harder,” “softer,” and “new vibration pattern, please” buttons; it uses mobile device–inspired technology so that the hand-held part (which, by the by, also vibrates, so if you’re using it on your honey from yards away, you don’t have to let your honey-pot go un-handled) responds to your movements accordingly. Tilt it forward and it speeds up its vibe to climactic action; tilt it backward and slows down to tamely tease. It’s got 16 speeds and 6 patterns of vibration, and they’re all variable depending on how you hold the remote in your hand. So suffice it to say, I knew I could have some fun learning how to control the vibrating Oden with the remote by my lonesome, but to really test this toyof the future, I needed to elicit a partner’s help.

Now here’s the thing nobody wants to believe when I tell them that I’m a bisexual polyamorous sex toy reviewer (go figure): even for those of us with multiple options, finding someone to come try a new, expensive sex toy with you late on a weeknight is not always an easy task. I called the girlfriend, who was in a far-flung borough of the Big Apple and busy for the evening. I called the boyfriend, but he had an early-morning engagement and was way the hell out on Long Island — a three-hour train ride away! What’s a poor girl to do?

Well, obviously, I had a long, lovely but lonely, evening in with my Oden. I learned a bit about how to get both the remote and the vibe going at once, and I found a few delightful spots where I could lodge the bullet for maximum muffin manipulation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — nobody makes a compact vibrator with more power and pleasure capacity than LELO. Nobody. But the remote? It may be intuitive, but I think this is one of those muscle-memory things where you have to do something a bunch of times before it starts making sense. And, for the record, having a vibrating piece of European plastic lodged in or around your hoo-hah is not the best time to be memorizing new patterns of deliberate movement. This is where having a less-dirtily-disposed partner on hand would come in very handy. I may have had more luck if I hadn’t been so worked up, but by the time I decided to forgo a foreign hand’s help and delve into my dugout solo, I was so horny I couldn’t really focus.

Fast-forward to the next night. I’d bribed the boyfriend with promises of sweaty sexy fun, food, and a bought-and-paid-for LIRR ticket, and he arrived on my doorstep rarin’ to go. But he was suffering from the same impediment that had blocked my path the night before: the three-hour train ride had gotten him so, um, prepared for a night of naughty delights that he couldn’t properly concentrate on manipulating the remote, and as things escalated it became clear that despite my night of experience with the device, I wasn’t articulate enough to tell him how to work it well.

I demanded a break. Take heed, horny readers: this toy is too fancy to  go rushing into the experience like a bull in an unchaste china shop. You have to think a little. Plan ahead. We experimented with the range of the thing from across the apartment, and true to its promises, the Oden performed just as well from far away as up close. After a few moments of gasps and screams from the dark bedroom to the well-lit kitchen, I had hatched a plan.

We had both calmed down enough by then to experiment more deliberately with the device by the time we’d finished our long-distance diddling, and with some slow and sensual stroking we managed to try out the Oden on him, on me, and between the two of us. We didn’t exactly master the remote, but we did get a better idea of how to make the thing work the way we wanted it to, and true to its promises, the couples ring proved to be perfect for a couple to play with. The curve of the vibe is ergonomic and can be used in tandem with the ring, as a she-vibe or a he-vibe, as an inserted bit, or — try this — on the taint. Within fifteen minutes of our second attempt at more-sober sex, we’d reached a peak of prurient pleasure, together.

So in closing: the Oden is great. It works, and it works well. The Insignia line from LELO is technology brought to the bedroom in fabulously futuristic form. It’s pretty nifty. But between me and my man, who just got turned on to smart phones about a year ago, it’s a bit heavy on the learning curve.

I have a feeling, however, that a few more nights of hard, horny work and we’ll be masters at the thing. And then, look out, world! You won’t see much of us until we burn the motor out. And given LELO’s well-deserved reputation for long-lasting, well-made devices… that might be a while. PEACE!

—Miss Lagsalot