VENUS Berlin Interviews & Portraits #14: LELO

Bild: JFK Fubar Webmasters

The Swedish sextoy manufacturer LELO is one of the most popular exhibitors at VENUS Berlin. Year after year, people gather at the booth of the premium supplier with a passion for design. And it was no different in 2019: countless games, events and exciting products awaited the curious trade fair aficionados.

For the third time in a row, we met with Svenja Schön, the PR representative at LELO, and asked her what the Swedish sextoy provider had up its sleeves this year.

As it turned out pretty much all of the signature toys got a makeover.

VAN: So what’s new at LELO this year?

Schön: For one thing, we have a new Ora, the Ora 3. The oral sex stimulator now has an even more pronounced tongue than the Ora 2. This actually makes a big difference. With some women, everything is a bit higher up, so the bigger, more pronounced tongue is a nice thing. As with all the improvements we’ve made, we always want to make it anatomically more correct and enjoyable. Of course, not everything will always fit every woman, but we try to reach as many women as possible with the updates.

VAN: Will the old versions still be available?

Fine: Yes. Well, the Ora 1 is no longer available, but we still have the Ora 2 in stock. But I assume that we will have the Ora 2 discontinued in the next one and a half or two years.

VAN: What about LELO’s other lines?

Fine: We also have a new version of the Sona. We launched it at the VENUS three years ago. The Sona 1 was great for many women. Usually, we have country-specific specifications, in the USA one toy runs better than the other, in Asia something else again. With the Sona, it was indeed the case that it really ran great in all countries. However, there was also feedback from women who told us that it was almost too intense for them.

That’s why we have the Sona 2: As before, this version also works with ultrasound waves, but it is softer in its basic function. You can still turn it up though. The opening at the top of the unit is softer than in the Sona 1. So we have consistently implemented the suggestions of our customers and redesigned the entire toy.

VAN: So you’re focusing on your clitoral toys in the updates?

Schön: That’s right. We have also redesigned the Soraya. This device has been one of our bestsellers for a long time. But we also have a focus on ergonomics. That’s why we have brought the small arm of the Soraya another 15 degrees closer to the big arm so that the angle is suitable for even more women. We have also widened both arms again. They are now slightly wider on the Soraya 2 than before.

VAN: What about the toys for men? The masturbator F1, which you showcased at VENUS last year, has been delayed a little bit.

Schön: Right, there was a delay. It was originally planned for January 2019. But since it is a high-tech product and is much more than just some masturbator, we had to take special care in the final development.

We have created the software for the device as open-source, which means that third-party developers can do a lot of further development with the device. And we realized after the trade show that we still had to make adjustments in some areas. For example, we had to rework the app for the Apple Store. And we really only wanted to go to the market when everything was 100% right.

So the first delivery has just arrived. We sent it out to fulfill all the preorders.

VAN: I can imagine that the postponement was still a difficult decision, after all, men’s toys are a big trend and a big bet that many premium manufacturers are currently banking on.

Schön: Right, we just noticed when we introduced F1 at VENUS that an incredible amount of masturbators were entering the market. Suddenly a lot of products were launched. And of course, we were a little worried if it was so clever of us to showcase the F1 so early, let everyone touch and see the product.

On the other hand, it’s good that others are also doing something and that there is movement in this long-neglected area of toys for men.

Besides, I’m sure that no other competing product comes close to the F1 anyway. Since it is a growing segment, I assume that the delay was not a problem at all.

VAN: Another change that I’ve noticed with LELO is that your marketing is becoming more explicit, more aggressive, more erotic and sensual.

Schön: Yes, it is. We’re going on the offensive a bit. You can also see that in our product videos. The background for this is the success of the Sona. It has led us to focus even more on female masturbation. Because it is still the case that men masturbate more often than women. And men and boys talk about it, too.

With women, unfortunately, it is still the case that there is a lot of shame involved. With the Sona, we have considered that we want to encourage women to touch themselves more, to engage with their bodies, to look at themselves. Because only if you know how your body works, how you react to stuff, only then you know what you want and what you enjoy. And that is key to sex.

We want women to talk more among themselves about masturbation, about the toys they use, about the orgasms they may have had for the first time at 50. Then it would be great if women at least talk about it with their girlfriends so that the taboo is finally broken.

And we believe that this also requires a more explicit visual vocabulary, that you see women who are sweaty because they rolled in the sheets and had fun and are satisfied. We say: Do it yourself, have sex, take care of your body! And touch yourself, toy or no toy, it doesn’t matter. Find out what you enjoy.

VAN: That’s one of the nice things about our industry, that business interest and public education often go hand in hand. 

Schön: Yes, we have numerous educational campaigns going on. For example, last summer we talked about multiple orgasms a lot. Unfortunately, men can’t do that, but we women can experience multiple orgasms. So we said: Women, listen, the clitoris is really there to be enjoyed. And we also notice that no matter what age, young women or old women. There is a huge gap in knowledge.

And LELO is all about the female orgasm. We have different toys for achieving it, depending on your preference.

VAN: Thank you very much for this insight into your new creations.

For more information, please visit the LELO website. Our discussions with LELO 2018 and 2017 can be found here and here.


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