Our intrepid reviewer Sue Sutherland explores Lovely 2.0, a vibrating ring with Desire-Sensing™ technology and app that learns what you and your partner enjoy in bed to give you personalised, sex-related Inspirations to satisfy your partner and yourself.
Lovely is packaged like an expensive smartphone, sleek and designed like the latest must-have gadget. White, clean, and cleverly disguised, even the words sex on the box are so small you could be excused for not knowing what is inside. When you open the box there sits, a beautifully coloured, teal, chevron-esque, soft, smooth, tactile yummy toy that stands apart from the regular sex toy in terms of looks. Lovely does look stylish in it’s wireless charging cradle and I am thinking of the fun I can have leaving it out for unsuspecting visitors who nosily pick it up.
Back to the ring, it is a toy marketed for couples, however, it seems more about targeting the vulva owner aiming to stimulate clitorally through penetrative sex. On that point of gender, it also appears specifically aimed at the cisgendered, heteronormative market. The vibrations don’t seem to do much to the cock owner in terms of pleasure, and it felt tight and clumsy to get on an erect cock, which could easily result in a soft cock, and getting the right angle a twisting so the vibrating bit was on the clitoris is a bit tricky, resulting in pulling on the foreskin and shaft, which my partner described as ‘ouchy’! And don’t even get me started on whether you put the condom on before or after the ring! It is also worth mentioning that the little instruction guide had the smallest writing on it. More guidance would have been useful plus, you need water based lube and to download the app before you get started.
We agreed that with one partner on top of another rocking back and forth, it could be quite pleasurable. I was aware of a barrier between us when it was on as the ring itself is 1cm thick and the vibrating part rising to 2cm thickness. Trying to switch it off, up or down when it is on, in situ, is not for the faint-hearted, although comedy gold if you happen to be filming your fucking!
The app was a bit tricky and there is a primary focus on getting access 24/7 to a sex educator by putting your credit card details in. I didn’t like the upsell to bypass to get to the rest of the features on the app. We couldn’t get the ring to sync with the app most of the time, however, for the sessions that we did, the suggestions were educational, informative and focussing on sexual anatomy and research. There were also dos and don’ts based on what else could be done with the ring. I noticed that the images on the app for techniques had a blue male-appearing figure and a pink female-appearing figure. These highly gendered colours could be changed to include gender non-conforming folks.
Lovely is not a spontaneous sex toy, it needs time and reading, and practice and thought. This in itself can enhance the communication between the couple, however I think that is a surprising gift of a problem rather than an intention. I would recommend clearer marketing; more detailed instructions with warnings up front; less emphasis on up-selling; options for those not in heterosexual relationships and with multiple partners; slimmer in terms of width; a remote control separate to the app; and some ‘reward’ or stimulation for the cock owner. Other than that, I will continue practicing to see what else is possible...
Find out more about Sue’s work at The Feel Institute.