Located in the heart of Soho, the Vinyl Factory was the venue for the exclusive Lelo Hex launch party where bloggers, retailers, celebrities, and press alike gathered to celebrate the occasion and to catch a glimpse of Lelo’s latest creation.
Hailed as revolutionary by some and a pure gimmick by others the Lelo Hex is Lelo’s take on the condom and is the result of 7 years worth of hard work and extensive research. The Hex itself is made out of latex but has been inspired by graphene when it comes to its design. Specifically the Hex incorporates a hexagonal design (using 350 individual hexagons throughout the condom’s surface) in order to make the Lelo Hex condoms less likely to slip or break.
As a party attendee I was lucky enough to see this first-hand at the demo table. As the Hex was tucked and pricked in front of me I observed just how durable the condom was. Personally I was wary about the pin-prick demo, as I’m sure everyone who saw the Hex’s promotional .gif was. As I saw a pin being jabbed in and out of the Hex’s surface I could see visible holes which made me cringe internally.
Taking the opportunity to point this out I was told a bit more about the intention of the demo. By pricking the Hex condom Lelo were not trying to insinuate that the Hex was completely break-proof, nor that you should go about shoving a needle in to it then getting down to business to test its durability. Instead, Lelo simply wished to demonstrate the way that the Hex handled damage compared to conventional condoms.
Whereas a conventional condom might completely split if it experiences damage or trauma the Lelo Hex keeps damage contained to that one area, thus mitigating any potential risk that comes from such damage. As with any other condom, damage to the condom is bad news, but the structural integrity of the Lelo Hex is more durable to start with and its design actively attempts to contain any damage caused which does seem like a smart design-move to my mind.
That being said I found myself much more impressed by the vice-like grip that the Hex seemed to have once applied. No matter how much the woman giving me the Hex demo tugged on the Hex it simply wouldn’t budge. This added assurance will be invaluable for those who often worry about condoms sliding off. This is especially important when it comes to the Hex, too, as it is designed to feel natural and near-invisible during use.
This step towards ‘a more natural feeling of intimacy’ is part of Lelo’s overall intention of making the condom more accessible and busting some of the common stigmas presented against its usage. In doing this Lelo has also employed the help of Charlie Sheen, who acts as the official ambassador for the Hex.
This move is understandably divisive. While Sheen has brought global attention to the launch of the Hex, prominent bloggers have chosen to boycott the Hex (and even Lelo itself) over this move. For those interested in the motives of these bloggers please check out these very well-written posts from fellow bloggers that I fully respect:
Needless to say I 100% support these blogger’s personal choices to boycott the Lelo Hex. That being said, out of respect for individual choices I would like to leave it up to you as to whether or not an ambassador for a product and the product itself are inseparable. Your decision is your own.
One thing is for sure; the launch party was abuzz when Charlie Sheen took to the stage, and many people seemed to be feeling the #HexAppeal. The general consensus among those I spoke to was that, whether or not Sheen’s past was a personal point of contention, his status as a meme icon and generally (in)famous celebrity was definitely bringing attention to the issue of safer sex practices, which was not a bad thing and could have a very positive impact on many people’s lives.
Dr. Christian Jessen, another attendee, certainly seemed to believe this, as he took to the stage and thanked Charlie Sheen for taking on such a positive role. He was confident that, in the face of rising STD rates and declining condom use statistics, Sheen’s open advocacy for the condom would sincerely save lives.
Meeting Dr. Jessen was one of the highlights of the evening for me. As a teenager I’m happy to say that Dr. Jessen got me thinking about sex and the science behind sex with a lot more interest and scrutiny and he continues to advocate for safer sex to this very day. Confronting the media Dr. Jessen made an appeal: Sex is natural, sex is normal, and sex can even be pleasurable too (despite what the Daily Mail might suggest on occasion). I couldn’t help but love every moment that Dr. Jessen was on stage, his enthusiastic posturing helping to bring a sense of dynamism to his appeal for safer sex practices.
Another personal highlight certainly had to be meeting the lovely owners of JoDivine and the Sh! Team. During the party I heard from a few reputable sources that various TOWIE and Made in Chelsea stars were in attendance, but I can’t say that this was of significance to me. Speaking at length with these fellow sex education enthusiasts I found myself much more in my element and the result was a fun-filled evening underpinned by laughs, interesting exchanges, and just a few opportunistic ambushes of high-profile sex-ed icons.
At the end of the night I was still left with some healthy skepticism for the Lelo Hex and my final verdict on this product definitely won’t come until I’ve tested the condoms myself. However there is one thing I’m sure of: the passion, dedication, and knowledge displayed by those from JoDivine and the Sh! Team leaves me in no doubt of their investment in safer sex practices and increased sexual well-being.
While the Lelo Hex may still prove controversial due to its ambassador, the product itself, those who worked hard to get it to this point, and the companies that chose to stock it certainly have their customer’s best interests at heart and I cannot ignore the enthusiasm that I witnessed at the Lelo Hex launch party.
As for me I’ll definitely be reviewing the Hex and I reserve full judgement until this point.
Until the next review,
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links so that you can help support Emmeline Peaches Reviews should you wish to. These links do not determine the content of this post nor do they change my personal views, which remain my own.