Whenever I spot a sex toy and think, what the fuck is this then, it’s usually not a positive thing. Nine times out of ten, it’s cos I’ve stumbled across something questionable, like a stroker with teeth or a PVC dildo with a wiry scrag of synthetic pubic fuzz creeping up its shaft. But when that thought occurred to me on first seeing the Zumio there was nothing negative about it. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it for one specific reason; it promised to deliver intense clitoral stimulation with killer precision. Over the last few years I’ve learned to appreciate what all kinds of stim can do for me, but I find myself going back to pinpoint time and time again.
Something else I’ve learned is to take every single claim a sex toy manufacturer makes with a pinch of salt. They all want consumers to think that their product is the best. The most powerful, the rumbliest. The only toy in the world that’s guaranteed to bestow the most earth-shattering of climaxes to anyone who so much as touches it to their body. Yes, yes, even the anorgasmic.
On their packaging, website and marketing materials, Zumio says:
- Users can reach orgasm in less than a minute
- Users can achieve multiple orgasms because there is no over stimulation/desensitisation
- That ‘women have always known that the best way to pleasure themselves is with the circular motion of a fingertip’
- That ‘by comparison, the large heads and irritating buzz of traditional vibrators feel boring with no way to create different sensations’
Yes, I do have eyebrows, they’re just up in my hairline right now while I do my ‘oh really’ face. I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan of claims like these. They may serve to increase the attractiveness of a product, sure, but at the same time, they pose a risk to the consumer. If a person is expecting an orgasm in less than a minute and it takes them twenty minutes, it’s very easy for them to feel dysfunctional. Or like they weren’t doing it right. And if that sixty-second orgasm doesn’t ever come? Imagine how they feel then. I can tell you because I’ve experienced this personally. They feel utterly broken.
No, I don’t like bold claims like these, because no two bodies are the same, therefore no two reactions to a toy will ever be the same. Similar, yes, but the same? Nope.
When I first got the Zumio I whacked it on charge, just like a responsible rechargeable toy owner should. Most rechargeable toys come with a bit of juice in them, but I’ve had to bully myself into not being tempted to use it up. It can damage the battery’s capacity to charge and potentially shorten the life of the toy.
I wish I could think of something to shorten the fucking charging time of this bloody thing. The charger is a nifty, mini pencil pot shaped docking cradle that connects to a standard USB cable. Once the toy is in it, an LED light blinks slowly to let you know it’s doing its funky thang. When a charge is complete, the light stops blinking. Apparently. I’ve had mine on charge since the day I got it and I’m yet to see a solid light or no light, it just goes on and on, probably until the end of time. You don’t have to wait until it’s fully charged before using it, luckily enough, but still. How the fuck long does it actually take?
Once I realised I wasn’t getting a solid light, it was time to see what the Zumio is all about.
On the face of it, it kinda looks like a lipstick vibrator, tapered at both ends with a chubby middle. Something like the LELO Mia 2 except with a weird, hard plastic antenna poking out of the top. It’s made mostly of ABS plastic with a silicone panel that wraps around the business end. That’s where the controls are.
Firstly, I want to offer up a dirty look to whoever decided to put the controls an inch from the useable end of the toy. Just why? Turning the toy on and off isn’t so bad, but increasing the intensity? I’m either looking at sticking a finger between my labia and getting unnecessarily juicy or breaking contact so I can get at the button. Not all clits peek prettily and easily accessible from the top of a person’s flaps, you know. Some of them are buried. Some of them are buried deep. Mine is buried deep and it makes me mad that I have to go spelunking mid-wank, just to find a frigging button. Yeesh!
That said, I don’t think the controls are all that easy to use no matter what your flappage situation is. There are three buttons on the toy: ON/OFF, intensity down, intensity up. They’re super responsive but to use them you have to have a hand right near the bottom of the toy. This kind of unbalances it, in my experience. There’s too much weight above my hand and I find that the toy spins in my palm. That doesn’t make any difference to what’s going on around my clit, but it does take the controls away from my fingers. I don’t like that.
So, sensation. What does the Zumio feel like?
Well, it’s not a vibrator for a start. It’s an oscillator, with what Zumio have called a SpiroTIP. The weird little antenna has a ball on the end and it spins in tight, tiny circles. There are eight intensity settings to be had that, according to Zumio, apply wonderfully unique pulses of pleasure to one small area at a time. They say that, unlike vibrators, there’s no travelling of sensation. You feel Zumio’s stimulation precisely where you put the tip and nowhere else.
I ain’t gonna contradict them, cos that’s exactly what happens. When I touch myself with the tip of the Zumio I only feel in in a tight, less than one-centimetre spot. And, for me, that’s not a good thing. In my first use notes, I wrote ‘this is like tryna wank with the chewed end of a fucking Biro, what the hell?!’.
On the info leaflet, there’s a diagram. That diagram basically tells the user how to use the Zumio. No, I don’t mean technical instructions. I mean wank technique. Stimulate the area around and below the clit. Get gradually closer. Go in for the kill. Obviously, I ignored that because I don’t wank by numbers, and my result was one of pain. The whirling tip slipped beneath my clitoral hood and it was like giving my clit an electric shock. That’s not an exaggeration, I’ve electrocuted my clit before, so I know exactly what it feels like.
But even when I follow the ‘Zumio Experience’ steps I still get less than awesome results. It’s too pinpoint for me. Too exact, too right there and only there when I want to feel it just a bit to the right or left as well as where it’s at. My clit is most responsive to touch just below it and to the right of it, and I get the best orgasms from either stimulating both at the same time or quickly switching between the two.
I can’t do that with the Zumio.
Firstly, it slips off my favourite spots and then I have to waggle it around to find them again. Secondly, if I try to stimulate both hotspots at the same time (using the length of the antenna as well as the ball tip) one is always getting less power than the other. Thirdly, if I try switching between the two the absolute halt of stimulation when I move the tip away from one spot makes building tension almost impossible.
I say almost because I can reach orgasm while using the Zumio. Not from it, though. I use it when I give my g-spot a good hammering with my Njoy Pure Wand. That’s the only time the hard little tip feels any good to me. The sensation is sharp enough to be felt despite the overwhelming stimulation going on inside me, which can sometimes be powerful enough to eclipse external vibrations. It’s not ideal, though, cos afterwards I’m left with not just a bruised vaginal wall but also a battered sometimes chaffed feeling clit.
So no, I don’t really like the Zumio, to be honest. I thought I would, but I don’t. I don’t even like its build. See, it’s waterproof so cleaning should be a breeze, but it isn’t. There’s a gap, albeit a tiny one, where the ABS antenna meets the silicone body of the toy. Getting my nail in there to clean it feels…unsafe. Like I could snap the plastic bit off if I’m not careful. I can feel it moving when I do it almost as if I can feel the strain of it trying to hold itself together. That makes me nervous when I use it during play, especially if jerk suddenly and it jams against me.
Well, there you have it. The Zumio isn’t for me, but as always, that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. I see it like this; if a toy promises you a version of something you know you love, it’s worth giving it a shot. You might well try it and think it’s the best thing your clit has ever known. But then, you might try it and think, ugh, Ella was right, this is terrible.
To get your hands on one head over to Lovehoney.