Review: Zumio X

The holders of the gold and silver medals of my sex toy collection are, respectively, my Original Magic Wand and my Wahl.

I’ve talked before about how long it took me to learn how to use and love the Magic Wand, but the Wahl was different. I loved it from the moment I first touched its little buzzing knob to my clit.

At the time I didn’t know enough about my body to know why I loved it so much. I know now that pinpoint precision and powerful buzzy vibrations [1] produce a sensation that I struggle to describe but can’t get enough of. Tingle and sparkle are the words that come to mind, along with the phrase lick of fire. I feel it most strongly in my clit, but it radiates down my legs and into my big toe. When I come it’s like my whole body whites out, and my vagina spasms so violently you can see it easily from the outside if you’re looking [2].

In short, and in an utter understatement: it feels very good.

(Yes, this post is about the Zumio X. Just stick with me. I’ll get there.)

I bought my Wahl more than fifteen years ago, on a website that no longer exists, and have relied heavily on it over the years. It is my most faithful vibrator. It has been there when I needed it. It has never let me down.

So you can understand the depths of my sorrow when I tell you that it’s dying.

If the cord isn’t arranged perfectly—and then meticulously kept that way—it shuts off. I have to be very, very careful about my hip movements so I don’t jar the cord and cut it off at a bad time [3]. Consequently, I use it sparingly, afraid of its impending doom.

The fact that it’s my Wahl is especially tragic because the company doesn’t make the same model any longer. Whether Wahl pulled a Hitachi, aghast that people were using what had been intended as an innocent massager to get off, or they were cutting corners or who knows what else, all subsequent models have been drastically, tragically weaker [4].

I bought the Zumio X specifically because I harbored hopes that its powerful buzzy vibrations and pinpoint precision could rival those of the Wahl’s. I needed a replacement so I can finally accept the fate of my second-favorite vibrator and let it die in peace.

And now that you have the back story, you can fully grasp the significance of what happened the first time I used the Zumio X. I yanked off the cap, turned the power on its lowest setting, and placed its tiny purple tip against my clit. It took me a few seconds to cast around, searching for the right spot. When I found it, I thought, Thank god. It feels like the Wahl.

It’s not a perfect replica. The head of the Zumio X is significantly smaller than the Wahl’s. Its vibrations are also buzzier—very, very much buzzier [5]. Unlike the Wahl, which I could put anywhere near my clit and feel pleasure, I need to hunt a little with the Zumio X before the buzzing feels good.

But when it does start to feel good? Whew.

The older-model Wahl has power and precision. The Zumio X has power and a far more targeted precision, and it sends the exact same tingly-sparkly-licking-fire sensation through my clit, down my legs, and into my toes. To find a toy that feels so similar to my dying Wahl is nothing short of life-changing for me, and the Zumio X is the only vibrator I’ve tried that can match it.

I also like that, just like with the Wahl, I don’t have to be fully turned on to get off with the Zumio X. Sometimes—okay, a lot of the time—I want to get off, but I don’t want the full masturbation experience. I’ve mentioned before that I struggled with the Womanizer because I have to engage in a lot of foreplay before I get any pleasure from it. Not so with the Zumio X. I can go from cold to on the edge in about two minutes.

In fact, the first time I used the Zumio X was in the middle of my workday [6]. I finished an excruciating task and scooped up my new vibrator as a little treat. Still in front of my computer, I yanked my pants and underwear to my knees, did the aforementioned hunting until the tiny round tip found the hot spot to the left of my clit, and—immediate bliss.

For someone as impatient and finicky as I can be when I want to orgasm, that’s exactly what I need.

Unfortunately, that’s where my relief and happiness ended during that first trial run.

To clarify, let me first explain the charging situation.

The Zumio X docks into a standing charger and attaches to a power source with a USB plug. Like many toys of its ilk, the charger has a light that blinks when it’s charging and remains steady when it’s fully charged.

Here is what the manual doesn’t tell you: it blinks very, very subtly. The light is on for a good second or two, and then it very, very slightly fades, scarcely even going fully dark, before it lights up again. So the difference between steady and blinking is harder to distinguish than you might think.

I definitely didn’t distinguish it the first time I charged and unplugged it late in the evening on the day it arrived, presumably hours before it was truly ready to be unplugged [7]. Then I left it sitting for a night because I wasn’t in the mood, giving it the opportunity to lose some of its meager charge.

The following afternoon was when I gave it that first try. The Zumio X lasted long enough for my vagina to start its lovely pre-orgasm clenching—then it sputtered to a dead stop.

Initially I was more baffled than frustrated. Had I pressed the on/off button by accident? It whirred back to life as though nothing was wrong, so I mentally shrugged and put it back to my clit. Seconds later, the vibrations sputtered to a stop again. I tried a few more times to ensure I really wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Then the frustration set in. I had both the replacement policies from SheVibe, where I’d ordered the the toy from, and Zumio itself open on my computer, already mentally composing my email, before it occurred to me to consult Google.

My search turned up a few illuminating reviewers who criticized the Zumio X’s short-lasting charge. They repeated the manual’s assertion that a full charge takes sixteen hours to reach, which was when the realization dawned.

Previously I hadn’t questioned that my Zumio X had only taken around six hours to reach a full charge. I just assumed it had come partially charged. Now I realized it had not been fully charged, and I’d mistook the blinking charging light for a steady one.

Even now that I know how deceptive its charging indicator is, I still find it less than clear when the light is steady and when it’s blinking.

Whoever designed this feature? Pop into my inbox. I’d like to have a word.

Complaints about the charging dock aside, as other reviewers have been saying since the Zumio X’s release, the battery is indeed terrible.

A toy’s batteries will always deplete even when the toy isn’t active, but the Zumio X’s battery seems to deplete almost freakishly rapidly. If I use it on a full charge one day, let it sit, and use it again the next day, there’s a noticeable dip in the power level. I’ve even noticed the vibrations weakening in a single masturbation session—which, for someone who requires stronger vibrations to get them to the second, third, and so on orgasm, is nothing short of rage inducing.

I doubted Zumio’s claim that this toy could last four hours on a full charge, so one day I charged it, turned it on its fourth power setting (out of eight), and let it run next to me on the couch while I worked. I left it mostly undisturbed, but did reach out occasionally to put my finger against the tip, activating its pressure-sensitivity feature [8]. It lasted three hours and thirteen minutes before shutting off, which was a lot closer to the four-hour mark than I expected. But the vibrations got pretty lackluster after one hour and became downright dismal after two and a half—and this is on a medium setting with minimal pressure applied.

So, realistically, I’d say a full charge gives it about one, maybe one and a half hours of satisfying use.

Before I owned the Zumio X, I would’ve said that a long-lasting battery is a nice perk for me but not an absolute must. Now, I’d raise its importance a few pegs, definitely higher than a perk but still not a true must-have. Don’t get me wrong: the Zumio X’s abysmal battery life is a big negative, but it doesn’t outweigh the benefits for me.

My impression of the Zumio X is still positive overall. I keep it more or less constantly plugged in, so that I’m always using it on a full or near-full charge, and it’s become my favorite vibrator for middle-of-the-day, stress-relieving, just-a-little-treat-because-I-fucking-deserve-it-after-dealing-with-all-this-trash-ugh orgasms.

Honestly, I’d much rather my toys be fully corded so I don’t have to deal with batteries or charging at all [9]. I know a lot of consumers are more interested in convenience, portability, and whether they can steal away to the shower with it. But I can’t be the only person who doesn’t care about any of that. I want power and stamina, and if that requires a cord, I’m fine with it.

If you’re not like me and you don’t have $135 to waste on a toy that might prove rage inducing if its pitiful battery fails you at the wrong moment, the Zumio X might not be your best bet.

For me personally, it’s worth it—occasional rage and ruined orgasm and all.

When a toy gives me the same type of orgasms as the Wahl, with the strength to match, I’m willing to overlook its considerable flaws. I’m a power queen constantly searching for next powerhouse, and when the Zumio X is fully charged, it certainly satisfies.

I also like that all the Zumio X offers are its eight power levels—in other words, no programmed vibration patterns. If I never buy another vibrator with set vibration modes, it will be too soon. I will decide when to go hard or soft, thank you very much.

If you have a sensitive clit, this toy might not suit you. Zumio offers other models that are supposedly less intense, but I can’t speak to them, having intentionally sought out their most powerful vibrator. I have the opposite of a sensitive clit. I have the grumpiest, fussiest clit you could imagine. If my clit were a movie character, it would be Miranda Priestly. Dare approach it in a lumpy cerulean sweater, and it will chew you up and spit you out shamefaced. There are some days when no amount of titillation or foreplay or lube or fancy sensitizing products will convince it to cooperate.

That’s why I need vibrators like the Zumio X. I don’t just need any old toy that can buzz, rumble, or oscillate. I need something that can home in on my sweet spot with laser-sharp precision and mercilessly batter me with sensation until my stubborn clit is helpless under the onslaught.

If you can relate, you might like the Zumio X. Just beware the deceptive charging light.

1. Let me pause to say I wouldn’t categorize the Wahl as a “buzzy” vibrator—most people would probably call it “rumbly,” in fact, and I’d agree for the most part. But depending on the angle I apply the tip to my skin, how much pressure I use, and how I hold its handle, I can get it to feel very, very buzzy. Part of why it’s so magical. It’s a talented little thing. [return]

2. I can say this with confidence because I’ve masturbated with a mirror poised between my thighs. Then for years I masturbated repeatedly over the image and sought out porn with similar close-up shots because it was the hottest thing I’d ever seen. [return]

3. There have been bad times. Terrible, orgasm-killing, session-ruining times. But I don’t blame my precious Wahl. It’s trying its best. The inevitable march of time simply works against it. [return]

4. Amazon is full of reviews from disappointed earlier-model users, both the ones who used it like I do and the ones who used it for its intended purpose. Shaking my head at you, Wahl. Shaking my head. [return]

5. The website boasts that the Zumio X “does not vibrate…no ‘buzzing’ sensation.” Instead, it “rotates in circular motions.” Which might be true, but the effect is that it vibrates and creates a sensation that I would call buzzy. Maybe I’m just an ignorant layman, but I don’t find the distinction to be significant. [return]

6. Don’t worry: I work from home. Do not use a vibrator in the middle of your workday if you do not. [return]

7. I have ruined more than one battery by overcharging a piece of tech, most commonly my laptops, so I’m paranoid about charging a sex toy for too long. Hence I unplugged the Zumio X the moment I thought it was charged. [return]

8. And making it sound like a circular saw cutting through a piece of wood. Seriously, “whisper quiet,” Zumio? Yeah, if you don’t touch it. The moment you put even the slightest pressure on the tip, it’s pretty damn loud. It reminds me of my electric toothbrush, which also has a pressure sensor and makes a terrible grinding noise when you’re pressing too hard against your teeth—except for the Zumio X, “too hard” is any pressure at all. [return]

9. If you’re reading this, Zumio, please, please make a corded version. I will buy two. [return]

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