Let’s talk about Zumio. I tried Zumio (now known as Zumio X) last fall and fell in love. I was surprised because I expected it to be too pinpoint for me. If you aren’t familiar with it, Zumio X looks a bit like an electric toothbrush, but with an ABS plastic tip that oscillates VERY fast. The sensation is extremely pinpoint and the lowest setting is incredibly powerful. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a review by someone who actually managed to make it to the highest intensity level (there are 8).
I couldn’t use the tip though. I always situated it so the part that was against my clit was the part between the little bulb on the end and where the head connects to the main part of the toy. Basically, the little bar moved against my clit instead of the very tip. I fell in love with Zumio X when I visited home for the holidays last year. It is VERY quiet and made me come quickly.
You may notice that I’ve written that last bit in past tense. Last fall was the start of my pelvic pain. I’m coming in on my one year anniversary. For the first few months of it, while penetration was too painful, my clit and other external bits were unaffected. But starting in February or so, my clit became extremely sensitive to vibration and other kinds of stimulation. At one point, one side of my clit was pale. If I remember correctly (and the fact that I can’t quickly come up with an answer to this when I google it speaks volumes), that was likely because of a lack of blood circulation in the area, which is why my physical therapist did, and taught me how to do, some tissue manipulation around the clitoris and inner labia.
When it got to the point where I couldn’t wear jeans or certain types of pants because the seam in the crotch would put too much pressure on my clit, my physical therapist suggested I, well, leave my clit alone. I’d been using toys with gentler vibrations but she really wanted me to “reset” my clitoris — no vibrations and preferably, no stimulation at all. Give it a chance to rest. Just a week.
It’s worth noting that this was not long after I started reviewing sex toys. I’m pretty sure this didn’t help my pelvic pain because I put extra stress and pressure on myself to test toys even when I didn’t particularly feel like it. My vagina eventually got fed up with me and my clitoris soon followed.
(If you’re wondering about that week I wasn’t allowed to touch myself, I only had one orgasm and I gave it to myself with my hand, as gently as possible.)
All of this to say — I can’t use Zumio X anymore. I can’t use most of what used to be my favorite toys anymore (WANDS!). I’m adapting. The first toy Betty’s Toy Box let me review was the Eroscillator Top 2 Deluxe and (with its squishy marshmallow tip) it was the only toy I could use for a few months because its sensation was different from every other toy I had (you don’t need to put much pressure on yourself when you use it. In fact, the less pressure you put, the better it feels).
Not long after I reviewed the Eroscillator, Betty’s Toy Box told me that Zumio was working on a newer, gentler version of their toy and I impatiently waited for months. A few months later, Zumio S was released — same design, but with a silicone coated tip (so it would cover a broader area, not so pinpoint) and lower settings.
Based on Zumio’s scale (see photo), I thought for sure Zumio S’s lower settings were going to work for me. I could just imagine that tip oscillating slowly and gently over my clit in a circular motion, slowly picking up speed as I turned it up.
Betty’s Toy Box graciously sent me Zumio S to try when it was released. As soon as I received it, I charged it up and turned it on…and I visibly deflated. It still felt incredibly strong. I took Zumio X in one hand, Zumio S in the other and took turns holding them against my clit (OVER my pants) and could feel a slight difference. I could tell that the head was broader on Zumio S, but it wasn’t much softer. I could tell there was a little less power than the original, but not by much.
I can’t use Zumio S. Yes, this is very frustrating. I have this amazing toy (I really did used to like my Zumio!) and I can’t properly review it for you. All I can tell you is that Zumio S works exactly like Zumio X, but it covers a slightly broader area and has a couple of slightly lower settings.
Well, I can review it for you. But my reviews are different now.
Now I review toys as someone with pelvic pain. I have chronic pelvic pain — not in the sense that the pain itself is 24/7 but the pain comes and goes regularly. I still have to do my stretches and exercises, and I dilate. I still carry regular tension in my pelvic region that I have to consciously, many times a day, try to release by lengthening and dropping my pelvic floor.
I’m still very sensitive, so there are many toys I have that I can’t use right now. Will I get back to where I was before? (WANDS!) Maybe someday. Do I need to? Not really, as long as I can still find things that work for me. Is it harder to find things that work for me now? Yes.
I still have a few more toys that I got for review either before or earlier in my journey with pelvic pain, before I realized it could become such a long-term thing. I said to myself (and the folks who sent me the toys for review) that I’d review them when I got better. I did get better than, but my body changed. How I respond to touch and sensation changed. The kind of stimulation I like changed. I have a much deeper appreciation for hand sex now than I did before.
I don’t know when, if ever, I will “get better.” So those toys that have been sitting in my review queue for months? I’m going to review them now with this newer, more delicate body. And honestly, I’m happy to because I know there are others out there with similar issues who maybe, for example, want to know if We-Vibe’s “couples’ toys” can work for them. Or if Blush’s mini bullets are too powerful.
While I can’t use Zumio S right now, if not for the generosity of Betty’s Toy Box, I wouldn’t be able to tell you, you know what, Zumio S isn’t nearly as gentle as Zumio might have lead you to think. This means that I will probably end up reviewing a lot of toys that don’t work for me. That doesn’t mean they’re bad toys, it just means that folx with certain conditions may not be able to use them. Yes, it’ll be frustrating trying toys I may not be able to use, especially toys that I know are good. But now, I’m reviewing toys for folx like me who have finicky bodies, bodies which are underrepresented in sex toy reviews (bodies with pelvic pain, specifically pelvic floor disorders, that need gentler, smaller toys).
So here I am, telling you I held Zumio S against my body for about 30 seconds and knew I wasn’t going to be able to use it. Kinda shitty, huh? Most folx test toys several times before writing a review. But with this particular toy, I just can’t because my body can’t handle it. So that’s going to have to be enough of a review for now.
Thanks so much to Betty’s Toy Box for letting me review Zumio S and to Zumio for originally sending me their product last year.