This isn’t a bad toy, per se–it’s just not a great one, either.
I’ve heard a lot about PicoBong. The reviews were mixed. Some things sucked. There are some really stupid issues with button placement (I’ll discuss that here but more in my review of the Ako, coming in the next couple days). Some things…didn’t suck as much, or were pretty good. But PicoBong fits in real well here on this blog, because they are basically battery-powered Lelo toys at a lower price point.
PicoBong is made by Lelo, a Swedish luxury sex toy company. They’re more–I don’t know, playful? than Lelo is, to some extent deliberately. They offer toys at a lower price point than Lelo does, and the biggest difference (other than color and sizes) is that these toys are battery-powered. Both the Zizo and the Ako (review forthcoming in the next few days, since these two toys sort of go hand in hand) take two AAA batteries, and I will say that for two AAA batteries, the motor is not bad. Additionally, unlike other battery powered toys I’ve owned, as the batteries slowly die, the power output doesn’t decrease immensely, which is nice.
The Zizo is PicoBong’s less expensive response to Lelo’s Liv 2, from what I can tell. It has a slighlty oval, slightly curved shaft, thicker at the top and bottom, and narrowing slightly at the curve. It’s covered in Lelo silicone, which is very nice. I believe others have called it ‘buttery,’ which is a really good way to put it. It does need a fair amount of water-based (or high-quality silicone/hybrid lube, with a patch test) lubricant, but it doesn’t really eat it the way some other lubes do. Additionally, the matte PicoBong/Lelo silicone is much less of a lint roller than glossier silicone.
Without accounting for the curve, the Zizo is 7.5″ long, 6″ of which is usable. With the curve, it’s about 6.5-7″ insertable, so you see that it’s pretty gentle. However, the buttons are on the usable portion of the shaft, so if you want access to them while using it, you’ve only got about 4.5″ of length to work with. However, I really like the button location in this particular vibe (more on that later). The shaft is about 1.25″ in diameter across, at its widest point, but as I mentioned, it’s slightly oblong, so its height (?) is about 1.5″, or a little less. The circumference is 4″, so it’s not enormous. Additionally, it narrows at the curve to perhaps an inch across in both dimensions. It’s The toy itself is hard plastic covered with a layer of silicone, so there isn’t any give to it at all.
Inserting the batteries is quite easy–the cap screws off, you pop them in, and the cap clicks back on. Now, the cap clicks off and on very easily when changing the batteries, and so immediately I worried about it popping off during use, or especially in the shower. (Additionally, the cap doesn’t have an o-ring or anything. However, PicoBong says the toy is waterproof and using it in the shower didn’t seem to be an issue, so while I worried, it seems to be at least splashproof.) And it has happened a couple of times in use, usually when I was putting the Zizo down my pants to use externally. On the one hand, I was very concerned that this would happen much more frequently than it has. On the other, a battery cap should stay on, end of story. I don’t believe this is a manufacturing error for just this product, as my Ako has exactly the same issue. I had the same worries about the iroha mini, but no problems thus far, and I’ve used that much more than I’ve used the Zizo. PicoBong says two AAAs provide about 2 hours of continuous use, and I’d say that’s about right, and honestly, I’d be willing to trade out those AAAs for AAs if it meant a little bit longer battery life. When the batteries die, the toy just sort of sadly revs up when you turn it on and then dies to its lowest, barely-vibrating-at-all setting. And then revs up, and then dies. And then revs up–you get the picture.
There are three buttons on the Zizo, labeled +, -, and M, and they’re pretty easy to use, but not perfect. The button closest to the cap is the +, which you push to turn the vibrator on and increase its intensity. The – is the button furthest from the cap. Both of these work just fine. The M button cycles you through 12 (!) vibration patterns, and this is the button that is the pain–it’s impossible for me to push it hard enough or properly enough or something to get it to work. I always have to push it a couple of times at least to get it to move to the next pattern. The intensity levels are also adjustable in the patterns. I’m not attached to any of the patterns–first off, there are so many of them that I forget what’s available, and second off, I’ve never been one for patterns anyway–but you do have options! There is a distinct possibility I would have been more interested in the patterns if the M button wasn’t such a bitch to properly work.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Zizo’s motor is not bad. I give it, like, 6/10 vrooms at its highest intensity, with 10 being the fourth level of the Tango? They’re fairly rumbly, and I like the adjustment in intensity. As I’ve mentioned before, my sensitivity fluctuates pretty wildly, and I’m never a power queen, so 6/10 is a nice level of vrooms and I very rarely need more than that. I like that I can use this on a lower or higher intensity if necessary. It’s fairly quiet–almost unnoticeable under bedcovers.
But. But but but. This toy just…does so very little for me in the manner in which I am supposed to use it. The shaft is very smooth, and the curve is not really enough to hit my g-spot unless I work for it, or if I decide I want to insert the buttons. I have yet to find internal vibrations that make me think I want something vibrating in my vagina. Using the toy without turning it on, as a dildo, it’s pretty boring. I just…don’t have very much to say about it. Inside my vagina, this toy just feels like…a vibrating thing. It’s okay to thrust, and I like penetration a lot so it is enjoyable, but it’s not going to make me come on its own (but then, very few toys do) or even make me squirt (which many toys do). I find the shape very boring. There’s no intent in it, it just doesn’t work at at all for me. The gentle angle may be enough to hit some people’s g-spots easily–if that were the case for me, I think I would be more fond of this toy. And I may have to try Picobong’s Moka, which is designed for g-spot play, because the biggest issue with this toy for me is that it really doesn’t seem to have a purpose. (Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that.) But seriously. It’s just this slightly curved toy with vibrations that you’re supposed to stick in your vag. But…why? It’s not particularly thick or g-spotting. It has no texture whatsoever. It’s just…boring.
Caveat: I will say that I have, at different times, found toys that others have called ‘boring’ immensely appealing and enjoyable. Sometimes simplicity is what you need. In this case, it’s not working for me.
However, it does work fairly well for me as a clitoral vibe. In fact, the first time I used it clitorally, I had one of the longest and best orgasms I’ve ever had. I’m not a huge fan of pinpoint stimulation, and the rumbles and the intensity mean that when I nestle this toy between my labia just right, it’s a really great toy for my clit for most of my cycle. Additionally, the location of the buttons is really nice–easily accessible with a thumb, no chance of accidentally pressing them. But it is bulky; the curve is designed for internal use, not to fit against my body, and every time I’ve tried to stick it down my pants I accidentally dislodge the battery cap. It’s also hard for me to reach for it to use a dildo vaginally or anally (it’s not anal safe, and there are so many other things I own that wow me vaginally). And frankly, while it’s a great clit vibe for me, it still doesn’t work well for me vaginally, which is what it’s designed to do. Combine that with the fact that it’s got a short battery life, and a cap that’s so easily removable it still scares the crap out of me, even after using it in the shower, and you’ve got a toy I consider pretty mediocre.
And even to some extent overpriced. I got the Zizo at Peepshow Toys for $49. $49 is pretty good for a vibe, and other than the battery cap issue this is a fairly high-quality toy, certainly body-safe and nonporous. Because it is waterproof, it’s easy to clean, though if you need to sanitize it I’d spray it down with a 10% bleach solution instead of boiling it, because it has a motor. But honestly, I don’t think it’s worth that. However, I’d buy this slightly overpriced vibe over a vibrator made of toxic materials that costs less.
Some sales going on in sex toy land this week:
- PinkCherry is having a sale on everything 25% off with the code ‘GREY’
- SexToy.com is having a 50% off sale on Love Rider products
- Basic C-rings and cages are 10% off at Shevibe
- All through the month of July Shevibe is also celebrating their 8th anniversary, so there are a lot of exciting things happening, like potential gifts/Shevibe Bucks/box art in shipments!
- Bondara is having a summer clearance sale