A couple of weeks ago Peter from Bondara got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of the new Zolo products they had in stock. Zolo wasn’t a brand that I was familiar with before, but it’s an American company (with products manufactured in China), that specialises in a series of male masturbators very similar to those on offer from the Japanese company Tenga. I hate to use the word “knock-off” but that is immediately what sprung to my mind when I saw them, so it remains to see whether they’ve managed to take Tenga’s idea and improve upon it in some way, or if indeed it’s just a poor imitation. I reviewed the Tenga Cup a few days ago, so let the comparisons begin!
The central channel of the Zolo is textured, and like with Tenga it’s not the same texture throughout, but rather separate and distinct areas each with its own assortment of bumps or ridges as it may be. One of the nice features of the Zolo is that is actually has a cutaway diagram of the internal texture printed right on the side of the case so you can refer to it during use, and this was especially convenient for me as a reviewer when I was trying to figure out exactly what I was feeling at each depth. The inside of the toy is very soft and feels comfortably pleasurable as you’re thrusting away with it, but I found the textures much less discernible than with the Tenga, which came as a surprise to me as this is supposed to be the “Personal Trainer” model. I was expecting something with a much stronger sensation, delivering a sort of stimulation that I’d have to work hard not to react too, but instead it was just a mellow feeling of the head of my penis being gently massaged by something altogether non-distinct. My favourite area of the texture is right at the very start, where there lies a series of small ridges, and these are easily identifiable. The ridges mostly give pleasing stimulation to the corona of the glans, with some occasional reaction from the frenulum. Beyond these are a series of bumps, and every now and then you’ll feel one tickle the frenulum satisfyingly if you have the Zolo orientated just right, but otherwise it’s easy to miss them as they’re slightly too spaced out. The rest of the channel is supposed to have a few bumps and ridges along it, but from what I could tell it might as well have been smooth, not that there’s anything wrong with smooth; my first Fleshjack had no texture and I still enjoy giving it a whirl on occasion.
I found that my preferred way to thrust with the Zolo was to focus on the entrance to the toy, with lots of short strokes to catch the ridges and bumps, only occasionally going the full depth to add some variety, and this was actually pretty satisfying and pleasurable. Like with the Tenga it’s not over-stimulating, in fact it’s even less stimulating than the Tenga, so you can carry on for a long while with it, and you still get that lovely feeling of something soft and slippery massaging the head of your penis with each stroke. It’s definitely better than just a hand alone, and despite the build up being quite relaxed, after a sufficient amount of time spent edging with the Zolo it delivered quite the powerful orgasm, so there’s no complaining about that.
In terms of suction it works pretty much the same way as the Tenga; I don’t see that either one has a real advantage over the other, so I might as well just repeat my thoughts verbatim from the other review. In fact the only real difference is that the Zolo makes more of a farty noise compared to the Tenga’s slurpy sound, but I feel like I’m really lowering the tone with this sentence. The vent hole in the top of the Zolo allows for air to escape during use, and its other purpose is for creating suction by covering it with a finger during the out stroke. This actually works surprisingly well, and you do get a strong sucking sensation from it, but in the process it diminishes the amount of texture you can feel, so it’s a trade off.
I have to say that on the whole I actually like the Zolo cup, but I’ve also reached the conclusion that there is no doubt that it is indeed a Tenga knock off, and on every point the Tenga just edges out ahead of it and beats it. So then, would I recommend it? Well for this one we’re going to have to talk about price. If it were in fact a cheaper knock off then I’d be sat here saying to you “go ahead, buy it! Save a couple of quid and you won’t mind the drop in quality for that price.” The fact is though that it’s not. The folks over at Bondara currently sell the original Japanese-made Tenga Cup for a bargain price of £9.99, while the Zolo Cups are all £11.99. For me that makes it a no brainer, buy the Tenga and get something better for less money.