Jul 022011
 

It seems that my rants lately are being spurred by a deluge of emails from various and sundry companies all looking for a hand-out of some kind. Thing is….I’m not stupid. And I’m not about to be walked all over, either. Let me just get this out of the way right now, in case it’s not been made clear before:

I will NEVER post content that I didn’t write or don’t 100% believe in/support. I am all for supporting causes and sex-positive people and companies and “the little guy” but I will not post shit just because I was asked in a mass email. There’s helping out a worthy cause and then there’s being taken advantage of. If I post here about something you better damn well believe I’ve done my research, that I fully support it, that I’m not spouting off random shit and getting paid for it (either money or “in kind” i.e. a link at some site). I mean you’ve all seen my sex toy reviews – I’m picky (can we use the term “connoisseur” instead? It sounds less negative) but you’d better believe that if I say a sex toy is good I fucking mean it and mean it hard.

So what are some things that have been coming down the pike that I feel go against ethical blogging/respectable blogging/ sex-positive blogging / real-person blogging? All of these are real:

Scenario 1. “Hi,I wrote an Ebook about penis size and vagina size importance in heterosexual intercourses.” He’d like a review. Um, has he READ my site?

Scenario 2. “I’ve visited http://dangerouslilly.com/ today, and really like it. I run a site with similar content, and I was wondering if you would like to trade links with me? You can see my site at “a#dult-c#raft.c#om”. SIMILAR CONTENT??? Dude, for reals, I’m offended. No srsly. The graphics alone make my eyes hurt and it’s all SEOtastic content that god knows who wrote. Once I emailed back about my “no link trades” policy and said that if he truly meant it that he’s already linked to my site because he genuinely likes it, then thank you (guess what? my link is gone, he doesn’t like me, lol)

Scenario 3. A man using a gmail address sends me a generic sales pitch to join his unnamed affiliate programs. It’s a sales pitch, alright. Why so cloaked, dude? But you’ve already read my rant about these types of unknown sites wanting me as an affiliate just so they can get free advertising, right? Right.

Scenario 4. “I’ve recently written a 5-part series titled “Be the Best Lay She’s Ever Had”, and am currently working the hustle to try and scrape up some links and traffic. You know how it is. While your site is mostly female facing, I figured it never hurts to drop a line and ask for a link, worst case scenario is you say no.” I give him half a point for honesty. A fellow blogger replied with her ad rates which he, of course, turned down saying he was making no money off his site – so he’s relying on the kindness of bloggers to read his Cosmo-magazine-esque crap and just give him a shout-out for shits n giggles? He offers nothing in return, not even a link like Scenario 2 guy. This guy is a real taker, not to mention that what he wrote is not anything I’d ever promote or support, it’s somewhat misogynistic and really just feels too much like a site trying to get good rankings so that THEN he can start making money. I don’t see this guy’s site/”articles” as a philanthropic effort to hetero women.

Scenario 5. “My name is [redacted], PR person with [redacted], and work with P#aris I#ntimates, a sex toy blogger and retailer. I’d love to do some cross-promotion with your site. I can write a free articles (redacting the example links) for your blog on almost any topic and also have 10,000 Twitter followers if you are looking for new visitors. I’m all about spreading the love!” Ok so he might have something to offer but in the end….I’ve seen the articles. Some aren’t what I’d call entirely sex-positive; many are the same yawn-worthy drivel that you can find on hundreds of sex-tip sites, and all are littered with SEO links to their sex toy store. Guess what that’s called, folks? Free Advertising. If you are really that hard up for content on your site then put out a call for guest bloggers – real bloggers, fellow sex-blogging-community bloggers. Share the love within our own community, not handing over your dignity and respect for an article that might get you some search engine hits and possibly some traffic from their Twitter account. I would so much rather you take a break or hell even re-post something from your archives than to ever post this kind of shit. It will make me never trust your recommendations and advice.

New! Scenario 6. “I would like more information about advertising on a minimal budget as we are still in the “guerilla marketing” stage of our company.”  I can appreciate that it’s difficult and a catch-22 for small companies to advertise when they may not yet be bringing in much profit but really….how do I know that to be true? In this particular case, judging by the product itself it’s probably quite true that they’re not making much but you’re going to ask me to lower the rates that I give to everyone else just to appease you and your tight budget? Honey, everybody has a tight budget. I have a tight budget. Would you go to a stripclub and ask the dancer for a private dance for half-price because you just lost your job? Let’s envision how that would work out for ya.

I’ve also had offers from places who will pay me for a post they write, unlike Scenario 5 guy. Again, I adamantly refused them and told them I never post opinions that are not my own or support ideas/sites/products that I don’t believe in. Will I take advertising money for places that I wouldn’t shop at? Yes. (unless it’s s$ext$oy.com, who couldn’t pay me enough to link to) They’re unobtrusive and I make it clear that they are a site supporter. You all know the places I recommend sincerely because I review for them.

The real you, your real opinions, are so fucking valuable. Please don’t throw out that value.

 

Seriously now, what would you think of me as a blogger, as a person, if I posted about all that shit? I want to know, I really do. I get a lot of people asking me for advice on sex toys and other things and I don’t take that role lightly. I will NOT recommend something I don’t fully back up. And really….I can’t respect a blogger who would. But that’s just me, that’s just how I feel. Am I being bitchy? Am I being too harsh, too rude, too stingy, too snobby? I stand by Ethical Blogging and Sex-Positive Blogging; I’ve earned the trust of many and I intend to keep it.

Please excuse the less-than-eloquent nature of this post. I’m ranty and I’m in a shit-ton of pain with a fucked-up wrist. I shouldn’t even be typing, given how much it hurts to do so but something sparked me today and this just had to come out.

Also, the weird characters in site names? That’s only because I don’t want to give them any Google Juice or whatever you want to call it :)

ETA: those who comment are wondering who I think I’m going to offend with this post – why, the bloggers who do these things, of course. ;)

  • http://heyepiphora.com Epiphora

    My favorite is #5. Just the assumption that it is at all beneficial to the blogger whose site the post will reside on. Like, do you really think we are THAT STUPID and that starved for content that we’ll accept your crap?

    ~ It’s the luck of the draw. He will, and has, found bloggers who fell for that crap.

  • http://duskinchains.com Dusk

    I honestly have no idea who you thought you were going to offend with this, hon. Certainly not me, I agree with you on every damn thing. I only link with friends and sites I honest-to-god support and I would certainly think less of those running around accepting or putting forth all this crap. What’s the point in blogging anyway if your readers can’t trust what you’re saying?

    ~Oh I know exactly who I’m going to offend – the bloggers who’ve done these things. And there are some, recent in fact. I just hope not many in our community do them, and those who do are recognized for what they are.

  • JaneBlow

    The only thing I disagree with is your “apology” at the end for ranting and shining light on shit you don’t like. No apologies necessary. :)

    ~ No, I was not at all apologizing for the rant. My apology is because the post is a little hard to read and lacks my usual polish and order, which was due to being in extreme wrist/hand pain at the time of writing it. My opinion stands.

  • Jezzy

    I have come to value your thoughts and opinions from the Wanton Wednesday posts I’ve been a part of and the posts I’ve read here on your blog. I am very new to sex blogging, sex-positive blogging, and feeling and finding my place in the sex positive community.

    I don’t find anything at all offensive in your post and feel passionate about what we are doing just reading it. As a baby blogger (and shamed sex#toy dot com affiliate) it makes me wonder what someone of your caliber thinks when they visit my site, if I fall (unknowingly) into any of these categories. I started blogging as a way to get people to my toy store site so I could make some money. So far I haven’t made any money at all but I am having a lot of fun with the writing and all I have learned about the sex community.

    You give me a level to aspire to. Thank you for holding tight to your integrity and beliefs and sharing them so passionately.

    ~ There’s reasons why I won’t allow s$xtoydotcom on my site, and I’ve written about it before, it’s up there in the recommended reading for this post, right above the comments, called “Is it unethical or just rude”. However, that’s only half of what I know about Dave, the rest of it I cannot publicly talk about but will talk about in private if anyone’s interested.
    In my opinion, when a blogger starts to blog for the sole purpose of getting the attention of retailers to get free sex toys, or blogging just to send people to their affiliate links, it can be obvious and feel more like a commercial than a true blog. Let more of yourself come out in your writing and let there be more writings that are just for you, than for your earnings. You’ll have more of an audience and more visitors if you’re real and if you’re real then people will be more likely to click on your links and buy. I fully believe that true blogging is cathartic and a learning process – you personally learn a lot about yourself, your sexuality, etc just by writing it out and exploring and it getting feedback. I know I’ve changed a lot since my first few months in blogging. Some people shun all this (this social media package of twittering, facebooking, blogging) as silly and worthless and not “real life” so I feel offended by those opinions because doing all of these things has brought me immense self-discovery and change for the better.

  • http://aagblog.com/ aagblog

    “Would you go to a stripclub and ask the dancer for a private dance for half-price because you just lost your job?”

    Yes. Yes they would. :)

  • http://www.dustbunnyinthewind.com nitebyrd

    You’ve written many posts with valuable information, that I for one appreciate. I’ve learned a lot from reading whether they’re rants or not. If you offend the guilty then it really doesn’t matter.

  • http://Pixelatedtoys.com Pixel

    Owch. Those examples are just…embarrassing for the companies involved.

    This is well written, thank you for posting it! I’m trying to be an ethical blogger myself, and if a product sucks, I’m going to say it sucks, even if it annoys the company that sent it to me.

  • Garry

    Without integrity and principles we are just common trash. Stick to your guns. PS..I have been reading for a long time,,,,YUM.

  • Sean Lind

    I’m rather confused,

    I write a series of articles, the absolute best articles I could write to give men the best advice I can about sex. They’re 100% original, I’ve spent a large amount of time on them, and I honestly think they’re pretty damn good.

    I email you simply asking you to read the articles and share them with your readers if you like what you see. I don’t think that was an offensive, out-of-line or unreasonable request, after all you are more than willing to ignore it or simply say no.

    Instead you decide to post my email, make fun of me and act like you’re a million times better than me, who’s opinion is infinitely more valuable.

    What gives you the right to be so very rude, when all I did was send a single email with a simple request? I was never offensive, never rude, and never asked for anything more than 5 minutes of your time.

    ~ Dear Confused;
    Sorry, but I removed the url from your comment field. My blog, my prerogative. In fact, that goes for my entire post, too. My blog. You are given absolutely no promise of anonymity, privacy or copyright on whatever you write to me in an email. I can do whatever I please with it. I’m sure you DO think honestly that your articles are “pretty damn good” but then again, you think that “real men drink whiskey” and I once again stand by my assessment: Misogynistic, arrogant and selfish. Do you really NOT get it? You’re butthurt that I called you out on your ploy to get free advertising, and upset that I voiced my opinion on it and on your articles. What gives me the right? No, what gives YOU the right to be so selfish and self-righteous and arrogant and think you can have any say on what *I* do on my blog?
    I normally would never bother publishing a comment like this, but you caught me on the wrong day. Was I “mean”? Well I will surely admit I wasn’t nice about it. But then, you did just golly-gee pretty-please like we both don’t know better and try to get a lot of something for a lot of nothing.

  • http://teagan-shepard.blogspot.com Teagan Shepard

    “Boom!” goes the dynamite.

    He sure didn’t help his case with that, now did he?

    I know I’m still new, and I’m trying to be a good blogger (actually working on an in-depth post to answer a reader’s question at the moment). Thank you for being the honest person that you are. I appreciate your “no bullshit” attitude.

    Oh, and Mr. Confused, sir, in paragraph three of your comment, that should be “whose opinion is infinitely more valuable.” Just sayin’.

    ~ hehehhe