Now I turn the tables on other reviews, after answering these questions myself in Part 1!
Elizabeth Red has been reviewing sex toys for quite a few years now at her blog, The Red Sneaker Diaries. I would say that she’s a good combination of a little bit forgiving and objective mixed with honest[1. I respect anybody who can disagree on that dumb Better Than Chocolate vibrator: “no. No this vibrator is not better than chocolate. I’m not such a super duper fan of chocolate but, just, no. What this vibrator is better than, aside from a kick in the face, is a lot of other vibrators.”] and intellectual in her reviews. You can view most of her reviews on her blog here at her toy box page. I also love her Lube Lab pages where she breaks down the different types of lube in all their scientific hotness. Elizabeth is the first in a short series of long-time reviewers that I’ve asked to answer 4 easy (or are they?) questions about sex toys and reviewing.
1. How many toys, roughly, have you reviewed or acquired in other ways since you started reviewing?
Answer: 300 review products + at least 100 items via swaps and purchasing
2. How many of them actually saw a lot of use past the review session?
Answer: I will give you two answers.
A: Lots saw use after initial trial session. Probably 75% of them. Now a days I probably pick things up for fun use only about 30% of the time but early on I used almost everything a handful of times before letting it get dusty. This excludes books, which I just never reread.
B: I have been actively trimming my collection for a while now, I think I’ve probably kept about a hundred things[1. I know how many things she’s sent away to better homes from her ToySwap list so to hear she still has about 100 things left is mind blowing!], so that’s how many I would say saw real active use that lasted over time. Still, many of those see little use but fill niches that I get a hankering for every once in a while. Honestly, I feel like I could choose just a few dozen of my real favorites and be happy with them.
3. What toys have been your top favorites over all the time you’ve been reviewing?
Answer: Hitachi Magic Wand, The Wahl, Eroscillator, We Vibe Touch, Lelo Siri, Saryoa and Gigi, Nobessence Linger and Fling, my Hans Hardwood dildo, Vixskin Maverick, Jollies Jollet, Njoy Pure Plugs, Aneros Peridise, my TENS unit, Bongers[2. This bizarre-o looking set of what appeared to be large drum mallets that Babeland had, you’ll find the review listed on her Toy Box page], Venerous Shaving Trio, LeatherThorn Rose Blush Paddle, my custom Leatherbeaten Flogger.
4. What has been the most important thing or two you’ve learned since becoming a reviewer that you didn’t know as a consumer?
Answer: This is harsh, but what I now know is that as a consumer I’d be totally fucked. Obviously I enjoy luxury toys but many of the luxury toys I’ve had that I was soooooo stoked about getting have been total duds[3. Ugh, yes, I so agree], and many on my list of favorites I was not expecting to love as much as I do. Maybe that’s more an issue with having tried so many things, however. I guess what I do now know is that one should never pay full retail price on anything – it *will* go on sale.
Thank you, Red! I would very much agree with the last answer. I think I spent around $300 or $400 in my time purchasing sex toys the few years prior to reviewing them and I don’t use a single one anymore. My most expensive splurges were SO not worth the money; the Doc Johnson rabbit was great and amazing for a couple of runs and then it quickly turned on me. That soured me on spending over $75 on a single item. I also bought the Feeldoe before it was bought up by Tantus; it was just as expensive back then (probably more so since it was being made by a smaller company?) and I ended up not able to ever use it for the intended purpose. It sat around mostly unused for quite some time. Occasionally I’d use it as a dildo on myself but I eventually put it up on Toyswap.