Continuing the interviews after Elizabeth Red in Part 2 and answering these questions myself in Part 1
Epiphora is a sex toy reviewer first and foremost. She does what she loves, what she does best, and she has a big following. She’s been controversial at times and never shuts her mouth for anybody or anything – and usually she uses her powers for good. But oh when she hates something, and she really fucking hates it, we love to read it! Epiphora is one of the few fellow toy reviewers who joins me in the “Proud to Post Negative Reviews” camp of those who will be as harsh as we feel is necessary (and boy howdy sometimes it’s really fuckin necessary). Her virtual toy box rivals most and especially trumps mine. Epiphora is the second 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?
Over 300. Props to my ridiculously-detailed sex toy spreadsheet[1. Spreadsheet? Wow. I can’t even recall if I still OWN a sex toy in some cases, that’s how disorganized I am!!] for making that number easy to ascertain! That includes porn DVDs and other not-exactly-toys, but still.
2. How many of them actually saw a lot of use past the review session?
Well, the key word here is “a lot.” I did a quick bit of math with a list of dildos I’ve reviewed; I marked the ones I used a lot post-review, and it came out to 27%. It’s easier to be judgmental about vibrators (if it’s not strong enough, fuck it); whereas if a dildo doesn’t cause pain and isn’t insanely boring, I’ll probably use it again at some point. Some toys are a lost cause, and I bury them in boxes or give them away quickly. But most I keep around, thinking one day I’ll want to try them again. I’m only sometimes right about that.
3. What toys have been your top favorites over all the time you’ve been reviewing?
My favorite vibrators are the Eroscillator, Wahl, and Vibratex Mystic Wand. My top dildos are the njoy Pure Wand, NobEssence Seduction, Jollies Jack, Ophoria Beyond 3, and practically anything made of VixSkin (but Maverick and Randy probably take the cake). My favorite butt plug remains the glorious NobEssence Romp, followed by the Fun Factory Bootie. My boyfriend is a die-hard Fleshlight fan. I’ve found no vag balls that hold a candle to the LELO Luna Beads. I’m not a lube connoisseur by any means, but I love Sliquid. Also, the Liberator Fascinator Throe and Liberator Wedge make sex and masturbation worth having.
Time will tell, but recent acquisitions such as the Leaf Life, Tantus Cush, and Crystal Delights Crystal Twist have a shot at becoming all-time favorites.
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?
I didn’t know anything as a consumer. I think I owned a grand total of two vibrators before I began reviewing, so I learned as I went along. But what first comes to mind is the two-sided coin that quality sex toys are worth spending money on, but a high price tag doesn’t mean it’ll be awesome either. This is where (honest) reviews are so vital. Only very high praise[2. I’d also add “hope”. High praise and hope and possibly the attraction to shiny/pretty/insert-color-here things that look so very different that you hope and pray they’re actually breaking the mold and it’ll work for you] can convince a person to drop $100 on a sex toy, but certain toys, like the Pure Wand, are truly worth it. On the other hand, the Jimmyjane Little Chroma may look fancy, but it’s a total rip-off. You have to figure out how to navigate the minefield that is sex toy reviews. I still see reviewers gushing about that aluminum piece of crap. It has ONE SPEED, you guys.
I’ve also learned that my initial assumptions about sex toys were wrong. It’s embarrassing, but I used to think that everything needed to vibrate in order to be worthwhile, and I was just as terrified of wooden toys as any other n00b. It’s hard to know what you like until you actually experiment. Now I know that dildos are the shit, different materials are fun for different reasons, and that internal vibrations are not really my thing. Oh yeah, and I found my G-spot. That changed pretty much everything.
Thanks, Piph! I agree about the conundrum with pricey toys – some are worth it, cheap toys are rarely worth it, but too many luxury toys are riding the coattails of the couple really good items out there.