Feb 062012
 

I swear it’s almost like creating that douche-proof contact form was like a request to the blogging angels for comedic gold.

If by comedic I mean bashing-my-head-off-the-wall I’m-surrounded-by-idiots haha funny.

Bloggers, a heads-up here, please…don’t be taken in by this guy. Greer is a part of a group of “entrepreneurs” who have this awesome idea of a “sexual lifestyle brand for women that takes the guess work out of choosing sex toys and related products while providing a narrative fantasy and user content- all in a monthly format”. I’ve read that line over a bunch of times and I still don’t get what they truly mean. It gets better though.

“I came across all of your companies and site through my research and was wondering if you ever consult with new companies? We are a young group of entrepreneurs who do not have previous contacts in the sex toy or erotic writing industry and could really use professional guidance. We want to appeal to woman in a huge capacity and contribute to female sexual autonomy.”

I just had to be SURE before I continued on, so I asked “Ok let me make sure I understand things. You want to create something that will help women choose sex toys, yet you have no experience yourselves in this subject and are looking for free consulting?”

“We are not looking for free consulting. We are looking for people to network with who are experts in the industry and could point us in a constructive direction. Someone who has a lot of contacts within the industry. These people could be future contributors once our company has more funding and we are able to compensate them. It would become a mutually beneficial business relationship. We know how to build brands and have a great idea, we just need to start meeting individuals who know the industry better than we do.”

I mean, that’s the very definition of CONSULTING. He even said the word consulting in his first email. Oh and he tried to be sneaky and chose the “I’m a reader of your blog and I just want to say hello!” option on the regular contact form. tsk tsk, Greer, you didn’t really read much here, did ya? You know I love helping people. Genuine people who need help choosing a sex toy and have specific questions that couldn’t be answered on any retail site or book. That’s the beauty of blogger reviews. We’re real people with email addresses and we love to answer questions. But to try and take advantage of that good will and use it to make money while giving me the “well maybe someday when we’ve turned enough profit that all our bills are paid and we’re paid you could possibly become a paid contributor” schlemiel. The other day in my site tracker I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits to my Jelly Sex Toys are Dangerous post from a UK Mommy forum. Whenever I get hits from forums I go check out the conversation and sometimes I register so that I can clarify things, which is what I did. This poor gal is pregnant and as many pregnant women are, utterly hyperaware of keeping her fetus safe and healthy. When she read my post about the jelly toys she freaked and wasn’t sure how she could possibly broach such a shameful topic to her doctor and ask if she was poisoning the fetus. Sadly she’s so freaked out and hormonal (I get it, I do, I’m not mocking her or invalidating her) that she’s sworn off ALL sex toys despite what I said. But I did my best to confirm that they can be very bad or they can be ok, but you never know and how porous they are, etc etc etc. Told her to switch to silicone or use a condom. I’m more than happy to answer these questions. But try to take advantage of that for your own profit and I’m suddenly not so sweet. My reply to him basically said all of the above but a bit more concisely and bluntly. He agreed that oh yes, I’m very smart which is why they asked for my help and weren’t trying to insult me. Riiiight. Please repeat your 2-year college course on business, you didn’t absorb anything. I would be thrilled to consult on a project that doesn’t read as insulting or sexist and I know my worth.

Please, know your worth. Ok?

Recently another head-bashing moment occurred completely unrelated to my contact form because I contacted them. The very first company that sent me toys to review, VibeReview, has had quite the stale site. Their “new toys” section stills lists the Natural Contours Petite which has been out for YEARS. Combine all this with the fact that I had a reader try to purchase from them a few months back with nothing but troubles and I’m wondering if they’re even still in business. A lot of things are not in stock. Color me surprised when I get a response:

“Yes we are still in business – and yes, as you’ve correctly pointed out, we have been a bit slow in adding many of the newer items.  Most of the stuff that’s come out in the last couple of years is just a repackaging of stuff we already sell, but if there are some items you would like to see on the site, let me know and we can add them.”

It took me a minute to pick my jaw up off the floor. For SERIOUS? I mean, I still read that second sentence and am rendered speechless. I….I….

I tried to answer. I tried to list off all the things that are new, innovative and that tons of people are searching for on Google.

I said: “I would highly disagree that most items put out in the last year is a repackaging of stuff you already sell. While I don’t think much of their latest line, there’s a number of Lelo toys that would warrant a listing; many Tantus items; Fun Factory, Je Joue, We Vibe….I could go on and on…so much as happened in the last few years. Many of the items I recommend to others aren’t on your site. None of the Mystic Wands, nothing by Tenga, none of the new and improved Nexus items, no wooden dildos….it pretty much looks like nearly everything on the site is the same stuff that was there when I stopped reviewing for your company (which was largely because anything that was worth trying out that looked decent, VR didn’t carry) in 2009. Unfortunately, your answer is a huge let-down to me and I’m sure it would be to many of the innovative manufacturers that have put out things in the last 3 years. If you truly believe what you’ve said, then I don’t think I can support VibeReview to be honest.”

And you know what? They had no response. Which just drove my point home even further.

  • http://www.kiraskink.com Kira

    Where to begin with this?

    1 – Starting a business in an industry you have zero experience in? Usually a terrible idea. Why not advise people on something you actually know about instead? I don’t understand.

    2 – I saw that forum post. I feel bad for that girl. It also concerned me to see so many people say “they wouldn’t make it if it was dangerous” because yeah, they would. There’s so many harmful things in foods, cosmetics, and other daily products. You don’t think a largely unregulated sex toy industry would have that issue? I wish there were better ways to inform people. I’m sad to hear she’s sworn off sex toys. I remember being pregnant and hormonal so I get it. It’s just a shame that jelly can ruin people that way.

    3 – Nothing new in years?! That’s just a stupid comment. Even if it was repackage crap, maybe your customers want the new and repackaged crap. You can’t have a retail business and never update your supply. That’s how you lose business to companies that actually will stock new product.

  • http://heyepiphora.com Epiphora

    God, that’s the worst. Why does everyone think the sex toy industry is like a goldmine? And also that they don’t have to know anything about it to succeed in it? Like, he’s SO SURE that his company is going to be the shit, yet he has to email sex bloggers to even get CONTACTS in the industry? UGH PEOPLE.

  • http://www.nakedatourage.com Joan Price

    I loved this fabulous rant! Thank you for going through all this and writing about it so I (and other sex bloggers) wouldn’t have to. As angry as you were when you wrote it, I find this post wonderfully entertaining now.

    You’ll update if either of these clueless folks writes you again, I hope!