May 112014
 
IslandI’ve been doing a lot more lately than I envisioned I would be, rounding in on my 6 year anniversary of starting this blog. I think I’ve known for a couple of years that I like doing what I do, and would like to do it more and more professionally, but I’ve really been reminded of that lately. While modding over at Reddit, I get at least one chance a day to mold a clueless sex-toy-seeker into a sex-toy-owner. I think I’m pretty good at it. I tend to ask a lot of questions, really try to get an understanding of their body, their preferences, their dislikes and turn that into a recommendation that is spot-on. Last week I even created this whole huge questionnaire created in Google Docs, which starts off asking what type of sex toy they’re seeking, and then (similar to a choose-your-own-adventure book) their answer dictates what questions they will be asked next. I worked long and hard on it, so I’m not really sure about sharing it publicly just yet. In the age of “well if you published it online then you must be okay with me appropriating it and calling it mine” I am wary. Maybe needlessly wary, but nonetheless I only give out the link to the people who actually need help. After all, if you’re not in the market for a sex toy then there’s no point in you going through the quiz, right? That would be boring!

Earlier today my husband and I were talking and as it sometimes goes, we talked about money. Because we were talking about places we want to visit this summer. He knows that I desperately want to travel to Europe someday. But we’ll never get there with our money situation the way it is now. We’ll never have that kind of excess money. I need to return to work. When we moved 3 years ago for a new job for him, the salary was enough that I didn’t *need* to get a job right away. We need every bit of money I make from advertising and affiliate commissions, though. I would have had to get a part-time job without it. But the fact is, I can’t make enough money just from this blog to save up for big trips. Or costly emergencies. Or a big renovation on the home we’ll be looking to buy next year.

Yet it depresses the fuck out of me to imagine going back to the only job I’m qualified for – the administrative assistant field. Sure I was good at the first full-time admin job I had, working for a small company, but it was stressful and didn’t pay well. The next job was boring and soul-sucking. Neither were what I wanted to do with my life. But I’ve never felt that I had any marketable skills.

But this? What you’re looking at right now?

This I can do. This makes me happy. I think I do a pretty good job at it. But I don’t live in an area, or even a state, where there are NICE sex toy shops. We only have ones that I’d refuse to work for, because 95% of their sex toy stock is the shit I tell people to avoid. When I think back to the people I used to work with at those admin jobs, I cringe. They were small-minded closed-minded people. They are nothing like the people I have met in my 6 years doing this.

Even if I went back to life as it was for the first 3 years of my blog……working full time, grabbing blog and social media time during slow periods at work and in the evening, it still would suck. Spending 40 hours a week in a job that depresses me is my idea of hell. I’d rather avoid it unless it is 100% necessary. Would I happily be “on call” for sex toy retail sites when someone needs help choosing? You bet. Would I enjoy working from home doing something for a sex toy retail site I like? Fuck yes. But I don’t know how to make it happen. I don’t have a degree. I don’t know how to break into it. I want to keep reviewing and being a small-time sex toy concierge for Redditors and my readers, I want to keep on educating people against toxic toys. I need to. It feels like it’s the ONLY thing I’m good at, the only thing that makes me happy.

But my happy is on a small island, offshore just enough so that I can see it but not enough so that I can swim to it and I can’t find a boat.

 Posted by at 3:32 pm
  • Olga_Lukinskaya

    “To mold a clueless sex-toy-seeker into a sex-toy-owner” and that questionnaire that you’ve mentioned… May be you could give this kind of individual advice online and a service to pay for?

  • In my experience, people tend to have issues as it is paying for a higher quality sex toy; most are (rightfully so) reluctant to spend even more than $50 because even if I’m experienced at knowing what a person might like, there’s no guarantee. These are non-returnable products.

    I’d happily WORK FOR a company who offers this service, for free, to their potential customers, though.

  • MsMahler

    I’ve been following this blog a while under one of my pseudonyms, but my day job is helping people turn their dreams into a real job and helping small businesse grow and market themselves. I can think of three or four ways you could start making an income educating people on toxic sex toy and how to pick the right sex toy for them. If you are serious about this, please drop me a line. (Yes this is my business, but there is a lot I can offer w/o needing to charge anything–helping people make these kinds of dreams come true is MY little happy island that is no longer out reach.)

    -Jess Mahler/Jessica Burde
    http://www.jessicaburde.com

  • gardenlobster

    It took me a very long time to know what I wanted to do and to nail down the direction my life is going. Still, various things took me in different directions. I’ve stuck to the home party circuit almost as long as I was in my longest-held career job, and for the last part of that I was doing what I do now on the side. For someone that changed majors almost every semester and can’t seem to finish a thing I start, that’s pretty darn good. Like you, the ability to turn a toy newbie into an educated consumer and advocate is a powerful thing. I’m not done yet – I don’t plan to do this forever. I do plan to take the experience of entrepreneurship and working and leading people and my ability to talk about sex openly somewhere else, but for now this pays the bills and lets me be around for my kids. I’ve been a part of several “how to do what you love and get paid for it” think tanks and workshops, and am totally willing to share that knowledge, but it requires real conversation – back & forth. Much like helping someone pick out a sex toy, helping someone fine tune their dreams is a bit nuanced. I just sent a friend request. If anything, I’m happy to be a sounding board.

  • Lilly, you know the answer to your problem, you just dont want to accept it (just my opinion) YOU just need to learn to believe in YOURSELF! You can do this, there are lots of things you can do, the toxic toy jar is just one example. We all love what you do and you are good at it, you just need to plot it out and take over the world! Every morning go to the mirror and really look at yourself and say I can do this! We know you can! You will have that paid vacation in the bag before you know it.

  • FaFF

    “But I don’t live in an area, or even a state, where there are NICE sex toy shops. We only have ones that I’d refuse to work for, because 95% of their sex toy stock is the shit I tell people to avoid.”

    Sounds to me like there’s a gap in your local market, just waiting to be filled by a knowledgeable young entrepreneur. Open your own.

  • Did ya read the part about me having no money? LOL dude I would LOVE to start my own but I know NOTHINGGGG about starting a business. Nothing. Nor do I have the capital or ability to get a loan (we’re going to be buying a house in a year, too, so will have our own mortgage).

    I’m totally down with helping someone open a store, though.

  • I pretty much such at public relations and dislike people in general. But this? Helping people pick out a toy, educating on toxic toys? Totally different. That I can do. I’m passionate about the SUBJECT.

    Educator of something related to this would likely require me to be further educated, I think. Not in the cards.

  • I guess I just don’t know how to plot :)

    You know, I made jewelry for awhile. Being able to sell myself, my stuff, and price it properly? Couldn’t do it. I wanted to lowball myself. I barely made money. I just don’t have business savvy. I think I need a business partner!