Apr 022014

Lill’Bits – The Dangerous Lilly Quarterly Review1

Shevibe's Tantus Superhero Poster! Links to all the new Tantus items - Warm-up, Amsterdam, Slow Drive and Sport. Reviews

So if you’re new here, or have just been busy, let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to for these last three months.  I started off the year reviewing a few items from the new Lovelife line, Cuddle and Smile. I was happy to find that the one thing I hated about the original Je Joue Mimi (the buttons) has been fixed, and I loved the new Je Joue Mimi Soft.  Then I reviewed the Fun Factory Amorino, that weird one with the rubberband.  I didn’t have too many words to say about it, but I felt the need to review the Lelo Mia 2 finally.  I got my paws on one of Tantus’ NEW super-fancy-awesome harnesses, and holy pete it’s gorgeous. The Black Widow harness is superhero-worthy. And finally…..I re-reviewed my Holy Grail of clitoral vibrators, the “new & improved” We-Vibe Tango. I also learned to love the new & improved We-Vibe Touch.

All My Other Words

I decided to share with the class my favorite way to keep clingy silicone clean, in an economic and safe way.  A past irritation popped up on the radar again, and it prompted me to figure out what these reviews of ours are really worth. You’d be surprised!  I learned a bit about making my site (and yours) more accessible to screen readers, and I hope Amanda keeps prodding me to make changes I don’t always know about.  I get a lot of readers who don’t understand why porosity in sex toy materials matters, and people who confuse porous with toxic. I tried my best to clear things up.  Every now and then I have people email me to help them decipher the results of their flame test. Since the results aren’t as black & white as we once thought, I’ve done by best to clear up confusion and let you know that sometimes, silicone does burn. And finally, on a whim I decided to write up a Brief History of Sex Blogging. So very brief, compared to what has existed. The comments are so very information and entertaining, too!

Sponsors and Partners

I’ve got three new sponsors — Peepshow Toys, Burlesque Toy Shop and JouJou — check out their banners in the sidebar! Snazzy damn banners, eh? Thank you, all!

I briefly decided to give GoodVibes.com another shot for reviewing, but ultimately a partnership wasn’t meant to be. My primary partners will continue to be Shevibe and Tantus – two companies who share my viewpoints and who are run by truly amazing, honest groups of people. You will not find more trustworthy, and truly lovely, people. If I don’t respect the people I work with at a company, I don’t respect the company on the whole as much. I think it’s important to show support to that.  I will be occasionally working with Lovehoney in the future and will be putting up affiliate links for a few places to shop outside the US for those that love me but need to shop in Canada, the UK, or Australia.  I’ve joined the affiliate programs for Fleshlight, Pinkcherry and a few others – I won’t be reviewing for them, it’s just a way to give international people options to buy through my links.


I’m going to start a new weekly thing – my version of Throwback Thursday – where I give my opinion on a sex toy I reviewed a few years ago. Do I still love it? Does it languish in the drawer? Do I love it more?

I’ve got a Stronic Drei waiting to be reviewed, as well as the We-Vibe 4 and the Jopen Ego e5. Taking cues from suggestions people made in my giveaway, I’m going to try to review more wands. A Shibari wand, a Doxy, hopefully a PalmPower, maybe a BodyWand.  Wishlist review items include the Jopen Vibrating Comet Wand, Liberator Tallulah bag, a comparison of the Crave vibes, and more dildos in general.  I’ve got a Pleasure Purse bag on its way, and I do believe I’m going to finally get my hands on the ORGASMATRON X1. 

Every now and then I look at my jar of melted sex toys, and I take a picture. Yesterday I noticed how much more liquid seemed to be in the jar, so I managed to shoot it at the same distance/angle as when I shot the jars at first, after three months.


I’m working on a piece about why I recommend the places I recommend you shop at but more importantly why I don’t recommend you shop at certain other places. Possibly working on an educational piece about wood sex toys.  What else would you like to see me write about in the next few months?

I’ve re-committed myself to this whole she-bang in recent months and you will continue to see lots more from me2


p.s. the winners of the We-Vibe Touch/Tango giveaway will be announced in a day or two.

 Tantus Limited Edition colors on 3 new designs - Dark Silver, Teal, Bright Lime. 20% off sale.  

  1. I know, it’s cheesy. I know, you think I should do a newsletter. I’m my own chicken, dude, marching to the beat of a different wolf and refusing to cross the road. Maybe someday I’ll make this into a newsletter. Not that anyone would sign up for that shit
  2. It is written and so it shall be true. In that vein, I will get more advertisers and more consulting work. Isn’t this how that book The Secret is supposed to work? You tell the universe what you want and you get it? FINGERS CROSSED
 Posted by at 7:48 pm
Mar 242014


I’m trying for as much brevity as I can get here which, admittedly, won’t be much. The world of blogs about sex (as a general umbrella term) were varied and niched and I can’t possibly cover everything. In fact, I might very well be unintentionally leaving out crucial stories. That’s where I hope you will fill things in in the comments section. Sex blogging as we know it seems to have gotten off the ground around 2002, 6 years before my start, which was 6 years ago in 2008. My point with this piece is to illustrate to my current niche how WE got to where we are now with sex toy reviews, sexuality conferences and this tumultuous but awesome community.  You’ll see [tooltip tip=”Extra info!”]this “tooltip”[/tooltip] characterized by the dotted underline; clicking on it (mobile or regular) will provide more info without making this post seem to scroll on forever, so don’t overlook them! Also check out the links, they often really help to further explain things.

The First Sex Blogs

One can argue that the first blogs about sexuality happened on Livejournal. The group that I can follow back through this history, though, was primarily on blogspot and things seemed to start roundabout 2004.  Sheboppin’ can recall LiveJournals that were like what we know as sex blogs today (and a few even got toys to review as early as 04 or 05).

There were websites for porn and of course Literotica, but the personal “sex blog” as we know them seemed to have been born mostly on blogspot, but some self-hosted too. Tiny Nibbles, Violet Blue’s site, has been around since 2001 but I’m not sure I would truly call it a sex blog….although some would. Erosblog, run by Bacchus, started in 2002, is primarily a mash-up of aggregated sexy photos and commentary on sexuality things of all types1. I believe this is the first thing that can be considered a “sex blog”, and he recalls being the first to use that terminology.  Susannah Breslin with her Reverse Cowgirl site came shortly after Bacchus started.

ETA: I was off by a few months! Reverse Cowgirl came first, but as Bacchus said, we’re not sure Ms Breslin would consider her site a sex blog. Do you?

Susannah wrote a short note here, and then someone else chimed in about a blog going back to ’99!

A lot more personal blogs started around 2004. Famous “sex diary” blogs like Girl With a One Track Mind and Belle Du Jour didn’t seem to start until 2004/2005.  Those of course are some of the more famous ones, as they were made into books and even a tv show for the latter. There were sites about sexuality, but the blogs tended to be more personal. Erotica or sex diaries seemed to be the most popular and the most celebrated thanks to the Holy Grail of Traffic: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup that was aggregated in the beginning by Violet Blue and Bacchus.  The growing boom seems to have continued through and peaking at maybe 2009.  Early icons included [tooltip tip=”AAG later on,  Laura –@_Laura33_ on Twitter and website designer to the e-famous–now”]AlwaysArousedGirl[/tooltip]  who, by 2008, had the most popular personal blog *I* knew of – if you weren’t on her radar, you [tooltip tip=”At one point she was half of the Fleshbot Sex Blog Round-up duo, she also worked on Janesguide reviewing blogs and sites. Not to mention her blogroll was the most extensive around and was a listing of anyone and everyone who mattered”]were toast[/tooltip].  Sam Sugar, [tooltip tip=”At one point it looks like he was running 7 different sex sites, including porn for PSPs and a podcast called Podnography”]entrepreneurial[/tooltip] spirit that he was, started his site in 04 and in 05 the project that birthed many to this day – Sugasm. In the summer of 2008 blogspot/Blogger started [tooltip tip=”this seems so minor now compared to what they started doing last year, which was deleting people who had affiliate links”]cracking down[/tooltip] on adult blogs by forcing a warning screen to pop up first. This was annoying at best, and ruined your stats trackers at worst. A number of people made the move to being self-hosted, including me. I was self-hosted probably less than 3 months after I first started.

So many blogs that popped up in 2005-2008 no longer exist. But some of the more popular ones in their day are still around: Sinclair Sexsmith, Viviane’s Sex Carnival site, Alex & Suze who created a number of [tooltip tip=”I inexplicably got banned from ALL their lists and directories at some point a few years ago. I inquired many times, but no one would ever respond to me so I don’t know if they’re just unprofessional or if the site runs itself now without them touching it”]directories/”top lists”[/tooltip] such as AdultBlogHub. Essin’ Em who is now known as Shanna Katz, Sabrina Morgan, and Audacia Ray of Waking Vixen are perfect examples of early bloggers who made a career out of their blogs but are now sought-after speakers, educators, authors and activists.

HNT and Sugasm

Both of these seem to have popped up roundabout the same time period (05/06). I became fed up with the eye-rolling that seemed to just persist towards sex bloggers joining in [tooltip tip=”HNT, Half Nekkid Thursday, was started by a man who had absolutely nothing to do with the sex blogging world. The people who first joined in were not aiming for the prize of Most Sexy each week. At some point though the sex bloggers found out about it and found out that it was a great place to get new readers and show off their perpetually horny selves. It was a simple system, there were no link lists but there were a lot of comments to go around – the hotter you were, the more comments you received. The person who ran it each week simply created a post every Wednesday night and people commented with the link to their post.”]HNT[/tooltip], so after 2 years of participating in the epic-ness that was HNT I branched off and created something new – Wanton Wednesday in 2010. Wanton Wednesday inspired Sinful Sunday to come up a year later, and then when I decided to hang up WW, a bunch of other weekly memes cropped up. 

The mysterious (to me) Sam Sugar had the idea in 2005 of sharing links between blogs in a new way – not just a sidebar link, but a link to your best post of the week, and everybody who participates shares the list. Originally titled Bloggasm, it quickly grew big enough to be its own thing and he renamed it Sugasm. The format changed as the participants grew, and soon it was the [tooltip tip=”With Sugasm, though, it was weekly, and all participants had the chance to vote. Weekly!!”]format you’re familiar with[/tooltip] now in e[lust].  Sam didn’t seem to last more than a few years after Sugasm got off the ground; he had had bloggers like Sabrina Morgan and [tooltip tip=”Vixen was completely running Sugasm editions for a few years on her own after Sam disappeared eventually in 08.”]Radical Vixen[/tooltip] doing the hard work on Sugasm for him.  When Sugasm started to become less reliable and less frequent, due to understandable burn-out and life, Vixen decided to hang it up. I knew how important Sugasm was and so I started my own – e[lust]. I made a [tooltip tip=”Some changes I made were to not include sex toy reviews, since they were becoming more prevalent–plus a digest just for reviews existed–and to not allow commercial/porn sites or posts just meant to promote/sell something–to participate. This made the digest more palatable to most, but cut back on the traffic spikes everyone would see.”]bunch of changes[/tooltip], but kept a lot of things the same.  Pleasurists, the first weekly digest for sex toy reviews, came out late 2008.  Since the demise of Pleasurists, we’ve seen various other ways of carrying the torch including other digests and even entire sites (which also sadly died off).

The First Sex Toy Reviews on Blogs

I’ve found evidence of sex toy reviews (as we know them currently) on blogs going back as far as 2005 2. Perhaps, depending on one’s definition of a sex toy review, this post at Erosblog could be considered the first – Bacchus was sent some vibrating products and told his readers how they worked out for him. At the heart of the definition, that could be considered the first. But for years, they were few and far between, of course. Slowly by 2006/2007 they ramped up a bit more. EdenFantasys and Lovehoney had community reviews that happened onsite, but EF also was doing blog reviews as early as 2007, and the blogs were decidedly of the “sexy sex blog” nature – they had the traffic. AAG probably did the very first blogger giveaway in 2006 with a giftcard to a porn site. By the time I started in 2008, it was right on the cusp of explosion. Vibereview.com was the company willing to send me stuff when I was only a month old, and seemed to be the company most often sponsoring reviews that summer in addition to Babeland.  I feel like I did a lot of sex toy reviews for the first 3 years in contrast to my other posts, and there were a number of other bloggers getting in on the reviews but it still was nothing like it is today with many blogs mostly dedicated to sex toys. I think I found the earliest example of a mostly-review blog here, started in 2006. Since the sexy sex blogs ruled supreme, it felt like you were really expected to incorporate the sexiness into your review for the sake of your readers. Reviews written for the consumer, more professional sounding reviews, weren’t popular until 2009 it looks like.

The giveaways were so limited.  SO. LIMITED. And of course unless you were super popular, the giveaways weren’t as popular because Twitter, when it was first available, wasn’t the massive thing it is now.

Bloggers Building Community – Conferences and Parties

2008 seems to be the year that sex bloggers really started meeting in person.  Sex 2.0 was the first sexuality conference (run on a version of the “unconference model”), originally created by Amber L. Rhea, and first happened in April 2008. Sex 2.0 continued in 2009 and 2010, the host city & conference organizer changing with each conference. Fall of 2008 had the NYC Sex Blogger Calendar party, started by Tess Danesi aka Urban Gypsy with her friend [tooltip tip=”You now know her as Dee Dennis!”]Debauched Domestic Diva[/tooltip] as a way to do something good in the NYC blogger community (which had recently seen a lot of scandal), with proceeds going to a sex-positive charity. The first Sex Blogger Calendar party was mostly a NYC blogger thing, with a few out-of-towners attending the party that fall. It grew to be more national in [tooltip tip=”Technically of course, the Calendars were 2009, 2010, and 2011 but the release parties would happen the November of the year prior which is why I list 2008-2010, since I’m focusing here on the events that brought people together”]2009 and 2010[/tooltip], with more bloggers coming in for the event.  After attending the panel “Sex in America”, Tess, with the help of Dee under their company Tied Up Events, had the idea to [tooltip tip=”From the Momentum.com site: Momentum is being presented by Tied Up Events, the NYC based sexuality event planning company founded by Tess Danesi and Dee Dennis.  Tess who has blogged extensively about sex and sexuality, written and published erotica, now teaches sexuality workshops.  In 2008, abetted by Diva, she conceived the NYC Sex Blogger Calendar whose editions raised funds for Sex Work Awareness”] create a conference[/tooltip] around the topics discussed in it. MomentumCon happened in 2011 and 2012 in DC. Tess moved on to other projects, like the Woodhull Alliance, after the second MomentumCon, and Dee changed the name to Catalyst, putting it on east and west coast for 2013 and 2014. Not the only conferences on the block, there is also the Playground Conference in Canada, and Woodhull Alliance Sexual Freedom Summit conference in DC. All of these conferences have built a community that transcends the limitations of the web, fostering friendships and bridging the gap that can exist when you only speak via text.

Sex 2.0 really started bringing the community together in the flesh and has indirectly resulted in what we experience today. You can see from looking at the site in the Wayback that the sessions are not much different than what we currently see – we still need and want to talk about many of the same issues from 2008 through 2014.

Share Your Stories

Am I really the best person to be writing this post? No; I only started in 2008. This post would have been much richer in detail had it been written by someone else, but I’m what you get because I’m the only one crazy enough to tackle it3. I did pick the brains though of The Former AAG, Bacchus, Ellie, Shanna, Tess and Amber Rhea – without their help I would be a lot more clueless. I’ve had to gloss over and sometimes leave out entire swaths of history.  This really could be a book, but I’m not a book writer. I’ve left out a lot to focus more on how we got from Violet Blue & Erosblog to sex toy giveaways galore and flying cross country to hang out at conferences. So I remind you again that if you have stories to tell that will help fill in and round out this history, please share with us below. Every bit is fascinating. I can’t tell you how many hours I lost to picking my way through the Internet Archives of old sites long gone or just viewing the old school designs.


There’s been great discussion on Twitter, so I’m saving all tweets related to the discussion on Storify:


  1. You really should also check out his 5 yr anniversary and 10 yr anniversary posts
  2. Bacchus wonders if this page on Violet Blue’s site can be considered as such, but it seems to be more of an education piece to me
  3. I think I’m starting to get a reputation for that “Oh that Lilly….she tackles the craziest shit. And man, she’s wordy”
Feb 282014

NewStuffI never managed to find the “perfect” theme for my blog. Sure, I loved most of them at the time I created them, but I grew/the blog changed/squirrel. I’ve never been sure of myself. I change my outfits and I change my mind so quick, your head spins. I can’t even fathom never changing up my look. I think this is my 4th or 5th theme since 2008.

I had practical reasons for changing, too. The old theme had a huge flaw: I couldn’t update it automatically. I would have had to download the new theme files and reinstall a new theme….losing all the custom changes I made. And there were a LOT. Plus I’ve been wanting the dual sidebar thing for awhile now. So, what’s new besides the obvious? The blogroll finally got dusted off. And since I don’t read the blog of every person I know & like, that Twitter List serves as a secondary blogroll of sorts. I have some new pages1. I updated my Toybox page, it’s hopefully easier to find things now.  I implemented it a week or so ago, but I finally have Disqus as the commenting system, which will make replying to comments much easier.

I’ve got a lot of things on my plate right now! I recently did my first (very small) educational talk at a local event, and trotted out some of the lovely sex toys. Trying to explain how the We-Vibe worked was a trip! I’m doing a couple consulting jobs right now. REVIEWS. ALL THE REVIEWS. Upcoming reviews include me finally getting around to writing up reviews on items I’ve had for awhile including the Lelo Mia 2 and Mona 2,as well as the Fun Factory G4 Big Boss and Patchy Paul. But I’m also swimming in new stuff, much to my excitement.  The Tantus Black Widow Connoisseur Harness is really, really neat to look at. OH MAN IT IS SO AWESOMELY GEEKY.  The newest versions of the We-Vibe Tango and Touch arrived literally this morning. I’ve got something that’s marketed towards prostates, but really can be enjoyed by anyone, the Jopen Ego e5. What else….ah, the We-Vibe 4.

I saw that Smitten Kitten had posted their old pics again of the “jelly jars” that inspired my “little jar of horrors“, so I got out my jar to see how the science experiment was progressing and found…..free-floating glitter in the puddle. I’m on my way to a toxic snowglobe! Yay?

That’s it. I think. If you see anything around here that broke during redecorating, holler. 

What’s new with you?

  1. Technically not new, just now being shown in the menu. I’ve been doing consulting for 2 years now and I hemmed and hawed over that damn Donate page for 4, never publishing it
 Posted by at 3:19 pm
Jul 072013

This post has taken me weeks to write, and has seen more drafts than hockey did this week1. Most people write big, sappy posts for a blogaversary as grand as 5 whole years. 5 years! I’m older than internet dirt now! This also happens to be my 800th post2. I can’t say I’m proud of all 800 posts; in fact I’ve changed so much over these 5 years that I’m pretty mortified by many of my earlier posts and reviews.  Sadly, I’m marking off my 5 years with a quickly impending for-the-foreseeable-future-hiatus.  I’ve known for weeks now that my time here was limited, but I kept that to myself. I wanted to finish up the giveaways I planned and the first big fundraising push for Dildology. I wanted to help out with Dildology as much as I could, even though I feel like I didn’t do enough.

Wait, what?

I’m not sure if this is 100% permanent goodbye from blogging, because who knows what’ll happen. This isn’t my final post, because I do have obligations to fulfill and whatnot.  My reasons though for walking away from this world right now are serious and real, but not my story to tell. I’m fine; as is my marriage/husband/family. But there is something happening in my offline world that requires my full attention and for me to be actually offline. I won’t say anything more than that publicly because of …reasons3. I don’t know how long I’m going to be needed.

One thing I do know to be certain is the fact that I won’t be attending CatalystCon or anything like it ever again – I have a lot personal reasons which I don’t need to discuss publicly; financially though it’s just not feasible for me to go. Hopefully in 2 years we’ll be buying a house, and the trip to DC is just way too expensive.  I justified it in the past because the funding for it came 100% from affiliate commissions or advertising dollars. It still would, but every penny needs to go to our future.

I might find that I can still get in a semi-regular post & review per month. I might find that this change in my life is so time-consuming that I let things here die off. I don’t honestly know what will happen in 6, 8, 10 months.

The Future of this Blog and My Projects

The site will stay live because it’s paid for already til the end of next year I believe. Yes, you may link to an old post. Yes, you may quote an excerpt from and link to an old post. Yes, if anything I’ve written inspires you to write more and research more and uncover dirt more, I want to read it so please email me the link!! Have a question about …. anything …. you think I can help with? Seriously, don’t be afraid to email me. I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer that day or even the next, but I will answer. I’m not that scary, I promise. I just have Bitchy Resting Face. I honestly want to see you all succeed at whatever you’re trying to accomplish online. You’ll still see me on Twitter via mobile, and email works of course, so I’m not going to be 100% gone online. I have a bunch of reviews and a few other things scheduled to post; my social media accounts will stay open but I will be disconnecting Twitter from Facebook, so if you only follow me on Facebook you won’t see anything for quite awhile. Oh and Sex Blogger Co-Op + ToySwap will be kept alive, too, if members want it. They largely run themselves anyways. I’ll be finding someone able to take over things like member invitation and whatnot until I decide what to do on a more permanent basis (probably Epiphora and maybe someone else?).


Due to my offline commitments I will be stepping down as Marketing Director of Dildology in an official capacity. I’ll continue to support them via this blog, of course, but otherwise my ability to contribute will be virtually nonexistent, and that’s not fair to anyone. Their mission is so very much needed in the industry; I look forward to the changes that will happen, for the better, because of Dildology. Dildology is the creation of Crista and Val, and they are always willing to answer questions, explain things and so on. Should you ever need anything or have any questions in regards to Dildology, make sure you contact them via Dildology on Facebook, Twitter, or email. While I wish that I had been able to contribute more than just the fundraiser event, I have faith that the posts from the blog carnival will live on to continue to educate others who browse your blogs and learn a few things about toxic toys.


In 5 years I’ve made a lot of really great friends, met a few fakes/sociopaths I can do without, pissed off a lot of people, had so much fun, and made one of the top 5 biggest mistakes of my life. But I learned a few very important lessons from that mistake, so I’ll focus on that aspect instead of the ugly person. I’ve made some great, life-changing decisions because of this site. I’ve learned a lot from the community and I feel I’m a better person for being here these last 5 years. To the friends I only got to hang out with at the spring conference, I will truly miss your faces. Those who live within a few hours of me, I hope to see again – If you’re ever in Connecticut, please let me know! To my friends & mentors in the industry…Metis and Jenna of Tantus, Pam, Sandra of Shevibe, Laura from The Toolshed, Shelley of Crystal Delights….your patience with my brain and my inquisitive nature meant so much to me, and you all taught me so much and supported me so much. You believed in me, you didn’t blow me off or pat me on my head.


Watch this space for upcoming reviews on Tantus products, a Tenga Iroha vibe, the Jopen Envy line, the Minna Ola, the Split Dildo and of course I have a couple of posts scheduled that are things other than reviews.

OH WAIT. I think I forgot something….

The winners! I made the winners of weeks 3, 4 and 5 wait until now to be announced.  The winner of the Lelo Mona 2 is ALICE. Her review suggestion reminded me of an unfinished one and her question about shower curtains and VOCs happens to be right in line with what I’m looking in to next. The winner of the We-Vibe Salsa + Tantus O2 Flury is OLIVE. If I’d had the ability, I would have chosen more winners, a few others were top contenders. It’s so hard to choose just one!! And finally, the winner of the Fucking Sculptures dildo is EMMA. Again, this was fucking hard to choose a fucking winner. Ha.

  1. I’m sorry that was a really bad attempt at sports humor and I probably failed. I won’t do it again
  2. why yes, yes I DID plan that as soon as I noticed it was feasible
  3. Stalker Hint: Hidemyass doesn’t work
 Posted by at 9:32 am
Jun 112013

When you review a sex toy, do you talk price? Is it just me? I feel that it’s an important point to cover, one that my readers would want to know. If I were reading a sex toy review of an item priced well over $100, I would need a fuck ton of convincing that that item is going to rock my fucking world for that price.

A potential relationship with a retailer who thought I was new to the scene back in 2012 ended quickly when we discussed the finer points of reviewing. They didn’t want me to just review one item, they wanted me to review a lot. Primarily I turned them down because they didn’t have an affiliate program (I work from home now, I need all the income I can get) but also because our views just didn’t mesh.

I’m actually not going to publicly name names here, because the point I want to make really doesn’t have anything to do with the company – my point is that it’s an aspect I care about. But in our very short discussion, as a response to me detailing that I do not sugarcoat my reviews and I am bluntly honest, always, this was mentioned:

“It’s a product review… Let the customers decide if it’s worth it.  Most all of my product are over $100, so if that’s an issue and your readers don’t want to spend that, I don’t want to be skewered because you don’t believe in buying $150 toys.  If a toy is good, and gives orgasms, or does its job, give it a good review.  Let the buyer decide if it’s worth it.  I’m a high end retailer, and carry great products.  I need good, honest reviewers, that have good audiences that might buy.  Let me know what you think.  I repost on my blog, from your blog, word for word, so no editorializing or such.”

Well, I’ve already talked about my feelings on someone re-posting my review on their site and I was not okay with that aspect of their conditions. But I had a real head-scratcher over the “let the buyer decide if it’s worth it”. Um….isn’t that what I’m doing here?? I’m presenting them with the information but also my opinion. If they wanted pure information, they’d read the copy from the website. I responded with:

“I personally expect every, single luxury sex toy to live up to the high expectations that come along with a high price tag, and from everything I’ve seen, so do my readers. I’ve reviewed so many luxury toys that were such a let-down that I fear I’ve become a little jaded. I am hard on toys though; I expect great things for the price tag. I’ve been unable to fully recommend items such as some Lelo, Je Joue, Zini, JimmyJane, etc because there are less expensive items that perform better. In my opinion, I do reviews to help the buyer decide if a toy is worth the money – be it $25 or $125. I wasted a lot of my own money (both prior to reviewing and even recently) on toys that appeared to have glowing on-site reviews. That was what led me to reviewing, ultimately – I was searching for women who’d tried the toys I was considering, to ask them a few questions, and that was how I found out about blog reviewers. There are so many items out there that I don’t think are worth the price and I don’t hesitate to tell my readers that. To me, that’s half the point of a review. They’re looking for reassurance in our reviews, reassurance that they won’t be dropping a week’s worth of grocery money on a toy that just isn’t worth it. I get disappointed with items/manufacturers but in the end I actually like all the reviews I write – I love being able to tell someone that something is awesome and I feel good about telling someone to avoid something that sucks. I don’t gloss over just for sales. In the end, I want my readers to be happy with their purchase and feel that I truly helped them.”

This didn’t go over well, I guess. I never heard from the person again. Apparently, I’m not the type of reviewer they want on their side. They clearly wanted reviewers who would drive people to buy, and it almost seems like they were angling for some sugar-coating. Thus far all of the places I review for have never taken issue with my reviews, no matter how harsh they are and boy howdy have some1 been2 harsh3.

Do you talk about price? Do you feel the need to justify super-pricey toys to your readers, assuring them it is worth it? If that same toy that you feel is decent, but not wonderful, cost half the price would you be more likely to recommend it?

  1. Hello Touch, how I hate thee
  2. We-Vibe Thrill made me angry I wasted my money
  3. Fixsation review was so harsh, the creator tried to slam me in comments by pretending (badly) to be someone else
Jun 032013

Many sex toy review bloggers, especially right now, got their start at EdenFantasys, a place that handles on-site reviews very differently than any other site. I actually like that aspect (it’s one of the few things about the site that still have me point people to it to help them narrow down their search for a sex toy), because it’s not a few paragraphs from Joe Schmo in Boston, it’s an entire, in-depth review from a person with a profile and a means of contact. Just like in blogging, you can go find their other reviews and see if they rate everything positively, or if they’re picky.

So the reviewers that come from EF are accustomed to their entire review being published on the site, unless they were already a blogger doing off-site reviews. Many were not bloggers and had no place else for that review to get published. Being approached by a manufacturer or retailer to do some reviewing is always nice, but dig a little deeper into their practices before you jump in.

Over the years I’ve been approached by a number of companies, both retail and manufacturer, who I turned down the opportunity to review for. Why? Well, option for an affiliate program aside, it came down to the fact that they would publish the entire review on their site and many without an attribution link. OR they stripped the internal post links and then only added one small link at the end of the review. I couldn’t tell if these were lifted from the reviewer’s site, or re-printed with the reviewers permission.  Some even used the photos the blogger took themselves. If it’s an excerpt, with a link, that’s a horse of a different color. When I first agreed to review for Lelo directly back in 2008, that’s how they did it. At some point in 2010 I discovered that they had slyly changed their tactics, now copying the entire text of the review with no outgoing links. I called them out on it, as copyright violation, and they changed it back.

Some companies may tell you up front that they’ll publish your review on their site, in full. Many don’t. I have a policy on my contact page where I state up front that if you’re asking me to review a product, that you tell me the terms of the review up front before I agree, otherwise those terms will not be tolerated after. The companies that published the reviews on their site never informed me of that “review condition” up front, I had to go poking around their site and find it out for myself.

Why do I care? Shouldn’t I let them? After all, they did “pay” me for my time with a sex toy, right? Given what that sex toy cost them to buy from the manufacturer, it’s not sometimes enough payment for the work I go through in order to review a sex toy. It’s why I usually ask to join their affiliate program. And it’s certainly not enough payment for me to allow them to put my entire review on their site. Even if there is a link (it’s always put in at the end of the review), why would someone shopping on their site click off their site to mine, when the entire review is already posted there? They won’t.

Another reason is that I take copyright seriously. And there are a LOT of scraper sites out there. Oftentimes these companies will re-publish the review to their “blog” section….which is ripe for scraping. So if I find a scraper site with my stolen review, but they scraped it from the sex toy site? I can’t do anything about it. I’ve had this happen once, and I tried to contact the host for a DMCA take down. Because the version of my review on the sex toy retailer’s site was slightly different from mine (if I talked about a competitor’s toy, they would strip that out, or some links were changed/gone), it was clear that the scraper stole from  the retailer’s site and the host said that the retailer had to contact them. They wouldn’t (they ignored my email).  It’s also a copyright issue for me because of my copyright license statement, which I have the right to enforce. The retailers or manufacturer don’t always get my permission before copying my review and putting it up on their site all while stripping out the links I had in there to other posts on my site.

Has this happened to you? Did you mind? If you found out that a company did this, would it change your mind about snagging that “free” sex toy from them?