Jan 142016
 

Sex toy copycats

This is a think-piece that has been brewing for awhile, and it’s been sitting here brewing because I don’t really have answers. I’m just going to say right here and now that I’d like your opinions — reviewers, consumers, and store owners — on this matter.

There are three types of sex toy copycats in the sex toy world – one is a given and one feels like really shitty business practices – and the third? Flat-out counterfeiting which we see online in places like Amazon and Ebay and in shadier stores in large cities like we learned exist in NYC thanks to attending SHE NYC. The given: lower-cost sex toys that are merely “branded” and redesigned for various companies. Sometimes even different lines within the same brand. Some examples: Lovehoney’s “Cupid Smoothie” and then the line branded Annabelle Knight Oooooh! (the second of which is more expensive). Doc Johnson’s Black Magic bullet is the same as the Harmony bullet; Black Magic has a matte-finish PU coat and Harmony is shiny and slick, but Harmony has always been a little pricier.  Even seeing the same thing across different brands like basic vibrators – bullets, that curved egg-on-a-stick design, etc.

But then there are patent wars and companies directly copying other companies designs which is NOT a matter of the manufacturing plant’s “book of blank sex toys” that companies come put their name on. Examples here are the We-Vibe vs Lelo Tiani (which is more concept than design rip-off), the Split Dildo vs Funtoys G-Vibe, the Fun Factory Big Boss vs Funtoys GJack, and various Blush Novelties or Pleasureworks vs Tantus product. Or the Fairy Wands and BodyWand brand – they are very much identical but one is made very cheaply (Bodywand). Fun Factory, publicly, didn’t seem to care much that Funtoys totally ripped off their design, but I think they’re a big enough company that it doesn’t bother them. Smaller companies care. You know who else cares? The fans of the smaller companies.

Blush Novelties – Twitter Wars and Quiet Design Copies

The most recent design rip-off, done by Blush vs Tantus, caught the ire of bloggers on Twitter. Blush decided to fire back publicly – insulting and being nasty not just to Tantus and Metis, but to bloggers who defended Tantus. DUMB MOVE, BLUSH. I saved their tweets in case the social media manager gets fired in the morning.

BlushTantus BlushTantus2 BlushTwitter1BlushTwitter2BlushTwitter3

So yes, the tweets quickly disappeared. In DM’s to others, it is claimed that this person was a very new hire and has been fired. I personally call bullshit on this because what new hire would know all of this information OR be dumb/ballsy enough to behave in such a way? It would clearly be job suicide. I don’t actually believe for a moment that this was a new hire.  Bloggers are being told1 that we’re (bloggers and certain manufacturers alike2) spreading misinformation about their materials, insinuating that they’re safer than we think. The deleted tweet to Bex included in the screenshot shows that she talks about “gross porous materials” NOT saying it’s toxic, while the Blush person tries to roundabout claim they’re using non-porous TPE….um, no. Fuck you. But, this goes beyond the tweet claiming that some medical supply companies use TPR (which yes, there is a medically-safe TPE/TPR material but it’s expensive and I refuse to believe for a moment that a company making super-cheap TPE sex toys is using a medical-grade non-porous TPR). Really? We’re “manipulating the public”? Yes. That’s my goal here. Sure. Come ON Blush! Seriously? Seriously. Blush is also stating that “Tantus started it” with the design rip-offs, but no one but Blush seems to know what this is about. Really adult way to behave, Blush.

Yes, Blush, you do have plenty of silicone products, but you state ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE that you use materials like PVC and TPE/TPR that are porous. This is my big complaint, porosity. I will recommend porous TPR only when there’s literally no other option and with plenty of warnings and education – which is more than you do. No one is saying TPR is toxic but porosity fucking matters.  I would like to see a giant fucking apology from Blush on their bullshit statements, their treatment of people during that now-deleted Twitter exchange, and for them to remove their head from their ass. I will pepper my site with caveats about Blush as a company during the few times I recommend their silicone products; I will recommend other brands above theirs, even if they have the same product for cheaper. Ethics matters, Blush.

Update: Blush Novelties not only unfollowed but blocked nearly all bloggers on Twitter by Sunday afternoon.  Very adult.

Split Dildo vs Funtoys – Patent War Turned Blogger Harassment

The Split Dildo creator; he’s been fun. He cared so much about his design being copied that he started harassing bloggers who had reviewed the G-Vibe. He would email them and try commenting on their reviews with (empty) legal threats, telling the bloggers they had to remove their review of the G-Vibe because it was a patent violation. Whether or not this is true isn’t my concern and isn’t the concern of the bloggers; we are legally on the hook for our review from the companies who provided the toy to review, even if that company is Funtoys – we HAVE to keep those reviews up because we entered into an agreement. If the Split Dildo guy has an actual case then he should be talking to Funtoys, not us. After all, Standard Innovations didn’t come harass bloggers who had reviewed the Lelo Tiani; not even after it was banned for sale in the US for a few years.

If there is a valid patent that Funtoys has violated then I empathize with the Split Dildo dude but it still gives him zero right to harass the bloggers and threaten us. He not only has zero understanding of how this all works, but seems to not even understand what we say to him. A year later after I told him that he legally has no right to harass us and ask us to do anything with our review, he’s still at it and even telling some bloggers that he’ll go to court to get us to remove our posts. He feels our reviews somehow are discrediting his reputation. So what can happen here? At worst, the Split Dildo guy wins a case and it is decided legally that all reviews and written mentions of the Funtoys G-Vibe be removed. He still cannot be the one to come tell us this, it would have to be Funtoys or the retailers we received the product from. That’s it. He can’t do anything about the rest of our blog and reviews, because it’s not about us it’s about Funtoys.

I’ve reviewed both products and, aside from the Y-split, they are different in every way – size, silicone shore strength, flexibility….one’s a damn dildo, the other is a vibrator. But still. If his patent is valid, if his complaint is valid, then I empathize but if he’s just butthurt that Funtoys made it work and he didn’t? Not cool.

What Can We Do?

So that all said….what can we do as bloggers, and even retailers, when duplicates like this happen?  Do we boycott entire companies in cases like Funtoys, Blush Novelties or Pleasureworks? Or do we simply never recommend/carry the imposter sex toys? Blush Novelties is not a company I respect, but I can’t ignore that they do have some really decent silicone products that are affordable (and NOT rip-off designs) and many people need affordable silicone sex toys. I’m reluctant to boycott the entire company, but will always promote the better brand over them if I can.  At what point do we say “this is a company taking a product that is good and trying to make it better”? In many ways, as much as I truly hate to admit it, Lelo did the “couples’ PIV vibrator” thing better than We-Vibe. I’ve always liked the Tiani better. If the patent on a dual-motor c-shaped vibrator meant to be worn during PIV sex wasn’t a thing, would anybody be bothered much by it? I wasn’t.

I think we need to look at the bigger picture. See how companies react. When a company starts to react like Blush…when you look at their overall line and see so many problematic things…you have a decision to make. Do you hold the entire company accountable for someone who shouldn’t be anywhere near social media, behaving like an ass? I don’t know. I think that WE care as bloggers/retailers…but do consumers?

When faced with a patent war that is smaller that has not seen legal rulings, the answer is clear: We listen only to lawsuit rulings. We can change our reviews to say hey, I’m not sure who is at fault and who ripped off who, but here’s what I’ve been told. Let the customer make up their mind after hearing what we know and what we feel.

  1. There is alot of misinformation in this unregulated industry and marketing and social media titans use their clout to manipulate the public.” The current person in charge still maintains that everything this person spewed on Twitter that was deleted is true but was said in a wrong way.
  2. I felt it was really hypocritical of Tantus to get angry of copying us when they did it first.” They then had a tantrum about all of the people who were deriding Blush for their plethora of porous materials on Twitter, saying that we don’t know “the facts” only what “these manufacturers” tell them. Fuck you, Blush, I’ve done enough goddamn research outside of what one person tells me.
 Posted by at 10:25 pm
Dec 312015
 

The Best Sex Toys of 2015 (and the worst, too) - Featuring the L'amourose Denia and Prism V, Womanizer, Doxy Skittle, Tails and Portholes Nereid Hot Octopuss Pulse Solo, Fun Factory Patchy Paul G5, Doc Johnson Truskyn, We-Vibe Rave. THE BEST SEX TOYS OF 2015

I actually reviewed LESS this year than I thought I did. I blame it on buying a house and moving. I’ll do better in 2016. So I had to be picky about the things on my list and really only pick things I LOVED for the Best Sex Toys of 2015. Bonus this year: Video!1Things I pick up and use again, and again and mourn when they run out of charge. The L’amourose Denia is one of those, despite it being a dual-stimulation vibrator. I usually hate those! But the flex technology that some hate, I actually love. It made the thing so much more comfortable and fit me like a gorgeous, rumbly glove. The L’amourose Prism V is another one for the records. Powerful and rumbly (better than Mona 2 or Uma) and with a perfect head, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the Pure Wand. My g-spot likes the Prism V that much, y’all. Despite my lack of real review yet (does the video pre-review count? It’s gonna have to) the Womanizer is on the list. I agonized over it, but hey….it’s niiiice. With the Pure Wand in tandem it’s even nicer. My husband is all about that Hot Octopuss Pulse Solo, it’s probably like his version of L’amourose – powerful, rumbly and unique. Of course there’s the Doxy Skittle, that baffling little bastard, I like a LOT. Finally, this dildo from Tails and Portholes over at Etsy. Custom made to whatever color combos your heart desires, and it’s a soft silicone, too! Please, check her out. The only tough thing will be making a decision on your colors!

Best Thing That Wasn’t a Sex Toy:  Stealing this idea from JoEllenWoodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit. I wrote a love letter, basically, so just read that if you hadn’t already. It’s hands-down the best sexuality conference I’ve ever been to. Kudos to Ricci Levy, The Board, and the Volunteers for making it so amazing. The little tidbits I am hearing about the 2016 Summit are making me so excited because it’s going to be even better, if that’s possible. Yes, my mention of the Summit in my video reduced me to tears. You didn’t think I was such a sap, did ya?

Honorable Mention: The Fun Factory Patchy Paul G5. I love the vibrations and feel that their G5 line is finally powerful enough for me to rave about. I appreciate the flexible body because not everyone likes a rigid vibrator.

Let’s Keep an Eye on These for Next Year: AKA More Testing Necessary: First up is the We-Vibe Rave. It arrived on my doorstep Wednesday and while I’m super impressed by the power and the weird, assymetrical  design (which works as they say it will) the motor on mine is possessed. It shuts off randomly and then turns back on randomly; it’s done this twice, so it’s not for lack of a good charge. I have a feeling I’m really going to enjoy it but I need a functioning model before I can really lay down any promises. Next up is the Doc Johnson TruSkyn. Really, the whole line, but I have this one. I’m impressed by the dual density for an affordable price and impressed by the mix of realistic + non-realistic and even dual density butt plugs! But since so many are (rightfully so) skeptical about Doc Johnson (we’re not gonna ease up on you, Doc, til you banish that fuckin sil-a-gel shit), I need to test it. And that includes cutting it in half after I’m done using it to report back on the in-use feel. Too many are worried that it’s not truly solid silicone, so we’ll see!

THE WORST SEX TOYS OF 2015

The Jimmyjane Hello Touch X is my least-hated on the list, but it’s still on my shit list. Their unsafe, lack of educational instructions on how to properly use e-stim pissed me off and to boot the vibrations and shocks weren’t even very nice to use. The Dame Eva failed 4 out of 4 vulvas in my trials, and really ended up pissing me off with their claims of a powerful motor and the ability to stay put during sex. The Lovehoney Rockbox Finger is an atrocity that would only make sense as an April Fool’s joke. Fucking shameful waste of resources and other people’s money. Another controversial vibrator on the list is the Lelo Mona Wave. While I think I’ve read more negative reviews than positive,  a few really liked it. I found it boring, useless and overpriced. And finally, the Ooh by Je Joue. The whole collection, really. The Classic and Cock Ring were much worse fails than the mini thing that looked a lot like the Mimi but I hate the line overall because they didn’t try hard enough to make sure that every shape was going to live up to its full potential. The person who thought that the design of the Classic was actually worth selling should be slapped.

The Worst Marketing of 2015: This isn’t something that I mentioned in the video because I feared I would get too emotional and too enraged for words that human ears can hear. The Fifi is a cheap, crappy male masturbator sleeve that some bloggers agreed to review before checking out their social media. Admittedly, it’s not something we’d ever considered before – vetting out a company. But it has to be done. They had fat-shaming tweets, sexist tweets, racist tweets, sex-negative tweets, etc all written by the world’s biggest douchebro. There wasn’t a single meme that was as funny as they thought it was. It was horrifying and shameful. It was HURTFUL. I was in a lot of rage for a lot of days. I didn’t write about it on the blog (just a lot of tweets); but I did get to say a little bit of my piece when the company’s newest rep tried to contact me to review their shit product.

Runners-up in the Worst Marketing of 2015: Fleshlight and their new #nohojo marketing. Because yes, let’s follow Fifi in their technique-shaming approach to get people to buy a Fleshlight. They used to be a decent company so I don’t know what the hell happened. In the world of penetration masturbators and sleeves, Tenga is King Brand. Then there was that fucking “vagina beauty contest” which made me want to throw things because hello, disgusting and sexist and also: NOT A VAGINA.  I love how this article about the winners was all “oh we thought this would be a body-pos thing”! Um…..*cocks head* No.

 

I admit, for the first part of 2015 life was stressful. I spent the first few weeks agonizing if we would find a house in time (so that we wouldn’t have to sign another year of a rental lease) and then we found one and I spent 3 months dealing with the seller/selling agent from HELL. It was one of the most stressful times in our lives thus far. Then we got the house! Then the move. And it was all such a big deal for us, our first house, that I didn’t realize how much of my time it would suck up. It’s not the first time we’ve moved since I’ve started blogging, but this time it derailed me for months. My blog traffic had been extraordinarily high right up until the time we moved and then I had to back off from everything – social media, Reddit, writing, etc. So now I’m working to get back what I lost with the blog, and the crash hit my mental health took – turns out months of endless extreme anxiety followed by a briefly manic happy period then crash slowly into a depression. Who knew. There’s been a lot of mental health work in our house and one of us is working on getting on better meds while the other is just hoping a job change and focusing on her blog will be enough. Ahem.

For 2016 I’m not making resolutions, I’m making plans and wishes.  Blog profits are up, my mood is overall better and I attended the best sexuality conference of my life this year with concrete plans to attend in 2016. No more hoping that the timing is just right; I plan to do everything in my power to attend Woodhull’s conference. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away!

I have so many plans one would think I came up with the list on a manic high from a good mood swing, but no. It’s all been a long time coming. I want to redesign my blog header to incorporate my beautiful SheVibe drawing. I want to create a Library page where I pick and choose certain educational DVDs and books to recommend to you all. I definitely want to write and review more frequently. I plan to do the occasional video more; I’ve been told it makes me seem less angry/less scary and more human. I’m trying to go back to showing more of my humanity and realness here and on social media. The Great Glass Test post is coming along. The Lube Page is also nearly finished. While I still want to test brand new sex toys, I also want to focus on reviewing more affordable sex toys in the hopes I can find some great items under $50, or around it.  And of course all throughout 2016 I’m giving away gift cards to my newsletter subscribers – at least $100 worth of cards every single month ($50 to Crystal Delights, $50 to Shevibe and then usually a third card).

Personally, this year I need to focus on my health; losing weight, getting into a shape that isn’t “round” and taking care of my gallbladder. I tried to avoid it but I am going to have my gallbladder removed sometime in the next few months. It will be a big blow financially (insurance, yes, but a high deductible). We’ll also have a lot on our plate this spring at the house; the landscaping is a nightmare thanks to the terrible things the “flippers” did to the property and we want the place to look nice! I want a garden! I also need to escape the job I have right now and get into something where I don’t have a coworker who is a racist bigoted infuriating nightmare of a person.

What are your plans for 2016?

  1. My second video, and of course it was as stressful as the first one. I apparently, finally, have so much crap on my phone that I ran out of storage space! The first few video attempts had weird lag, and then would cut me off. Finally I saw the brief notification “SD card full”. Well, crap. My final attempt is what you see above, no edits. It’s raw, I’m weird, I cried, I rambled, I made funny faces. *shrugs* That’s just how I am. If I tried to make a perfectly polished professional video then you’d never see one at all! I hope you can accept this video as-is; these won’t happen often, and maybe I’ll get better at them but I’m trying to convey more….emotion, I guess, than what you can get in just words.
 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Dec 072015
 

So it looks like this year we had a LOT of trouble with the newsletter points options1. Seems a lot of people were confused because they *could* choose both options, despite my best efforts to explain it to death. The next giveaway won’t  include bonus points for being a subscriber I guess, just points for joining new. 

BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE YOU HAVE ALL OF NEXT YEAR TO WIN SOMETHING!

Before I announce the winners I need to tell you this. Despite giving away 7 gorgeous Pure Wands and a glorious Eleven, I wanted to do more. Give more. I had so many people enter (which proves to me how awesome Njoy is because this is maybe the best turnout I’ve had) and I wished I could give away even more. So guess what? Haha, yes, I thought up something else crazy and now my email subscribers have a chance to win ONE OF THREE gift cards every month in 20162.

  • Crystal Delights hopped on right away, offering up a $50 gift card every month to one lucky winner.
  • Shevibe is also offering up a $50 gift card every month to one lucky winner3.  Hey, this covers half the Pure Wand!
  • I’ll also have a small indy shop gift card every month, probably $25, from either Early to Bed in Chicago, Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis or Come As You Are in Canada!4

I’ll have restrictions; things like “don’t sign up for my newsletter from more than one email account per person” because that’s just cheating. And the love is going to be spread out amongst my readers, so only one winner per household per company (if you win a Crystal Delights card you might still be eligible for Shevibe, but not another CD card). Every month, email subscribers will have access to a secret page on my site where they can put their hat in the ring for a card. I’ll be using Rafflecopter just to gather the info, make sure you’re 18, etc.  But basically, there’s a whole lot of win for a lot of people.

Some things people requested I review/write about that WILL be happening: A lube guide; lube reviews (basically part of the guide); more info on glass toys; the Flex by Crave; a guide about using a silicone sex toy vaginally and anally; a jar with both shitty materials and silicone; more reviews on affordable, body-safe sex toys; the Tantus Rumble vibe; terrible toys with scathing reviews – don’t worry, I’m certain that will happen; Swan Wand.

Some things people requested I review/write about that sadly, will not be happening: Nipple toys – just not my thing; Bad Dragon toys – not my thing, not real sure about supporting them; butt plugs – we’re not butt plug fans here (but hey it’s a guest review sitch I’m open to discussing). Harnesses – I LOVE my Aslan Minx which I should probably write about, but otherwise I don’t have anyone to USE a harness on and that feels like a pretty important thing. I suppose I could just report on how well it’s made, if it fits me (being fat), etc.

A bunch of you requested that I review the newer Lelo stuff. I’m reluctant to give them the business, frankly, which is also a post I might need to write but I can’t deny that many people love them and want to hear about them. I’ll work on it!

ON TO THE WINNERS!

Winners have 48 hours to respond – if someone doesn’t respond I will draw a replacement winner.  If this is you, check your email and get back to me! I want to get these in the mail ASAP.

Twitter Contest@maybegasoline & @techjeeper

Tumblr Contestboneslikeporcelain, cactus-wren-bd, & Minxymilly

Blog ContestDov & Cathy

Eleven – Sophie Rose

I admit, it was hard. It kinda broke my heart not to be able to fulfill as many winners as I actually wanted to, especially on reading some of the “why I want to win” answers. I wished for 20 more Wands, honestly. I’m a greedy giver! Hopefully though the gift card contest can help out those who didn’t win today.

  1. I also had a number of people not follow the instructions for the comment on the post for Blog Readers contest, so if you commented but didn’t include the 3 things then that’s why your entries were invalid. Gotta read the instructions. folks, I tried to make things simple this year.  If you see that your entries count went away, that’s because I had to make a shocking number of people’s entries invalid because they entered the blog readers only giveaway AND social media giveaways. I made it super clear, and clear that I’d disqualify.
  2. Hey maybe it could be one of four, never know! I’m still waiting to hear back from a few people!
  3. US, Canada, UK and AU only
  4. This one is subject to change, as we’re still hammering out details with some of the shops
 Posted by at 8:40 am
Nov 252015
 

Black Friday in retail land usually means deals on odd brands that no one would normally buy, making you think you’re getting a sweet deal. But in reality, it’s gonna break on you 2 weeks after the warranty is up. Black Friday in the world of sex toy retail though is the time to spend your dough on the items you’ve wished and sighed for. This is perhaps the best chance you’ll get at finding deals on pricey sex toys, if you know where to shop. SheVibe won’t have “door busters” on crappy, porous sex toys, they’ll just put everything on sale and let you pick. Need some help? I have IDEAS.

SheVibe

SHEVIBEBLACKFRIDAY

Shevibe is doing a progressive sale. You don’t have to spend a lot, really, to get their best deal of 20% off. Since SheVibe’s prices are already as low as many manufacturers will let authorized retailers go, you’re getting a pretty sweet ride. You can buy from SheVibe knowing that your package will arrive safely, discreetly and that they won’t ever send you anything else you didn’t order (no porn catalogs in the mail, here!). You can be assured that your order will be backed up by fabulous customer service, too.  BONUS FOR MY READERS: In addition to the fabulous discounts, you can also enter another coupon code and get a $10 gift card good towards your next purchase if you spend $100 or more, or a $5 giftcard if you spend $99 or less (1 card per order). Use code LILLYBB5 if you spend less than $99, or LILLYBB10 if you spend more than $100. And yes, you can get BOTH the giftcard AND the sale pricing, you can use two coupon codes.

So, what should you get? This sale would be the perfect time to splurge on things that are a little over-priced (ahem, Lelo – this sale might take the items back to what they used to be priced at), making the hit to your wallet a little easier. Consider the L’amourose Rosa or Denia because I’ve loved these two vibes a lot. Would 20% off the awfully-named Womanizer that has me so confused make things a little easier? And of course, you can’t forget the Doxy Die Cast and the Doxy Skittle. Not a Doxy person? I don’t love it as much, but this would be a great time to consider the Magic Wand Rechargeable. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the pricey Lelo Hugo, so that might be on your list. And of course the Hot Octopuss Pulse can’t be missed for those penis-havers in your life. If you’re a Tom of Finland fan, this sale plus SheVibe’s pricing makes the Kake Collector’s Cock almost tolerable in pricing.  And it almost goes without saying, if you don’t own it yet, add the Tango in to your order. If you want a gift pack for someone new to sex toys, I recommend the We-Vibe Tango Kit which has a Tango, the insertable (Glow) vaginal sleeve and the baby plug (Dusk).

Sometimes I have to just recommend entire brands, because they’re that good. This is the time of year to consider purchasing a beautiful wood creation from Nobessence, or some artistic glass from Fucking Sculptures. For harnesses and more, my absolute most favorite brand is Aslan Leather because their leather is sooo soft and comfortable. While you might win one from me,  anything by Njoy is a must-have in your collection.

Need a couple small things to round up your order? Don’t forget the lube — Sliquid and Good Clean Love are the best — and consider an anti-bacterial toy storage pouch such as the Sugar Sak.

Tantus

Grab Bag sale is still going on but RIGHT NOW through 3pm PST you can take 40% off ANYTHING. YES ANYTHING.

Crystal Delights

Their much-loved Mini Twist Plugs are $15 off for Black Friday.

SMITTEN KITTEN CYBER MONDAY

I was looking at the Smitten Kitten offerings and noticed they have dildos in brands/styles I don’t see often like Hole Punch; Vamp styles that Shevibe doesn’t carry; Standard Glass dildos (very good quality brand); Acrylic Wands (looks like glass, doesn’t break); they also have some quirky queer stuff. Their prices on most sex toys seem to be slightly higher than Shevibe, so I’d still recommend Shevibe for most things (and the Shevibe sale is still going through today).

SK also has neat lube sample packets where you get a bunch of brands, similar types, and all are truly body-safe (no crappy chemicals).

 

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Nov 202015
 

7WandsWhy 7 Njoy Pure Wands? Because I’m a dork. Because that’s how much I love this sex tool.  It’s no toy; it’s a gorgeous hunk of body-safe polished 316 grade stainless steel that seems to be made of magic as far as my g-spot is concerned1. In my 7 years of reviewing I’ve never loved a dildo as much as I love my Pure Wand and I want many people to experience the (n)joy it brings.

I knew, well I’d hoped, that we would be buying a house this year. I just didn’t know when. So when the house buying and moving occurred in April I had no idea how much it would distance me from blogging and just in general being available on the ‘net. I’d had grand plans to attempt to locate various retailers willing to give me a total of 7 Njoy Pure Wands. It felt daunting because I am very selective in who I work with and I don’t work with 7 retailers. Between the dauntingness of the task and the exhaustion from moving, I didn’t do a giveaway during my blog anniversary.  When I was at Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit I got to see Greg again, the genius behind the best dildo ever, and also met his partner Marla. When I said to Greg “Yeah I’d considered doing a “7 Wands for 7 Years” giveaway this summer but between the house buying and what seemed like an inability to procure 7, it never happened but it would have been cool” he says to me with confusion “Did you email us??”. I said no, with equal confusion, and he said “Well email me! I’ll send you 7!” and on your behalf, readers, I nearly fainted with giddy joy of being able to make 7 people verrrry happy.

And here we are!

OH BUT WAIT, there’s a special unscheduled guest. Marla sweetly tucked in an Njoy Eleven. Since I’ve already had the pleasure of experiencing the Eleven, one of you will get it. I AM SO EXCITED! BE EXCITED WITH ME! Yes, the Eleven comes in a black leather purse which is also awesome.

This is a World Wide contest with FREE SHIPPING!

The utter joy of viewing 7 Pure Wands and 1 Eleven in preparation to shuttle them off into the world to their new homes comes with another responsibility – the cost of shipping. The way I normally do my giveaways is that if the winner is in the US, the shipping is free for them but for those outside the US (or outside countries the giveaway sponsor won’t ship to) I take the item myself and the winner pays shipping. However, the Pure Wand weighs 2 pounds 12 ounces when packaged, while the Eleven weighs 4 pounds. This makes for damn pricey shipping, even just in the US. So after a fabulous idea by Sarah, I called upon other bloggers to help give you the gift of completely free shipping. These bloggers are all chipping in to pay for your shipping. All you have to do is follow them on Twitter if you don’t already. Yes, this is a lot of people to follow but I can promise you, you won’t regret it. We’re a pretty fun & interesting bunch of people. Some of us tweet more, some tweet less, many will have giveaways of their own that you’ll get insider scoops on! I chose these people because they have less than 2,000 followers and they need some extra exposure to the world; plus I think they’re all pretty rad, and their blogs are great. All bloggers who joined in write honest reviews with no bullshit – I wouldn’t recommend anything less. Please say hello and thank you to: Artemesia Femmecock; Apricot Creams; Bex Talks Sex; Blissfully Orgasmic; The Big Gay Review; Come Heather; Dizzygirl; Erocentric (Mandy); For Sploosh’s Sake (Lena); Miss Ruby Reviews; Mary Q Contrary; Ninja Sexology (Lunabelle); Perineum Plunders; Purple Elysium (Ely); Pimento Mori.

Tumblr Peeps Only – 3 Njoy Pure Wands

Tumblr has blossomed into a fabulous place for spreading sex education; it’s an amazing way to “preach beyond the choir” as Tumblr bloggers who might not normally reblog a thing about sex toys do it anyways because they want to keep their friends safe. I’ve selected some posts that I think are pretty important for education; to get an entry, simply reblog them. Where this gets a little more interesting is that you’ll get bonus entry points for every person who reblogs it directly from you. If someone reblogs from you and then someone reblogs from them, that third tier down won’t count for you, just the immediate reblog. Make sense? I’ll give out 50 bonus points total (1 for every reblog you get) for this. You may encourage your readers to share the post with their followers, but I ask that you NOT ask them to share because of a contest. They should share if they want to spread the info. They will share if you’ve added some insightful/helpful info/anecdote. But if I see that you’re all “HEY share this so I can win a dildo thx!” I won’t count your entry. If this seems overly complicated to you, contact me and I will try to explain it differently. I’ll either add in the points you receive for this manually to the widget OR just publish the tally when the contest is over, for transparency.

Three of the seven wands will go to Tumblr readers, winners chosen at random so the more entry points the better your chances.

7 Wands for 7 years – Tumblr Edition


Twitter Followers Only – 2 Njoy Pure Wands

This one is simple. Follow all of the lovely other bloggers who are paying for your shipping. As a reward for following all of the wonderful bloggers who are making sure your shipping is FREE, you can unlock the “refer friends” bonus entry, which I don’t think has a cap on the referrals! Referring friends is where you’ll probably get the most entries.

Two of the seven wands will go to Twitter followers, winners chosen at random so the more entry points the better your chances. 

7 wands for 7 years – Twitter Edition


Blog Readers Only – 2 Njoy Pure Wands

I know I have some fans who aren’t on Twitter or Tumblr. You guys get your special section. If you’ve already entered in the Tumblr or Twitter contest, you can’t enter here. You CAN but I’ll know you’re the same person and you’ll be banned all across the board, so don’t try to cheat. Yes, I will know. Please don’t disappoint me by trying.

You must comment on this post to win. Your comment must contain 3 things; leave any out and you’re not eligible. You’re going to comment on this post and tell me which review of mine is your favorite, and why; you’ll also tell me what item(s) you’d most like me to review next OR what guides/material safety questions I should answer via post. Finally, a (brief!) bit on why you want the Pure Wand.  I will keep an eye on the spam filter for comments that don’t show up. If your comment doesn’t get approved within 24 hours of posting it, please contact me.

BONUS ENTRY POINTS: If you already subscribe to my newsletter, please be sure that you’ve signed up for the giveaway under that email address. Those who are subscribers prior to the contest will receive 5 bonus entry points. Don’t try to lie. If you fill out this entry and you weren’t a subscriber PRIOR TO THE CONTEST then I’ll have to disqualify you. 

Two of the seven wands will go to blog readers.

7 Wands for 7 years – Blog Edition


Open to ALL – Njoy Eleven

First, I need you to understand that the Njoy Eleven is heavy (2.75 lbs by itself) and large. The smaller end is 1.75″ but it’s also the best end to hold it from, and the larger end is 2″. This thing feels like a bit MORE than a two-inch-wide silicone dildo just due to the solid steel and the weight. If you have problems with certain dildos catching your pubic bone, this may or may not be the best toy for you (but, neither would the Pure Wand).

This contest is open to everyone, again with the free shipping thanks to those lovely folks above (even if you aren’t entering to win a Pure Wand, give them a follow as a thanks for covering your shipping on the Eleven).  If you entered to win a Pure Wand you can also enter to win an Eleven.

Njoy Eleven

 

For specs on the items, see here for the Pure Wand and here for the Eleven.

Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my notification email when the contest ends. I want to ship these out ASAP so that you might get them in time for the holidays. For International shipments I will put a reasonable (but not the retail value) price value to help mitigate high customs/VAT.

This contest is proudly sponsored by THE AMAZING NJOY – Thank you Greg and Marla for sending me these!!!!

  1. While not everyone adores the Pure Wand I think its success rate has to be better than 85%
 Posted by at 12:04 pm
Oct 072015
 

Author’s Note: This post is continually updated as things happen so please be sure to read to the bottom for the latest updates.

I’ve been accused once of being a bully, and a mean girl, on social media because I dare to stand up for myself and other bloggers. At the risk of facing more accusations like that I’m writing this piece and bringing this situation to light because the further we dug the more it went from “weird” to “predatory”.

In my research on glass sex toys I came across a scare-tactic article from “A Touch of Glass ®“, a UK glass sex toy retailer. Much of their information is correct (the cheap mass-produced China glass items are indeed cheap and can break easily) but they take it a step further, warning folks that shady companies might use “window glass” and insinuating that the glass dildo can shatter to bits while in use. That’s false, and it irks me.  Given that they sell many designs that are commonly found elsewhere in the industry from many companies, I have my doubts – one such design is known best in the reviewing circles as the Bent Graduate from Don Wands. It is replicated by EdenFantasys, SSA Glass, and dozens of no-name glass sellers on Amazon and even Etsy. Every version of that glass dildo that I have tested by polariscope has failed. Yet their company claim leads one to believe that one wouldn’t find a dildo in their shop that doesn’t pass a simple stress test: “To maintain such a venerable high standard, our glass dildo product range specifically excludes the cheap far-eastern imports of dubious origin and questionable quality, flooding the mass market these days.”1

I don’t follow this company on social media but I’ve seen them around and yesterday a photo they posted for #asswednesday, oddly enough, tweaked my Spidey Sense. I did a reverse image search and surely enough….there’s the photo they used but on The Chive, a “bro” site that frequently does round-up posts of selfies from around the ‘net. Then I did a reverse search on the avatar – and found that the unedited version is used on many adult dating sites as a “teaser” image for “some of their members”. This same avatar image is also used for “Jenny Dillar” on Facebook who is listed as the Owner/Partner2 of ‘A Touch of Glass ®‘.  On Twitter recently a new employee was introduced..yet even her headshot is fake. Why even do that? When you read the “About” pages on their website which introduces us to three lovely women (Carol, Jenny and Lauren) is it said that LAUREN is the person controlling the Twitter account….yet Jenny’s picture is used. It’s all very weird and shady, isn’t it? Now it could be that the photos that they are posting on Twitter and Facebook are really this young woman who also submits such photos to Tumblrs which causes them to get picked up and used without credit by these many adult dating sites, porn sites, and The Chive. It could be. I’ll allow that possibility to stand. But it is my opinion that that isn’t the case, that they have plucked these photos from the web and use them as their own. Their tweets and commentary on the posts when they share the photos usually insinuate that they are saying the photo is of them, “Jenny” or “Lauren” or whoever. 

TouchofGlass1 TouchofGlass2 TouchofGlass3
TouchofGlass4 TouchofGlass5jennydillar

Even if these photos are real…this is pretty unprofessional. It feels a bit odd that a retail shop would allow their social media manager or even a company partner to flirt, approach others for photos, and share personal risque photos of themselves on a company account. Of course, this might be something they think they need to do to stand out from the crowd of adult retailers. Since the website claims that Lauren is running the Twitter account they also fill us in on how Lauren is a model3.

No stranger to yoinking photos from the ‘net, ‘A Touch of Glass ®‘ is also using a random image of Jennifer Lopez on their homepage. I’ve got a feeling they’re not paying to use her likeness.

TouchofGlass6 touchofglass8

But the real owner of ‘A Touch of Glass ®‘ isn’t hard to find. When I was asking my fellow bloggers if they were as weirded out as I was, David over at The Big Gay Review did a quick web search to find that ESHOPS (UK) owns ‘A Touch of Glass ®‘ and that the owners of ESHOPS are David Mattocks and Janet Mattocks4. As David (Big Gay Review) puts it the “information is from Companies House – it’s from the UK governments business registry – so that is who owns ESHOPS, which in turn runs A Touch of Glass ®.” and this is public knowledge. Updated Info on this: It seems that they stopped doing business as A Touch of Glass last year, and now just operate as EHOPS, which Jessica pointed out to me last night. Neither place seems to show any employees, but I’m not certain one would have to report that in this manner? I’m not 100% that regular employees are shown on this site. Also note that ATOG was registered to: David Mattocks 44 Rectory Avenue Corfe Mullen Wimborne Dorset, his home address. He probably dissolved this when he ran for Town Council or whatever it’s called.

I haven’t had tests run on their glass pieces yet5 but my suspicions are strong that their glass isn’t what they represent it to be. And them using fake photos and creating what I speculate is a fake persona for social media isn’t criminal or anything more than weird, but things make a quick turn into predatory when I am told by no less than four reviewers that they were privately asked to send over explicit video of them using the product, in exchange for being sent the product for review. Luckily the bloggers who revealed this did NOT send this person their explicit video but I fear that others might, or already have. Here is the account of one blog reviewer who would like to remain anon for now, and I’m sharing this with her permission:

I was messaged via Twitter asking if they could send me products… in exchange for a VIDEO for the ‘VIP section’ on their site. I have no idea what or WHERE this ‘VIP area’ is. I said no and avoided them for a while. I have since reviewed for them (quite recently in fact) with no issues, but I know they are still (over a year on) unsolicitedly asking people for videos in exchange for toys and I just think it’s kind of, well… icky.

TouchofGlassTweet

This “VIP Section” is referenced when you view the “About Lauren” page on their site, they say that Lauren is running it. But it sounds like they have been asking this of reviewers for many months now with no VIP section coming to fruition. I don’t take kindly to my troupe being taken advantage of, and that’s what this seems like. It’s my opinion that the UK glass sex toy retailer ‘A Touch of Glass ®‘ selling at theglassdildoshop.com cannot be trusted by reviewers OR customers. A Touch of Glass ® appears to be misrepresenting the identity of the person running their social media networks, causing people to assume they’re speaking with (or sending photos to) a young woman when it fact it could very well be they’re sending them to an older man. When they use this misrepresentation of identity to make other people feel more comfortable about sending them explicit photos, this feels predatory. This feels wrong. It doesn’t feel like a company I could ever recommend you to trust, and that’s why I’ve decided to write this post. I can’t not tell you what I’ve found, so that you can make up your own mind based on that, versus the smoke and mirrors the company has apparently laid out.

I have not approached the company privately, because we are not connected on social media. If the company would be interested in replying and clearing the air here, they are welcome to do so. If my speculations and opinions are wrong, and there is a more honest situation going on here, I’m very willing to publish their story. I would have gone to them first if it were merely about the fake photos but once I found out that they had asked many reviewers to send explicit video (something I have never had ANY company ask me for) I decided that my speculations and opinions, and the information from other reviewers who may comment here and share, warranted public light. You can make up your own mind if you want to do business with this company, whether you are a reviewer or customer. I wouldn’t, and that’s my opinion. The image just below is a screencap of the account runner offering a mere dildo as payment for an explicit video.

TouchofGlasssolicitation

Readers and bloggers, does this information change your level of trust of this company, or any company that might do this? Have you ever seen these actions elsewhere by another company? Have you had any interaction with this company that strikes you as unprofessional, or troublesome? If you’d be willing to share your story but do not want to do so under your blogging identity feel free to use Disqus anonymously and I will make sure it’s published, and your identity won’t be shared by me.

 

UPDATE: Shortly after this post went live the @eroticglass Twitter account was made private. Those who are Twitter friends with the account say that some of the photos I called out above as being fake are now gone. The Jenny Dillar fake Facebook account is gone, however Jenny lives on still (for now) on Google Plus and Linkedin. The actual website for the shop used to list David Mattocks as the site designer and linked to his personal page, but they removed that as well, you can see the image below though that shows it was there. There is also a screencap of a little interview talking about “Carol” and her “friends Jenny and Lauren” starting A Touch of Glass. The entire story seems to be a fabrication. I wouldn’t expect this company to last much longer, as David seems to sell his businesses all the time. The detail someone else commented about below, matching car photos both about being in Colorado on the same day from David’s personal FB account (the post is public, btw, but I obfuscated details just because I’m wary at this point) and the ToG picture is shown, screencapped before they locked their account down. Speaking of Jenny’s G+ account – I can’t see much, but I can see two other photos that, judging by the filename (Jenny250) and their use on her page seems like they’re claiming it’s Jenny…despite that face looking nothing like her profile picture. A reverse image search found it being used by a Mary Thompson from Michigan on a Moms page; later on someone named “Jenny D” used it on a moms group page when the talk turns to “sex toy testers” re: Lovehoney.

TouchofGlassJennyGTouchofGlassJennyLTouchofGlassfooter TouchofGlassStory

TouchofGlassCar1 TouchofGlassCar2JennyMomsTouofGlassJennyG+

Update 2:

Day 2 after the post went live, there are new “closings” and changes. The Google + page for Jenny Dillar no longer has that fake profile photo.  The Twitter account that was made private in the hours after the post went live is now completely gone. The “About Carol/Jenny/Lauren” pages on theglassdildoshop.com site have been taken down, but we have screenshots. Other websites and Twitter accounts also owned by David Mattocks, like “Amelia of Mayfair” are now gone.  Kara found this page which talks about the businesses that David Mattocks runs; judging by this I wouldn’t be surprised if they close down A Touch of Glass and start a new one up in a few months or a year. Below are more screenshots of things now missing, or just more information as it’s found.

Also, David Mattocks has yanked his personal davidmattocks.com site which was pretty much just a page of pompous bullshit, no major loss. He seems to not understand that 1. The cat is out of the bag and 2. Erasing Twitter accounts, web sites, and pages from websites doesn’t erase them from the Internet Archives, doesn’t negate our screencaps, and doesn’t hide the fact that he runs the business and ran with this predatory deception for so long with A Touch of Glass.

12084232_10153792495319683_958199697_n 12162525_10153792495659683_952013770_o 12116087_10153792489959683_1602188501_o 12116248_10153792495189683_486933670_o
12162337_10153792491134683_670442011_o 12077271_10153792546494683_217176053_ndavidmattocks1davidmattocks2

UPDATE 3: I received an email from a very shaken-up UK woman who wanted to remain anonymous, as she no longer is a sex blogger, but she grew to trust the person running the Twitter account. She was talked into sending them video, and she did. She received video too, claiming to be Jenny, but she never viewed it. She was sent nude photos and sent photos in return, until one day when David Mattocks slipped up pretending to be Lauren: “I swapped some photos over DM again just last month but then a couple of weeks ago she messed up, I then realised I had been sending photos to someone who was lifting photos from sites after a photo was sent to me with a message and then the same photo but cropped and the same message was sent again, they obviously didn’t realise that they could delete the photo and message but I would still see it. I saw the Uncropped photo which was from porn hub of a Caity Minx. I felt thoroughly used, disgusted at myself and like a total idiot now I feel more of one. I spent so long tweeting this account in a normal way that I wasn’t suspicious when things were approached in a business way with a bit more of a fun twist shall we say.”

Another blogger tried to email Lauren and has received back an error message that indicates the email account for Lauren has been deleted.

Becks sent me her Moody Blue glass dildo to run my home polariscope test on. While the upcoming glass test post is a bit of ways off, this much I can tell you now: You do NOT want to see rainbows. Rainbows means not annealed. Not annealed means it was made cheap and fast, and most certainly in a China plant. They tried to claim to one person that the glass dildos they source are hand made in Germany. I think not!!! A Touch of Glass / theglassdildoshop.com specifically has warnings all over their site about cheap China glass, with assertions that THEIR products are not. Are we surprised that they’ve outright lied? Customers, you have overpaid.

ToGwarning ToGwarning2 2015-10-10 09.23.49

Update 4:  Another blogger contacted Jenny, Lauren and Support emails to request their affiliate balance be paid out – emails to Jenny and Lauren bounced, naturally, but the Support email went through. They did not receive any response, but DID receive a payment of the balance of their account. If you are an affiliate of A Touch of Glass and would like to cease your relationship with them, it seems they are honoring requests to pay out and close out accounts – albeit silently. Any attempts at emailing David Mattocks have gone unanswered.

Update 5 / November 8th: It was brought to my attention on Twitter that A Touch of Glass is BACK on Twitter as @PleasureGlass now and is right back to trying to solicit videos this time under the guise of instruction girls to be “information” rather than “pornographic”….but still explicit. Right. ALSO: Within mere hours the Twitter account went from private (but not before blocking all bloggers involved in this post) to deleted.

ATOGblocked ATOGPLeasureGlass1

  1. from their “About” page: http://www.theglassdildoshop.com/about-us/
  2. whereas in the About Jenny section of their website, Jenny is listed as Commercial Manager and Carol is listed as the person who started the company
  3. From their site, the About Lauren page: “Also – if you hadn’t already guessed it – before corporate life, Lauren was a model. Well, she is drop-dead gorgeous. And go take a look at our Twitter page and guess who’s picture that is. The one on the left. Yep! See what we mean now? Mind you, the stunning shot here is nothing short of eye-watering don’t you think? Lauren is currently busy with setting up our VIP Club that will include restricted member-only access to our exclusive Connoisseur Collection of glass dildos – which we’d rather refer to as ‘dilettos’ – plus a portfolio of photographs and videos which we consider to be far too racy for unrestricted public access. More details coming soon, but if you can’t wait, please contact Lauren for an update.”
  4. Who are no strangers to owning businesses, as was found here: http://www.endole.co.uk/company/04080498/sunbelt-solent-limited
  5. This will happen shortly, I have an item on its way and two other reviewers will be testing from afar – this will be listed in my large post about glass testing that will be live sometime later this month
 Posted by at 2:12 pm