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?

Feb 042013

About 3 or 4 months ago I was looking up something on the We-Vibe website and I noticed that while some of the icon links to the Salsa/Tango still existed, you couldn’t see the Salsa on their page anymore. Just the Tango. I had my suspicions that this meant they were discontinuing my beloved Salsa. I reached out to them first on Twitter for confirmation, and didn’t get a response. After about a week, I tried Facebook, I posted my question on their page. No response. I let it go for another month or so and decided to try asking again. Yet again, both inquiries on Facebook and Twitter were just flat-out ignored. What is the point of having social media accounts if you ignore people?

Last week then I decided to contact them directly, and sent an email via the site.

Hello. I have tried numerous times to reach out to your company on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. All 4 times I’ve been ignored. I see on your site here that you do not show photos of the Salsa anymore, you just talk about the Tango. Since the shape of the Salsa is the one I recommend slightly more (it is versatile in replacing anything that uses an RO-80mm bullet, for example), I am wondering if you have discontinued it and if so, why. The colors are great!! Many users are not feminine and appreciated the gender-neutral color scheme. 

I’m a sex toy reviewer/blogger and  I’m probably one of your loudest supporters of the Salsa & Tango. I recommend them to nearly every person who contacts me for sex toy help; I tell retailers who want to work with me to carry them, and I compare every other clit vibe (and sometimes even internal vibes) to the Salsa & Tango. They’ve quickly become my only vibrator needed and Holy Grail. Suffice to say, I’m quite disheartened that my simple questions about product discontinuance are consistently ignored on social media. I’d like to properly alert my readers to purchase Salsa wherever they see it if my assumptions are correct. Can you please respond and let me know??


Their response was quite….lackluster.

Dear Lilly,

Thank you for contacting We-Vibe Customer Care.

We have consolidated our product line and as such the Salsa is no longer in production, though it is still widely available in many retail stores. The Tango and the Salsa are virtually identical with the only discernible difference being the shape and the colour. The Tango proved more popular than the Salsa, though the decision to stop producing the Salsa was not based on gender preferences but rather on sales.

Best Regards, 
Customer Care

*blinks* No apologies for the lack of response time and again on social media sites, not even a “Thanks for recommending our product, glad you like it” half-hearted attempt at giving a shit. Call me naive but I’m surprised. Hell I’ve had a more personal and heartfelt response from Doc Johnson. I think Tantus is likely a bigger company than We-Vibe but Tantus goes out of their way for superb customer service.

I’ll still continue to recommend the Tango, although it will be with a tiny bit less enthusiasm than the Salsa (even though, yes, they are virtually identical, the only difference being color and tip shape). However I will recommend the Tango only because I love the vibrations, not because I love the company.  I’m so damn sick of “girly” shades of blue, pink and purple – the red, black and white of the Salsa were such a welcome change.  So buy up the Salsa when you see it if you think you prefer the color and/or tip shape. At least on EdenFantasys, you’ll be able to tell if they’re truly out of stock or finally discontinued – I’ve shown examples below, the left is the Salsa out of stock til Feb 4th, the right is a Liberator product that they no longer carry.

salsaoutofstock EFdiscontinued

RIP, Salsa.

On that note, I’d love love love to giveaway a Salsa or two to my readers as a proper send-off for my most-loved vibrator ever. If anyone would be interested in sponsoring such a thing, please contact me

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Update:  Standard Innovations Marketing has contacted me and apologized for the lack of response on social media sites and has said that they will be improving their online presence drastically. I really do hope so; in this age, social media is huge and it’s often the place where many people go to first for customer service.  Unfortunately our collective sadness over this discontinuance can’t stop the ‘wheels of progress’, we can’t save it like a petition for a TV show. SI said: “With regards to the Salsa, we too are sad to see it go, but as our brand evolves we needed to make space in our line up for future products. We also appreciate your feedback with regards to colour. This is something we will seriously consider when developing new products.” So I do hope that they continue to expand into more gender-neutral colors. In regards to the Salsa, I will be sent a whole case to give away as I see fit! I’m still sad that I won’t be able to recommend it to all my lovely readers BUT I’m thrilled that at least a few more people will be able to own one. I just need to figure out how best to go about doing it. I’d really like to see the Salsas end up with people who are like me, who have been searching and searching for a clitoral vibrator that has the power and depth we need. I’ve reviewed or owned over 100 vibrators and the Salsa/Tango wins, hands-down, above everything that I’ve tried.

Update 2-7-13: EdenFantasys has it back in stock finally, and until the 15th you can get it 25% off (use couponcode Hot4YOU). Who knows how long they’ll have it or how many they have/can get. I wouldn’t wait.

Jan 022013

A reader pointed me to this article on Salon.com by an author I know and like, Rachel Kramer Bussel. Said reader thought that the topic was relevant to me and my site. Sure. It is.

But then all thoughts of writing up something about what she wrote went out the goddamn window when I made that tragic, tragic error. You know that error. When you read sex-based articles outside of our blogging bubble and actually read the comments:

A clip from theoatmeal.com
image courtesy of theoatmeal.com from this comic

And then it all went off track. I actually can heavily relate to a lot of the comic that I’ll be borrowing images from, “Some thoughts and musings about making things for the web“. You see, I thought about leaving a comment. And then I found that I have to have an account on salon.com and log in and frankly, I’m too lazy for that shit half the time. So I read the comments, and immediately regretted it.


Really. Really?? You make assumptions about the writer and THIS is what you assume???


Again. They don’t even read, do they….


I think Willie99 is a straight man who likes vibrating buttplugs and is ashamed to admit it for some reason.



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I know. I asked for it. But Mr. Oatmeal was right.


All of this is why I decided a few weeks ago to turn off commenting on a Youtube video I posted. I made up a clip with some introduction text about the rabbit vibrator scenes years ago from Sex and the City. Holy mother of pearl the COMMENTS. The women that I wanted to pet and take under my wing, who said in all honesty something along the lines that they would like one but their husband/boyfriend won’t let them. To which my inner feminist goes “what do you mean ‘LET’ you??? YOU own your body!!! [insert rage here]”. And the men trolling for fights, saying the things that I don’t have to repeat, you already know.  I know that sites like Salon.com think that having open season on the comments like that increases their traffic and shit. Who knows, maybe it does. But it doesn’t mean people aren’t going to talk about it and link to it. However, it now means that (as depicted above) the experience of just reading the article for itself has been tainted, nay, ruined, for the other people who succumb to comment-reading.

The article in question, after all of this? Oh, it was fine. I have no issue with it. The title does come off a bit misleading but I blame Salon for that, not the author. It’s a little hard for me to be completely unbiased though on the contents of the article simply because the author, and her boyfriend, are acquaintances of mine. Although I have to admit that my go-to reaction is still “Seriously? A vibrator is making him feel insecure? *sigh*”. It’s a touchy subject with me. I usually do try very hard to see both sides and I have done my level best to see it from the jealous person’s point of view. After all, I used to feel the same way about my partner watching porn, years ago. But really it boils down to something that needs to be talked about and worked out, and keep this in mind: The problem lays with the person who thinks that the vibrator is a threat. The problem isn’t the person who wants/needs the vibrator. The problem isn’t the vibrator. Are you (the trolls, not you lovely readers of mine) really going to tell me that I AM A BAD PERSON, or that I am addicted to vibrators, or that I ruined my own clitoris because I rarely can climax without a vibrator???? Yes, I’m sure they will say that and truly think it. But when we judge a person for anything, we usually don’t know their path or their story. Learn their story and go beyond the surface, and you’ll find truths that shame you for your judgment. To judge me for my need of a vibrator is to tell me that my body is broken; I spent years almost never having a clitoral orgasm until I found vibrators. Do you really think I’m not worthy of something as base as an orgasm?


Dec 122012

The number of articles written about the insipid and unfortunate trilogy, 50 Shades, is staggering. But at least most of them are better written than the actual books. Just look at the 1/2 star reviews on Amazon to see what I mean if you’ve managed to miss out on that aspect. This article I stumbled across today points out that while the actual sex is indeed a ridiculous fairy tale, the relationship is a tale of caution.

Much of the media attention thus far has focused on the BDSM relationship between the two main characters. What’s missing, though — in the media, probably in our book clubs and certainly in our conversations with our teenage daughters — is a discussion of a serious and dangerous aspect of their relationship.

Let’s be clear: We’re not talking about BDSM. Our concern is that the interaction between the characters outside the bedroom has been ignored.

From the beginning of the series, Christian Grey’s need to control Ana Steele is unmistakable. He gives her a laptop and BlackBerry so she can be instantly available and shows up at her house when she doesn’t respond quickly enough. He flies thousands of miles to her mother’s house, unexpected and uninvited. The examples go on and on. These events are explained away as romantic, as products of Christian’s intensity, his wealth, his need to control, his childhood abuse. But they are not romantic, nor are they justifiable. They are hallmarks of intimate partner violence (IPV).

And it touches on the stalker aspects of Mr. Grey:

Intimate partner stalking includes repeated and unwanted contact or attention that causes the victim to fear her own safety or the safety of others. Over 16 percent of women have experienced stalking during their lifetimes, and two-thirds of those have been stalked by an intimate partner, such as a boyfriend, spouse or girlfriend. Although alarming, these rates likely underestimate the actual prevalence, as most instances of IPV are not reported to the police. The most common form of stalking is repeated and unwanted phone calls or text messages; Christian’s first gifts of a laptop and BlackBerry may not be coincidental.

Millions of women are romanticizing the entire book series, skimming over the IPV and focusing on the unrealistic sex and the “romance”. Women who are in the position of Ana Steele likely do not recognize it at first. Even when they do recognize it, they feel that there is nothing that can be done. After all, what will the cops do about phone and email stalking and harassing? Not much until the perpetrator threatens harm or shows up in person. Yet to live with that kind of stalking is terrifying, sickening and is a life filled with despair.

What’s worse though is reading the comments on this article. There are a few people who are still unable to see Christian’s actions as “stalkerish” and still see it as “romantic”. Too many people are going to think that because “oh he had good reason”. There is never good reason to behave this way.

’50 Shades of Grey’: Expanding the Conversation from Sexy to Safety by Peggy Andover, PhD and Colleen Jacobson

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This great post, written well before the 50 Shades bullshit, is very useful for not just kinksters but anyone who is dating. Remove the BDSM aspects and you still have a creepy, unhealthy person: A Field Guide to Creepy Dom.

The Creepy Dom isn’t just a character in a Dungeon or sex club, he (or she) can be the predator next door, the sweet person you develop an online relationship with, or the guy you meet through the vanilla dating site. Sadly, the ability to recognize and run away isn’t something gained with age. The writer of the post linked does talk about the propensity for young girls in the kink scene to be fooled by “Doms” older than their father but I assure you the ability to be conned and believe the con is not bound by age. It can happen to anyone, be they 18, 34 or 52. I wish I had seen this post years ago and memorized it like a doctrine. 

The anatomy of a Creepy Dom, according to Asher (explanations available in the post, so read it):

1. He comes on too strong, too fast

2. He’s consensually challenged

3. He has “connections” and is “experienced”

4. He “essentializes” dominance and submissions

5. He manipulates your desire to be a good bottom

6. He’s usually doing something wrong

I’d like to add in one of my own:

7. He seeks out submissives who have little to no real life experience, for they are easier to manipulate

Read it. Memorize it. Live it. And be careful out there.

Do you have any to add to the list, after reading Asher’s post?

Sep 102012

Inspired by Stoya’s story over at Jezebel, I’m speaking up along with all the other women. This paragraph, after talking about how men treat her on the street, “They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth.” really spoke to me.

Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.

A few years ago my work experience took me to a place that I’d never been before. No, I don’t mean a new city or a new type of job….I mean fearing my walk home from work.
I grew up in an area that predominantly white, middle-class. My town, regardless of the financial status, was predominantly white. It didn’t matter where I worked, the most distance I had to walk from my car to the door of the building was during Christmas when the parking lot of the retail store was full. I didn’t have much urban experience; the closest large city was an hour away and we only went there for special occasions. But a few years back the job I had moved us to a different city and I worked downtown.
The city was poorly laid out, and only the upper tier of government workers had access to the parking garages – either by way of their income or they were given the parking spot for free because of their high position. So us lowly workers had to park in lots anywhere from 1/3 to a full mile away from our building. The downtown office area was literally surrounded on all sides by the lowest income residents of the entire area. Next to one lot that I parked at for awhile was a small “camp” of homeless people. The poorest people in the city….they’re not the ones who gave me trouble. It was, every single time, the “hood” guys. Black, latino, white, mixed. All loud, thuggy, blowhards. And every single one of them scared the crap out of me thanks to the handful of men who harassed me on the streets as I would walk from my office building to my parking lot.

Somehow the public’s thought is that only pretty women get harassed on the street. Women who expose skin. Who just naturally attract attention. I never would have expected that I would get harassed and hit on, but it happened over and over. I was a fat, moderately attractive white girl dressed in what was usually bland office wear. During the time period that I worked there I was in 2 different buildings and 6 different parking lots. I couldn’t afford to pay for the garage – it cost 3 times as much as the lot. But after one harrowing, scary experience combined with bad winter weather and the darkness that hit just in time for my walk, I called enough and we somehow scraped together the money for a few months of garage parking. When we were starting to not be able to afford it, luck intervened and we were prepping to move away.

I’ve never been good at handling myself when put on the spot. Ever. I don’t have snappy comebacks; when confronted by an angry person I shake and become meek. Fear silences me. So when I was first hit on / harassed during my walk to the car, I didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t yet rude, but I was walking down an alley by myself. He did make me uncomfortable and I didn’t know how to respond. He scared me so I didn’t want to ignore him. I was afraid to walk to my car, I didn’t want him to know which one was mine. I ended up seeing a store that I could duck in to. Other encounters were more or less harmless, but no less uncomfortable. Sometimes I would walk with headphones on and music playing. I thought that this would give me the excuse of music, that I wasn’t ignoring them on purpose and therefore wouldn’t anger them. Apparently unless I donned a gigantic pair of true headphones, this tactic was useless. One day after nearly being hit by a pissy driver, I was passing a trio of white tough guys dressed all gangster-like who said a few obscene things to me but I didn’t make eye contact; I pretended that I didn’t hear them and felt it would be enough as I obviously had a pair of hot pink earbuds in. I guess they didn’t see that because their words then turned nasty and frightening and they started to follow me a little. I kept on going towards my parking lot and continued to pretend as though I didn’t hear. But I was terrified. Unlike the guys that people think are typical of busy NYC streets doing their catcalls, the men I encountered actually expected me to interact with them. When I did not, they turned on me. We’ve all seen on reality-type shows like Dateline or even just the news how people will ignore a crime happening right next to them. Despite being surrounded by cars and people, I did not feel safe.

No one else in my department had to work as late as I did, or if they did they didn’t park anywhere near me so I always walked to my car alone. I was always scared when I would see non-professionally-dressed men walking towards me.

That kind of fear, day to day, is fucking unacceptable. Yet it exists. Everywhere. Every day. To all kinds of people.


This post has been sponsored by Sextoys.co.uk, a great place for all my UK readers to buy vibrators! Check them out

 Posted by at 8:47 pm
Aug 182012

Yesterday, and for the hundredth time, someone on Liberator’s Twitter feed acted like a complete asshole.

Being a seasoned social media watcher, I knew that these offensive and idiotic tweets would eventually disappear so I screen-capped them. And heyyyyy, lookie there….they’re now gone! But thanks to posterity, not forgotten.

Lest we think that the asshattery is limited to whatever dumbass Liberator decided to entrust with the Twitter password this week, it’s also going on at Facebook in spades. SPADES I TELL YOU.

First up, we have this one. I shared it, I commented my disgust in their negative attitude and nothing has happened. Yet.

But then when I shared the following photo from their FB stream with my outraged comments, and then others did the same? Well now suddenly the photo in question is gone. And since it was a share, when Liberator deletes it, it gets deleted from all streams. But this is the photo:

Of course it had many likes, and many “high five bro” type comments. I didn’t see anybody on Liberator’s initial posting saying anything bad about it. Which is kinda my point….do we really need a sex toy retailer perpetuating this kind of sex negative attitude??

Due to their bait-and-swtich-esque treatment of Epiphora and previous acts of douchebaggery on Twitter, I’d already lost interest in them as a company. Now? I’m done. No, really. I will find other sex support position pillow companies to recommend, because I am D-O-N-E. Just like I won’t support Chik-Fil-A because their profits get donated to anti-gay-and-lesbian organizations intent on making the lives of gays and lesbians even more unsafe and even more difficult, I will not support a company who spouts off immature, sex-negative, queer-negative shit like a drunk 18 year old frat boy.

This isn’t the first company to lose my support. RubyGlass21 was probably the first company I’d ever seen behave like a child on Twitter. They first started off by tossing out thinly-veiled digs to Crystal Delights. Then they would, unprompted, start spouting off even more lies and bullshit about Crystal Delights via email to the few bloggers who tread carefully and agreed to review. Slanderous shit. Then they’d apologize for puking their drama-llama bullshit all over Twitter in some text-language that is worse than the average 13-year-old. I couldn’t even fucking understand what they were saying on Twitter. It was embarrassing for them.

They started this shit way back in May.

This was after I’d said to them “Honestly, I don’t even know what you’re trying to say because your tweets make no sense grammatically.”

  June…and they still don’t get it

Later on in June…they’ve still not STFU.

I wondered if perhaps English was a distant second language to this person, but I don’t think it is. I love the response that tweets are not term papers, that I should lighten up. Hey, I’m not asking for  tweets that would pass muster by an English professor. I’m asking for something that is: Professional, Readable, Courteous, Intelligent. Whoever this MJ person is, possesses none of those qualities. And frankly RubyGlass21 could be producing the most awesome glass dildos ever, and because of their behavior on Twitter and in email to other reviewers, I will never, ever recommend them. The height of professionalism and maturity? Crystal Delights, for holding their tongue and not engaging in a pointless Twitter fight with these idiots.


It is that simple. If companies cannot comprehend this, then frankly they deserve whatever backlash they get. It’s common sense. But apparently, neither Liberator or RubyGlass21 have any common sense.