Feb 012012

A number of the 100-some original members are long gone and in their place are newer bloggers who don’t know about the thing that was once the Sex Blogger Co-Op on Ning.com. For a refresher or those who don’t know what it’s all about, read these few posts: Blogger Education? talks a bit about the demise andProjects Abound introduces the Co-Op and talks about what it was.

When the Co-Op moved it was because Ning announced it would no longer host their long-time free networks. They were also closing down “adult” communities without warning and that spooked a few people, despite the fact that our group was private, invite-only and not pornographic. The move to a more text-based forum set-up hosted on the e[lust] site spelled disaster as nobody wanted to to go there anymore. It wasn’t easy or pretty. Without any participation from other members, I closed it down.

I still think there is a need for it, for a private place for just the bloggers to go where we can say “Hey, did you get an email from CompanyX? Is this shit for real?” or stuff like that. For those who were not a part of it, some things we discussed were:

  • Tutorials on how to do certain things on your blog, like design elements, a clickable header, embedding video
  • Discussions on affiliate programs
  • Opinions on the latest company/group to hit us up for reviews/exposure
  • Discussion on advertisers, like what they were proposing, who was telling them to go to hell, etc
  • Blogging prompts

There were debates, arguments, but overall a lot of help being offered and confused questions answered. I’d like to think that it was just as helpful to newer bloggers as it was the veterans. While I don’t expect every sex-type blogger to join I would hope that both veteran and new bloggers would join in, and be active. How active? Whatever you manage….to a point. Since there would be a member cap (150 people) I would have to occasionally weed out those who hadn’t participated in any way for X number of months. It’s not free, of course. The cheap plan (similar to the ToySwap Network, if you’re a member there) allows for forums (including the ability to subscribe to threads or boards to get email updates on new posts) and 150 members. Things that we once had that we would no longer have: The ability for anybody but me to invite people in to the network; chat room; ability to customize the layout. We would lose the few topics that were started or continued once the network moved off of Ning but I don’t think that it’s really a big deal. All the old discussions remain as do your memberships if you were once part of it.

For those who were once a part of it: Would you re-join? It would still be private and invite-only as I feel that it’s the only way we can truly speak our minds on some things. For those who are newer, would you join?

And no, it’s not free. As I said there would be a small price ($3 for me) but the next plan up is a whopping $25 a month and although it will give us many of the features we enjoyed with the free Ning, like chat rooms and customization and no member cap I don’t think that I could get enough people to chip in to come up with a steady $25 a month. I would not require that every blogger contribute something monetarily in order to join but I would greatly appreciate it. I would only ask for a couple dollars per person able to contribute, as it will only cost me $36 a year. And since it’s a month-to-month payment plan if for some reason the whole thing takes off like it never did before and there is a need and willingness to warrant the $25 a month plan, we can upgrade. I don’t see that happening but it’s a door I’m not closing.

If I don’t get much feedback here or much positive feedback then I will allow Ning to delete the network and the contents. I have until February 10th to decide.

Jan 312012

Continuing the interviews after Elizabeth Red in Part 2 and answering these questions myself in Part 1  

Epiphora is a sex toy reviewer first and foremost. She does what she loves, what she does best, and she has a big following. She’s been controversial at times and never shuts her mouth for anybody or anything – and usually she uses her powers for good. But oh when she hates something, and she really fucking hates it, we love to read it! Epiphora is one of the few fellow toy reviewers who joins me in the “Proud to Post Negative Reviews” camp of those who will be as harsh as we feel is necessary (and boy howdy sometimes it’s really fuckin necessary). Her virtual toy box rivals most and especially trumps mine. Epiphora is the second in a short series of long-time reviewers that I’ve asked to answer 4 easy (or are they?) questions about sex toys and reviewing.

1. How many toys, roughly, have you reviewed or acquired in other ways since you started reviewing?

Over 300. Props to my ridiculously-detailed sex toy spreadsheet1 for making that number easy to ascertain! That includes porn DVDs and other not-exactly-toys, but still.

2. How many of them actually saw a lot of use past the review session?

Well, the key word here is “a lot.” I did a quick bit of math with a list of dildos I’ve reviewed; I marked the ones I used a lot post-review, and it came out to 27%. It’s easier to be judgmental about vibrators (if it’s not strong enough, fuck it); whereas if a dildo doesn’t cause pain and isn’t insanely boring, I’ll probably use it again at some point. Some toys are a lost cause, and I bury them in boxes or give them away quickly. But most I keep around, thinking one day I’ll want to try them again. I’m only sometimes right about that.

3. What toys have been your top favorites over all the time you’ve been reviewing?

My favorite vibrators are the Eroscillator, Wahl, and Vibratex Mystic Wand. My top dildos are the njoy Pure Wand, NobEssence Seduction, Jollies Jack, Ophoria Beyond 3, and practically anything made of VixSkin (but Maverick and Randy probably take the cake). My favorite butt plug remains the glorious NobEssence Romp, followed by the Fun Factory Bootie. My boyfriend is a die-hard Fleshlight fan. I’ve found no vag balls that hold a candle to the LELO Luna Beads. I’m not a lube connoisseur by any means, but I love Sliquid. Also, the Liberator Fascinator Throe and Liberator Wedge make sex and masturbation worth having.
Time will tell, but recent acquisitions such as the Leaf Life, Tantus Cush, and Crystal Delights Crystal Twist have a shot at becoming all-time favorites.

4. What has been the most important thing or two you’ve learned since becoming a reviewer that you didn’t know as a consumer?

I didn’t know anything as a consumer. I think I owned a grand total of two vibrators before I began reviewing, so I learned as I went along. But what first comes to mind is the two-sided coin that quality sex toys are worth spending money on, but a high price tag doesn’t mean it’ll be awesome either. This is where (honest) reviews are so vital. Only very high praise2 can convince a person to drop $100 on a sex toy, but certain toys, like the Pure Wand, are truly worth it. On the other hand, the Jimmyjane Little Chroma may look fancy, but it’s a total rip-off. You have to figure out how to navigate the minefield that is sex toy reviews. I still see reviewers gushing about that aluminum piece of crap. It has ONE SPEED, you guys.
I’ve also learned that my initial assumptions about sex toys were wrong. It’s embarrassing, but I used to think that everything needed to vibrate in order to be worthwhile, and I was just as terrified of wooden toys as any other n00b. It’s hard to know what you like until you actually experiment. Now I know that dildos are the shit, different materials are fun for different reasons, and that internal vibrations are not really my thing. Oh yeah, and I found my G-spot. That changed pretty much everything.
Thanks, Piph! I agree about the conundrum with pricey toys – some are worth it, cheap toys are rarely worth it, but too many luxury toys are riding the coattails of the couple really good items out there.
  1. Spreadsheet? Wow. I can’t even recall if I still OWN a sex toy in some cases, that’s how disorganized I am!!
  2. I’d also add “hope”. High praise and hope and possibly the attraction to shiny/pretty/insert-color-here things that look so very different that you hope and pray they’re actually breaking the mold and it’ll work for you
 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Jan 162012

Now I turn the tables on other reviews, after answering these questions myself in Part 1!

Elizabeth Red has been reviewing sex toys for quite a few years now at her blog, The Red Sneaker Diaries. I would say that she’s a good combination of a little bit forgiving and objective mixed with honest1 and intellectual in her reviews. You can view most of her reviews on her blog here at her toy box page. I also love her Lube Lab pages where she breaks down the different types of lube in all their scientific hotness. Elizabeth is the first in a short series of long-time reviewers that I’ve asked to answer 4 easy (or are they?) questions about sex toys and reviewing.

1. How many toys, roughly, have you reviewed or acquired in other ways since you started reviewing?

Answer: 300 review products + at least 100 items via swaps and purchasing

2. How many of them actually saw a lot of use past the review session?

Answer: I will give you two answers.  

A:  Lots saw use after initial trial session.  Probably 75% of them.  Now a days I probably pick things up for fun use only about 30% of the time but early on I used almost everything a handful of times before letting it get dusty.  This excludes books, which I just never reread.  

B:  I have been actively trimming my collection for a while now, I think I’ve probably kept about a hundred things2, so that’s how many I would say saw real active use that lasted over time.  Still, many of those see little use but fill niches that I get a hankering for every once in a while.  Honestly, I feel like I could choose just a few dozen of my real favorites and be happy with them.

3. What toys have been your top favorites over all the time you’ve been reviewing?

Answer: Hitachi Magic Wand, The Wahl, Eroscillator, We Vibe Touch, Lelo Siri, Saryoa and Gigi, Nobessence Linger and Fling, my Hans Hardwood dildo, Vixskin Maverick, Jollies Jollet, Njoy Pure Plugs, Aneros Peridise, my TENS unit, Bongers3, Venerous Shaving Trio,  LeatherThorn Rose Blush Paddle, my custom Leatherbeaten Flogger.

4. What has been the most important thing or two you’ve learned since becoming a reviewer that you didn’t know as a consumer?

Answer: This is harsh, but what I now know is that as a consumer I’d be totally fucked.  Obviously I enjoy luxury toys but many of the luxury toys I’ve had that I was soooooo stoked about getting have been total duds4, and many on my list of favorites I was not expecting to love as much as I do.  Maybe that’s more an issue with having tried so many things, however.  I guess what I do now know is that one should never pay full retail price on anything – it *will* go on sale.

Thank you, Red! I would very much agree with the last answer. I think I spent around $300 or $400 in my time purchasing sex toys the few years prior to reviewing them and I don’t use a single one anymore. My most expensive splurges were SO not worth the money; the Doc Johnson rabbit was great and amazing for a couple of runs and then it quickly turned on me. That soured me on spending over $75 on a single item. I also bought the Feeldoe before it was bought up by Tantus; it was just as expensive back then (probably more so since it was being made by a smaller company?) and I ended up not able to ever use it for the intended purpose. It sat around mostly unused for quite some time. Occasionally I’d use it as a dildo on myself but I eventually put it up on Toyswap.

  1. I respect anybody who can disagree on that dumb Better Than Chocolate vibrator: “no. No this vibrator is not better than chocolate. I’m not such a super duper fan of chocolate but, just, no. What this vibrator is better than, aside from a kick in the face, is a lot of other vibrators.”
  2. I know how many things she’s sent away to better homes from her ToySwap list so to hear she still has about 100 things left is mind blowing!
  3. This bizarre-o looking set of what appeared to be large drum mallets that Babeland had, you’ll find the review listed on her Toy Box page
  4. Ugh, yes, I so agree

Interview with a Sex Toy Reviewer: Part 1

 Ask Lilly, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Interview with a Sex Toy Reviewer: Part 1
Jan 102012

This past week I’ve been rounding up my sex toys and reorganizing everything so that when I reach for something in my hutch, 6 sex toys don’t come crashing down on the desk top. And so that I know where my favorites are. I noticed later as I tended to my virtual toybox that whoa….I’ve owned/reviewed over 115 sex toys since I started this blog. Not all of these have been reviewed at all or published here; a number are waiting for my review. Some purchases I think I’ve even forgotten about and aren’t on the list. My count isn’t including books or massage oils/lubes; I don’t review porn or condoms or lingerie, and I’ve taken several “Every sex toy sucks or I’m jaded” breaks from reviewing.

I’ve learned a lot since I started reviewing sex toys. That’s a very obvious statement, though, because I’d really only discovered sex toys a few years prior. My old collection was kinda sad. Before I started my first reviews I wrote about the sex toys I did own and what was tossed prior to the photo being snapped. I wish I’d taken a pic of everything first, then pitched, because I read the post and I’m not sure what dildo I was referring to. I also read that post and cringe at what a NOOB I was. Ah well. We all are at some point. But when I look back at the first post I did after I’d been reviewing for a little while, while I still didn’t have the experience under my belt that I do now, I can see that many things changed as newer, better sex toys arrived on my doorstep but one constant has remained: my undying love for the Njoy Pure Wand.

The most important things I’ve learned since being a reviewer:

1. Luxury sex toys, more often than not, are not worth their price tag if you don’t orgasm fairly easy. (note: this is no longer true!)

2. Silicone = Good!

3. Phthalates = Bad! Jelly = Bad!

4. Before you buy, research and read. It helps if you can get a sense of what other things the reviewer has liked & disliked to see if their opinions will be useful to you. It’s like trying to judge for yourself if that Italian restaurant would be a good place to go if the only review is from someone who hates Italian food.

5. Yes, the g-spot IS all it’s cracked up to be if you have the right tools.

My favorites used to include the Hitachi Magic Wand, and old Silver Bullet and a few others that have been retired. I quite honestly have only brought out the Hitachi 6 times in the last year and that was merely to use it as a comparison point for other reviews. I have a page up where I keep a running list of my favorite sex toys but even now I can see that the update as of 4 months ago could use another update. Current favorites include: Mystic Wand, Pure Wand of course, Black Magic bullet, e-sensual usb bullet, the Wahl original for when my body is being stubborn, Nobessence Seduction, Evolved Sweet Embrace, Vanity VR6 and the Tantus O2 Cush.

A question I’ve asked of other reviewers is “How many of the many sex toys saw much use past the review phase?” and for me that’s a difficult number to tally up. On my virtual toybox page each item is listed in the order it was reviewed, broken down by category. I look at the vibrator section, the largest, and only 8-10 of those are used these days. A few of the rechargeables might get used more often if I didn’t keep losing the chargers and finding a dead vibrator in my drawer. The first 20 things listed, I only own 5 of now  – the rest were tossed or swapped – and I’ve kept them purely for comparison reasons. However in the first 6-8 months of reviewing I’d say that most items, unless I outright hated them, were used after the review period quite a bit. Of course that was all I *had* so there’s that.

Stay tuned for short interviews with other sex toy review bloggers who will answer these same questions!

Sex Toys on Sale!

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Sex Toys on Sale!
Nov 302011

EdenFantasys is having more sales, this is a great time to get those toys you’ve been eyeing up. There are some really decent toys in the 30% off section, and a lot of rabbit styles too:

Looking for the luxury items? Tantus, Lelo, Nexus, Bswish and more are 25% off:

Still didn’t see what you want? Well this code is good on everything, sitewide!

 Posted by at 9:28 am
Sep 202011

Showing the "I" and "M" JimmyJane Contour Massage Stones  Showing the JimmyJane Contour Massage Stone "Q" with the "M"
Images courtesy of notcot.com, the M & I, and Q (my set will include only one M, one I, the Q set, but no candle or anything)

Let’s have a little break in the gloom around here, shall we?

A long while ago I purchased the one and only (one if you count it as a set) Jimmyjane product that I’d likely ever purchase1 – their Contour ceramic massage pieces. I opened the boxes, shuffled them around in my hands and smeared soy wax on them but they were too much for my sensitive muscles to tolerate at the hands of a husband who knows nothing about giving massage (not his fault!) and have sat, unused, for over a year now. Time to get them in the hands of someone who can use them!

Wow, I’m not starting off this giveaway on an upbeat These Are Awesome!! note, am I? A lot of other people have given these pieces glowing reviews; they certainly are versatile. They can be warmed up for something like a hot stone massage and can help relieve the strain on your fingers and thumbs from trying to give a good, deep back massage. They’re made from a body-safe non-porous material that’s easy to clean, too. You’ll get these still in their JJ boxes. Since I’m the one sending these, sorry but it’s only open to US residents.

From what I understand, the Jimmyjane Contour Q stones are no longer for sale either so hey! Rare item!

The entries are being taken in using Rafflecopter, not comments! Just follow the directions for all the various ways you can get some entries. **NOTE: It’s pretty simple to use, and as you’ll see in other entries not much shows up here – only I see the details. So when I specifically tell you to put in extra info for an entry, like your username or whatever, not doing so could make your entry invalid. If I can’t verify your entry…..it won’t count. Simple as that.

Sorry, this contest has ended!

  1. Every high end vibrator has too many mixed reviews and is more money than I care to spend on something that most likely will leave me going “meh”
 Posted by at 6:40 pm