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?

Aug 102011

You know how very occasionally someone will surprise you? Yeah. I had that happen recently. A friend who just got separated from a passionless marriage is suddenly behaving like a 23 year old.

Or, rather, how we SHOULD have behaved when WE were 23. Or 21. Good for her. She suddenly opened up like never before we when the talk of sex rolled around I admitted to the very first person from my old life that I have a sex blog. Did I give her the address? Fuck no, LOL. But we discussed her newfound fetishes, her sex drive, what she likes….she kept saying “You’re gonna think we’re freaks” and all I could say was “Trust me honey…..you have no idea how normal you probably are. I’ve either done it, thought about doing it, wanted to do it, or read about it on FetLife”. But it was nice. It really was. She’s never owned a sex toy, and now would like to explore things with her new man. I loved being able to give advice and tell her how I know all this stuff….that I review sex toys. That we could finally TALK about sex toys.

And while she thinks it’s all awesome and wonderful, what I do and what I write about, I’m still reluctant to show her the blog. And it doesn’t make me any more likely to tell other old friends; frankly she’s the most liberal of them all – at least the ones I consider “friends” enough to even talk to anymore. I can remember years ago when I still lived at home and my now-husband and I first opened up our relationship. Her and I were finally reconnecting again a little and I thought about telling her. I wanted to tell her; I wanted to tell SOMEone. But it never came out the day I was planning to tell her and honestly….that’s probably for the best.

As I look back now I can see the subtle changes in her and how that passionless marriage slowly changed her. As I recall the times prior to their marriage I can still see a little of the girl I used to know when we were best friends in high school (just more vibrant). But I can also recall a time when we reconnected shortly before their wedding and I had just discovered the world of sex toys; I remember excitedly telling her about my rabbit vibrator and the odd look and reaction I got from her – that reaction prevented me from telling anyone else or ever broaching that subject with her again. Now I know what was going on at that time and I can understand.

I have to admit something, while we’re on the subject of age and sexuality – I envy these young bloggers, the ones in college. Sure, I had some fun in college but I was still so repressed compared to now. A vibrator? That hadn’t even entered my world as a fledgling though, lol. So yes……oh how I envy these young bloggers who have already experienced and explored more of their sexuality than I had by age 30. But at least I’m getting there now, right? Better late than never?

Aug 012011

Those who follow me on Twitter (and on G+) figured out this morning that I’ve finally been banned from Google+. My profile has been removed. The other Google products that I currently use affiliated with the blog gmail address work (calendar, docs, etc) and that’s as far as I’ve looked. My profile photo was somewhat tame. I originally had my name in there as “Dangerous Lilly” so that others would recognize me better, but I ended up changing it to the name I have gone by on many sites: Lilly Dangeroux.  I did have public links in my profile (where you enter in your sites – be they your sites, your twitter, or just sites you like) to my blog, to elust, and wanton wednesday. I list in my public profile that I’m a sex blogger.

Then I see profiles like this still active on G+ and wonder what I did to catch their attention and get banned first:

Violet Blue has written a lot about this subject, both on her G+ account and elsewhere. Here’s her ZDnet article about Google deleting others.

Another article on ZDnet.com talked about how Google was handling the “fake name” thing and as I re-read it, this bit stands out:

Specifically, Google will give:

users a warning and a chance to correct their name in advance of any suspension. (Of course whenever we review a profile, if we determine that the account is violating other policies like spam or abuse we’ll suspend the account immediately.)
Source: ZDnet Blog

So….I guess it wasn’t my name. Because I’ve received no email, no warning, nothing. It’s got to be the adult content. Which means…a lot of fellow bloggers who are on there are your blogger self, even if you’re using a real name, should prepare for your trip to Googleberia. Links to your sex blog on your profile will do it. Links to your sex blog posts will do it. Of course, If you don’t have links available publicly, only to friends….will Google know? Will you then be safe?

After being in my blog gmail account and still seeing that I’m getting G+ notifications (how annoying!) I try to go over to the settings of it. At first I thought perhaps I’d been reinstated. But no. I finally then saw the official warning. And yet it’s so generic that I don’t know what the issue is, my name or my sexuality blog that I link to.


UPDATE 1: It was my name. After finally seeing the profile suspension notice when I viewed my own profile on G+, I clicked the link to submit it for reconsideration. I checked back on my profile today and see that they finally gave a definitive answer. It’s my name. Again, I can submit it for reconsideration and provide either a photo ID with that name or links to “reputable sites” where I am listed as that name.

UPDATE 2: This time they actually emailed me to tell me again that my name violates their community standards. So no, it doesn’t matter that I can show that I go by that name in multiple places online.

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G+ isn’t the only placed I’ve been removed from. I don’t remember to list my posts on Adult Blog Hub because well, I have to remember to do it. So imagine my surprise when I go there last month to add in a post and then I noticed that it doesn’t show up. Well actually it was because I went the next day to add another post and that’s when I noticed. I saw the posts that were listed and know that mine was added before these ones and after these ones. Not there. My blog wasn’t listed. I hop on over to their “Top List” and…..I’m no longer there, either. I hop over to another of their sites, SexPress and…..you guessed it. I don’t show up there, either. I’m registered. I’ve never received an email from them telling me I was being banned so I’ve still got my requisite links to them in the sidebar. I’ve sent 4 emails now to various ABH email addresses and have not once received a reply (yes I’ve given them enough time, it’s been a month since I first emailed). I thought it was a problem with my account.

Then I tried setting up a new account with ABH. I disabled the old one (removed my blog from the profile) and created anew. I added in a post. At first, it showed up on the ABH home page. Later that day, it was gone.

They are actively blacklisting me from their sites, and won’t even respond to tell me why. I’m upset, I’m confused, I’m angry. What the hell did I do wrong? The fact that they are actively blacklisting me from every one of their sites and will not respond to polite inquiries is surprising and upsetting.

Update: I even tried the personal emails for the owners and still, no response. Fuck em, then.


Jul 292011

A lot of my fellow bloggers are having their content scraped and posted on scandal shack dot com – They’re flat-out stealing; they put your words (or photos!) onto their ugly ass ad-laden website without any links to the blogger who wrote it or anything. The only way that you can tell is when someone uses a WordPress plugin that adds copyright protection words/links to their RSS feed (like AAG does).

It’s being done by scraping the content from your RSS feed – they’re pulling from a lot of sites so it’s not being done by hand (quite obviously, or this lovely post by AAG wouldn’t be showing up as a post on SS.com, hehe). I’m posting this warning for you to go check out the site and make sure your content isn’t being scraped. Mina tangled with them directly to no avail, so there’s info in her post on how to report the copyright violations directly to the site’s host. Hopefully with enough complaints the site will go away altogether.

But that only fixes that exact site. And who knows, the guy might do it again. In fact, it’s not the first or last time we’ll ever see our content illegally scraped. I personally use a plugin for WordPress called “No More Frames” which does something to prevent the scripts the scraper is using from pulling your content. My content is, so far, not on the site. It is either because this plugin does actually work OR my feed isn’t worth scraping :)

I guess we’ll find out soon enough, if this post shows up on his site.

This is a lot worse than what a certain vibrator company once did with copyright violation and sex toy reviews, because at least they acted professionally and took things down from their site. This guy is just using it as content filler to fill up the gaps (albeit small) between the garish ads.


ETA: The host of the site is on Twitter, perhaps we can employ that method after aggrieved parties have formally sent in their copyright violation email? it’s @Hostgator.

ETA2: I asked, “How many reports of copyright violation does it take for you guys to shut down his site altogether?” @HGSupport, who had been responding to the @Hostgator complaints from bloggers, was asking for support ticket numbers. I personally don’t have one, but others have reported it. Their response to “how many”? –  “Just one, which has not been received at this point. Again, if we can get the ticket it will be handled as quickly as possible.” Which makes no sense, because Mina said in her post that HG removed the posts that she reported as scraped. So they DID have one report. Sadie also sent a complaint on Friday. Are they just blowing smoke, or are they slow?