It seems that my rants lately are being spurred by a deluge of emails from various and sundry companies all looking for a hand-out of some kind. Thing is….I’m not stupid. And I’m not about to be walked all over, either. Let me just get this out of the way right now, in case it’s not been made clear before:
I will NEVER post content that I didn’t write or don’t 100% believe in/support. I am all for supporting causes and sex-positive people and companies and “the little guy” but I will not post shit just because I was asked in a mass email. There’s helping out a worthy cause and then there’s being taken advantage of. If I post here about something you better damn well believe I’ve done my research, that I fully support it, that I’m not spouting off random shit and getting paid for it (either money or “in kind” i.e. a link at some site). I mean you’ve all seen my sex toy reviews – I’m picky (can we use the term “connoisseur” instead? It sounds less negative) but you’d better believe that if I say a sex toy is good I fucking mean it and mean it hard.
So what are some things that have been coming down the pike that I feel go against ethical blogging/respectable blogging/ sex-positive blogging / real-person blogging? All of these are real:
Scenario 1. “Hi,I wrote an Ebook about penis size and vagina size importance in heterosexual intercourses.” He’d like a review. Um, has he READ my site?
Scenario 2. “I’ve visited http://dangerouslilly.com/ today, and really like it. I run a site with similar content, and I was wondering if you would like to trade links with me? You can see my site at “a#dult-c#raft.c#om”. SIMILAR CONTENT??? Dude, for reals, I’m offended. No srsly. The graphics alone make my eyes hurt and it’s all SEOtastic content that god knows who wrote. Once I emailed back about my “no link trades” policy and said that if he truly meant it that he’s already linked to my site because he genuinely likes it, then thank you (guess what? my link is gone, he doesn’t like me, lol)
Scenario 3. A man using a gmail address sends me a generic sales pitch to join his unnamed affiliate programs. It’s a sales pitch, alright. Why so cloaked, dude? But you’ve already read my rant about these types of unknown sites wanting me as an affiliate just so they can get free advertising, right? Right.
Scenario 4. “I’ve recently written a 5-part series titled “Be the Best Lay She’s Ever Had”, and am currently working the hustle to try and scrape up some links and traffic. You know how it is. While your site is mostly female facing, I figured it never hurts to drop a line and ask for a link, worst case scenario is you say no.” I give him half a point for honesty. A fellow blogger replied with her ad rates which he, of course, turned down saying he was making no money off his site – so he’s relying on the kindness of bloggers to read his Cosmo-magazine-esque crap and just give him a shout-out for shits n giggles? He offers nothing in return, not even a link like Scenario 2 guy. This guy is a real taker, not to mention that what he wrote is not anything I’d ever promote or support, it’s somewhat misogynistic and really just feels too much like a site trying to get good rankings so that THEN he can start making money. I don’t see this guy’s site/”articles” as a philanthropic effort to hetero women.
Scenario 5. “My name is [redacted], PR person with [redacted], and work with P#aris I#ntimates, a sex toy blogger and retailer. I’d love to do some cross-promotion with your site. I can write a free articles (redacting the example links) for your blog on almost any topic and also have 10,000 Twitter followers if you are looking for new visitors. I’m all about spreading the love!” Ok so he might have something to offer but in the end….I’ve seen the articles. Some aren’t what I’d call entirely sex-positive; many are the same yawn-worthy drivel that you can find on hundreds of sex-tip sites, and all are littered with SEO links to their sex toy store. Guess what that’s called, folks? Free Advertising. If you are really that hard up for content on your site then put out a call for guest bloggers – real bloggers, fellow sex-blogging-community bloggers. Share the love within our own community, not handing over your dignity and respect for an article that might get you some search engine hits and possibly some traffic from their Twitter account. I would so much rather you take a break or hell even re-post something from your archives than to ever post this kind of shit. It will make me never trust your recommendations and advice.
New! Scenario 6. “I would like more information about advertising on a minimal budget as we are still in the “guerilla marketing” stage of our company.” I can appreciate that it’s difficult and a catch-22 for small companies to advertise when they may not yet be bringing in much profit but really….how do I know that to be true? In this particular case, judging by the product itself it’s probably quite true that they’re not making much but you’re going to ask me to lower the rates that I give to everyone else just to appease you and your tight budget? Honey, everybody has a tight budget. I have a tight budget. Would you go to a stripclub and ask the dancer for a private dance for half-price because you just lost your job? Let’s envision how that would work out for ya.
I’ve also had offers from places who will pay me for a post they write, unlike Scenario 5 guy. Again, I adamantly refused them and told them I never post opinions that are not my own or support ideas/sites/products that I don’t believe in. Will I take advertising money for places that I wouldn’t shop at? Yes. (unless it’s s$ext$oy.com, who couldn’t pay me enough to link to) They’re unobtrusive and I make it clear that they are a site supporter. You all know the places I recommend sincerely because I review for them.
The real you, your real opinions, are so fucking valuable. Please don’t throw out that value.
Seriously now, what would you think of me as a blogger, as a person, if I posted about all that shit? I want to know, I really do. I get a lot of people asking me for advice on sex toys and other things and I don’t take that role lightly. I will NOT recommend something I don’t fully back up. And really….I can’t respect a blogger who would. But that’s just me, that’s just how I feel. Am I being bitchy? Am I being too harsh, too rude, too stingy, too snobby? I stand by Ethical Blogging and Sex-Positive Blogging; I’ve earned the trust of many and I intend to keep it.
Please excuse the less-than-eloquent nature of this post. I’m ranty and I’m in a shit-ton of pain with a fucked-up wrist. I shouldn’t even be typing, given how much it hurts to do so but something sparked me today and this just had to come out.
Also, the weird characters in site names? That’s only because I don’t want to give them any Google Juice or whatever you want to call it :)
ETA: those who comment are wondering who I think I’m going to offend with this post – why, the bloggers who do these things, of course. ;)