Dec 182012

Today, something quite unusual happened.

I received a friend request on Facebook ~which was preceded by an introduction message~.

I imagine some of you are cocking your head like “what’s that?”, right? I have two Facebook accounts, as many of us bloggers do – a “real life” or vanilla account where we use our real names and connect with family members and people from high school we’d like to forget; and then there’s our “blog-version” Facebook accounts where many of us do the majority of our social media networking and sharing albeit under a pseudonym. On my vanilla account, I tend to mostly play those stupid Zynga games because many are perfect ADD-fodder: your activity is limited to 5-minute bits, perfect for my waning attention span. So it’s not 100% uncommon for me to get friend requests from people I do not know simply because we have friends in common – for these goddamn addicting games require that you have many “neighbors” who also play, so we suckers look for other suckers so that we stop harassing our actual friends with requests for help. But I still make it known on my bare public profile that I don’t tolerate silent requests and I’d like a message first. Most comply.

Yesterday, I finally cleared out 25 friend requests on my blog-Facebook. Not a single one of those people sent me a message first. I am treated completely different; the respect is gone out the window. Half of those people shared mutual friends, half I presume are foreign readers of my blog. Since I tend to reveal personal life details sometimes on Twitter and Facebook, I have privacy settings up on both and I don’t accept just any request. I have allowed subscriptions on Facebook, but most people do not subscribe to my public updates first, they just send a blind “friend” request. I accept maybe 1/2 of these because I feel as if I should network and use it to gain readers. Also, because I’m apparently part British and didn’t know it.  In fact…I don’t think I’ve ever received an introduction message along with a friend request on blog-me’s Facebook.

Today, though, I did. And it shocked me (quite clearly, as here I am writing about it). It was a simple message, stating that we have numerous sex-positive friends in common and I seem like his cup of tea. Simple! Non threatening, not at all creepy…just friendly. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH?? SO much more appropriate and polite than “Nice pic Liily! Nice girls!” or asking “where are you from? live in nyc” of an anonymous blogger.

Now, I understand if the profile is of a fellow community member where Twitter discussions have already happened or blog interactions. But even if you’re just someone in the sex industry, just because I’m a sex blogger, does that mean manners are exempt? I’ve had a few adult performers send friend requests and it’s fairly clear that their Facebook profiles are another facet of marketing; the request wasn’t devoid of common friends, but still. We have no interaction anywhere. The request seems more like “networking” than anything else and I don’t need that or want to be bombarded with that in my feed.

I have sent a few Facebook friend requests to fellow bloggers that I already know and have even met in person, only to get a canned response saying that this is their personal Facebook account (and I didn’t stalk them, we had many common friends) and they’d rather I just go “like” their persona page. While I am not a published author or famous educator, I contemplate doing that same thing to people I do not know. But I’d feel way too weird doing it to people I’ve actually met or interacted with, like I think I’m some bigshot or something – good lord I’m so not!!  I’m thinking I’ll just remove the option for people who have no mutual connections to send me a friend request. That will only take care of part of it, though.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Related-ish topic….I’ve read countless posts in the last few years about how commenting is “down” on blogs, too many people are just reading and not interacting thanks to Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or we’re just lazy. Who the hell knows.

I think it’s an important aspect, though, and not at all in an ego-stroking attention-seeking way. Feedback is good, continuing conversations is even better. I’m not talking about comments on photos or erotic pieces, I’m talking about the sort of blogging I’ve moved on to. I’m very guilty of not commenting; I read my stuff via RSS and just move on assuming that the other person could give a shit what I have to say. But I need to stop assuming that. If they don’t care about my opinion then they’ll keep on ignoring me and that’s fine, that’s their choice. But I’m going to make the effort anyways to get back into commenting when I have something valid to add or feel that the post needs a “commendation” of some sort.

I’ve also not interacted much with many people on Twitter for a few months now. I need to get better about that before I bitch about being ignored ;) But also I need to get back into interacting before I make any more decisions on stepping down from anything else.

Sep 052012

When I recently visited my longtime friend, the topic turned of course to sex at one or two points. Clinical, theoretical, opinionated talks. One topic, after numerous drinks by the couple, turned to how much noise my friend makes in bed. Or, rather, doesn’t make.

My bold, outspoken, ballsy, loud-mouthed friend is the exact opposite in the bedroom. That’s not to say she’s “frigid” (I hate that word). She loves sex. Her sex drive is crazy high. She especially loves sucking cock and freely, openly admits this in most cases. It turns her on immensely. Unfortunately, this is the only real thing that her boyfriend knows for sure arouses her. When it comes to sex she literally tightens up. He will see glimpses of her arousal and pleasure bursting at the seams but the moment a sigh escapes her lips she unknowingly clams up.

The discussion about this was basically him openly, and lovingly, telling her what she does/doesn’t do and telling her why he’d like her to be more free. To wake the neighbors. Not just for him, but for her, as well. He reasons that because she’s not at all vocal, be it in voice or body language, to his ministrations, he’s never really sure what or if she is enjoying. After a while, my friend started to take it all the wrong way and assume that he and I were saying that there was something wrong with her and that she wasn’t good enough in bed. He insisted that the sex is phenomenal, he loves it, but he knows that she could enjoy it even more and therefore so could he. That getting her off gets him off. Seeing that he is indeed giving her great pleasure is the best thing for him. I would have to agree with him on that…I absolutely need that feedback, I thrive off of it. I know my husband does, too.

We know why she’s like this. She was married to the first and only guy she ever slept with for a long time. Her and her ex had been together for something like 15 years. Her ex wasn’t much into sex. He never, not even on their wedding day, told her he thought she was beautiful. Sex was always brief, perfunctory and very infrequent. Quiet was encourage. Experimentation was not. So the boyfriend of less than a year has a LOT of “damage” to undo. My friend just feels weird making noise. Or saying anything. And then the circle goes right back.

Another topic in this long conversation came around to how rough each of them likes their sex because somehow my friend and I got to talking about BDSM a little bit. She wanted to know what it all stood for, what the words meant. She liked the sound of both masochist and sadist. Rough sex was discussed between the two of them….a little spanking, a little throwing around, etc. They’re both in great shape and she’s got the most incredible pain tolerance. Yet he’s not quite comfortable with being rough enough to spank her. He’s afraid he’ll hurt her. She’s afraid of hurting him. Despite both of them sitting there telling the other “It won’t hurt that much, don’t worry about me”, they kept insisting the same thing. It was like a huge circle talk of frustration. I’d like to think that some good came out of it all though. I’m hoping it did, since last week she texted me for recommendations on ball gags and wrist restraints. Yay!

So what do you think?

Does making noise mean better sex, if it’s genuine and not re-enacting the scene from When Harry Met Sally? Are there better ways for people like my friend to convey what is working and what isn’t, when they’re not comfortable saying a peep?

Feb 262012

“She was asking for it, dressed like that”

It’s a common “rape apologist” statement. The women who are raped are blamed because they dared to present themselves as a sexual being. I think that sex bloggers get a little bit of this mentality from male readers. I present my sexual thoughts or even sexual photos. Once upon a time on this blog I even asked for HNT suggestions for new sexy photos. I don’t do that anymore for various reasons. In fact I’m not all that provocative or sexual, period, on this blog. That is a topic though for another post.

My irritation1 lies with the readers who “in fun” take what I give and then demand more. In the vein of “it never hurts to ask” they claim they’re being flirtatious or really just paying me a compliment. If I wanted suggestions, I would ask for them. If I wanted to post more (quantity) photos here, then I would. If I wanted to post more revealing photos here, then I would. But the key here is that it’s whatever I want to do. If you don’t like it, if you don’t find it to be “enough”….then please, seek out what you want elsewhere. There are no shortage (thank god) of sexy sex bloggers who are more revealing, more flirtatious, more interactive than I. I’ve been at this 4 years now and perhaps this is a sign to wrap things up but nonetheless I’ll thank you to keep your assumptive asshattery to yourself.

What prompted this mini rant, you ask? Not just yet another guy2 who thinks it’s ok to ask for more (even when it should be plainly obvious that I have never / not for 3 years posted anything like it) but the utter cheek of a fellow blogger, a fellow female sex blogger (I presume, given her response, I haven’t a clue what her site is) who then takes my response to the guy and makes assumptions about HER. I don’t even know this chick. I didn’t make a derogatory comment about others who might post such photos, I didn’t say “ew gross no”. I said nothing but “I don’t do that”.


My response would have been similar if someone had commented and asked “Hey that’s great, but you really should review breakfast cereal more!” to which I’d say “Um, have you read my blog, does it look like I review breakfast cereal??” Would I be slamming those who review breakfast cereal? Fuck no. Nor am I slamming the women who do post porn with their reviews.

I might have happily acquiesced if he’d caught me circa late 2008 and had bothered to correspond with me and develop a rapport. Might have. But other than a few other irritatingly “cute” comments on Facebook, I don’t know this guy. He’s the equivalent to a stranger spying me wearing a low-cut top and asking, with an arrogant grin, for me to just show off the rest of my tits why don’t I. Ms. Buttinsky there is the equivalent to a stranger in proximity saying “hey, I’m a stripper, I take offense to your offense at baring your tits, what’s wrong with that, I do it all the time you bitch!”. Anyways, I’m getting off track here.

The bottom line is that now I not only have to deal with the “ugh, not this shit again” of unwanted and disrespectful demands for more of me, but I can’t even tell someone off on my own goddamned space of the internet without someone not at all involved thinking she has any damn right to assume and be offended at a perceived slight.


Fuck off.

  1. Read: NOT “offense”, just abject irritation
  2. Because I’ve written, and other sex bloggers have written, about men who continually ask for way more than we care to give to a stranger and that point isn’t what I’m hounding on here, in case ya couldn’t read that much into it for yourself
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

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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.

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!

Oct 072011

As I sit here in yesterday’s clothes and a forehead wrinkle that would make most upper class women instinctively reach out to rub it smooth and tell me the wonders of Botox, darling, I’m really happy that I have a job where I can sit here at home and do a little work and then do a little of this or that and put in my time in snippets. It works around my doctor visits and my grocery shopping and my trips to see/help my mother1. Some days it leads me to sex toys and sex toy manufacturers that absolutely disgust me; some days it simply leads me to companies that merely annoy me because of their cheesy crap and half-ass site; other days I’m shown the better side and see that there is good in the sex toy world.

I will start out addressing the small companies, the niche companies who are ultimately good eggs with products ranging from pretty decent to admirable. I write this post not to just let off some steam but with the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe…….just maybe….some of these words will land on the right computer screen and be taken to heart. Maybe one change will happen.

Dear Small Company;

You are trying hard. You are fighting the good fight, perhaps. You are making your items out of body-safe materials and you are not trying to pass off a wolf in sheep’s clothing as an innocent lamb2. But your online presence is really fucking important. Your website is super fucking important. As a customer I want photos and I want details. Lots and lots of details. I want to know the every dimension and exactly how it works. I don’t want some artistic/”French”/mysterious website that is more about the visual than the information. I can see your item or your kit and yet I have no fucking idea what exactly it is? I’m not going to buy it. As a person working for a reseller I want high quality photos of every item and every color and even more details than I’d want as a customer. Why do you make our jobs hard, when all we want to do is sell your product? How can we underlings write up your great products so that Consumer Joe Schmoe who doesn’t know jelly from silicone can see that they’re better and that they should buy your item instead of some dodgy crap from the Walmart-equivalents3 of sex toy manufacturing?

Update your site. Make it easy to browse and easy to read. Sure, go for your artistic merit but don’t let it take over the main goal: Showcasing your worthy sex toy product and telling us why it’s worth twice the money for what looks like the same thing from the Big Guys. Don’t skimp on the information about you and the toy. At all.

Dear Middle-but-good Company;

You’ve managed to become a name. A brand that people trust. You use silicone and I trust you that it’s actually and honestly 100% medical grade silicone. Now I will fully admit to not knowing a damn thing about how your stuff is manufactured and why your dildos cost as much as my monthly cable-slash-phone bill4 so I don’t feel that I can whine about them being so pricey. But it is really hard to sell your product to those people who haven’t learned their lesson yet or just are too cheap to care – all they see is $55/$75 for a sex toy when hey there’s one over there for $19.95! Some of those people will eventually learn; maybe after their doctor explains that the burning redness is from that dildo, or maybe after a storage mishap and their dildo melts.

Dear Luxury Sex Toy Manufacturers;

Despite being a toy snob, I’m not really a fan of you on the whole. Sometimes I am, like with Njoy but then they kinda fall into the small-niche moreso than luxury. But Njoy at least lives up to their price tag. You luxury guys….eh. You’re all about the bells and whistles and the super pretty packaging. A vibrator that you can customize to your preferred shape or rotation is impressive on paper but when I actually go to use it and find that all your promises are as useless as a fake Hallmark card? I’m gonna be harsh and pissed that I spent (or theoretically spent if given it for review) upwards of $100 on your sex toy, thinking that for sure YOU got me and finally…something good.

To you I have two things to say: Let your products speak for themselves – and save the buyers money by cutting back on that fancy ass packaging and the brooch5 and the extras. Second, for fucks sake gimme a better vibrator motor! If the cheap shit companies can use a motor that produces vibrations that go beyond tickling the surface of my skin so can you. The women and men who are buying your toys are not delicate fucking flowers. Put a decent motor in there that produces a vibration to be proud of, dammit, and then the controls for multiple speeds will make everyone happy – from the delicate flowers to the tough cookies. I do not like or support Doc Johnson on the whole (as an example) but unfortunately they make a couple bullet vibrators that are perfect – motor-wise. Zini, Lelo, Je Joue, JimmyJane, Nomi Tang, and others who create different/fun/new/pretty/innovative sex toys: I’d be backing you if your motors weren’t as limp as a wet noodle 9 times out of 10.

Dear Big Boys who’ve been around since the internet was invented and then some;

I’mma go ahead and name names right here – I’ve said this all before, it will come as no shock and I am not shy in voicing my disgust. CalExotics. Pipedreams. You guys make a lot of shitty products, some downright offensive products, and some eh products. I don’t trust you, I don’t like you. But you’re a big company and you’re everywhere. You have the Walmart angle. All of a sudden your previously labeled “jelly” toy is now suddenly body-safe non-porous TPR? Nope. Don’t believe you. Especially when it still fucking stinks to high heaven. Your perpetuation of disgusting gender stereotypes and bad ideas that you sell with copy that would make your own mother blush and you justify it by saying that it’s flying off the shelves so it’s what guys want6 and by golly you gotta give the people what they WANT! Fuck that. Have some fucking integrity. Topco, Doc Johnson – you might have some (minor) redeeming qualities/products but overall you’re crap. You, too, are contributing to the unsafe materials and shoddy mechanics and the bottom line is that you don’t care. You are a politician.

I can’t say anything to the powers that be in your companies. You will never EVER change. All I can hope for is that somehow those of us who know better are able to drown out your voice with the voices of the people who care and who are trying to produce something with integrity rather than make a buck.

Dear Resellers/Retail Stores who are determined to carry every product made;

I get it. You’re in this to make money. You’re one of a million other sites and the competition is stiff. But really, do you have to lower your standards and put flowery copy writing on utter shit and sell the items that might actually cause cancer, or at the very least are a colossal waste of the consumers money? Adam & Eve was the first site I bought a sex toy from. But when those first two sex toys quickly showed their ugly underbelly I lost faith in them as a whole. And I never shopped there again. You can make money AND have integrity. It requires a little more hard work, though. The internet isn’t the land of the quick, easy buck anymore.

I’ve been reviewing sex toys for 3 years. I’ve reviewed more than some people, but far fewer than others (which is probably because after the first year I was reluctant to review something that I just knew I wouldn’t like and it’s hard to review item after item that leaves you jaded and I’m not easy to please – but I’m not impossible either. I just refuse to sugarcoat a half-ass product). I’ve seen a lot. I’ve grown to know that I don’t have to put a positive, happy spin on every review I do even if the product wasn’t my thing or is overpriced. Would it help pad my bank account, as an affiliate? Sure it would. But that isn’t the reason I started reviewing toys and I’m going to be blunt. If that means I am the only person on the web saying that the latest high-tech Lelo toy is a sopping wet disappointment? So fucking be it. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be real and save other people like me the money.

It’s heartbreaking to see the little companies die. Jollies LLC made some great sex toys and they were really innovative without trying too hard (Zini, Je Joue, etc). Their products were at once simple yet unique yet just what we needed at the quality we wanted. But they went the way of the little corner bookstore after a Barnes and Noble moved in two blocks down. And it’s sad.


Jaded but Hopeful (in a cheerful Comic Sans font)


(If you are a “recipient” of one of these letters, for once I will allow companies to comment on a post. I generally don’t because they’re usually just trying to get a free link but if you are genuine in your response then I’ll post it. But don’t be offended if I remove the link to your company’s site and please….use your real name in the comment name field, and not the name of your company)

  1. Despite of course the fact that I can’t/don’t feel comfortable telling her exactly what I am doing and who for because I really don’t want to have that conversation and she’s a very suspicious woman of all things internet
  2. I’m looking at you, CalExotics, publicly proclaiming that ALL of your TPR and PVC and “Cyberskin” and other squiffy hybrids are all free of phthalates and are totally body safe. For trying to say even that all your TPR is non-porous when I’d bet it isn’t because you’re too cheap and only in this to make money
  3. I would consider this to be large companies who produce thousands of various items at low cost, mark them up 300%, don’t care what materials they’re using, mass-produce with shoddy quality control and are around because they were they first and they simply have the most stuff at places like Rt 15 Adult Book Store. Companies like California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Topco, Pipedream, BMS Enterprises, and Nasstoys.
  4. and no, I don’t have Vonage
  5. Yeah I’m talkin to you, Lelo, with that Insignia line that looks really fancy but is actually just plastic and mediocre vibrations
  6. Yes, I’m talking to you, Pipedreams, with your “cum dumpster” copy on overpriced body parts