I’m not here to make friends with the industry; I’m here to be an advocate for the consumer.
This means that I’m not shy about my feelings & opinions1 regarding some companies. Use the information on this page to make your own, informed, decision on whether or not you should do business with a company. This page is my Blacklist, but there are also shades of gray. Some on the list are cockroaches, some are fireants, and some are just stinkbugs2. In addition to my own dealings with companies, I’ve culled my opinions based on dealings that other bloggers have had, plus my own readers, and customers who post their experiences on the web. Just by posting this I’m making enemies in the industry, but you know what? If they would just DO BETTER, I wouldn’t have to call em out. I already have a list of manufacturers who create body-safe products (although it’s not a list of which manufacturers I personally dig the most) and within my post of where not to shops (Amazon) I list out my recommendations on where you should shop. If a company name isn’t on the good list or the bad list, there are a few reasons:
- I don’t use their products – check out my Toybox page to see if I’ve ever reviewed something from them.
- They’re not awesome, but they don’t suck. They exist. I know of them, I have reviewed/owned things from them, and that’s about it.
And just like I’m not here to make friends and kiss ass to the industry at large, I’m also not “paid off” to support the places I support. You can easily see my preferred retailers (stalking my Tumblr is also a good indicator of who I love best), you can see how much I love Tantus and a few other brands I talk up a lot. Why? They’re all awesome. They all have unparalleled customer service, and I feel good sending you there. When I no longer feel good sending you there, I cut ties with companies and stop working with them. I am extremely picky on who I’ll partner with and my loyalty is strong to my chosen partners. Yes my links and my recommendations on where to shop may cover fewer stores than other bloggers, but I am simply very picky.
Inspired by Epiphora’s Shit List, I needed a page to send people that talks about my multiple issues with multiple companies, and a place for others to give a heads up when they have problems. Most entries have links to posts I’ve written which greatly details the problems (or posts that others have written). It should go without saying, but clearly needs to be said, that for the full picture on someone on the list, you need to read the posts I’ve linked to in the text. I can’t possibly stress that more.
Brands with Shit Products and Shit Ethics Who Don’t Deserve Your Dollars
Pipedream: Sure, they have thousands of porous sex toys, maybe even some toxic sex toys. They are misogynistic and sexist and racist with their marketing copy and ideas. They aimed to profit over the scandal of Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked nude photos. I read a lot of negative reviews on their products, even the products made from body-safe materials. They make a ton of anal/prostate toys that don’t seem to have an adequate base to prevent the toy from getting lost. They advocate using anal-eaze which is just dangerous stuff (by advocate I mean they are including tubes of it in their otherwise-body safe and affordable butt plug line). If you can find sometime similar from another brand, give your money to anyone but Pipedream. You can read my detailed post – and see links to posts others wrote on the topic – and get the whole story of JLaw’s unauthorized sex doll and the litany of complaints against them by others.
JimmyJane: Owned by the same parent company now who owns Pipedream, Jimmyjane is ridiculous. They cannot ever come up with decent sex toy names; they seem incapable of understanding what “powerful and rumbling vibrations” really are, and they literally have had for sale a giant bouncy house and a jet plane ride. I haven’t tried a single item of theirs that I don’t think could be had from another manufacturer for less or with better vibrations. Plus, they accused me of being paid off to hate them. Slander, always fun times!
Lelo: Once upon a time they were the darling of the industry. They produced well-made (if kinda buzzy and moderate) vibrators which looked classy – unlike 95% of the sex toy market years ago. But with changes in upper management has come a slow decline – first they moved manufacturing plants, and quality declined. Returns allegedly shot up by 300% or more. Then with new lines they started basically using the public and the reviewers as their beta-testers, quickly releasing a decent version 2 within a year or less. Eventually their designs started to decline, too, and turned the corner to ridiculous; over-priced; with useless technology not needed. They increased the wholesale price to retailers, but kept the recommended selling price the same – retailers didn’t want to be priced higher than the Lelo direct site, so they took a giant hit. To add insult to injury Lelo instituted a hefty MSRP price hike turning their high-priced items to ridiculously-high-priced items. Their customer service is often poor when it comes to people trying to activate their warranty, and their products break so much sooner now. You can read my public “I quit you” post which talks about most of this stuff in more detail. Updated to add: With the introduction of their condom, Lelo Hex, and the condom’s spokesperson, Charlie Sheen (a man well known for abusing women) many people who didn’t care before are now furious. They have introduced a condom which, when it breaks, doesn’t look broken. They have printed “Respect” on the condom itself. “Respect what?” you may ask? Well according to them, “respect the man wearing it”. Between their social media responses, both company and personal over the years, and now everything surrounding the Hex, my disgust for them has grown and will urge you not to purchase their products. They don’t care about any of us, or what we think.
NS Novelties: Overall, I’ve never had much opinion on them. They produce mostly cheap crap; they’ve been around many years. They’re branching out into the safer materials, but some of their employees seem a bit misinformed. Another reviewer wrote about one of their TPR products (and nearly all TPR/TPE is porous) and mentioned (while linking to me) that the material, while not toxic, is porous. This reviewer also felt that the product had a lingering, bad odor, and said so. Someone from NS Novelties contacted that reviewer and long story short, demanded that they either remove the statements of fact (porosity + odor) or they would attempt to defame them to the rest of the industry3. This employee also contacted me, since I’m the source of the information, to argue with me about how wrong I am about TPE/TPR. They made claims that their TPR is “medical grade” and “non porous” and “non smelling”4, with links to articles that barely had any relevance and links to product information from suppliers who probably aren’t even supplying product to NS Novelties. In short, the email was full of a bunch of horseshit, unsubstantiated horseshit. She moved on from harassing me, but will probably continue to misinform other bloggers and employees of stores, and so on. Yes, there is a non-porous TPE – it’s not cheap, it’s very very firm and it’s not used very often in the sex toy industry. Until I am given definitive proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that NS Novelties’ cheaper lines of sex toys are made with a “medical grade non-porous TPE”, I will continue to go on the facts as I have found them in my research (that TPR/TPE is generally considered porous, that it is not chemically stable, and can harbor bacteria/mold in the pores – yes medical-grade non-porous TPE definitely exists and is being used in sex toys, but not cheap sex toys)
Shiri Zinn: I’ve only ever tried one Shiri Zinn product; my issue with the brand is really more of an issue with the person (Shiri). She has threatened other bloggers over negative reviews, demanded to have language censored from blogger reviews and tries to dictate how a reviewer even uses her product (for example she was inflamed that one blogger tried to find a silver lining by using the shitty toy on her male partner), has allegedly said slanderous things about some of us bloggers to others in the industry, and purposely “doxxed” one reviewer who hadn’t yet heard about Shiri and innocently approached asking to review product – when the conversation turned south because Shiri became volatile and the reviewer tried to back away from the conversation politely, Shiri forwarded that anonymous blogger’s legal name to others in the industry; without reason, without any clear line of connection – they seemed to be largely people in charge of UK events related to sex toys. Shiri Zinn as a person is someone you should absolutely avoid; Shiri Zinn products are mediocre and even laughable. I mean, really? Glass dildos with Swarovski Crystals glued on to the handle? Oh no, that’s not a cleaning nightmare or anything. Because I’ve publicly said things against Shiri Zinn on Twitter, she’s got me blocked.
FiFi: For ages in the beginning of their existence on social media, the owner of the company apparently gave carte blanch to some douchebro of a social media manager. Fat-shaming memes kicked us off, but it didn’t end there. The company ignored the hundreds of tweets and gave a bland apology many months later. Not to mention, reviews of the item aren’t really positive. It’s a large latex sleeve wrapped in a piece of foam, and you have to keep buying their latex sleeves. They’re trying to monetize something that many people have posted DIY tutorials about online.
Tracy’s Dog: They’re a white-label brand found on sites of ill repute. While positive reviews exist of their silicone products, I’ve found that they outright lie about product material when it’s not silicone. There are plenty of lower-cost sex toy brands that are more reputable. For details, check out this post.
Companies with Shitty Ethics and/or Asshole Owners or Numerous Customer Complaints
Anybody listed here hasn’t made bad products, it’s the people who are bad. I choose not to direct my support their way and you can choose to do the same after reading my words and the posts linked. Some I Blacklist just for being shitty people, while some brands are buyer-beware with many folks having problems buying directly from the brand.
Kiiroo: Makers of sex toys for long-distance pals or interacting with participating cam performers, at first their “teledildonics” items seemed okay. But the more I’ve learned about long-time staff members/owners, their social media team, and their overall values, I’ve decided to completely remove any support for this company. I’ve heard from ex-employees that the folks running the company and employed at the company are misogynistic jerks (putting it mildly), and they haven’t been treating bloggers very well. Bloggers who have agreed to write for their blog have had their articles changed without their consent to read with a gender-binary-bias that wasn’t intended by the author. Their Twitter social media manager made light of non-consensual anal sex and when repeatedly called out on it apologized not for the tasteless “joke”, but that we misconstrued it. They continue to disgust me. Their products are not consistently well-rated and aren’t the only “teledildonic” items on the market. If you care about the inside story and want to support quality companies, don’t support Kiiroo.
Screaming O: Years ago, before I had a Blacklist, Screaming O was on it. They kept trying to insist that their cheapest material, called SEBS, was a”silicone-elastomer blend” despite being told by a silicone expert years ago that it was not. I flame tested it and it failed miserably. But one day a few people and a determined PR agent convinced Screaming O to lab-test that material and then publicly be honest about it. They admitted it wasn’t the silicone they always advertised in a very round-a-bout way – the words were crafted “just so” to take the light off of the fact that they’d be (unintentionally) mis-representing their products for more than 10 years. Because I was assured that the PR agent was Good People and was going to guide this company into the light, I changed my opinion of Screaming O. We know that their products are non-porous, and affordable. This is all good.
But then they threw that really good PR agent under the bus after a disastrous sex toys materials session at Woodhull’s 2017 Summit by putting out a press release (unapproved by her) full of lies. They claimed the session was a resoundind success presented to a “packed hall”, manipulated the fact that board member Metis Black of Tantus had to introduce the panel and made it seem like she gave her stamp of approval, claimed to have sponsored the panel, and finally released an unedited video of the session which contained audience members’ voices – without their consent. They completely violated Woodhull policies and are now banned from Woodhull Summits. I now don’t trust them as a company, especially after reading this email from the COO who clearly does not understand consent and bends the truth to his will. I can’t give them my support and I don’t feel you should, either. If you’re considering a product of theirs then please contact me and I’ll see if we can find you an equally-affordable alternative.
Godemiche: This brand is a small husband-and-wife UK dildo-making team who, admittedly, makes the dildo colors many of us have been longing for at affordable rates. While SheVibe carries only 8 colors you can buy directly from Godemiche and have your pick of something ridiculous like 2000+ color combos (and glitter). Their stuff is under $50! So why aren’t I recommending them? I won’t support a misogynistic, arrogant prick. If the design and color of their dildos is more important than boycotting an asshole for being a very public asshole (repeatedly), that’s your choice and I will support your need for an affordable glitter dick BUT at least make an informed choice on the company you will support. Adam repeatedly fucks up on social media and apologizes – again and again, every time fucking up worse and worse. He’s body-shamed, has pitted US against UK reviewers, has gaslit his detractors and laid blame on them for not accepting his “apologies” graciously enough. The most recent issues are a combination of his attitude and consent regarding the design of the first Godemiche dildo, Adam. He has said to some people in the past that it was not at all based on him, said the opposite to others, and then brags about it being molded after his likeness in an interview with Vice.
You’ll find plenty of bloggers willing to overlook these egregious personality flaws, saying basically “Adam is a twat but he means well and makes pretty dildos”, but a growing number of bloggers, brands and retailers are unwilling to put up with his bullshit. He’s fucked up 4 times and shows no signs of learning from his mistakes – in fact, every mistake is exponentially worse than the last. It would take too much space for me to write about every issue in detail so please read for yourself – details of these mistakes as accounted by Echo and David, and for the other side of the debate, read Girl On The Net’s piece. After reading it all, make your decision.
Bad Dragon: It should be noted that I have had no experience with this company, but I feel compelled to share this very long list of threads about issues with them from customers – also this even longer list. Read it over and use it to guide your decision on doing business with them. Do your own research, ask questions, etc. Tumblr is a great place to start looking. There’s a baddragon sub on Reddit but it’s full of hardcore fans – you won’t likely get much objectivity there.
Frisky Beast: Again, please note I have no experience with this company, but it was pointed out to me that there ARE customer ordering issues, and many can be found here. Read it, research it, make your own decision. This is another situation of “I’m passing on info, you decide if they’re on YOUR Blacklist”. Some folks have reported that prior issues have been improved upon.
Vamp Silicone: They make great products and if you see them for sale at a retailer, purchase. However due to some publicized customer5 and blogger issues I’d think carefully before ordering direct from them. You may have a great experience, or your custom order may run into major problems.
There are a lot of places to shop that I recommend, many places I’m indifferent about but really don’t want you to support these folks. SHOP. ELSEWHERE.
Lovehoney: Yeah, I know. They’re international, they’re huge. They might be your best or only option. My problem with them is that they perpetuate dangerous/incorrect/unsafe sex toy materials and sex toy material myths. Firstly, they use the term “body-safe” way too liberally, applying it to any rubber/elastomer product where the manufacturer claims not to use phthalates. Porous? Able to spread infection? Contains other irritating chemicals? They don’t care, they’ll slap that term on it. Then I see them driving the “silicone toys can’t touch other silicone toys” myth but only on other brands – never their own. This incorrect language is found all over their site and theor forums. When others have tried to go on the forums and educate about toxic and porous toys they’re treated like they are bullies spreading panic, rather than concerned folks discussing the truth. They don’t treat bloggers well, either, which was the first step to me not working with them anymore but now I have decided that I just don’t want to send my readers there at ALL.
Edenfantasys: Problems galore with this dying sex toy retailer that was once the most popular site to buy from and work with. Epiphora has detailed the problems here. They have slowly started discontinuing decent name-brand sex toys in favor of their own white-label cheap pieces of crap. Edited to add: I had kept my affiliate account with them and years-old posts still had links that didn’t seem important enough to clear up and redirect to SheVibe. I made a small amount of money from them monthly, despite never recommending them to anyone anymore and actively discouraging against buying from them for the last 3 years. But as soon as I put them on my Blacklist they deleted my affiliate account and earnings unpaid. I’m now working on removing every single old, dead link to them. If you see any, let me know!
Adam & Eve: I still get reports from people who start receiving catalogs and porn DVD mailers in snail mail from this company. They also have a tendency to sell a lot of porous junk AND withhold information like material, brand name, etc. They still mis-label items as silicone that are not silicone, repeatedly. This applies to their side company as well, AdamMale.
Babeland and GoodVibes: I long ago stopped working with these two companies on a personal level; years ago, after a paricularly toxic CatalystCon where two high-level GV staff members joined in on bullying bloggers who attended the disastrous Betty Dodson closing keynote, a letter was sent to all reviewers asking them to be less negative in their reviews. I could only work with retailers who are on board with me being ME so I quit reviewing for GoodVibes. I quit reviewing for / affiliating with Babeland years ago because their programs were so poorly managed, their prices were higher and their stock limited. But I continued to mildly support them as they were, or used to, women-owned/founded and “feminist” sex shops. But GoodVibes bought out Babeland and both are heavily entwined now. Recently I heard about how the Babeland Seattle store treated an employee – they fired her after she endured racist bullying from another coworker. They fired the POC, not the bullying coworker. While the ethics and staff treatment of that location may not represent the companies on the whole I’ve also seen a prior firing (GV) that was shady, at best, and possibly illegal. They don’t treat their employees well AND there are better places to shop. The ONLY thing at this point that I will recommend purchasing from them is GoodVibe’s Please Cream, because there are only 2 hybrid lubes on the market right now that have decent ingredients. As soon as I can find another source for this product, or a replacement hybrid lube recommendation, I’ll stop endorsing it. This addition to the Blacklist is new (3/3/18) so please bear with me while I remove their links from my site.
Sh! Women’s Store (UK) – This shop repeatedly screws over bloggers; they removed their affiliate program without telling anyone, because they wanted the links to stay. They repeatedly ask for free content for their site. But more importantly they find nothing wrong with spouting false information as fact, based on one person’s opinion. They hate anyone who critisizes them or points out their false information, going so far as to reportedly slander us on their private social media accounts. This isn’t how a business owner or employee should behave. They claim their gendered way of handling clients in their brick and mortar stores is on the decline but still give much pause over how they determine someone’s gender. They talk in circles. They don’t appear to be trans or NB-friendly, in my opinion, but I hope this changes. Their shitty attitude over being called out for an article about coconut oil that spouts lies as facts was the tipping point for me to add them to this list. They don’t care about facts, they will embelish the truth and will not be told otherwise. They’re not to be trusted. Please see this twitter thread for receipts and more information about all of the above.
A Touch of Glass / The Glass Dildo Shop (UK): It’s hard to know what to call this company; unfortunately their names are so generic that it’s hard to google them now, but they sell at www.theglassdildoshop.com. The company claims to only sell hand-made high quality glass dildos but I’ve found that to not always be true; tests showed that one of their items wasn’t annealed, and was made in the same mass-production fashion of your average cheap glass dildo. The company also ran a scam for years where their social media managers (most likely the owner of the company playing a role) were utterly fictitious people, and they used these fictitious accounts to solicit nude photos and explicit private video “reviews”. You can read more about it here, and see the plethora of photo evidence.
Sextoy.com: The owner, who nicknamed himself “Sex Toy Dave”, is shitty person. He is known for not treating employees well, and in general he doesn’t respect people. He certainly doesn’t respect bloggers. I stopped supporting them years ago, sick of how affiliates/reviewers were being treated and really sick of the “we sell everything ever made, in every color” attitude. No curation, they sold everything from every distributor. A lot of other “retailers” exist right now that basically have a “white label” version of Sextoy.com running with their name on the front page. This selling model is all about money, and no fucks are given about quality or education.
Amazon, Ebay, and AliExpress: Lumping them into one here because the issues are similar: Counterfeit products, used products. You can read all about it here.
MEO.de – What happens when a sex toy retailer puts out a line of house-branded Njoy steel knockoffs, sells house-brand silicone lube mispackaged as water-based lube4, and labels a TPR-headed wand vibrator as silicone because they believe silicone is a “concept”? “We mainly use the concept of “silicone” in the German-speaking world. Our customers understand the term “silicone” a plastic, which is soft and moldable.” I get mad. Other bloggers get mad. And I realize that I can’t recommend them to my readers. I don’t have a way to test which grade of stainless steel a company may be using and if it’s truly the most body-safe choice, so when I see something priced much lower than njoy, it is highly suspect in my eyes. They sell a lot of questionable house-brand items, and don’t seem to care about properly labeling something even as silly as vibrator vs dildo – forget the fact that that thing is potentially listed as an anal toy and doesn’t have a flared base. I can’t recommend that my European readers shop here.
Pure Romance (who bought out another one I dislike, Passion Parties): Not so much a retailer, this is a large scheme of home parties. They tend to sell white-label toys with their branding OR they sell other existing brands and change the name; then they crank up the price. They have a lot of issues and I tend to dislike home sex toy parties on the whole; there are very few exceptions. They sell porous sex toys and never talk about the issues with that. Most party reps don’t know the problems with irritating lube ingredients, toxic toys, or porous toys. They loudly mis-educate people. I once got into an “argument” with one rep on Reddit who was insisting that their toy cleaner is absolutely necessary, and better than any other way you could clean your sex toy. When I attempted to educate her, she merely responds with “Um, source?”. Pure Romance is anti-trans, also. When I have the time to write more or find where others have written about it, I’ll flesh this section out more.
VibeReview.com: This is more of an Buyer Beware than “these people suck” warning. The site is still up, yet their inventory is the same as it was in 2010. Yes, in 7 years they have not found a need to update their listed inventory. I did get a response from them on this a few years ago, confirming they are still in business6. I asked because I used to review for them and apparently some very old reviews still had a few links to them. I’ve had two readers come to me having had problems with orders – namely, placing the order and then never hearing anything.
TooTimid: This is more of an Buyer Beware than “these people suck” warning. After hearing numerous blogger complaints, reading bad reviews of their white-label brand appallingly named Pink B.O.B and seeing how much of their stock is porous crap, I knew I would never work with them. I don’t trust them and cannot recommend that you ever shop there. They don’t understand the meaning of body-safe sex toy materials, they have sent out porous materials to bloggers who specifically requested body-safe non-porous versions (like a wand topper, for example).
A Word About Pricing
Here’s something else I’m going to comment on. Price. I get a lot of emails saying “hey have you had experience with this retailer? I found them because their price on this item is really good, but maybe too good to be true” and my answer is always the same: If it seems too good to be true, avoid it. Some manufacturers dictate pricing; it’s called MAP or Minimum Advertised Pricing. We-Vibe, epi24 (Womanizer), Magic Wand (Vibratex), Tenga, Doxy, Lelo and more all have authorized retailers sign a MAP agreement. I can tell you from my experiences that SheVibe tends to sell at MAP whenever possible because they need to be competitive. If you see a shop selling a product for less than SheVibe….I’d question that – sure it could be a sale, and sure it could be legit because not all manufacturers have time to police the thousands of stores that sell their products. I’ve approached the manufacturers after being alerted to stores selling below MAP and every time the answer is the same: No, they’re not an authorized reseller, thanks for letting us know. I have made it policy that I won’t work with a retailer who violates MAP.
- Yes while I have a lot of opinion here, my stated opinions are based on facts I have witnessed personally or read about elsewhere from trustworthy sources. If I find that a source I’m relying on has lied, I’ll amend things here. ↩
- Harmless, yet annoying, and they make a stink if you try to squash them ↩
- What they did was accuse the reviewer of being paid (by who? don’t know) to bash them, said that people would find out they are a liar, and that they “would make sure and get the word out about this unless (they) want to kindly remove the false information about (their) products.” Since the products were supplied by NS Novelties and according to the FTC they’re not allowed to demand changes to opinion/fact based information in an unbiased honest review, this feels very shady and perhaps not legal on their part ↩
- their words, not mine ↩
- Unfortunately the customer who wrote as Monkeytoybox on Tumblr has since deleted their blog and all links to their long saga with ordering a custom-colored Vamp dildo are gone; I’ve had to link to the next best thing for now which is finding where others reblogged their posts and something still remains on Tumblr – but they also commented on Piph’s shit list page with some details about their experience ↩
- “Yes we are still in business – and yes, as you’ve correctly pointed out, we have been a bit slow in adding many of the newer items. Most of the stuff that’s come out in the last couple of years is just a repackaging of stuff we already sell, but if there are some items you would like to see on the site, let me know and we can add them. Are you still interested in writing reviews? If so, then we can send you some of the items you suggest once we get them added. ↩