Obviously sex toys have become a big part of my life. I think about them at least weekly when I round-up reviews for Pleasurists though usually more because I do my own reviews too, and just recently Domina Doll and I compiled the Best Sex Toy Reviewers 2008 list. This has sparked a bit of conversation, which I am eager to engage in and have already been asked my opinion of. First, go and read these three posts by Sinclair Sexsmith, AAG, and Debauched Domestic Diva if you haven’t already. I’ll be here when you get back, promise.
Good, now, here’s my take on this: I actually couldn’t agree more. They aren’t saying that we shouldn’t be doing reviews, just that we should be more conscious of who we’re reviewing for, what we’re reviewing, and how often we’re reviewing them (at least that’s my take on it).
While I enjoy reading reviews and I do review a lot of toys I have always done it one of two ways. First, I started reviewing one toy a week. Easy, simple, one toy a week, with posts in between. Then, when I started to get more companies I was reviewing for, I moved that to two reviews a week (rarely, but sometimes three), but I had to have at least four posts between them. Why four posts? Well… I don’t really know. But that’s what I set for myself. I thought it was a good number, and I’ve had a lot to write about lately. Sometimes that number didn’t happen, sometimes it was two, sometimes it was six, etc. but, that was the goal. I’ve always made sure to have other content along side my reviews.
There are reviewers out there that just review sex toys and don’t give much personal information or have personal posts, and that is a whole different can o’ worms I think. For my reviews and reviewing I agree with what Kyle said in the comments of Diva’s post “sex toy reviews are icing, but not the cake.” However, this is different for toy review blogs.
When the blog is dedicated to toy reviews then I don’t expect anything but toy reviews (makes sense, right?). I don’t think this is a bad blog or anything of that sort, because if the stats of Pleasurists and my own review blog Wanton Lotus are any indication, people are reading reviews and many enjoy reading reviews, I know I do. I even enjoy reading multiple reviews on the same product, because I think that gives me a better idea about the toy.
I try to pick the sites I review for carefully, I too have turned down requests (though not many, I’ll admit) and I no longer review for EdenFantasys. I’ve turned into somewhat of a toy snob and do not review just any toy, primarily I review toys I already think I’m going to enjoy, but occasionally I get one that just doesn’t work for me. While I’ve picked up some new review programs that I haven’t “vetted” completely I do feel for the most part that I’ve made good choices. I think what AAG said about questions to ask before reviewing for a company is fantastic, and I’m going to take that list, apply it to the sites I review for, and see what happens.
For those of you who didn’t read her post I’ll quote her:
- Does the site contain representations of people from a variety of genders and orientations?
- Are women shown as equal partners in sexual play and decision-making?
- Is educational and safety information included?
- Will the site accept returns or otherwise make it right if a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase?
- Are there good ways to contact the company (not just an online feedback form) if things go awry?
- Is the company responsive to contact and concerns from reviewers?
- Does the site treat its reviewers well? Its employees? Does it have a reputation for good business practices from other bloggers?
- Is the site free from dangerous products such as “shrink” creams and anal numbing lubes?
If you can’t answer “yes” to those questions, it’s time for us as a group to start speaking out both in the reviews we write and in the reviews we refuse to write.
We as a community need to use our collective powers in editorializing about not only the buzzy plastic but also the business ethics of the companies from whom we accept toys.
Very smart, seriously. I can already answer yes to most of the questions for all of the companies I review for, but not all questions as further research is needed.
Now, I won’t say I’m not greedy because I am. I’m Veruca Salt. I want it all. I want toys. I don’t want every toy, but I do want a lot of them. I think toy review blogs are valid blogs, and I know people enjoy reading them, including myself, but there is a difference between a toy review blog and a sex blog (well, duh, and I’m not saying one is better than the other), and like the lovely ladies and gentleman I am referencing in this post I don’t want my personal content swallowed up by reviews.
On a slightly different but related topic I’m interested in this gem in Diva’s post from the other side of things (the marketing side):
I personally think this year we will see an end to this over saturation of sex toys being handed out. Some bloggers may have high traffic numbers and sales through their affiliate links but overall these companies are not seeing the returns in sales for what they are giving out. They are going to start looking for different ways to market their products than all these reviews that many people seem to be skipping over reading half of the time.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see how toy reviewing evolves in the next year or so.
Cute, femme, and flirty, the Pink & Black Beaded Nipple Clamps bring a bit of class to standard tweezer-clamp style nipple clamps. Ranging in sensation from soft and pleasurable to wicked and painful, clamps are fun and easy to use. A definite necessity!
Just out today! Featured on Pleasurists Best Sex Toy Reviewers is an annual list compiled by Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek. Only reviewers who reviewed during the year of 2008 were considered, there will be a list for 2009 next year.
Each reviewer was rated separately by two people (Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus did not rate themselves, their second rating came from a third party). The ratings were on a scale of one to five in four areas: Content, Organization, Originality, and Regularity. Each reviewer got a score out of 20 by each person and then the scores were put together to make a final score out of 40. Those final scores were ranked from high to low to get the list below
There were many ties. In cases where reviewers had nominations the number of nominations were the deciding factor for the ties. In cases where reviewers had the same number of nominations Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus decided the order.
We recognize that this list is highly subjective. This is in no way a definitive list of reviewers, it is simply our list, and you can do with it as you will. We did use finite measurements, as discussed above, to create this list, but ultimately it is our own list. However, lists are fun to have and be able to point to.
- Essin’ Em
- Domina Doll
- Beautiful Dreamer
- Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek
- Gabe and Elizabeth
- Sinclair Sexsmith
- Catalina Loves
- Agent Ansley
- Betty Rocket
- J.D. Bauchery
- Thursday’s Child
- Dame Demi
- Shasta Gibson
- Freddy and Eddy
- Dangerous Lilly
- Erin Leone
- Sleeping Dreamer
- Ellie Lumpesse
- Wendy Blackheart
- Ducky Doolittle
- Curvaceous Dee
- The Porn Librarian
- Lux Alptraum
- Naughty Secretary
- Nadia West
- Alpine Subdreams
- Radical Vixen
- The Beautiful Kind
- Toys for Tarts
- Audacia Ray
- Lucy Vonne
- Coy Pink
- Backseat Boohoo
- Bad Bad Girl
- Jimbo Jones
- BOX: Les Petites Morts
- Phaedra Fallen
- Jiz Lee
- Panthera Pardus
- Sommer Marsden
- The Countess
- Madeline Glass
- Hussy Red
- Roxanne Rhoads
- Dark Lady
- Sex Is Fun
- Adrie Santos
We scoured the internet for reviewers. Pleasurists was a great source of reviewers, but it was not the only source, as many of the reviewers above have never participated in a Pleasurists. If you are not on the list and you reviewed in 2008 the chances are we simply did not know about you and couldn’t find you in our many searches.
Body & Soul by zkukkuiz used under a Creative Commons license.
This is the fifth of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here.
E is a 21 year old lady/girl who is “Pansexual with a preference for girl/lady/woman-identified people.” She is currently involved (non-monogamously) with a boy.
What size is your body?
It is small-to-average. I think it’s average, but most people think it’s small. My pants size is juniors 3-5-7, dress size 2-4, general size S or M. I am 5’4″ and around 110lbs with more thigh than I’d like, but generally rectangular in shape.
How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
Not particularly. I’ve had body image problems for most of my life, if not all of it, but I am slowly growing to love it for what it is. I am not necessarily uncomfortable with the size of my body, I am mostly uncomfortable with the actual dimensions of it and the relationships of various body parts to one another.
How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
It has always been bad, but I’ve been putting a conscious effort into improving it over the last 6 years or so. I absolutely haven’t gotten to the point where I’m happy with my body, but I don’t detest it as much as I used to.
How important is sexuality to your life?
How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
I have always been extremely sexual. At first, I was uncomfortable with my sexuality because everything in the world tells girls they should not feel sexual or sexy or aroused Ever, and I definitely did, so there must have been something TERRIBLY wrong with me (I thought). By age 16, I was comfortable with my sexuality and comfortable in my skin, and I have been ever since.
How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
Extremely. Sexual situations are some of the few in which I feel comfortable as a physical entity.
How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
I mean, I’m a woman. Society’s favorite pastime is viewing female bodies as sexual. I have a a white, generally small-ish female body, which mainstream media seems to be into.
Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
Absolute opposites. I don’t like my body as an aesthetic object because of the way that society has influenced my self-perception (I think), but I am completely comfortable with my sexuality and with my body as a sexual object/entity/being/thing. I’m not sure how this arose, but I’m happy to at least be able to be comfortable with some aspect of having a body.
Tiffany’s Boudoir by Dev1l-5pawn found by Marla Singer.
Pleasurists is a round-up of the adult product and sex toy reviews that came out in the last seven days from bloggers all around the sex blogosphere. Did you miss Pleasurists #13? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #15? Submit it here before Sunday February 8th at 11:59pm PST. Please re-post this list on your own blog if listed.
Want to win some free swag? All you’ve got to do is enter.
- The Cherries are Sexy Valentine’s Day Giveaway! Deadline: Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2009.
- NoFauxxx.com Membership Giveaway. Deadline: Feb 28th.
On to the reviews…
Scarlet Lotus St. Syr
I really hate to give bad reviews, but the loudness of the Tuyo was so distracting that I couldn’t get into it.
While not all Tuyo’s have this noise issue enough of them have it and enough people have complained about it that it is an issue with the toy and not just with my toy.
Sorry Big Teeze and Babeland! I really wanted to like Tuyo, the design is so awesome and unique that I really thought I would like it, but I really just can’t.
The contents of my Kinky Christmas Stocking from FetLife! Click for larger version.
Near the end of last month I posted about the wonderful kinky networking site FetLife giving away 40 amazing Kinky Christmas Stockings. Since I am a FetLife Greeter I was lucky enough to receive a Kinky Christmas Stocking of my very own as a thank you gift for all the hard work I’ve done over the last 6 or so months of greeting!
I just got my stocking today! I’m very excited about it, and it all looks like great fun. The contents of the stocking (no actual stocking included, that’s just the term for it) is in the picture above.
There are a few things that I either already have one of or won’t be using, which I’m not sure what I’m going to do with yet. I may put them up for giveaway here, but we’ll see.
As you can see the image above is numbered 1-18 going left-to-right. That’s so I can tell you what each thing is! There’s actually 20 items in the picture above, but a few are doubled-up.
Onto the contents:
- New York City Sexbloggers Calendar 2009 – I’ve posted about this before, so you probably know what it is, or you can tell from the title what it is. I actually ordered one not too long ago, so now I have two! This is one item I’m definitely going to be giving away on here, so look out for that.
- The World’s Best Blindfold by Scott Paul Designs – I’ve tried this on but not had the opportunity to use it yet (since I just got everything about an hour ago) but it already seems like a pretty awesome blindfold! I actually don’t have a good thick leather blindfold so this is a wonderful addition to my toybox. It’s made of leather and lined with neoprene so it’s super comfy. I’ll probably review it on Wanton Lotus.
- A Leather Belt Accessory Clip and 30% off coupon from Sinvention, a fantastic Canadian leathercraft store which I first heard about from Domina Doll. The clip will probably be used by Onyx more than me, as he wears belts and I rarely do, but they have such wonderful stuff I’m excited about the coupon! I’ll let you know when I get something from them.
- Fukuoku Two Fingers and a Thumb vibrator from VibeReview. I’m a little disappointed with this since it’s made of jelly rubber, which means I won’t use it. It looks interesting and like it would be fun (the fingers rotate as well as vibrate), but I just don’t use jelly toys nor do I condone their use so I don’t really want to give it to someone else either. I may recycle it so I’m not just throwing it away.
- Bound Gods sample DVD from Kink.Com – Sexy gay male bondage porn! Yes, please!
- 20 Lifestyles condoms “because protection sucks but is necessary” (so says John). While Onyx and I are fluid bonded so we don’t really use condoms we are desiring adding other partners to our relationship, so condoms are good to have around!
- EMT Sheers and gauze from Boss Bondage – Definitely coming in handy! Did I mention we’re going to a rope class taught by Midori on Saturday (the 31st)? Well, we are, so I’m sure the sheers will be used!
- Wartenberg Pin Wheel from Medical Toys – A toy I’ve wanted FOREVER and yet have never owned. Why? I’m really not sure! I’m very excited to play with this, especially over play piercings, I hear that’s fun. ;)
- Graves Speculum from Dr. Clockwork – High quality stainless steel speculum! While I’m not hugely into medical play I do find the idea of speculums kinda sexy (when used in a sexual context, that is). I have a plastic one already that we have yet to use, but the cold metal sound like it would be even more fun.
- 10 foot custom dyed rope from Ms. Nikki Nefarious with a custom note from her as well! The color of the rope doesn’t come off very well in the picture, but it’s a gorgeous light purple and raspberry mix that is tied beautifully as well. I’m actually loath to take it apart!
- Japanese Silk Love Rope Wrist Cuffs from Dungeon Discounters – I’ve seen a few reviews of these and I’m pretty excited to try them. Basically they’re rope wrist cuffs that are adjustable and simple to use. Made by the same company as the Japanese Silk Love Rope I already have. Definitely a fun thing to have around!
- Brown 5-inch Toy Case from For Your Nymphomation – Absolutely lovely and wonderful! Can easy store a bullet or something else small-ish. I already have three FYN cases that I just got before we moved to haul all my toys around in. I don’t really need this little one, so I’ll probably give it away!
- Bullet Vibrator from Bondage Fetish Store – Seems well-made, but I already have a few great bullet vibes, so I may give this one away too! Maybe with the FYN case since they would go so well together.
- Round Triskele-Symbol 3″ Lapel Sticker from RogerMeToo – A symbol known as the BDSM Emblem which is great to flaunt. To people who don’t know what it is it just looks like a cool celtic yin-yang kind of thing, but to people in the know you’ll be letting them know you’re kinky. I’ll probably stick this on my laptop cover!
- Chopsticks! Also from Boss Bondage – At first I was like “Er… yay? Chopsticks?” and I wracked my brain for a kinky meaning behind them. Upon consulting with Catalina she informed me that they are not just chopsticks, they are nipple torture devices! What fun! And inexpensive fun, I might add. Easy to make, too, if you have four chopsticks (or just two) and four rubber bands (or just two) you can make these too! I’ve already tried them out a bit, and they can get wicked.
- Card from Catalina and John – On one side (the side you can see) there’s sexy picture of Ms. Catalina Loves herself, and on the other side there are two notes to me from Catalina and John. Not part of the listed contents of the stocking originally, but something I’ll definitely treasure! It’ll probably be framed and hung next to the next item on the list.
- 4×6 Print of Beach Bound by (and from) fetish photographer Lochai – I absolutely love this, it’s one of my favorite shots by Lochai and I’m thrilled to have a print of it! I’ll definitely frame it and put it on my wall.
- Last but not least: The Zeus Electrogasm from ExtremeRestraints – An electrosex toy! I’m super excited about this one. Onyx and I have been wanting to play around with electrosex for a while, but haven’t been able to. I already tried this out on my leg and it feels great, though kinda strange the higher the intensity gets. I’ll be sure to review this one!
There you have it! Wonderful gifts from a wonderful site and wonderful people! Thank you so very very much to the sponsors who donated the items to make up the stocking, John Baku, Catalina Loves, and the FetLife Team who made this gift a reality!
Contests for the items I’m not keeping will come soon. Keep your eyes out!
Another of those play piercing pictures. I posted this earlier on my 365 Scarlet Portraits blog, today was my catch-up day when I posted nine pictures of me (three of which were posted on here already). I think this picture is possibly my favorite of all the ones on the 365 blog.
I pierced myself in these (as per usual, Onyx doesn’t feel ready to pierce me yet, and I don’t blame him), and it was kind of difficult to pierce the left (my left) side because I pierced from the opposite side than I’ve gotten used to, and since I can’t really just go to the other side on myself it was a little awkward, and they ended up hurting a little more.
Also I had a difficult time coming back out on them, which is why they actually pass under my skin longer than the others (if that makes sense).
I really enjoy the way these look. I love my cleavage in them, but more than that I love the way my tattoos peek out and the way the shirt looks (more on that in a minute), as well as the way the needles look, of course.
I chose the two sizes for a reason (pink: 25g 1in, gray: 22g 1 1/2in), mostly because I thought they would look nice together. I started with the gray and added the pink when I wanted a second needle, mostly because I didn’t want blue (23g) or any of the other colors I had. Pink went best with the shirt.
Now the shirt. It’s not actually finished yet, or in the picture, but I made it. Yes, I crocheted it (hence the ‘hooks’ part of the title, we crocheters are hookers, you know). It’s missing the sleeves and some of the bottom (needs to go about three inches further down my torso).
I need to get more yarn for it so I can complete it, but for the time being it is sitting patiently in my crochet bag. Once it’s finished I’m sure to post a picture of it, maybe here, but definitely there.
You can also see my (what I have called Orgonite and will hereafter refer to as) prana forger, which is the pendant about my neck. As well as my Star of Babalon necklace, which is actually Onyx’s, but I took it from him long ago and he has said it looks better on me. Maybe that makes it mine now.
A few quick thoughts tonight. I feel like I have so much to write about and so much to do lately that I’m not really getting anything done, which irritates me. More posts to come!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote lately, from PoMoSexuals “Identity Sedition and Pornography” by Pat Califia p. 88 emphasis mine:
Just to set the record straight: I am a female-bodied person who writes about every kind of person I can imagine. Although I briefly contemplated sex reassignment when I was much younger, I decided that would not resolve my gender conflicts. I’m never sure if I have a gender dysphoria or species dysphoria. I often try to explain that I’m really a starfish trapped in a human body and I’m very new to your planet. Or that in fact I am a woman trapped in a man’s body, which really confuses other people but makes sense to me.
It’s fitting where I feel I fit, where I’ve felt for a while. The drag queen masculine femininity that I cling to, the femme fagette in me that is starting to come out even more. I’ve found a better way to express it lately I think, which is making me indescribably joyful, and I’m discovering more about it too, which makes me even more happy.
Onyx and I went into Babeland tonight and looked around. I pointed out toys I wanted, toys that are (hopefully) coming to me soon, and things like that. I had my first encounter with Mr. Bendy while looking at dildos and soft packs and he’s seriously lustable! I kind of (very much) want one, great for packing and playing, which I like.
I’m toying with the idea of packing more often, but as I primarily wear skirts and dresses I would need a soft pack or a cock like Mr. Bendy that will stay bent.
The other thoughts rolling around my brain is that Femmeinist Fucktoy isn’t resonating with me as much as it used to. It went down when I discovered my switchness however long ago, as fucktoy is a very bottom-centric term, and it’s gone down again now that fagette is a larger part of my identity as well.
I also don’t talk as much about feminist-oriented things as I thought I would when I started this blog. Granted, I do believe that talking about gender and sexuality is a feminist act, but that’s not quite the same as being a feminist blog.
My point in bringing this up is that I’m pondering changing the name, and therefore also the URL of the blog. It’s easyish to transition to another URL and name, but what I’m thinking of changing it to is Femme Fagette.
In talking with Onyx about this he mentioned that naming the blog after an identity might not be the best thing to do, as my identities tend to fluctuate rapidly. While I agree with that I feel like this identity will stay around for a while, but I don’t really know that for sure. Thoughts?