taiWelcome! I’m Tai Scarlet Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a somatic sexuality educator, occultist, professional harlot, and gender & relationships coach. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I identify as a queer fat genderqueer polyamorous switch and prefer the pronouns ne/nem/nir or they/them. I spend a lot of my time thinking about sacred sexuality, sacred kink, relationships, the body, queer theory, depth psychology, erotic psychology, sexological bodywork, and so much more. I'm in a long-term live-in relationship with my partner Onyx, and I also have a few other relationships and lovers.
Read more about this site & me→



Lists

Most notably, Essin’ Em is putting together a list of Bloggers Who Make You Think and I wanted to bring it to the attention of my readers just in case, you know, you felt like nominating someone. Perhaps someone whose first name is also a color. Just sayin’.

Yes, this is me asking for nominations. I don’t do this often, but for this list1 I’m willing to do it. Why? Well, first, it’s not an ordered list, it will be alphabetical, which makes the most sense. Ordered lists just seem to be drama magnets and also not necessary. While it may feel awesome to be at the top of lists and there are some people who are happy just to be included there are also plenty of others who get offended by a low number. It’s just not worth it.

Second, it actually takes an effort in order to nominate someone. You’re not just supposed to link to their blog, oh no, you have to link to a specific blog post that made you think. You have to think about the nomination of someone who made you think. Yeah. That’s awesome.

So, if there’s a blog post (recent or old) of mine that made you think, please go nominate me. I’ll be grateful.

Speaking of lists of bloggers, I was also recently included in the Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2010. I was included in 2009 and 2008 as well. There’s been some drama surrounding this year’s list which I don’t feel the need to go into. Ultimately, I’m glad to be listed, although I think there are tons of great blogs that aren’t.

  1. which seems the most sane list that’s been created thus far and far better than the list I did at the beginning of 2009 []

EdenFantasys: A Sex Shop I Don’t Trust

It’s taken me a while to get to posting about all the problems that have been going on with EF. I mentioned briefly when I stopped reviewing for them after all the crap that happened in 2008 but have never dedicated a post to it until now. I wasn’t going to, until I tweeted about EF and had people ask me what was going on, which made me realize there probably are people out there who haven’t heard about what is going on and would like to know. I think getting this information out there is important.

I would like to say, I don’t have any negative feelings about people who work for EF or who are continuing to review for/contribute to EF as long as you are making informed decisions. My problem is with the upper management of the company, the policy makers, and thus the corporate entity itself. I’m not advocating for anything with this post other than your right to make informed decisions. Reviews for EF will still be included in Pleasurists, just like they have been from the beginning, even though I have chosen not to work with them since 2008. I am actively encouraging you to read up as much about everything going on and make your own decision, even if that is contrary to my own.

What follows is a list of links regarding the controversy surrounding EF and my own opinions at the bottom.

Wilhelmina Wang has put together an awesome link round-up of the epic fail which is so awesome and amazing I am blatantly going to steal from it (and by steal I mean repost with permission). My own personal reactions are after the links (look for the line).

EdenFantasys History of Fail(s)

2008

- Sexblog giant Always Aroused Girl works on blogging & PR projects for EF, but is refused payment for her work, and so sues her employer and dukes it out in court, with little success.

- Another sexblog giant, Essin’ Em, works on developing a reviewer program and bringing in new products to the site. Her employer gives her a hard time when she leaves an IM conversation with him to take care of a friend who was just beaten up by her husband, then berates her for not mentioning EF in an interview she gave which had nothing to do with the company, and doesn’t pay her her affiliate commissions in a timely manner.

- EF agrees to sponsor the 2009 NYC Sexblog Calender, then backs out at the last minute.

- The Google Spreadsheet that contains reviewers’ confidential information (full name, physical address, along with their blog name and URL) is made public due to an ex-employee’s fuck up. EF claims that using Google Spreadsheets is not how they typically run their business, which Essin’ Em points out to be a blatant lie.

2010

- That Toy Chick blogs about how she was also forced to legally fight for pay that was her right.

- Epiphora, one of the most prolific sextoy bloggers out there, is banned from EF’s forums for no apparent reason. EF says that she was banned for “drama, rudeness and overall negativity”, but it appears that she was banned merely for stating her honest opinion. She was banned without being contacted about it first, without any of her posts being flagged, and EF goes on to publicly humiliate her in their forums under the guise of “being transparent.” One contributor decides to leave EF for good over this issue, and a whole bunch of posts are written in Epiphora’s support:

~ Essin’ Em: EdenFantasys, Not a Place I Trust

~ AAG: Problems with EdenFantasys, Take Nine Thousand

~ Garnet: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

~ Sarah Sloane, who used to be on the editorial staff of EF’s SexIs magazine: Money, ethics and real sex-positivity

~ Britni: Bad Move, EdenFantasys

~ Carnivalesq: EdenFallacys

~ The Blogging Slave: EdenFantasys.com Debacle

~ Toys in Love: When Push comes to Shove…

~ Woman’s Tribune: Eden Fantasys, A Sex Shop No One Can Trust

~ Erosblog: Edenfantasys.com Shoots Itself in the Balls… Again

- Maymay, who runs Maybe Maimed, Kink on Tap and Male Submission Art, and who also happens to be a professional computer programmer, discovers that EF’s linking practices are unethical. (This post has been cross-posted here, here, here, here and here, and Maymay is encouraging people to re-post the entire entry, or excerpts of it, in case he gets a Cease and Desist notice.) Basically, EF pretends to link back to its reviewers, contributors, people who they’ve done link-exchanges with, even companies whose products they sell… but they actually don’t. The links don’t work. This prevents others from getting traffic from all of EF’s sites, and ensures that EF will appear higher in Google search results. Google specifically points out that behavior like this is unethical. In his post, Maymay also outlines actions you can take in response to this. You can report EF to Google here.

Internet sex toy retailer Web Merchants, Inc., which bills itself as the “sex shop you can trust” and does business under the name EdenFantasys, has implemented technology on their websites that actively interferes with contributors’ content, intercepts outgoing links, and alters republished content so that links in the original work are redirected to themselves. Using techniques widely acknowledged as unethical by Internet professionals and that are arguably in violation of major search engines’ policies, EdenFantasys’s publishing platform has effectively outsourced the task of “link farming” (a questionable Search Engine Marketing [SEM] technique) to sites with which they have “an ongoing relationship,” such as AlterNet.org, other large news hubs, and individual bloggers’ blogs.

Articles published on EdenFantasys websites, such as the “community” website SexIs Magazine, contain HTML crafted to look like links, but aren’t. When visited by a typical human user, a program written in JavaScript and included as part of the web pages is automatically downloaded and intercepts clicks on these “link-like” elements, fetching their intended destination from the server and redirecting users there. Due to the careful and deliberate implementation, the browser’s status bar is made to appear as though the link is legitimate, and that a destination is provided as expected.

For non-human visitors, including automated search engine indexing programs such as Googlebot, the “link” remains non-functional, making the article a search engine’s dead-end or “orphan” page whose only functional links are those whose destination is EdenFantasys’s own web presence. This makes EdenFantasys’ website(s) a self-referential black hole that provides no reciprocity for contributors who author content, nor for any website ostensibly “linked” to from article content. At the same time, EdenFantasys editors actively solicit inbound links from individuals and organizations through “link exchanges” and incentive programs such as “awards” and “free” sex toys, as well as syndicating SexIs Magazine content such that the content is programmatically altered in order to create multiple (real) inbound links to EdenFantasys’s websites after republication on their partner’s media channels.

A similar slew of posts crop up in response:

~ Garnet: Business Ethics

~ She Posts: EdenFantasys Accused of Hoarding Links

~ Rayne: We’re Just Waiting, Hoping… Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

~ Sarah Sloane: Beyond Disgusted… Partly with Myself

~ Tom Allen: Beast of Eden

~ Figleaf: Web Merchants, Inc and EdenFantasys Unfortunate, Unethical, Link-Hiding Policies

~ Menstrual Poetry: EdenFantasys: Crumbling Community

- Britni posts to EF’s forums, linking to Maymay’s entry. The post is removed in less than a day. So much for EF being transparent! Luckily, both Britni and AAG took screencaps of the forum thread.

- EF posts a response to Maymay’s entry, which basically reads: bullshit, bullshit, placating-PR-speak, more bullshit. They claim that they’re using linking practices that many other big websites use, in order to prevent viral links. Hmm.

- Maymay explains why, exactly, their explanation is bullshit. (Cross-posted here.) (More information can be found here.)

- When EF forum members start questioning EF’s practices, voicing their concern, or, in some instances, doing nothing at all, EF responds by locking their accounts and deleting threads and posts, even though they claim to support freedom of speech and claim to not censor their membership. Again, with no warning or contacting of the members who posted the comments in question.

~ Juliettia: EdenFallacys

~ Britni: EF Continues to Dig its Own Grave

~ Woman Tribune: EdenFantasys: A Sex Shop No One Can Trust

~ DarlingDove: What I Tried to Say On EF

~ Forum Discussion Screenshot via Mistress Kay uploaded by AAG

~ Forum Discussion Screenshot via Of Sex and Law uploaded by AAG

- EF explains that they are disabling these accounts and posts as a “cooling off period.” They go on to add a FAQ thread, where they elaborate more on the locked accounts, as well as their linking practices, claiming that “there has never been an intention, or agreement, or any commitment to link back to a writer,” “there is nothing illegal or even suspicious in our business practices” and “if you read negative posts about us, look a few lines below or to the side, you will always find our competition’s promos,” none of which makes any sense.

- Sex educator and writer Violet Blue comments that EF may be looking at a reputation crisis, and says she will be writing more about the scandal shortly. Tristan Taormino re-tweets about the debacle, and sex toy stores such as myticklespot begin commenting on it, as well.

- In spite of it all, a number of people are deciding to stay with EF because of other factors.

There’s a good amount of discussion, re-tweeting, etc going on on Twitter under the hashtags #EFLies, #EdensFallacy and #EdensFucked.

Epiphora has put together a (much more well-written) post about these events, with more past-employee-horror-stories, here.

To summarize: the biggest issue some people are taking with EF is that they claim to want to foster a community, but their actions indicate that they could care less.

All the info above (after “EdenFantasys History of Fail(s)”) is from Wilhelmina’s awesome post!


My Opinions

When I first started reviewing sex toys I reviewed for EF. I stopped in 2008 when they screwed AAG over, when Essin’ Em posted about her experience with EF, and when the owner made some an extremely backhanded comments basically saying “we don’t need the sex blogging community so you should praise us for letting you in to our club.”

I get that EF is doing reviewers a favor in supplying toys to review, in trying to build a community, etc. But that doesn’t mean they should say one thing and then do another. While, yes, I highly appreciate any site that is willing to send me (or anyone) free products in exchange for a review, that doesn’t mean I should not hold them accountable for unethical practices. I do appreciate the fact that EF seems to want to build up the sex blogger community and sponsors sex toy reviews, (notice I said “seems”) but that doesn’t mean they should snub their noses at us, the reviewers, contributors, and bloggers, because if they didn’t really need us you wouldn’t see dozens of sex toy related websites looking for people to write reviews for them to drive traffic to their sites and up their pagerank.

I found Garnet Joyce’s post on “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” to be extremely spot-on as far as my feelings for EF, especially in her comparison of EF to SuicideGirls. Essentially they are trying to use sex-positivity as a marketing tactic rather than an actual philosophy they agree with. I highly encourage you to read it, especially if you know the controversy related to SG (and if you don’t, then you should definitely read it).

For the full list of things EF has done see above. The biggest thing recently (not counting the massive crap in 2008) is MayMay’s, discovery of their incredibly unethical linking practices. As it mentions above, EF responded to these claims extremely poorly, silencing anyone who dared speak against them by locking or banning them from EF.

MayMay tweeted about a TED Talk on How Social Media Can Make History by Clay Shirky which is extremely relevant to the situation, if you don’t want to watch the entire thing (it’s about 16 minutes long) I suggest you skip to 12:26 where he talks about the Obama campaign. Basically, instead of shutting down a controversial and negative group on MyBarackObama or simply ignoring the concerns being raised Obama issued a press release saying “I hear you, I understand your complaints, but I am still going to vote the other way.” While people were upset that he did not change his mind they ultimately respected this because Obama actually addressed the issue they were talking about and clearly showing that they were heard.

Clay Shirky says (I’m paraphrasing) the mature use of social media is to realize your job (as an administrator) is not to control the content of your supporters/contributors/etc. but to convene them together so they can talk amongst themselves. EF does not understand this.

Something @JulianArancia  said at Sex 2.0 keeps coming back to me, especially in relation to EF: “In the PR world it’s always the cover-up that kills you”. There’s even an EdenFallacys.com now because of all the shit they have been pulling. If they had apologized and stopped their unethical linking once it was brought to their attention? It probably wouldn’t have been as big of a deal. Still a problem, but they would have addressed the concerns in a better way. If EF let us know that they were listening to our concerns and actually addressed them without lies, that would be a whole other issue.

Now, I’ve been on the wrong end of things before, said things that was taken wrongly and offended people. I get how defensive that makes you, I get how hurt you feel when people start attacking you, I get it. However, companies have PR people trained to deal with this kind of stuff, or at very least can hire one when they need one. There is no excuse for a company to react defensively or make backhanded comments, there is especially no excuse for trying to cover up their unethical behavior.

I also get that EF is a business, that they can do whatever they like in terms of that, but that doesn’t give them license to go against Google Webmaster Guidelines and do something completely unethical (and then say they aren’t in violation of GWG). It also doesn’t give them license to not pay people who have worked for them like they did with AAG.

(Also, as a sidenote regarding linking practices, I’ve heard people mention that WordPress (WP) automatically sets “nofollow” to links and saying that is just as bad or the same as EF’s javascript redirects. This is not the case. WP does set “nofollow” to comment links (ONLY comment links) to try and discourage spam. This is not the same as using sneaky javascript redirects that look like real links but aren’t. Setting links “nofollow” is acceptable to GWG, javascript cloaking links is not. It’s not like every link on a WP site is set “nofollow,” but if you are worried about it there is a plugin called DoFollow which corrects this.)

EF has proven time and time again that they do not do what they say, they change their policies at a moment’s notice once it doesn’t line up with the way they actually are running the business. They use the guise of transparency to be rude and negative and then turn around and cover up an issue without actually addressing the fact that what they are doing is highly unethical. They do not have the best interests of their contributors, employees, or customers at heart they are just in it for the money. While this is an understandable business policy what I am opposed to is the fact that they promote themselves as community-oriented, woman-friendly, and sex-positive while clearly using these terms as a business tactic and not an actual philosophy.

04.06

2010

e[lust] #11


HNT courtesy of Neptune Blue

Welcome to e[lust] - Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #12? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Sometimes poly IS hardThe difficulties one faces in managing healthy interpersonal relationships, and the skills one employs in overcoming those difficulties, are the same whether you are monogamous or poly or something in between.

Artist and Model – I’m drawing her furiously along with everyone else in the class. I know her name is Janice because a long time ago we’d been acquaintances, then lovers for a night, and then I didn’t see or hear from her again.

His Boots – He’s my fix. I’m his addiction. Maybe we’re just each other’s junkies? I can never tell when i’m close enough to breathe him in I cease to care about anything else.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

I need a new highway….

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

Nerds are NOT this season’s must-have accessory - Being a nerd doesn’t mean you grew up unpopular and tormented, that you have a high-paying job, that you like Star Trek, that you’re socially awkward, that you never exercise, that you run Linux on your computer, that you’re highly educated, that you have low self esteem, or that you have trouble getting dates.

See also: Pleasurists #71 for all your sex toy review needs.

more →

03.24

2010

e[lust] #10


HNT Courtesy of Babe Lincoln

Welcome to e[lust] - The 10th edition! Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #11? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Negotiation – Not Nearly As Awkward As Having a Breakdown in PublicAll the worries about getting to know a new person (“Am I dressed ok? Are they gonna like my stories about my grandma?”) get exaggerated when you’re talking about sex and desire…

Dollar Store DommeHe definitely can’t elude the dollops of toothpaste I dab onto his nipples. It takes a delicious second before he feels the cool burn penetrate his flesh. By that time I’m already up and selecting a plastic spatula from the credenza.

The Best of Both Worlds or Lost in Limbo?Whether intentional or unthinking, bisexual denial is a frustrating thing for bisexual, pansexual or ‘fluid’ people to have to deal with.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

Navigating Genderqueer in SuburbiaBut pray tell how do the rest of us navigate it? How the hell am I supposed to know if you identify as male or just like dressing like one?

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

The Daddy Issue: Sexualizing AbuseI needed to walk through this fear, and turn it into pleasure. I needed to prove to myself that he hadn’t broken me. That he hadn’t changed who I was to become. That I was not affected by what he did. That he didn’t abuse me.

See also: Pleasurists #69 and #70 for all your sex toy review needs.

more →

01.26

2010

e[lust] #6

DSC00216-1

HNT Courtesy of Having My Cake And Eating It Too

Welcome to e[lust] - your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #7? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Exposing My Self to Airport SecurityI stared right at her until she looked away and called for assistance for a pat-down search. I gaped, chin dropped: holy shit, they’re gonna give me a pat down cuz I’m packing a silicon cock.

Prefect’s PrerogativeWhen I neglect this duty, or don’t perform it to his satisfaction, he makes me light a fire in his room, and stand in front of it in just my school shirt and white socks.

Attention Women: There is Something Wrong With Your VaginaYes, that’s what your vagina needs: a breath mint. Because, just like vagina shouldn’t smell like vagina, it also shouldn’t taste like vagina.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

The Perfect Fat Why do clothes designers assume that if you’re plus-sized you’re 1. over 5?9? and 2. over the age of 45 or “matronly and modest”? At the age of 32 I am not yet ready to dress like my grandmother.

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

Zipless- “I have some Scotch in my room—maybe you’d join me? You know, in the interest of not drinking alone…” She smiled. Perhaps she could yet salvage the day’s ending.

See also: Pleasurists #61 for all your sex toy review needs.
Also in recent sex news, check out the coverage of the Adult Entertainment Expo that happened in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago. You’ll see videos and articles from our fellow sex-bloggers on fun things like a rodeo penis and new sex toys not even on the market yet!

more →

05.02

2009

I *heart* Sexy Bloggers

The wonderful luna from BDSM is Love has given me a Sexy Blogger Award (award image below) and had this to say about me:

She makes me proud to be a woman of size. Her thoughts and passions have me transfixed.

I can’t explain how happy reading just that little blurb made me, especially the first sentence. I was both touched and flattered by her sentiment.

Her reasoning behind choosing me is definitely worth more to me than the “award” given in the meme. I’m not huge on awards in general, but I think they can be fun and a great way to give kudos to others and generally highlight others and bring more attention to them, which is great. This meme seems to be going around the blog circles I fit in, and it’s always wonderful to be included.

sexy-blogger

According to luna there are two rules to receiving this:
“You are to list 5 sexy things about yourself and pass it on to 4 other people.”

I’m not going to deny the opportunity to pass on some nice sentiment to others, and it’s always fun to receive something like this from someone unexpected so here we go. I’m having a very difficult time with the five sexy things, I’m really not that into bragging about myself and that’s what this feels like, but, here we go…

Five sexy things

  1. Despite the fact that society tells me I shouldn’t be sexy as a woman of considerable girth, I don’t let that stop me from expressing and enjoying my sexuality. This is what made me so elated when part of luna’s reason for choosing me for this was because: “She makes me proud to be a woman of size.” I’ll admit it’s not always easy to be sexually confident in general let alone when society says that you’re not supposed to for various reasons (not just limited to large women, of course), and to know that I make someone, anyone, feel a little better about themselves is incredible.
  2. I’m open and honest about who I am for the most part. Despite the amount I spill my soul on here I am somewhat guarded about sharing deep feelings or ideas I have to others I don’t know very well, however, I don’t let that guardedness keep me from being as authentically me as I possibly can: a sexual deviant who is open about and comfortable with what she does, and doesn’t try to pretend to be something or someone else. I think that’s sexy, anyway.
  3. While body mods are all the rage these days I really do think that my eight tattoos and thirty-some-odd piercings really do enhance my body, not only by calling attention to some of the sexiest parts of myself but also because the tattoos and piercings themselves are sexy (or so I like to think). I put a lot of thought and detail to every one of them, and think they also show my comfortability with my body which is also sexy.
  4. My brain is the sexiest part of me, or so it likes to think (har har). I may overanalyze most times, but I also think that people are more attracted to my intellect than anything else about me (not to say people aren’t attracted to other parts of me too, but I think the brain is the best part of the package).
  5. My partners: they are both so sexy that I must be sexy too, right? They inspire me and encourage me to be confident in my sexuality, and they fill my heart with such joy it radiates from me which I think is sexy.

My four sexy bloggers

There are SO many sexy bloggers out there it’s not even right to only choose four, but the ones below are the first ones that popped into my head, and a few of the other ones I’d choose have already been awarded this from others. If I had my way I would give one to everyone in the “friends & lovers” section of my links, and probably others that I’ve forgotten to include there as well. The problem with picking just four is there are so many other people left out, but, I’m sticking to the rules of the meme, otherwise it would take me forever to list everyone!

Gabe and Elizabeth – They blog over on Pornocracy and put an extremely sexy video out recently. I feel that may of our values and ideas are very similar, which endears me to them automatically, and in addition to that they are highly sexy individuals and overwhelmingly sexy as a pair!
Not sure if I should count them as one or two, but since it’s a sexy blogger award vs. sexy blog award I think they count as two.

Amber – of Divergent Dance. Another person I feel I have similar ideas with, she is a tomboy femme among other similarities, and I have come to think of her friendship quite fondly. I think she and her writing are both super sexy and am always excited when she has a new post for me to read to get another slice of her life, gender, love, or sexuality.

Marla – Last but certainly not least there’s no way I could leave my long-distance love out of this, for she is incredibly sexy and blogs over at Confessions of Promiscuity. There is no question that I find her extremely sexy, she fits in with Onyx and I so perfectly and just everything about her makes me want to ravage her and make her come over and over until she begs for me to stop… but I digress. She just posted her first piece of erotica inspired by yours truly, so you can read how amazingly sexy she and her ideas are!

03.04

2009

Toy Reviewing Changes

I heart sex toys
Made by me.

Taking a tip from Bad Bad Girl I’m actually going to be changing around the way I do toy reviews on this blog.

Not too long ago I acquired WantonLotus.com and cross-posted all my reviews there. In the last few Pleasurists I have been linking to reviews on Wanton Lotus as opposed to here, kind of slowly transitioning my reviews from here to there, in a way. Now I have decided to do more than that.

While I will post on here with reviewed toys once a week it will be a brief summary of the toys I have reviewed, no more than three a week and probably more like two. I will list some of the basic elements of the toy and a link to the toy site but leave it to you to decide if you would like to go over to Wanton Lotus and read the entire review. I know many people will, just as I do this with Bad Bad Girl on her BBG Toys site.

Basically doing this will enable me to post multiple reviews on that site, possibly scheduling them to come out Mon-Wed-Fri or Tues-Wed-Thurs or something like that and not worry about having this site taken over by toy reviews.

Though I have been thinking about doing this for quite a while, as I have had Wanton Lotus for quite some time and that was part of the idea for getting the site, the catalyst for this was my post on Sex Toys and Sex Blogs. Like I said on there:

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.

But now this method isn’t working for me, mostly because I’ve had writers block lately and have been unable to sit down and write the way I want and need to. I’ve also been busy exploring a new city and looking for a job, so I haven’t been writing as much even when I can write.

I also have more and more products that I want to review. Not just toys that are sent to me, though those are definitely a big part of it, but also books I read and older toys that I have. I have this desire to have a somewhat comprehensive idea of what is in my toybox represented by my reviews. I want to re-write some of my older reviews to be better and more comprehensive.

In addition to toy-specific posts I also want to start writing some Toy Info 101 posts as well, such as Material Safety, How to Choose a Toy, Floggers 101, Harnesses 101, etc. I know there are other sites who have articles like this, but these would be mine. I also want to write non toy-oriented ones for this site, but that’s a whole different topic.

Why do I want to do all this? Because I think reviews are important. I enjoy reading reviews and think that others enjoy reading them too. I think that they’re helpful for people who buy toys to get a good idea of products. Sure, there are lots of toy reviews saturating the sex blogging world right now, but I have a passion for toys, and I’m happy to exploit the opportunity to test out more toys, learn about toys, and share that knowledge with others.

02.05

2009

Sex Nerd (HNT)

sexnerds
Me in my “Sex nerds KNOW how to do it” shirt by Audacia Ray

I have wanted this shirt forever and a half, and I finally ordered it for myself not too long ago (though a while ago, but getting it was delayed due to holidays and moving and such) and I just got it today! I thought it would make a perfect HNT picture, so here it is.

Since my other posts recently have been super long, I’m keeping this one short. Enjoy!

02.05

2009

Sex Toys and Sex Blogs

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.

01.05

2009

Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008 Nominations!

Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek are teaming up to put together the (first annual?) Best Sex Toy Reviewers List for 2008 which will be featured on Pleasurists!

We know a lot of reviewers, but we don’t know all of you out there, so that’s where you come in! We have many reviewers in mind already, but we are also looking for nominations from you all to give us a good idea of who you think is fit to be on the list of the best sex toy reviewers of 2008!

The nomination information:

  • You can’t nominate yourself, but feel free to (and please do!) re-post this on your blog, that way your readers may want to nominate you for the list.
  • If someone is already nominated you can nominate them as well. The nominations someone receives may factor in to the final listing, so nominate everyone, even if someone’s already mentioned them.
  • To qualify the person must have reviews up (well, obviously). Preferably multiple reviews not just one or two.
  • You can nominate as many reviewers as you’d like, but please keep in mind this is a list of the best of the best. So, try to give me the absolute best five or ten reviewers rather than a huge long list.
  • Nominations are open until January 25th and the list of reviewers will be posted January 31st.

You must go to Pleasurists to nominate people. Nominate your choices in the comments of the post on Pleasurists! Or, if you would prefer your nominations to be private feel free to send an email to scarletsexgeek at gmail dot com.