Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: commUNITY (Page 2 of 3)

Ebb and Flow

Just like everything else the needs of poly people can change quite often. Since Onyx and I got back together and I returned to Seattle we have had quite a few casual play experiences but neither of us have really been interested in another new relationship. I think at least partially this is because we were both so burned by the last one, but mostly because of the change in our dynamic and activities.

We’ve both gotten considerably more involved in the local occult community than we ever really have been before while we’ve been together. Our D/s-slash-O/p relationship is also far more solid and working. Also we both are working a lot and I’ve been taking a certification class recently. Add all this up together and it means we have just about enough time for each other, let alone someone else.

This is one of the drawbacks of being poly: even with a desire for another relationship there is a point when it comes down to how much time you feasibly have for a new relationship. Now, all of this isn’t to say that either of us would be against a new relationship should something develop organically (the only way we would want it to anyway), but neither of us is actively looking for another partner.

That being said I do still feel the pang of desire for being with a woman. I need a woman in my life with which to have an intimate relationship, that is just a fundamental truth at this point. I’m confident, however, that I will find someone when the time is right. There are just too many things that I am working on and that Onyx and I are working on together so there isn’t much room for anything else. I am very much still poly, as is Onyx, but that doesn’t mean we’re out there actively looking for new relationships.

This isn’t abnormal for poly people, in fact while in the midst of writing this post I came upon the term polysaturated1 which describes what I’m feeling quite perfectly, except I only currently have one partner but many many activities.

This all said, not looking for a relationship also does not exclude the possibility of casual and play partners, in my opinion. Something with friendship and emotions but without being “serious” would be ideal for me at this point in time. I would love the opportunity for purposefully casual play with friends as we’ve already explored a little.

This desire has definitely encouraged me to get looking around more at the local kink community, which I am already making plans to get more into. Not just to find causal play partners but to friend friends first and foremost. While there is definitely bleed over between the occult and the kinky scenes here in Seattle it’s also not a ready topic to be broached with a new acquaintance at occult social events.

Anyone who is already friends with me on FetLife may have noticed that I’ve been on there more lately and I’ve especially been looking at events in my area and tirelessly ticking “going to” or “might be going to” when I find one that interests me. Onyx has been doing much the same. We already signed up for a Delving Into Power workshop with Lee Harrington in February which we’re both very much looking toward. Plus the weekend intensive class I’m taking is over next weekend so we will have more opportunity to go to events than we have in the last two months.

I’ve been slowly pulling our focus toward kink as well as everything else that we’re doing, as I’m sure you may have noticed if you’ve been reading this blog at all the last couple months. Whether or not this happened because of starting the 30 Days of Kink or I started the 30 Days of Kink because my focus was already shifting to kink-related areas is a definite chicken and egg scenario. Regardless, it’s happening.

I’m really looking forward to getting into the community here, and I’m sure I will share as that journey moves along. Perhaps the ebb and flow of poly needs and desires will change once again through this exploration.

  1. via Gabe on FetLife []

Call for Submissions: Lesbian BDSM Erotica Anthology

Sinclair Sexsmith just put out this Call for Submissions on her blog and asked for it to be distributed. Since I like to post call for submissions on here to help spread the word here it is.

Call for Submissions: Lesbian BDSM Erotica Anthology [Title TBA]
To be published by Cleis Press in fall 2011

Editor Sinclair Sexsmith is looking for hot, sexy, well-written stories about kinky sex between queer women, from bondage scenarios to power play to role play to sadism and masochism to sensation play for a new anthology of lesbian BDSM erotica. Looking for characters with a range of age, race, sexual experience, gender identity and gender expression: butch, femme, genderqueer, gender-non-conforming, dapper, and others will all be considered. Cis women, trans women, and genderqueer characters who identify with the lesbian community are welcome. Stories should have strong literary voice, characters, tension, and rising action. All characters must be over 18. Prose only will be considered, no comics, graphic stories, or poetry. For examples of what I am looking for, see Tristan Taormino’s collection Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica.

Deadline: January 1, 2011

How to submit: Send your story in a Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc) with pages numbered of 1,500 to 5,000 words to lesbianbdsmerotica@gmail.com. Double space the document and indent the first line of each paragraph. US grammar required. If you are using a pseudonym, provide your real name and be clear under which you would like to be published. Include your mailing address and a 50 words or less bio in the third person. Publisher has final approval over the manuscript.

About the editor: Sinclair Sexsmith runs the award-winning personal online writing project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at www.sugarbutch.net. With work published in various anthologies, including the Best Lesbian Erotica series, Sometimes She Lets Me: Butch/Femme Erotica, and Visible: A Femmethology volume 2, Mr. Sexsmith also writes columns for online publications and facilitates workshops on sex, gender, and relationships. Find her full portfolio and schedule at www.mrsexsmith.com.

Sex 2.0 Update

Sex 2.0 is an unconference about the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality. This is my second year attending. Much like last year’s Sex 2.0 update I’m updating in the middle of the conference, though unlike last year the middle of the conference is Saturday evening (it was only one day last year). There are a few sessions tomorrow, including quite a few I’m interested in and excited about.

So far it’s a very different conference than the one I attended last year, but partially also because it’s where I currently live as opposed to being far away, not to mention this time it isn’t overshadowed by meeting a long-distance partner (though Onyx just left for Norway today–not for a fun reason, though, to go to a funeral). I’ve been very flattered a number of times so far this weekend, people knowing who I was when I didn’t think they would, or being actually excited by my presence. It’s been a great experience so far.

I’ll for sure be writing a longer more detailed post about the conference. You can check out my twitter feed to read what I have tweeted thus far about it (which has been a lot, I’ve basically been tweeting my conference notes rather than taking them any other way) and to follow what I will be tweeting tomorrow.

The sessions I attended today:

  1. Standing Up to the Neighborhood Bullies of the Internet by @JulianArancia
  2. Media Whoring – Tips from the Pros a panel with @ReidAboutSex, @veronicamonet, @maymaym, @cunningminx, the PR manager for @castlemegastore, and @fiercekitty
  3. Out: the Challenges and Rewards of Being Sex Positive to Your Family, Friends, Job, and Culture by @ropecast/@graydancer
  4. Online Sex Coaching and Education by @inaradeluna
  5. The Need for “Peermanship” In Meat-Time: Flying Your Freak Flag At Conferences, Why It’s Important to Hit On Your Peers, and How To Handle Your Conference Crushes…” by @ReidAboutSex

I figure you can click-through their twitter pages to their websites more easily than I can link all their websites and twitter names and make it look good.

Just like last year I will have a more detailed post up after the (un)conference is over!

Leave Your Life-Stock Alone*

Fall seems to be the time for starting new projects–there have been A LOT of blogiversaries in the last month plus–and generally of taking stock of one’s life. Perhaps this is because we are coming inside from the crazyness that is summer and all the fun that goes along with that and need to focus on other more personal things like blogs and self.

I have been absent from this blog for quite some time, I do not take pleasure in it the way I used to and I have less time to write even though I have plenty to say but at the same time I have nothing at all to say. I’m often worried that something I write in here will be taken badly by one or both of my partners and so I have become cautious and self-editing to the point of nondisclosure.

None of us are happy in this situation, but we don’t have the means to change it, and we don’t know what to do about that. We all feel stuck, on edge, like everything is threatening to break at every given moment and it’s all we can do to keep it from doing so. Or maybe that’s just me. We love and are loved but it is guarded love and it comes with promises and expectations. This situation is killing me and I don’t know how to get out of it.

I love them both so very much, but everything is so discombobulated and strange that I’m not sure what that really means.

I need to get over my fears, however, and figure out what I need and what I am thinking, and that’s where this blog comes in. I’ve come a long way from when I started this, I’ve changed a lot, found new words to mark my changes and used words to help myself remember the experiences along the way. I have written posts similar to this before, my realization of needing a space to chronicle out my thoughts and fears and dedicating myself to doing so, and every time I mean it.

I’m working on figuring out some new features or series’ for this blog and for Wanton Lotus. I am wondering about my choice to split the two of them up, wondering if they would have been better left together, and wondering if I am still writing for the reasons I want to write about. I haven’t been, but I intend to change that.

I started this blog as a place of release, somewhere I could express everything and anything going on in my life for the sake of getting it out of my head. It’s not written for an audience, though I do enjoy the fact that some people find my life/words/writing/whatever interesting but that has never been my focus. I want it to be interesting to read, yes, and I do not want to use it as a out-and-out journal, I want it to be a guide on my way to self-expression and a better writing quality.

Again, I think I’ve said all this before, but I feel the need to repeat it. I am going to set goals for myself again, focus on writing exercises, and focus on certain aspects I am desiring to write more about and delve more deeply in to. Gender and polyamory are two main focuses of my life at the moment and I’m going to start there. Sex and smut are also key factors, and I want to start writing more erotica from all sorts of points of views.

I haven’t really been sharing as much of my personal sex life as I have previously or as I would like to be because of my partners and the situation we are all in, but some day I would like to get back to that. I enjoy writing about experiences that have taken place and I hope to be able to do that again soon. I’m making it a goal to become more involved with the community here, which I really haven’t done, and hopefully that will lead to more interesting stories.

I also have many thoughts about revamping my other main site, Wanton Lotus. I just need to actually sit down and finish some of these things that I have in the works and the ideas I have. The same goes for Pleasurists for that matter, I want to focus on creating more of a community resource, but that is a whole other post.

*A line from Grosse Point Blank, maybe not the perfect title, but it’s always what I think of when I think of taking stock of life.

The (Un)conference: Getting to D.C. & Sex 2.0

Part of my trip to NYC and Washington D.C., continued from The Beginning: New York City. There will be more posts after this as well.

Somehow (after going the wrong way) I made it to the Bolt Bus with my stuff with about 15 minutes to spare before the bus was supposed to be there. I got a little to eat before heading out to the bus only to discover it was the wrong bus. That didn’t matter so much as I met up with Mollena, Essin’ Em, and MayMay before heading onto the bus. Not long after we were met by AvatarKoo and Sascha and the six of us headed on what was affectionately called the Sex Bus!

While there was a lot of chatting there was also a lot of quiet on the five hours that it took for us to go from NYC to D.C. and I got a bit of sleep (I had been kept up late the night before talking with Onyx and Marla). Bolt Bus has power plugs and wifi, which is why we all wanted to take it, but both stopped working halfway through the ride, which was highly annoying. I used that time to sleep, though, and it was no big deal.

Once we got to D.C., Mollena, Essin’ Em, and I took a cab to the hotel and got settled in. We had learned while on the bus that the pool and drinks activity scheduled was canceled as the pool was not open! This was highly disappointing to me as I had been dreaming about swimming for a good while, luckily I was able to that weekend but that’s for later.

The wonderful Domina Doll was gracious enough to let me share her room, and we ended up meeting up in the hotel restaurant before heading up to our room and settling in. We chatted for quite some time while I was tweeting with Carnivalesq and texting with Onyx and Marla.

After getting to know each other offline a little bit Domina and I headed to Carnivalesq’s room to meet her and her boyfriend Ripley both of whom I already knew I was going to like but I immediately loved them! I felt like we all got along very well and was super excited to meet them. The four of us went out to get thai food at a nearby restaurant, then headed to a liquor store and bought wine for the evening/weekend.

We headed back to our respective hotel rooms and Domina and I broke out the wine while chatting some more. I really enjoyed talking with her, and there was a little drama going on with Marla, mostly me feeling bad and worrying, so we talked about that among many other things. I was so glad to have met her and I felt like we hit it off as well, though I knew that was going to happen.

We headed up to the Brownies and Porn event happening in Match’s room and there met lots of other people, I can’t even say who all was there, but that was the first time I met Jay and Ellie and so many other people were there. At the time I was busy worrying about meeting Marla, I had not yet bought our hotel room for the next two nights either, and I was just in anxiety-mode, which made being in a room full of people I didn’t know too well who were also being loud something that I didn’t want to do.

I headed back down to my room, made hotel reservations for the next two nights at a hotel in Alexandria, VA on the other side of D.C. (technically we were in Silver Springs, MD) and called the hotel to make sure their pool was open. It was. Score! Carnivalesq and Ripley came along not too soon after, there was chatting for a bit until they were tired and decided to head back to their room. It was a strange night all around, really.

I ended up staying up super late (read: 5am) talking on the phone with Onyx about my own fears and insecurities regarding meeting Marla, and so I also ended up sleeping until the keynote had already started. Quickly I woke Domina up, showered, got dressed, and headed down to the main floor where the conference was being held. I opted for breakfast instead of the first session but then opted for talking with Marla on the phone instead of breakfast. She was already on her way up to D.C.

The first session I went to (which was actually the second session) was Mollena’s “Flying Your Freak Flag” session, I came in late with Carnivalesq, then Ripley followed not long behind. It was a wonderful session, Mollena is absolutely wonderful and I really was glad that I had chosen to go to hers. There were several wonderful quotes which i couldn’t help but tweet and just generally enjoyed the session immensely. It was basically about the decision to be “out” about being part of a community, how being out can help others around you not just yourself. Every session I participated in seemed to come back to person vs. personae in one way or another, something I definitely want to write about at a later time.

After that session I talked with Marla and Onyx briefly before settling down to actually eat something since I had neglected to do so before. Carnivalesq and Ripley kept me company and Carnivalesq discovered the sugar packets were njoy brand (njoy being also the name of a sex toy company we all lust for). It was highly amusing. Can you tell I clung to them a bit the entire conference?

This entire time, also, Marla was getting closer and closer to D.C. and my excitement for that was building and distracting as I was also enjoying everything else.

I stuck with Carnivalesq and Ripley and updated briefly during Jack Stratton’s session “History of Written Erotica on the Internet” which was highly awesome and included a snippit from a tentacle porn story which was pretty awesome. I tweeted a few choice quotes from that session as well. It talked heavily on the difference between person vs. personae and the ability of having anonymity on the internet but that also evolving into a personae of it’s own. Quite interesting, and for another post.

She was even closer by the time the session started.

We stayed in the same room to participate in Jack Murnighan’s session “Sex Writing Beyond Erotica,” which discussed various types of sex writing and also ended up touching on person vs. personae as well as various other things, such as comfortability in sex writing (“If I’m really comfortable writing this, it probably isn’t going to be interesting” tweet), the ever-evasive (for me) showing vs. telling, and all sorts of other usual suspects when it comes to issues with sex writing/how to write sex/etc. Again, there were many quotable tweets.

That session was also especially amusing because, as I tweeted, I was sitting next to Carnivalesq, one row behind AvatarKoo, two rows behind Ellie Lumpesse, and also across the room from Minx, all of us with our laptops, all of us tweeting. After the session I stepped away from my computer for less than 20 minutes, when I came back there were 60+ tweets under the #Sex20 hashtag on twitter. We were also trending on twitter, meaning so many people were using the hashtag it officially became a trend. Crazy.

The final session I attended was “Revisiting Naked on the Internet” with Audacia Ray, FurryGirl, Melissa Gira and Amber Rhea. It dealt a lot with the person vs. personae idea again, as well as feminism or not, sex work, and living your life on the internet (kinda similar to person vs. personae also).

After the session I went to the vendor room with Carnivalesq, where Ripley had already bought a necklace from Vera for me! I didn’t know they were going to, and it was so sweet of them! I am currently wearing it, and haven’t actually taken it off since it was given to me, it’s a simple chain held together with a heart-shaped lock kinda like the one on my wrist. I had mentioned liking it earlier in the day. It was so super sweet of them, I’m still kinda floored by it!

Marla was so close I could almost taste her, so I said my goodbyes to Domina Doll (who I barely saw all day), Carnivalesq and Ripley, headed up to the hotel room, packed up my stuff, went downstairs and impatiently waited for her to get to the hotel.

Part of me is sad I didn’t stick around for that night and the next morning, but I had something more important to do. Heaven forbid having sex actually interfere with a conference about sexuality! I really enjoyed all the sessions, and I have a lot more I want to write about each of them but specifically under the topic they raised in me: person vs. personae. In Jack’s Sex 2.0 post he mentions the point of the conference, which I will gratefully steal quote:

“One thing Sex 2.0 seemed to say to me is that we (feminists, sex workers, BDSM, poly community, LGBT, creators of explicit art and media, anyone ostracized, marginalized, disadvantaged or persecuted because of their sexual identity, choice or profession) may be part of different movements, but we have a lot of similar goals and we should come together and learn how to be better allies. We are all fighting first and foremost to have our voices heard, thus it makes sense for us to create forums where all voices can be heard.”

I couldn’t have said it better. It was a wonderful experience and I’m excited for the next Sex 2.0 to be held here in Seattle and further participation in it next year.

Meeting Marla, heading to the hotel, and the rest of the weekend? That will have to come in the next post…

Sex 2.0 Update

sex20

Currently updating from “History of Written Erotica on the Internet” (third session) by Jack Stratton. I woke up later than planned after a long night last night, but that’s something else to talk about entirely. Basically I woke up when the keynote was happening and was going to get food during the first session although I just ended up missing it.

I went to Mollena‘s “Flying Your Freak Flag” session (second session) which was pretty amazing and hilarious (she wrote about it and Sex 2.0 here), and I have been tweeting massively regarding what has been going on this weekend.

There are two more sessions, and I’ll be live-tweeting throughout, but I wanted to post on here with a little update. Sex 2.0 has simply been wonderful and amazing thus far. I’ve met some brilliant and wonderful people and connected offline with people I’ve already connected to online, such as Carnivalesq, it’s pretty fantastic.

This session has focused on anonymity in addition to erotica itself, but specifically writing erotica and sex blogging and such. It’s something I definitely want to write about, my sort-of anonymity, as I go by Scarlet offline as well as on.

Also, while I am loving Sex 2.0 what I’m really excited about is that Marla is currently on her way driving up here to D.C. We have a hotel room for the next two nights, and are going to be fucking our brains out meeting, connecting, and… well… okay, fucking our brains out!

There will be so much more for me to write about, the last few days in NYC, the sex bus, Sex 2.0, meeting and fucking Marla, then back to NYC… I’m going to be a very busy blogger in the next week!

Visible: A Femmethology – Virtual Tour Day

Cross-posted on The Femme’s Guide here.

Femme–an identity that has caused controversy, celebration and ridicule–is now the topic of a two-volume set from Homofactus Press and editor Jennifer Clare Burke titled Visible: A Femmethology. Femmethology calls the LGBTQI community on its own prejudice and celebrates the diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists, and totally new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. – from femmethology.com

This month of April marks something I’ve been waiting for quite some time: the Femmethology virtual blog tour! Today is lucky enough to be my day, and so I’m sharing some of my feelings and insights related to the Femmethology. Visit Daphne Gottlieb tomorrow for her day, and all the sites at the bottom of the post on their days.

First, a little about the Femmethology:
Visible: A Femmethology

Femmethology is essential—a roadmap of Femme Nation, an index, an anthropology, a manifesto, and a googleology. – Dorothy Allison

Visible: a Femmethology is a two-volume anthology of essays revolving around femme identity.

I’ve been discovering and embracing my multigendered identity lately, but in that multigendered identity there is a solidly femme identity as well, which these books helped me remember.

Not that I had forgotten my femme identity, I just had been focusing more consciously on my fagette identity than my femme because it was new and in a way easier to focus on because it’s more visible (though only slightly). The identities in no way are opposites, they are complimentary, but they are also different. Reading through the Femmethology in a way re-connected me with my femme identity.

The biggest benefit of the Femmethology, in my opinion, is that it helps remind us that we are not alone as femmes. While some of us have many femme friends and a wonderful support system the rest of us do not and we have to navigate the world without much reassurance and reminders that there are so many of us out there feeling the same things. This is one of the reasons I started The Femme’s Guide in the first place, to emphasize that there are many of us out there, and while we’re all different we are also all the same.

I was moved many times throughout the two volumes. There were authors I knew well or moderately well, from various avenues such as Sinclair Sexsmith, Sassafras Lowrey, and Tara Hardy. There were many other authors that I didn’t know anything about, but I was able to get to know something about them through their stories.

Many stories touched me to the core, rocked me, and left me dazed and contemplating my own stories and my own identities.

I feel that Visible: A Femmethology is not just a book or anthology meant to be read, though it certainly is that as well, it’s also a look into each of these femme’s lives and voices, an adventure into different types of femme-ininity and different experiences that all somehow are similar because of this identity we all embrace and inhabit. It shows the vastness of femme while also showing what unites us.

It screamed “you are not alone” to me right when I needed it.

From the Introduction to the anthology: “Femme means I won’t compromise on complexity. … Above all, my femme is not your femme, which is the good news. … Femme means my sexuality, my partner choices, my definitions and my gender presentation might not match your labels.”

You can order Volume 1 and Volume 2 through the fabulous Homofactus Press.

You can also hear Sinclair Sexsmith reading his Love Letter to Femmes!

Check out the blogs below on the associated dates to learn more about the Femmethology volumes:
4/1. Sugarbutch Chronicles
4/2. Ellie Lumpesse
4/3. Queer-o-mat
4/4. CyDy Blog
4/6. Catalina Loves
4/7. cross-post: The Femme’s Guide and Femme Fagette
4/8. Daphne Gottlieb
4/9. Bilerico Project
4/10. Screaming Lemur: Femme-inism and Other Things
4/13. The Femme Hinterland
4/14. Bochinche Bilingüe: Borderlands Writing and The Vagina Adventures
4/15. Dorothy Surrenders
4/16. Miss Avarice Speaks Her Mind
4/17. The Femme Show
4/19. Sexuality Happens
4/20. Queer Fat Femme
4/21. Sublimefemme Unbound
4/22. Tina-cious.com and Jess I Am (butch-femme couple day!)
4/23. FemmeIsMyGender
4/24. The Lesbian Lifestyle
4/25. Femme Fluff
4/26. Weldable Cookies
4/27. The Verbosery
4/28. A Consuming Desire and Creative Xicana
4/29. Queercents
4/30. en|Gender

Contribute to The Femme's Guide's New Layout

I just put up a new site layout on The Femme’s Guide today, which I’m actually pretty excited about! It’s similar to the previous layout while also being different enough to be a change.

The image on the left on The Femme’s Guide changes when the page is refreshed. Currently there are six different images rotating, and I want more. These images are ones that I’ve found which in some way embody femme to me. Since femme is such a varied and personal identity I’m asking for your help in adding further images.

The only restrictions on the images is that they either have to be your own or under a Creative Commons License or otherwise legal to be used in the layout.

Under each image I have included the link to the photographer as well as Creative Commons information. If your image does not include information about where you got it I will not be able to use it.

The images also must be relatively safe for work. While we do talk about sex and sexuality on the site and occasionally (though rarely) have NSFW images I’d like to keep the layout images as close to safe for work as possible, though that idea differs for different people. Basically I don’t want to see nipples, genitals, etc. clothed is acceptable.

Other than that, anything that represents femme to you is acceptable!

Send your image to femmesguide AT gmail DOT com with the following information:

Who is the photographer/owner of this image?
Is there a URL I can credit the image to (your blog/portfolio/etc. if yours, the page on flickr or elsewhere where the image can be found, etc.)?
Is this image available under a Creative Commons License?

I will email you when your image is live on the site!

Protected: Indiscriminate Niceness is Overrated*

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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.

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