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The Best Sex Toy Reviewers list was published today, and on it, at #7, with a bullet, is yours truly. Thanks y’all! I’m glad the reviews that I do are useful for you.
So … now that I’m writing about sex toy reviews, I have a few things to say before getting on to the list. Our sexblog communities are currently flooded with sex toys. Go figure, sex toy shops have figured out that it is quite profitable for them to give us not-so-expensive products, which in turn gives them sales. Sex bloggers are happy – free sex toys! – and sex toy stores are happy – more sales!
Okay, but what about the readers?
I’m sure some reviews and recommendations are very helpful – especially when you’re not so used to shopping for sex toys, have no idea what’s out there or where to start. Great! Happy to help, happy to provide some information and ideas about certain products and how they worked for me.
I have a couple complaints about this, though:
Some blogs seem to be taken over by reviews, and the reflective, personal writings are becoming background content.
Some bloggers never write bad reviews. This kind of makes sense, since for the most part, the toy comes by request of the blogger, and we’re not really about to request things that we dislike. But how can I trust the good reviews, if there aren’t any bad ones?
Some sex toy sites are sketchy, and bad business. I cringe at their awful objectification of women and hetero-centric gaze. I wouldn’t want to support them with my money, and I do sometimes feel judgmental about supporting them with links and promotions.
I did a lot of reviews in 2008 – thanks to my lovely assistant Alisha, I’m working on a round-up of reviews from the last year, especially focusing on which toys I still use (and which are just sitting in a box). I admit, I was wowed by the options of getting sex toys in the mail (yay!) in exchange for my opinions on them. I reviewed for Eden, Babeland, Spartacus Leathers, and even got a harness from Good Vibes. And I was asked by at least a dozen other companies to review things for them, but I usually felt too strange and uncomfortable about their politics for me to follow through.
For me, it comes down to this: our sexblogs are profitable promotional tools for sex toy sites & companies. I want to be intentional and consciencious about the politics and policies I’m supporting. Toys with phthalates cause cancer and are a problem. Lack of gender and queer diversity and knowledge is a problem. A non-feminist approach to sex, sexuality, and sexual health is a problem.
I have been limiting myself to one review a week (max!), and I’m going to continue to say no to a lot of the review requests that come through. I will absolutely accept review requests for gender-bending products, for cocks and harnesses, for BDSM toys, and for occasional other fun stuff that I’ve been curious to try out, but I’m saying no a lot more than I was last year. I don’t want toy reviews to overwhelm the content of this site.
If you’ve got opinions on the ways that I review things, now’s a great time to speak up!
Any toys you would love to see me review?
Any specific questions about toys that I’ve reviewed, sex toys in general, how to use a harness, which cocks to start with, etc etc? Ask away, I’ll see what I can do to answer!
Any ideas about how I can make reviews more useful?
And now, without further ado: the Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008.
Congrats, Essin’ Em, for the #1 slot! You definitely deserve it.
I'm Sinclair Sexsmith, the kinky queer butch top behind this site. I'm an erotic educator, coach, and writer who studies literature, erotic embodiment, kink, BDSM, leather, and queer, trans, and feminist theory. I prefer the pronouns they and them.
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