I often wonder what I really have to offer the world outside of my own personal musings. But it is in optimistic moments that I realize that is enough.
What can any of us really offer except for a glimpse in to our own world—our thoughts, opinions, and the things that drive us? What could be more inspirational? More intimate? It takes a lot to open ourselves up to people, even in small ways, and it’s amazing that we do it so innately most of the time that it’s only when faced with our vulnerabilities that we realize just how special this is.
Because we’re all so brilliantly varied I’m not too sure there’s any one way to successfully review adult products. But I know many people have an interest in it, so I thought I’d share some of the Do’s and Don’ts that I have found particularly useful over the years.
These grow and develop as time goes on (and I’m sure one day I’ll revisit this topic) but here’s where I’m at as of the here and now.
Do…Test A Toy Multiple Times
This one is sex blogger 101. If you’re going to review sex toys then you can’t just go off of your first impression.
Trying a toy and immediately going ‘NOPE’ is a luxury that non-bloggers have, but if you’ve committed to appraising a project then it’s your duty to give a toy multiple chances and to find out why it feels a certain way to you (even if you dislike it).
The only exception to this rule is if a toy is causing you physical pain or illness. You are not obligated to harm yourself multiple times for the sake of a product appraisal.
Do…Treat Your Clients Like People
The people who work in the sex toy industry are wonderful, quirky, friendly, and varied individuals. Adam at Godemiche is brilliantly bonkers. Andy and Pixie from Kink Craft share their thoughts on various commissioned articles in an engaging podcast series, and Ruby l’Ace over at Knciker Rocker Glory is the hostess with the mostess (and has a brilliant fashion sense).
The more you work with companies the more you get to know them and the faces behind the brands. It always pays to remember that you are not just working with products—you’re working with people too and those people are well worth getting to know.
If you know the people behind a product then chances are you’ll be much more privy to their approaches and motivations, too, which will allow you to give a more thorough review and to help them know what they’re doing right and wrong.
If you’re respectful and honest to people then, chances are, they’ll appreciate what you have to say a lot more.
Do…Value Your Readership
If you’re reading this right now then you have made this site what it is. There’s no arguing this point.
A site is only as strong as its readership and the community support that it manages to gain over time.
Know your audience, appreciate them, and listen to them. Actively engage with them where you can. Find out what they do and don’t want to see and ask what they like and dislike about your content.
We write to help people, so it’s important to listen to and value people in our reviews. If a review is purely self-serving then it’s destined to fail.
Do…Remember The Basics
Grammar, consistency, proofreading. It’s something I still slip up on regularly (it is possible to become typo-blind if you read a work enough) and, in these cases, having someone else to hand can be a massive help too.
At the end of the day companies will decide to work with you based on your professionalism and if your writing is sloppy then you may well find that potential clients look the other way.
I’m not a big fan of standardized writing styles—by all means, strike out and find your own groove—but a certain degree of competence with your written language of choice is required.
Don’t…Lie To Please A Company (Or Your Readership)
With so many wonderful people supporting you from all sides you may feel compelled to be as kind and (for lack of a better word) forgiving when it comes to products of a questionable quality. But let me be clear:
If people have trusted you to do a review for them (or have come to you to read your review) then you owe them your very best, and, in the case of reviewing, that means your integrity and your honesty.
Even if you dislike a toy stay true to giving it your all and explaining just why the toy didn’t work for you. A company would much rather know where they’ve gone wrong (or what products are worth investing in) than continue to produce a sub-par item. Trust me.
But, even if a company doesn’t appreciate your integrity, remember to be true to your own word. At the end of the day your professionalism and morals are key to who you are, both as a reviewer and as an individual.
Don’t…Put Your Body At Risk
I’ve touched upon this already but, seriously, I’ve lost count of the amount of UTIs I’ve contracted as part of my blogging career and I don’t recommend anyone try to recreate my folly.
If a toy really hurts you—if it stings or itches, or generally gives out giant warning signals—then follow standard advice and discontinue use.
Let the company know your issues with the toy and talk through the next steps of your review process with them. Some reviewers will ask to review a product even if it causes pain, others will feel they aren’t qualified enough. These are valid responses and you have a right to defend your body and its wellbeing. No product is worth risking that.
TL;DR: Do as I say, not as I do.
Don’t…Neglect The Personal Touch
Any decent adult retailer will list the specs of their products for all to see, but none of them can do what you do. None of them have your wit, your spark of inspiration, nor your specific sexual preferences and capabilities.
Even if you’re not in to penetration, you can bet that you’re filling a hole in the world of reviewers simply by talking openly about what toys work for you and why.
Never forget this and don’t be afraid to be fiercely and vibrantly you. I look forward to seeing what you can do.
Needless to say, I have a lot more advice I can give. Buuuut I think bitesize bits of advice may be more prudent than a huge dump of information, so consider this Pt. 1 of a potentially ongoing series. If you like what I have to say then please do let me know and I’ll keep the good times rolling.
Until the next review,