I’m a sex toy reviewer; duh. People are often curious about it. Here are some questions I’m frequently asked.
How did you get your start?
Like it says on my “about” page, after being interested in sexuality my whole life, I applied to a job at a sex shop. I didn’t get the job in the end, but in the process of applying, I did a lot of research to brush up on my sex toy knowledge – and somewhere during that Google tirade, I stumbled across some sex toy review blogs. Being a writer/journalist, I knew I could do what those bloggers were doing.
I started this blog and reviewed some toys I already owned. After I’d built up a small readership and backlog of posts, I started e-mailing sex toy companies to see if any of them would be willing to send me stuff to review. Sex Toys Canada and EdenFantasys were the first to say yes (though I’m not reviewing for either of them anymore). They started sending me stuff and the rest is history.
How can I become a sex toy reviewer?
Do what I did, as described above: start a blog, review some toys out of pocket, and then pitch yourself to companies.
Epiphora wrote a beginners’ guide on this very topic, and it’s much more informative and exhaustive than anything I could tell you. Pay particularly close attention to the part where she says you have to love writing and be in it for the long haul, because you aren’t going to be successful immediately, you aren’t going to get luxury toys right off the bat, and you aren’t going to succeed at all if your writing is terrible or boring.
How do you write a good sex toy review?
I’m not even confident that my reviews are good, but here’s what I’ve learned: you need to have a good balance between dry facts and entertainment value, and you also need to strike a balance between personal opinion and more generally relatable descriptions.
In most of my reviews, I’ll indicate whether or not the toy worked for me, but I’ll also give information that will help a reader figure out whether it would work for them. That’s important. The shape or size or texture or vibration strength of a toy may disqualify it from being enjoyable for me, but that doesn’t mean I should write a useless review in which I tear the toy apart because it didn’t work for my body. Each review has to be as useful as possible, while still being personal.
What does your boyfriend think of what you do?
He’s proud of me and he’s a willing participant in my work. Sometimes I review couples’ toys or men’s toys and my boyfriend happily helps me test them out (or, in some cases, tests them out on his own).
Are you “out” to people about what you do?
My friends, immediate family, and a few select members of my extended family know about my sex toy-related endeavors, yes. I’m lucky enough to come from a very open-minded, liberal family and to have friends who share those values too, so I was never concerned about any of them “finding out” about what I do.
I use a pseudonym (Girly Juice) because I don’t want to burn any bridges when it comes to future conservative employers or whatever. That said, I think we are moving into a future where writing about sex online won’t be an automatic disqualifier for getting a job, and I do hope to be able to “come out” as my real self online someday.
What was the first toy you ever reviewed?
The first thing anyone sent me to review wasn’t actually a toy; it was a book of spanking-themed erotica stories. It was a great book, as is every erotica anthology Rachel Kramer Bussel has ever edited, in my humble opinion.
The first actual toy I was sent to review was the Doc Johnson White Nights Super Bullet. It kind of sucked, but I was still thrilled to review it.
What’s your favorite toy you’ve ever reviewed?
My answer to this question will probably always be the same: the Eroscillator. It’s gotten the most use of any toy I own and gives me orgasms more reliably than any other.
What’s the worst toy you’ve ever reviewed?
The Love Bone is quite possibly the most boring dildo of all time. I also strongly disliked the Joe Rock plug and Something Forbidden plug. And I still haven’t quite forgiven this glass egg for scaring the shit out of me when I thought it was stuck in my vagina forever.
So do you just, like, masturbate all day every day?
Uh, no. I actually probably masturbate less now than I did before I started reviewing.
I think people often don’t realize that sex toy reviewing isn’t just about testing the toys themselves – it also involves writing, researching, networking, marketing, managing affiliate accounts, corresponding with advertisers and sponsors, answering reader questions/comments, maintaining my website, etc. It’s definitely a pretty sweet gig but it’s not nearly as effortless as people seem to think it is.
Have sex toys lost their appeal, now that using them is basically your job?
Interestingly, no. Sure, I’m more analytical and critical of toys’ sensations now than I was before, but I still enjoy using and owning toys. They have improved my solo sex life significantly.
Where do you store all those toys?
I will probably do a post (eventually) on my updated storage situation, with pictures and all, but for now, here’s the basic layout:
Plastic drawers, top drawer – favorite toys that are used often.
Second drawer – anal toys, Kegel toys, bullet vibrators, and lube samples.
Third drawer – silicone dildos.
Bottom drawer – condoms, porn DVDs, unused sex toy storage boxes, and instruction booklets.
Metal drawers, top drawer – rarely-used vibrators.
Second drawer – dildos made of unusual materials, like metal, wood, ceramic, and glass.
Third drawer – harnesses (of which I only have two so far).
Fourth drawer – men’s toys (because my boyfriend’s living situation doesn’t currently give him much privacy, so he prefers to keep his toys at my place).
Fifth drawer – currently empty except for my enema.
Bottom drawer – massager-style/electric vibes.
How many toys do you own?
Somewhere around 110 right now. I’ve reviewed more than that, but I sometimes give toys away to my friends, or just throw them out if they’re really terrible or broken. (My toybox page lists my collection in full.)
How much money do you make?
Not enough to live on. Yet. But more than I was expecting to make when I got into this biz, certainly.
What toys do you recommend for beginners?
A vibrator that is versatile, and inexpensive but body-safe, like the Turbo Glider.
A Tantus dildo with dimensions that will work for whatever orifice you’re trying to fill. If you’re a beginner to penetration (whether vaginal or anal) and want something slim, try the Charmer or Acute. If you’re ready for something more filling, consider the Comet, Adam O2, Echo, or Tsunami.
If you want a butt plug, definitely look at Tantus’ plugs.