What Sex Toy Retailers Can Learn from the EdenFantasys Scandal

October 13th, 2013

Let me preface this article by explaining which scandal I am talking about because there are many. EdenFantasy has been doing wrong by employees, clients, manufacturers and reviewers for years. But several months ago, the owner “discovered” there was barely enough revenue left to keep the company afloat. He fire all the employees and shut down all the clubs and programs, including Sexis and EdenCafe, that had been going on. He, then, decided to cut how many points — points that contributors had earned — that contributors could put toward their orders. This resulted in a strange “point consideration proposal” by Fred who literally and liberally berated the community for abusing the system that he had championed for years.

I quote:

You will be asked to submit a reconsideration request. It is optional. If you chose not to participate, your points will remain as they are now.
We review the submission manually and decide whether your points will be restored or completely erased.

All your points (or converted Gift Cards) will be cancelled and removed if company finds that you accumulated 500 points or more by intentionally abusing the system.

EdenFantasys is not a store you an trust!

Around this time, many products were “discontinued.” Reviews and orders were being canceled left and right. Some, mind included, took months to get out. Anyone who wanted to buy something was hard-pressed to do so. Affiliates who had reached their payouts were not — and some still haven’t been, 5 months later — paid. During this whole thing, Fred refused, and then denied when I brought it up, to discuss or admit the state of the company. He banned many contributors and limited the accounts of others, myself included. However, many of the previous employees began to speak up about how this was just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.

Reviewers and shoppers who wised up by reading posts like mine left in droves, many opening up a blog for the very first time. Others took to Twitter and other review/affiliate programs in light of Fred/EdenFantasys’ policies.  SheVibe opened their own forum.

There’s no doubt that it’s a ridiculous scandal and one that could have been completely avoided. It hurt the company and left the community scarred and fragmented, but that’s not all there is to it. Eden’s fallacies are absolutely a lesson that other companies can — and should — learn from. This is far from a cohesive list, so I encourage you to add your thoughts in the comments. I may even add them to this post. The scary part is how many of these facts are simply common sense.

Business Management

  • Don’t turn a blind eye to things like the bills. They don’t go away. Quite the opposite. They pile up, and you ruin your reputation with consumers, manufacturers and other companies with whom you have a relationship. When it gets to the point that the company needs to be shut down or sold immediately because you ignored or tried to deny away the problem for months or even years, there’s no one to blame but yourself.
  • Yes, you have to spend money to make money. No, you shouldn’t spend thousands or millions of dollars on projects that don’t bring in money and ultimately bleed the company dry. Yes, working with bloggers can yield positive results. No, it shouldn’t be your only end game.
  • Don’t blame the customers for your bad business practices. This falls under the “there’s no one to blame but you” category, but I’ll talk about it more anyway. Don’t blame customers for taking advantage of programs or sales that you created.
  • It’s such a sleazy thing to base your business on the idea that you will make deals with others. That you will slip them something a little extra under the table or that you’ll bow to their demands to appease them, especially if you’re hurting your customer in the process.
  • Don’t try to do it all. Even if you have the best of intentions, you can’t do it all. You just can’t. Determine what you can do and do it well rather than spreading yourself too thin. Otherwise, you wind up starting clubs and giveaways and blogger outreach. The best case scenario is that it works with a few hiccups or that it doesn’t, and you can gracefully back out. Sometimes people will understand. On the other hand, if you don’t realize that you’re setting yourself up for failure, you might make a bunch of promises that you can’t deliver on, which may result in some unhappy customers.
  • Treat your employees well because they are what make your company run. They may be the face that customers see. They have the power to testify against you in court and to tell your dirty little secrets.

Community

  • When you reward your contributors for listing pros and cons about things, they’ll do the same for your company. It’s not about bloggers, it’s about pissing off vocal people. And bloggers will talk — even Metis Black mentioned how quickly the network works a CatalystCon West —  partly because we like to talk to begin with, but it’s more than that. I feel as though I owe readers the truth, whether it’s about a a toy or a company. I feel an obligation to tell buyers that a company isn’t reputable. As a blogger, I feel a sense of community with my fellow bloggers, and I want to help protect them from companies that will take advantage of them. So it’s my job to talk about it on this blog, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Facebook or on your forum. Wherever I can talk about what you did wrong, I will. It’s not about you. It’s not petty vengeance. It’s about raising awareness of wrongdoing.
  • This leads me to my next point: don’t lie. The truth always comes out. Either you wind up telling bigger lies to cover up the succession of untruths, you get caught in the act or you wrong a person whom you trusted with your secret, and the truth comes out. The truth always comes out. Can you deal with that?
  • People don’t react to change well, especially not if it’s sudden. Yes, you may have to change the focus or programs that your company has. If you do it all at once, people will complain because they’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. You can attempt to smooth things over by explaining why you have to change, and even though you don’t have to explain how your company works or what you’re doing, a little transparency goes a long way. When you start lying, even if it’s just by having shady practices, people stop trusting you.

And that trust? Yea, it’s kind of important when you use marketing campaigns about how people can trust you.

 

7 Comments


Dude!

June 18th, 2009

I mean, I guess that’s what surfers say, right? I posted a review of the Royal Surfer on EF earlier.

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Tie Me Up, Scotty

June 5th, 2009

I have a new review on EdenFantasys for the Purple Bondage Pleasure Set. It kinda sucks. =/

1 Comment


Pleasure Tops

May 3rd, 2009

Most of the time, when I am not completely satisfied with a new sex toy, I develop a grudge against it and it becomes extremely difficult to see the strengths of the toy. This really isn’t the case with the Pleasure Tops vibrator. In fact, I just can’t help but focusing on how close this was to being my perfect toy. It does make the disappointment harder to swallow, though.

When Doc Johnson designed the Pleasure Tops vibe, the company went out on a limb. It certainly is a unique toy with its cone shaped base and thumb-like protrusion. It’s also fairly small. I thought it seemed tiny compared to the size I thought it would be; I know there is always some reconciliation between expectations and the reality of sex toy size, but I had never overestimated size so badly. The Pleasure Tops toy sits in the palm of my hand and is less than 5″ tall, overall. The girth at the base is a whipping 7.85″ but only a portion of that is actually insertable.

Even though the size was not what I was expecting, this is not altogether a fault. I enjoyed the size and uniqueness of the cone. Insertion of the TPR covered toy (I chose the blue over the pink which reminded me too much of bubblegum) was a breeze with just a dab or water or silicone based lube. Once inserted, I couldn’t really feel the bullet in the tip of the cone because it didn’t really touch anything. Rather than improving upon the size and strength of the bullet or the shape of the toy, I think the cone simply does not need to vibrate. I enjoy cumming around items (like a vibe, dildo or cock) and have often wished for a sort of vaginal plug which the Pleasure Tops does nicely. Because the external portion of the vibrator is the largest part, I could easily feel it at the entrance to my pussy but it wasn’t so long or large (only 2.5″ long and 5.25″ around at the widest insertable point) that the inserted portion was uncomfortable, which I sometimes experience with longer toys.

On the other hand, I thought the clit stimulator could use a little more in every sense. This thumb-shaped stimulator is made of the same soft TPR (the material does pick up lint so beware) which covers a second mini-bullet. Even at the highest setting, this was nothing more than an exciting tingle. A larger bullet is absolutely necessary. This would improve both strength of the vibrations and size of the clitoral stimulator which, I thought, was both too short and too thin. While I could easily manipulate the clit stimulator into place, it didn’t like to stay into place over my clit and would slip down or to either side. I especially wished for a wider clit stimulator.

I tried out the Pleasure Tops both lying and sitting up because it seems like it would be a good toy for use while sitting. Use while lying was similar to using any other dual stimulator toy but I had a bit more trouble sitting. Because an inch or so of the cone protrudes, I could not sit with the cone flat beneath me but I could sort of squat over a chair, using the arms to support myself. However, I was able to sit more or less normally, with the cone tilted so the back edge rested on seat of the chair. This was actually fairly comfortable and also provided for hands free stimulation but it didn’t bring me to orgasm.

Ultimately, I don’t think this is a toy that can do it for me. It was an exciting tingle and I liked the overall fit but a stronger and larger clit stimulator would have really pushed me over the edge. As I am prone to say, I enjoyed the way the toy hugged my pubic bone. Had I been able to achieve orgasm, I think it would have felt great.

For those who only need a lighter touch or want a toy for warm up, then Pleasure Tops might do the trick but I kept the vibration on high the whole time and it still wasn’t enough. For the strength of the vibration, I found the amount of sound to be acceptable. It is noticeably louder on the higher settings but once pressed against flesh, the sound is muffled. For 2 AAA batteries, the amount of power is reasonable but I would consider a power supply of at least 2AA batteries, if not more.

I would also change the entire control system. I might have tried to work myself up to the highest system is it was not such a hassle to adjust. To insert batteries, the end base, made of ABS plastic, unscrews. Battery insertion is easy and you screw the base back on. However, the base does not like to be screwed on snugly otherwise the vibrations do not work. There needs to be a thin area of space between the base and the rest of the toy itself. I could easily slip a piece of paper folded 4 times between this space. Not only is this annoying, but it made me wonder how waterproof this toy really is. I ran the toy under running water and patted down the outside before checking inside. There was water between the 2 parts of the Pleasure Tops but not in the battery area itself so I would trust it to hold up in the shower but maybe not completely submersed.

I wish the touchiness of screwing on the lid were the only problem I had. Unfortunately, the controls just suck. The base is also something of a giant dial. Because of this, turning too far toward the “Low/Off” side can cause the base to unscrew and turning too far in the “High” direction causes it to tighten to the point where vibration stops. The only way to ensure that neither happens is to use both hands which is really a hassle because you pretty much have to remove the toy to adjust the settings. Dial controls should not be so difficult. I would much prefer a corded hand-held control with buttons and specific settings but I’m not a big fan of dial controls, period. Perhaps making this change would also make the Pleasure Tops usable during sitting.

Were size and strength of the vibrations the only complaints I had with the Pleasure Tops, I would still use it because the shape is really what I have been wanting for a long time. However, the problematic base/controls really seem to thwart any efforts on my part to make the best out of Doc Johnson’s Pleasure Tops. Because this is so close to my perfect toy, I would plead with Doc Johnson or anyone else to take my suggestions into consideration. You have no idea how happy and sated that would make me!

10 Comments


Drumroll Please!

April 29th, 2009

Id’ like to announce the winner of my Spring Break contest. Quite a few of you have been naughty in public places and have become precariously close to begin caught. Others would surely do so, should the opportunity arise and I certainly hope it does! I know there’s a certain fear of being caught which can give quite the adrenaline rush and your stories certain gave a different sort of rush. However, I could only choose one winner for the Hawaiian Vibrator and Pleasure Island game. The lucky winner is Milla with her story:

What I have always loved about spring break are the opportunities to orgasm and have sex outside, in the fresh air and the possibility of getting caught. One of my sexiest and most erotic spring break orgasms came while i was perched on a picnic table, along a trail, with my legs spread and my boyfriend’s face deeply indulging in my clitoris. I remember keeping a constant eye on the trail, hearing people coming closer, and orgasming so hard just moments before a family walked up . . . i can’t wait to do that again.

I would like to thank you all for participating and EdenFantasys for sponsoring! I hope I have more contests from time to time!

2 Comments


Wrapping Up!

April 21st, 2009

I will be wrapping up my Spring Contest by the end of this week. I meant to do so by Sunday but sort of, er, forgot. LOL So you have a few more days to broadcast it and enter, if you want. Remember, the winners will get a neat Hawaiian Vibe as well as an adult game!

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Pearl Drops Review

April 8th, 2009

I enjoyed the time I spent with my newest glass dildo, the Pearl Drops. Usually I don’t write reviews so quickly but I couldn’t help it with this one!

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Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’

April 1st, 2009

There’s no relevance between this post’s title and its content. I simply love this song by Journey and am enjoying it at the moment. I think I might enjoy singing is karaoke style but will probably never lose my inhibitions enough to do so.

I want to apologize for my absence but hope you have all enjoyed my Totally Fuckable Tuesday posts. I plan to continue them fairly regularly (not yesterday as I was flying back home) as well as catch up on all my reviews.

I’m also holding a new contest with a Spring theme. Let me know your Spring break fantasy (or real life experience, if you have one!). The lucky winner will receive an adult game as well as a vibrator from EdenFantasys. Head over to the contest post to leave your comment.

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Spring Contest Time!

March 24th, 2009

Pleasure Island Adult GameI’m feeling generous these days and so is the ever-growing EdenFantasys - you know, one of the sex toy retailers for whom I review – who agreed to sponsor a contest. This time around it will be a Spring themed contest as it is Spring – at least my calendar says so; I’m not sure sure about this weather. LOL

Leave a comment and tell me your hottest Spring break rendez-vous (hook up with a stranger, show your bits in Cancun?). Alternatively, if you haven’t yet experienced an X rated Spring vacation, why not share your Spring fling fantasy?

The prize(s) will be Spring/tropical themed to match the contest, of course, and include the Pleasure Island adult game as well as the tropical Hawaiian Vibrator so you and a partner (or more) can have some fun with your new adult toys.

52 Comments


Symphony G-Harmony

February 25th, 2009

I want to say right away that I don’t think the Symphony G-Harmony is necessarily a bad toy.  After all, I did enjoy it as a clit stimulator and when I managed to find that “sweet” spot, it felt really good. However, finding that spot was not something which came easily or often.

I was interested in this little purple gem because I wanted to explore my G-spot. I had only had clitoral orgasms before and so I did a little searching. I thought that most of those long G-spot wands looked dorky and, as usual, my sense of aesthetic took over. I must say, in that respect, I think the G-Harmony is amazing. Its translucent purple TPR really is gorgeous and the wave like ridges  are the tip seem to really fit the name for some reason plus the base is shaped in such a way that is vaguely reminds me me of a gemstone. The way this G-spot vibrator catches the eye is almost breathtaking and I think I might even like the way it looks better all of the rest of my toys.

Evolved also provides this toy with its typical classy packaging (a fancy metal box) – this time in red with black accents. This works well for storage but I do find it to be a bit bulky so I wouldn’t use it with a toy I use frequently (it would make a good storage case for a number of other items inside the bedroom and out); unfortunately, I will not be using this toy frequently.

The first issue I ran into was that this toy is a little girthier than many G-spot toys. In application, I couldn’t twist and turn it any which way to perfect my technique (or lack there-of LOL). I wasn’t able to go from different angles; this pretty much remained in one position. Now, I like my insertable toys to be significant in size and if I were looking for a basic vibrator, I might like this size but it wound up hindering my G-spot experimentation. I already knew my body seems to be as fickle as my mind can sometimes be and I would need to be able to feel about a bit to find the perfect spot but I just couldn’t with this toy. However; I don’t think that means everyone will run into the same problem.

My next approach was to use the flexibility of this toy to its utmost potential. Between the base and the tip (where the bullet is located), there is a certain amount of give and flexibility. A lot of G-spot toys seem to be firm the whole way through and I originally liked this. The problem was, the flexibility reduced the amount of pressure I was able to exert internally so I had to try to bend the toy against the back wall of my vagina so that the tip might curve back upward toward  my G-spot. This didn’t work.

However, the flexibility was nice when it came to thrusting. When I slid the G-harmony out of my pussy, I could drag it across my clit in a a curved path, before pushing it back in and I did like this but it wasn’t going to get me off. I was able to use the G-Harmony on my clit to get off, though, which was unexpected. Sadly, it wasn’t my goal.

Unfortunately, I have a bad tendency to break toys which had a flexible spot and this wasn’t an exception. Although it’s still completely functional and beautiful, I (am pretty sure I) have just barely broken this vibrator, somehow. The flexible place is now a little floppy. While I can still use it, it certainly doesn’t help me achieve G-spot orgasm.

As the facts stacked up, I accepted that I was not going to have my first G-spot orgasm with this vibe. Although it looked and felt nice, it wasn’t extraordinary. I liked the vibrations inside and out; they were fairly powerful (without being over the top)  and the bullet location in the tip was a god thought but it was just nice. Even the ridges which give this toy its aesthetic appeal really didn’t add up to much. I’m not sure if my vag is a less sensitive than others but I really couldn’t feel them once inserted.

One thing that consistently annoys me about Evolved products is that they like to put their buttons on the bottom. This makes it easy to use (push once for on, twice to increase the power, a third time to turn it on high, and again to turn it off) but I was constantly turning this toy of by accident. I have another Evolved toy which does the same.

On the other hand, I think Evolved has made some decent TPR products. The colour was gorgeously translucent and I only noticed a slight scent. I have heard some TPR toys smell quite strongly and this wasn’t the case. The smell I noticed wasn’t rubbery or like chemicals; actually, it smelled vaguely of gasoline (and I’m one of those weirdos who like the smell).

One last note: I had a bit of difficult with the battery pack at first. 2 AAs go into the pack which slides out of the base of this toy. This makes it a little easier to insert and I have no problem inserting the batteries into the pack. I did run into an issue because the pack has to go in the certain way and this isn’t really clearly marked. I guess I didn’t realize this because I put it in the wrong way and it actually went in pretty easily. But when I realized this (the toy wasn’t working right) it was already stuck and I had to pry it out with a spreading knife. LOL If you have an Evolved toy with a removable battery pack, take notice of the sizes of the ridges inside the toy when you’re putting it in.

I really don’t hate this toy; I just don’t love it. I think my issues were not universal; it just wasn’t the best toy for a beginner’s G-spot exploration (because of its size) and the flexibility didn’t help like I initially thought it would. I was annoyed by my issues with the battery pack and I definitely think Evolved needs to stop putting push buttons on the bottom of their toys. Yet, the G-harmony is still good looking and did provide me with nice clitoral stimulation. I hope that, one day, I can come back to the G-Harmony after I get to know my G-spot better and we can be more harmonious together.

17 Comments