Resolve, Not Resolutions

January 4th, 2018

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, not really. I think they’re silly and we shouldn’t wait to do things that can just as well be started on a given Thursday. And I do dream up and start projects with no apparent thought to time or season — my Science of Sex feature is one of those things.  So I don’t plan to make resolutions, but the new years lures me into thinking about what I can do differently, and I wind up setting some informal goals, goals that I would never call resolutions, of course.

I’ve had pretty good momentum thus far. Granted, it’s only the 4th of January (I typed “July” because apparently that date just wants to be read), so there is plenty of time to fuck that up, but I feel pretty good about the emailing, article pitching, review inquiring, Twitter using, orgasm tracking and otherwise gettin-together of shit that I’ve so far accomplished. I’m creating opportunities and fostering connections, and I don’t want that effort to go for waste.

As it is, I may not be able to maintain this momentum. This may not be necessary if I set myself up to succeed. So I’ve been thinking of ways to keep myself accountable, to help me succeed at these not-resolutions. That’s what this post is about.

One of my big issues is time management. I plan to do things in a timely manner, but the deadline whizzes by, and it might take me weeks to notice. I think the solution is twofold: to see more rigid deadlines and to utilize technology to complete tasks. I’m not a planner type of person, but I rely on my phone for a couple of reminders, and I think I will expand that for some of my monthly endeavors.

With that said, I try not to put a timeline on certain creative things. I write when I am inspired. I pitch when I have an idea, and I don’t think trying to push that is beneficial. I want to encourage more inspiration, which means I need to be more proactive about keeping up with my fellow bloggers and the sex educators that I respect, among others. I’ve clicked countless links over the past few days, read blog posts and generally found myself shocked at how much I’d missed over the last couple years.

I’ve made efforts to follow more people on Twitter, where I intend to be more active. For the past few years, I’ve spent a lot of time aimlessly scrolling my personal Facebook. It’s a huge time-suck, one with which I am sure plenty of my readers are familiar. I plan to redirect some of that attention. With that in mind, I am also following more of those sources on my personal Facebook, so when I inevitably find myself scrolling mindlessly, I will come across content from those pages. I am considering eventually consolidating my writing about sex with my actual online presence, so this is also a first step toward that.

While I don’t want to tie myself down to deadlines, I think I need to periodically analyze my progress and make adjustments. It seems that a quarterly check-in would be feasible and helpful. This will also enable me to keep up with erotica calls to action as I want to publish more of that.

And this leaves me with a shift I think has been coming for a long time, and some may argue has already occurred. Reviews are not where my heart lies. Perhaps they never were. I prefer writing articles and erotica, and I want to continue focusing on those. Eventually, I may want to move away from this domain name altogether, but I don’t plan to do that in the near future.

In the meantime, it’s necessary for me to only review the things that I feel strongly about, either positively or negatively. I’ve written so many lukewarm reviews in the past year or two, and I know they’re neither as helpful to readers as they should be or a worthy us of my time as I want.

I’ve got a backlog of items to post reviews about. Some are half-written drafts. Others are completely written and waiting on photos (a photog I am not, and I frequently struggle capturing photos that I feel are good enough to post). Some items I’ve tried and honestly never sat down to write about. I am not only renigging on my responsibilities, but I am making the task for difficult for myself. Signing up for fewer reviews in the first place seems like the most viable option, and I will shortly take a look at where I am with my existing queue and what I can do about that.

I think all this is doable. I’ll set up some reminders on my phone later today, after making a few more emails, and surround myself with the pile of items that I need to write about in the upcoming days and go through my post drafts to see what I feel like finishing and publishing.

Although I think I have no right to ask of my readers and friends to help, I think I shall. If I appear quiet on Twitter for extended periods of time, if I have missed the second Saturday of the month, if my blog seems stagnant, I would welcome a friendly reminder about these things if you feel like chiming in. I want to speak more, but I also want to hear more from you guys!

1 Comment

This Is Annoying

October 25th, 2010

and also pretty damned rude.

Scenario: Company contacts a reviewer, let’s call her Adriana, and asks if she might like to work with them to review items. She is excited because, well, wouldn’t you be? She responds immediately and says “Sure, let’s get this going. Can you tell me more about how you want it to work?” You fail to respond. Ever.

We live in a world where people expect instant gratification so I understand if it takes you a day or two or even a week to respond but for you to contact me, unsolicited, suggest a working relationship and fail to respond? It makes you look like a douchebag. Even if you’ve changed your mind, you could take the time to let me know so. It’s just polite. Anything else is flat out unacceptable.


No, You Don’t

May 17th, 2010

(or: Yes, You can)

Carrie Ann wrote an interesting post on her blog about how reviewers feel a sense of entitlement. Ignoring the fact that everyone feels entitlement in every aspect of life, I agree with some of her points. A little bit of patience and letting things slide goes a long way in our reviewer-retailer relationships (and our personal relationships, too!). Bitching about every little thing has never done me good. These days, I find myself being a more patient person in many areas of my life.

What’s more, I understand that the service offered to me by retailers and manufacturers is simply that, a service offered to me. They don’t have to do it (and some stores haven’t taken me on as a reviewer), and I appreciate it. I am always grateful to get toys and recognition for my reviews but I know these relationships are business relationships.

The bottom line is, these are businesses and they can do what they want. They can ignore my e-mails or any feedback I give. They can be snotty. They can send me good toys or crap toys or no toys at all. They can choose not to work with me. They can choose to be friendly and understanding or they can harass me and delay shipping or jump up and down on my boxes before handing them off to the mailman. They can terminate or suspend our relationships at any point. They can ban my account from their website. Hell, they could even ask me to not post a review, I suppose, if they weren’t happy with the way I write it.

They can do these things.

They don’t have to do anything I want them to do. They don’t even have to be courteous. But it’s good practice to do so anyway (dare I say “should?). You know the old saying “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” And it’s true. Just because you can do things without explaining to your community or customers, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can rule with an iron fist doesn’t mean you’ll have a kingdom worth ruling. Just because you can outsource your tech support to India, does not mean you should (I MEAN IT!)

No retailer owes me anything but it’s just plain stupid to expect that someone who critiques products on the internet isn’t going to speak up when services, policies, interactions or other experiences can use a little critiquing. Which is exactly why extending common courtesy to your reviewers is a good idea. I can post my thoughts on my website and publish it for the world to see. Short of legal action, you can’t stop me.

It doesn’t mean I will, especially if you have made it clear that you’re not an all-powerful being without fault. Maybe you’re just a business made up of imperfect humans like myself (not that I am several people). Give a little, get a little back, right? I’m much more likely to be understanding if the folks I work with have shown me the same understanding in the past. That can be the difference between me taking a positive spin on a “crisis” or calling for your company to be damned.

And I’m sure it’s a fine line to walk. You’ve got to look out for your bottom line but you don’t want to alienate the people who have the power to help that bottom line. You want to protect the community but not everyone in the community wants protecting or agrees about how you should go about it.

But if you don’t find yourself at least trying to walk that line, you might find yourself in an even more uncomfortable situation. Like it or not, the things you “don’t have to do,” are the very same things that people are looking for. I know; it’s the reason I’m getting divorced.


All The Things You Never Wanted to Know

January 24th, 2010

I don’t have a formspring account. I don’t love change and I don’t need someplace new for folks to ask me questions. You can comment here or e-mail me or ask me on Twitter or catch me in a chatroom or stalk me just fine, thank you very much. Actually, no one has asked me questions but that’s okay! Because I am so awesome, I will answer any questions you never asked right here, right now.

Has your husband ever drank your ejaculate?
Why, yes! Actually, I was able to finally achieve a decent squirt with him today and he was really eager to taste it but I don’t think it was his thing. Still awesome, though.

Do you stick to one or two toys as your go to insurance for an orgasm, or do you experiment a lot?
I tend to stick with one toy if the goal is orgasm. I used to default to Layaspot and occasionally the Miracle Massager when I just wanted to get off quickly but I think Tuyo will probably be my clitoral vibe or choice even considering the noise factor. If I am reviewing, I might grab a bunch of toys but then my goal is usually just to get a taste for the toys and not necessarily orgasm. I almost never use more than one toy at a time as I am just not very coordinated. I find that if I like a new toy, I will use it frequently for a while until I get something new and awesome.

How did you get into sex toy reviewing?
This is a hard question. I think I was shopping around and saw a notice on I contacted them about reviewing for my regular, personal blog and was sent my first free toy (Bnaughty). I still review for them on that blog, actually. But I was hooked so I searched for other sites with similar programs and found EdenFantasys. Soon after, I started this blog so I could review for places like Babeland.

If your husband came home and told you he had been discussing a MFM threesome with a coworker or friend, how would you react?
Okay, no one asked me this but I wanted to talk about it because the idea turns me on. I doubt it would ever happen but if, for some reason, it did, I might actually just throw caution to the wind and take him up on it. Of course, our tastes in men probably differ.

How can you be bisexual yet inexperienced? I could fuck or love any woman easily. It’s something I just know.

Why do you seem to be disappointed with squirting?
While fun and taboo and all, I don’t orgasm with it, Plus, it’s become so easy that even rather crappy toys can cause me to ejaculate.

Do you think Bad Company makes sex music?
Yes. Also Maroon 5. Very different, I know.

What makes you feel sexy?
The way my husband looks at and treats me but music sometimes gives me a sexual confidence that I don’t really take into the bedroom. It’s odd but I kind of feel silly about the way some songs make me dance or sing around with my hips all swinging.

Do you think that having sex with your husband right now is complicating things?
Yes. But right now I don’t care. I know I will regret it if we get divorced but I am still fucking him.

What sort of household items did you pervert?
I used to hump my Ken doll. (Sorry Mattel). I’ve broken a taper candle with my vagina muscles and I tried using my Venus razor handle but none of them were as awesome as my first vibrator.

Do you like ponies?
Of course, and so do you.

What sort of porn do you like?
I am not sure. I haven’t found any full length porn that I really enjoy. I do know that I like to watch girl on girl action and I enjoy it much more if it looks real, like the actors are really getting off and not just performing for the camera.

So are you dominant or submissive?
Who the fuck knows. Maybe I’m a switch but I have come to appreciate some submissive tendencies and playing with them really intrigues me. Still, power is thrilling as well.

Have any more questions? Ask them in comments and I’ll add them. For now I am dead tired and heading to bed!


Thank You

November 21st, 2009

A few months ago – and it does seem longer than that – I was blogging about the frustrations of, well, blogging. I was burned out and bummed out and entirely unsure of whether or not I would continue with this whole sex blog thing. A few of you commented and I felt a bit better and then I went back to life as usual which, at the time, included looking forward to yet another anniversary without my husband. Thank you deployment.

In the months since then, I feel like things have turned around. I kept working with some pretty awesome sex toy stores who have provided me with countless products to test (many of which I have bashed on this here blog). I am posting this because I just checked my website stats and my daily unique visitor count has crossed 600. I don’t know when I passed 500 but it’s great to see the continuous rise.

And I guess you like reading those scathing comments and ridiculous praises (sometimes) because I was named number 16 on the Top Sex Bloggers of 2009. I hadn’t even realized, deleted the e-mail when I got it because I figure I got maybe one nomination and no one would even put me on the list but to be 16? Number sixteen? Sweet sixteen? I would never have known, had I not been peeking over at Insatiable Desire to see what Cinnamon is up to and see the post about them being listed. I’m sure I looked like a total bitch because I didn’t reply. But now I did click, I did see, I did reply. My jaw did drop, of course.

Thank you, to whoever nominated me and to the judges. I am listed with and even above some amazing people and awesome writers and I’m grateful to even be on the list, let alone so high.

But that’s not all. I was recently accepted as a Sexpert in California Exotic’s new review program and have been contacted directly by other companies to do some reviews. In fact, I received a comment directly from Nomi Tang herself on my Better Than Chocolate review. Wow. Just wow. So thank you to all the manufacturers who appreciate my honesty, whether tactful or not!

I am not a humble person. I am all too guilty of being quite ego centric. I am always right, damn it. The world ought to revolve around me. But I know when it’s time to say thank you. So, thank you! (Perhaps this is the perfect prelude to Thanksgiving.)

And as much as I appreciate the visitors and their comments, the opportunities provided to me by stores and manufacturers who send me product in return for my opinions, there is something which means so much more. Although he may not really be into sex toys, my husband is always supportive and as excited as I am when I tell him my most recent “good news” – sometimes more so. Whether it’s numbers or new opportunities, he is just awesome about appreciating what it means to me. In fact, when I told him about making the best sex bloggers list, he asked me when I found out. When he realized I’d known for almost a day, he demanded to know why I didn’t tell him sooner.

But, really, what I should have told him sooner is “Thank You.”


Respect, and how not to earn it

February 1st, 2009

A while ago (months, I guess) I became a member of TooTimid’s forums. I had found the site a while back when looking for sites which use sex toy reviewers (I applied, twice, and heard nothing back). I took a bit to get around to joining the forums and I found a fairly active community which was sex positive if not as contemporary as some. I enjoyed it, nonetheless.

After joining, I put my blog URL in my signature. I soon received a private message from the person who I assume is the site owner which said I could not have the link in my signature but it would remain in my profile. I was fine with this.

Recently, I went to update sometihng else my profile and realized my URL had been removed; I can only assume this happened back when I first joined and I had not realized it. I updated my information, added my URL back in and soon received another private message. The owner (again, my assumption) thanked me for being an active part of the community but said I could not have the URL in my profile and hoped I understood.

I did not and I very politely responded as such. I did not see why I could not link to my personal blog in my profile and, if he did not want that happening, he should edit the profile fields so it could not be entered. If he was worried about competition, I recommended increasing Too Timid’s reach and reputation as an online sex shop and community rather than being paranoid about personal blogs. I strongly suggested they reconsider what I think of as a ridiculous policy. I heard no response.

In fact, I have been suspended, without notification until “Dec 27 4746, 08:14 AM.” I can only assume that, by this time, I will be dead and Too Timid will be long gone as well. In fact, I doubt any humans will remain but I digress.

Rather than being mature, the powers that be chose to suspend an active and helpful member. I joined despite the fact that they ignored my requests to be a reviewer and gave my input to other members, helping them as I could. All I asked was to fill out a field in my profile which was, for lack of a better term, fill-outable.

This suspension really shows TooTimid’s true colours. This is not a company or site which supports community, in my mind. This is not how you spread the word of your company and make yourself viewed as a team player. This is not how you boost your reputation. No, this is how you alienate those who have the power to spread the word about your site (which TooTimid does seem to need; it’s not very well known despite the fact that it seems to have an active community and resources on its site). This is how you show that you are so insecure about what you’re selling that you must try to censor the mere mention of potential competition.

In fact, rather than ask how I think TooTimid might strengthen its public appearance or to do a link exchange, I was essentially banned without valid reason. It seems to me that not allowing for constructive criticism gets you nowhere fast. I can name quite a few historical figures who saw defeat because of this tactic.

Shortly before this happened, I was contacted by TooTimid on Twitter to be a reviewer (but no follow up contact was made). I know I was not the only one. I had thought it a step in the direction of community mindedness. However, after this, I must advise caution to anyone who might choose to review for or affiliate with Too Timid in any fashion. If this is how they treat an active community member, I am not sure how they would treat anyone else. If they is how they deal with a nonserious issue, I wonder what approach they will take with serious issues customers, reviewers and community members may have.

It’s no secret that I chose to stick by EdenFantasys after some mishaps on their part, because I feel there is much potential within that company and, ultimately, I think they try to be a community member. I cannot say the same for TooTimid and while I also cannot force anyone to decline an opportunity (nor would I think any less of anyone who does review with them), I can warn that TooTimid has a long way to go before they are a company I can respect.


I’m pickin’ up good vibrations

November 11th, 2008

For anyone looking to get some free toys in exchange for writing reviews, Good Vibrations is looking for some faces. Add GoodVibesSF on Twitter for more information.