This is an article I wrote for KinkCraft in the past
In general, most people that I have talked to think that sex toy reviewers provide a useful service as let’s face it the number of different options when choosing a sex toy is mind blowing. So it can be very useful to read quality reviews to see both the good and bad points about a product before parting with your hard earned cash.
The two key words in that last paragraph are “quality reviews”. There’s a huge difference between a quality review and something that has been quickly thrown together telling you about a sex toy, often just regurgitating the blurb from the packaging or manufacturers website. That doesn’t do anyone any justice at all and it certainly doesn’t help a potential buyer make an informed choice.
Recently there has been a huge boom in the number of people writing sex toy reviews and some of them are very good but conversely some of them are very bad. This growth in the sector is probably due to the big misconception out there that reviewing sex toys is messing around on the internet and that it must be great to get sex toys for nothing.
This misunderstanding is really quite understandable as from the outside it looks like the perfect job – “You just get free sex toys and just spend all day masturbating”. Whilst his sounds ideal there is a lot more to it than that and a lot of it isn’t glamorous at all and actually a lot of hard work.
Yes, companies do send me products to review for “free” but they are hardly freebies. When I agree to review a product a contract is formed and I am legally bound to provide an informative review within a set timeframe. I am being paid in materials rather than cash for my opinions and writing skills. But it’s still getting sex toys for free I hear you cry.
Yes, it is “free”, but let me show you what writing a quality sex toy review entails.
I start by looking at the materials used in the sex toy to see if anything is not body safe, yes I have had to learn a bit of chemistry. I know what Parabens and Phthalates are, these are two very dodgy chemicals often used in poorer quality products.
I have a small studio set up at home and when a product arrives the first thing I do with it is photograph the toy and its packaging, this process alone can take an hour or two as once the pictures are taken I then optimise them in various pieces of software to ensure they look good.
I then study the toy on the bench noting such things as how the material reacts to lube and dust. I evaluate the instructions provided and learn how to use the toy on the bench. I make notes, lots of notes at this stage, how noisy is it, how strong are the vibrations, are they localised or throughout the toy.
The first time I use the toy I just get myself off it, no notes or anything I just want to enjoy it for what it is. During the process of writing a review I will generally use it at least ten times and each time after the first I will have a notepad and pen next to the bed and I will jot down notes both in use and afterwards whilst my thoughts are fresh in my mind. This is the main reason why my reviews usually take about three to four weeks to write.
During these sessions I am not just masturbating, I am focussing on the sensations, characteristics and various settings, it does take the fun out of it but it has to be done that way. You can’t just use a toy once and write a review on it, there are so many variables that can affect how you perceive its performance from how tired you are to what time of the month it is or if you are stressed. Using it as many times as I do allow me to average all of these things out and to get a good feel for the toy.
Luckily I am usually reviewing more than one product at a time so I can alternate toys otherwise it would soon get very boring indeed. Coffee is very good for the next part of the process, it’s essential in fact.
Next it’s on to actually writing the review, mine tend to go on a bit as I try to get as much into them as I can. Once it’s written it’s then on to selecting and inserting images pertinent to the various sections of the review, these need to be formatted and uploaded onto the websites server. I write my reviews in html so I have full control of the layout of the page that way, that was self-taught.
It’s important in reviews to state both the good and bad points about a toy or product. I know that if I don’t like something, someone else may love it and so a review has to explain why something didn’t work for me so that readers can make an informed view of the product.
Once the review is written, and uploaded onto the server I then start the process of editing the review online, reading it over and over again correcting spelling mistakes and changing it so that it flows more naturally.
I then publish the review and notify the company that provided the product so that they can see it. They have no say in how I write my reviews and so it is only at this point that they actually get to read it as well.
Then it’s on to promoting both the review and the product on social media.
This whole process takes a huge amount of time and if I was to break it down into an hourly rate it would be way, way below the national minimum wage. Yes, I get the product for free and sometimes earn a small commission if someone uses one of my affiliate links to buy a product, but it certainly isn’t a huge amount but it does cover my expenses.
This is my reviewing process and it shows rough timelines
I love writing reviews but unless you are one of the huge superstars of the reviewing scene it certainly isn’t a get rich quick scheme and it isn’t a full time job (for me at least). It is hard work but very rewarding when you get feedback from someone who has read a review and it has helped them make an informed choice.
So, do you think it’s a great way to get sex toys for free?
Have a go yourself
If you fancy trying blogging and sex toy reviewing for yourself then check out my advice articles for sex toy reviewers.