I was recently tagged by an overwhelming number of wonderful people (including Ali’s Addiction, Red Hot Rosaline, and Ninja Sexology) to participate in this massive internet tour in which bloggers nominate each other to talk about our personal writing process. Each participant is given four questions regarding their blog and prompted to post their answers the following week. This tour was not started by sex bloggers, so I am really glad that it eventually reached our neck of the woods. Those of us who blog about sex in general have a lot to offer because we are having the type of conversations online that many people won’t in person. Sex bloggers often serve the role of educators, and we play an important part in teaching people about consent, contraceptives, anatomy, sex toys, relationships, etc. So, as a proud sex blogger, I welcome you to accompany me as I share a little about myself and my writing.
What am I working on?
Right now I have rough drafts started for several different adult product reviews including the Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System, the Lelo Ella, the Picobong Moka G-Vibe, the Aslan Leather Buckling Thigh Harness, a bunch of fetish gear from Leather Beaten, and some beautiful Tantus toys. I am also working on a complete beginners guide to anal sex toys, a potential giveaway, a rant about various sex toys from my past that seemed cool until I tried them, and a few more surprises. As for long term goals, I am also looking into other mediums for educating people about sex toys- such as making YouTube videos, hosting my own workshops, writing a book or two, and eventually speaking publicly at conferences and colleges around the world.
How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
This is probably the hardest question anybody has asked me in a long time. Because all sex bloggers have such diverse interests, experience levels, body types, relationship dynamics, and other various perspectives we are all different by nature. My path to finding my voice and discovering exactly what my niche is has only just begun. I am fairly new to blogging in general, and I have only been writing reviews for about 6-7 months. So, I don’t know yet what distinguishes my work from those of others in my community. Even the minor things that make me different from some sex bloggers- like my blatant honesty, commitment to body-safe products, and avoidance of gendered language- do not necessarily make me rare. Plenty of other people are just as good in those respects. A lot of my personality shows through in my reviews and other articles and that is hard to compare to other blogs in a measurable way.
Why do I write what I do?
I got my start as a sex toy critic like anybody else might when buying their first vibrator. I went to an average sex shop and purchased the toy that looked the most visually appealing. Vibrating electric massagers have been used for years to treat chronic pain so I thought, what the hell? I might as well try it for my chronically swollen, hurting, genitals right? Best decision ever. This was the first time in my life that I had an effective method of pain management and I knew I wanted to try more. So, in 2011 I officially began collecting sex toys as a means of physical therapy for my Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder.
Unfortunately, I was extremely ignorant regarding toxic sex toys at the time and I had purchased over 100 products that were hazardous to my health. Now, at the time I did not know how gross or dangerous they were. I thought ALL sex toys smelled like shower curtains and sometimes made people’s genitals burn. I had migraines every day until I realized that my toys were making me sick and I got rid of them. The whole experience was pretty traumatic. At one point I even had to go to the hospital because one toy gave me a serious infection.
The tragedy is that what I experienced is not an isolated incident. Sex shop owner after sleazy sex shop owner will tell you that if you are having medical problems after using certain sex toys that you are just more sensitive than other people. The reality is that countless victims have experienced irritation, infections, and even lasting illness in relation to toxic sex toys. With the adult product industry being as unregulated as it is the manufacturers are free to use whatever materials they want without ever being held responsible for disclosing the chemical composition or compensating the people who have been injured by their products.
My believe is that everyone deserves to have a happy healthy, sex life (or non-sex life if that’s what suits you.) I think reviewing sex toys and teaching people about the importance of body safe materials is helpful in that it creates informed consumers. My readers can then go on to purchase products that are more likely to work for them, (and hopefully avoid learning the hard way like I did.) If I can save just one person from buying a jelly dildo then I can die happy.
How does my writing process work?
Very sporadically. Some people can just buckle down and begin writing something from start to finish within the same day. I am not one of those people. To get anything done I have to be able to jump around between projects; otherwise I get bored, my brain shuts down, and serious writer’s block ensues. I may only write a few paragraphs or sentences at a time per post, but I end up spending about 4-6 hours every day just working on my various rough drafts. For me that is about the equivalent of writing an entire sex toy review. The more posts I have to work on all at once, the more writing I can get done. This may seem haphazard and unorganized to some people, but everybody’s brain works differently.
My overall process varies depending on what I am working on. Most of my blog posts are product reviews, but I am also working on more educational articles and stories from my real life experiences. Even if I don’t know exactly what I plan on writing I always start a new rough draft before I do anything else. For me this means logging into WordPress, adding a new post, naming it something stupid simple, jotting down the few ideas that I have, maybe categorizing and tagging it, and then leaving it alone to take root in my mind. I am what some might call a productive procrastinator. Inspiration refuses to come to me if I am staring at a blank screen, banging my head against the wall, and wishing for something to come out.
When I am preparing to write a sex toy review I usually test the item for a full week while taking intensive notes. I like to keep my smartphone handy while I masturbate so I can use my Notepad app to capture anything about the toy I am reviewing that happens to cross my mind. “Man these vibrations are weak” I will think to myself as I angrily thumb out the details on my mobile device. I also have a sort of checklist to remind myself what questions I should keep in mind when examining the toy such as “Is it especially noisy?” or “What do I like the most about the product?”
Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to my note taking. Once I have a comprehensive list I will begin to organize my thoughts into paragraphs in the way that they relate to each other. Okay, so maybe this sentence is about how well the super duper dildo works for g-spot stimulation, and this other line talks about how the toy has a pronounced curve. I just start putting things together like a puzzle. It does not even have to make sense at first. My first rough draft often looks like a scrambled mess.
It is not until after I have the body of my review in front of me that I will write my introductory and ending paragraphs. After I have a good idea of what my rough draft is going to look like it is far easier to summarize my feelings about the product overall. I try to organize my paragraphs in a way that make sense while also trying not to limit myself to any particular format. Then I add the pictures and get to work on the editing. This is also the time when I rewrite each individual paragraph so that they actually make sense and then re-read the entire article at least a hundred times to remove as many fuck-ups as possible.
So, there you have it folks. My writing is spontaneous, methodical, and extremely unfiltered. This tour was a really neat idea and I had a lot of fun joining in. I would like to give a shout out to all the awesome people who tagged me, and remind all of my readers to check out my blog roll so you can keep up with all the amazing blogs I follow. I also want to encourage anybody who is interested in sharing to post their own answers to their blogs. Have fun with it. Everybody has their own writing style and quirks that make them unique. What is the most useful writing tip you know? Let me know in the comment section below.