I’m hoping to interview sex toy reviewers on a regular basis. It should be an opportunity to pick up some tips and tricks, as well as getting to know your favourite reviewers a little bit more. It’s also a great opportunity to find out about new and exciting reviewers, who may be not so well known via social networking and the main sex toy communities.
This week we welcome Emily Dubberley who has written various sex books and articles.
Reviewer name: Emily Dubberley
How long have you been reviewing sex toys for? And how many have you reviewed? Since 2001 and well over 600
What made you start reviewing sex toys?
No one else was really doing it in the UK: I launched Cliterati pre Sex and the City, and most mainstream women’s mags weren’t covering toys.
Describe your reviewing style: Down to earth, practical, creative and sometimes erotic: we were including product placement in erotic stories back in 2001. After all, if a story mentions an amazing toy, it seems a shame for other people not to be able to buy it.
What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you as a result of your sex toy reviewing?
Answering the phone to a boss (freelance instinct – when the phone rings, you answer) while I was testing a toy, thinking I could turn the toy it off in time and instead turning the toy up and discovering it really was very effective indeed on the maximum setting. I think he believed me when I said I was having a coughing fit…
What toy would you recommend to a first time buyer?
Everyone is different and it depends what you’re after but the RO80mm is a good classic bullet, the booty is a great beginner’s butt plug, Lelo Nea is a gorgeous designer toy that’s great for beginners who want mild vibration and glass/crystal/perspex dildos can be great for finding the G-spot if they’re shaped appropriately. Vibrating cock rings are a good, cheap way to find out whether you like vibration, slow a man down and speed a (vibe-loving) woman up too.
When dealing with companies sending out review items, do you have any tips for the reviewer?
Have integrity: don’t feel pressured to find a bonus in every toy – some really are just rubbish. Look at what materials it’s made of and make sure they’re body safe. Think of (safe) alternative uses: a g-spot vibe that does nothing for you could work wonders on a lover’s prostate (assuming you have a male lover) However, never insert anything anally that doesn’t have a flared base, handle or string that makes it easy to remove. You don’t want it getting stuck.
What is the oddest sex toy you have reviewed to date?
The space hopper dildo or dildo pogo stick spring to mind.
What’s your number one tip to any aspiring sex toy reviewer?
Be thorough and don’t assume that your body is going to respond in the same way as anyone reading the review. Everyone is different so make sure you focus on what the toy does and how it can be used as well as how it feels to you.
Do you have any tips to a reviewer who is looking to improve their writing?
Write more. Read Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Read your work out loud: your ‘voice’ is simply the way in which you speak. Ask for criticism from people you respect and don’t get defensive when you get it. You learn from mistakes.
Where do you think the industry is lacking when it comes to functional sex toys?
Spray on condoms and other innovative and fun ways to make sex safe. Toys made from soft materials that emulate the body more. Strap ons that give the ‘giver’ as much physical fun as the receiver (in a non penetrative way).There are limited great toys for couples: the We-Vibe 3 is amazing but there’s lots more scope for growth in this area (and remote controlled toys in general, particularly ones that can be worn when out and about). And toys for men really lag behind those for women too, though this is slowly improving. I’ve got a few other ideas, but I’m keeping them to myself for when I launch my own toy range…
I’m really grateful that Emily took the time to fill out this interview for me, she’s such a busy woman, and it’s really worth checking out her writing and websites.