During the time I was writing music reviews, I had the opportunity in another SIG to write movie and book reviews. This was a horror group, and the movies were just movies I’d seen and felt the need to expand on, but every few months a new book would arrive for review. I found some I loved and some I hated, and it was a great way to expand my libraries.
So how did I end up reviewing sex toys and other erotic items? Quite a few years back now, I stumbled on a review program for an online merchant. The pitch? Free sex toys if you’ll write reviews. They required a sample review, and I sent it in and got accepted. We could only pick one toy every few months or so, and we had to send in the review to be approved before it was published on the site. When I wrote my first real review, it was actually returned with a note that it had too much information about the toy, and not enough about my experience (that whole formula changed on the site for the worse in the years to follow, but originally it was more about personal opinion than anything else). Over the years, i wrote reviews for books and movies as well, and also started reviewing these items for other authors, sites, and manufacturers. I still review a lot of sex toys and books on my blog, and also about 5-10 porn DVDs a month on another site – I think my sex toy collection is only surpassed by the sheer amount of porn I own.
I enjoy writing reviews. For me, it’s fun to discover new products, whether they’re books, movies, or toys, and I also like to share my opinion (not my humble opinion, as I often say). I write reviews differently depending on what the item is and who the audience is. For books, I read the book through once, and then jot down notes and sometimes go back and reread parts or find quotes. It’s a similar process with CDs – I’ll listen to the CD all the way through, and then go back and write. When I review porn, I usually write the review while I’m watching (admittedly with breaks if the scenes are good). With sex toys, I’ll usually jot down basic information, then write the review after I’ve used them a few times.
The best tips I have are to get the important information in the review – obviously this varies on the review type – and know your audience. It’s different writing a review of a short-story compilation than a novel, for example, or writing for a hard-core review site or your own blog. Be descriptive, point out the pros and cons, and give your honest opinion overall. You’ll often find that not everyone feels the same way you do – but that’s what makes reviews great.