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Hey Epiphora & Dangerous Lilly - Doing The Dirty Work So You Don't Have To!

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They do the dirty work so you don't have to!

When SheVibe thinks "Sex Toy Superhero", we think Hey Epiphora and Dangerous Lilly. Always fighting the good fight, each of them have been hard at work for the past 10 years educating the consumer, often making us laugh and sometimes making us cringe. 

This month, with education at the forefront, we provide a quick Q & A with our heroes, so you can get a tiny bit of perspective into what the world of a sex toy blogger is really like.

Sex Toy Reviewing Laptop Camera Dildos By Epiphora

Photo by Hey Epiphora

Q: You've tested and reviewed hundreds of sex toys in your blogging careers. Which toys in your collection do you consider "timeless," remaining all-time favorites even years after reviewing them?

LILLY: When you look at my list of all the sex toys I've reviewed (and keep in mind I've removed some truly terrible, discontinued sex toys from the list) one thing becomes obvious: my reviews heavily live in vibrator land. There's probably 5 or 6 vibrator reviews for every 1 dildo review. The reason isn't that I dislike dildos; it's because my G-spot has been claimed by the njoy Pure Wand. I received one for review in 2008 and nothing has come close to taking its place. I've enjoyed other dildos but still, every single one comes up short when I compare the end result to the Pure Wand.

EPIPHORA: I'm forever indebted to the Pure Wand too, as well as the NobEssence Seduction, which both hit my G-spot with deft precision and often lead to squirting. The Crystal Delights Star Delight is my favorite glass dildo, easily. Those bumps! When I want something softer, I'm likely to grab a dual-density dildo from Vixen Creations; Buck and Mustang are my top choices.

Body Safe Sex Toy Materials Silicone Wood Stainless Steel Glass Plastic By Epiphora

Photo by Hey Epiphora

LILLY: The We-Vibe Tango is the vibrator that first made me believe that my body wasn't the problem, it was all these buzzy, moderate motors out there. I'd always had a hard time getting to orgasm until the Tango. Sometimes it's so effortless I wish it would take longer, which is something I never thought I'd say. The Tango isn't without its flaws but it's perfect for me — pinpoint with rumbling, intense vibrations. The only clitoral sex toy that has started to steal the spotlight for me is the Womanizer. The model doesn't really matter when it comes to efficacy, just aesthetics and ergonomics — they all work amazingly well for me. Timeless? We'll see!

EPIPHORA: Vibe-wise for me, the Magic Wand Rechargeable is a revelation, and I use it all the time for quick orgasms and finale orgasms. For a slower build, the LELO Mona 2 remains my favorite external vibrator: the slightly pointed tip nestles between my labia perfectly, and its range of vibration intensities is great. (I love mine so much I have back-up Monas.) I also adore the unique stimulation from the Eroscillator — a toy I've had for 8 years now.

Let's not forget butt plugs! The njoy Pure Plug, Fun Factory Bootie, and NobEssence Romp never go out of style. They just fit the contours of my ass wonderfully.

Q: What sorts of sex-related topics get you the most riled up?

EPIPHORA: Gimmicky sex toys and failed attempts at innovation, for sure. Mansplainers are always a barrel of fun for me, especially if they dare to make sex toys. I hold a lot of rage in my heart for bad sex toy marketing... one time a company tried to hawk an $850 sex toy meant to "rejuvenate" the vagina and I went OFF.

LILLY: I'm so fed up lately with sex toy brands using small-sample studies to "prove" their sex toy works for 90-something percent of people. Or when magazines and writers try to claim a toy works for most or "every woman" with "orgasms guaranteed". This causes people to purchase them and then feel broken if the sex toy doesn't work for them. I've actually been willing to review items simply to dispel harmful marketing language and empty promises. Everybody is different and you can't just make these blanket statements. It's false and dangerous.

My Vagina Is Insulted By Epiphora

Photo by Hey Epiphora

EPIPHORA: Ugh, yes, what is even going on with this trend?! It's getting so pervasive and I hate it. Bombastic marketing has always been a pet peeve of mine too, and it's so prevalent in the sex toy industry. I swear, if I hear one more company say their toy is the "world's first" anything...

I recently created a new category on my blog called " Don't Trust the Headlines" because I get angry when the media perpetuates myths about sex, particularly surrounding the G-spot and squirting. It seems like every time a new study about the G-spot is released, it explodes in the media and causes all kinds of confusion and misinformation. For the record, because apparently it needs to be shouted from the rooftops, the G-spot exists and my ejaculate is NOT PEE!

I know Lilly and I both have very strong feelings about toxic sex toys as well, and how vital it is that consumers realize the danger of buying them.

LILLY: Yeah I guess you could say I get riled up by toxic or porous sex toys and sketchy lube. I certainly write about these topics the most! I don't think I'll ever stop burning sex toys, either. It bothers me a lot that the industry is unregulated, but the fix isn't easy. The fix means we get most consumers to understand — and care.

Q: You're both known for your unabashed honesty. Which of your reviews do you consider your snarkiest or most scathing?

LILLY: The easy answer would be "literally all Jimmyjane reviews". It's no secret that I hate their products for being mediocre and overpriced; even the company reps know I hate them but they seem to be missing a key piece of the puzzle — one rep suggested that I was being paid off by Lelo.

I've dished out a lot of salt to other overpriced vibrators that fail to deliver on their promises like the now-discontinued We-Vibe Thrill, or Dame Product's Eva. Sometimes my anger towards the sex toy designer bleeds into a review of a bad product, like with Dame Product's Fin or Shiri Zinn's Cupcake. And then sometimes the snark ends up being unwittingly entertaining when I write about the literal pain and suffering from a poorly-designed product like the Lovehoney Rockbox Finger or the Shots Media HIKY .

EPIPHORA: Oooh, it's hard to say, but there's some definite overlap here! I also berated Jimmyjane in my review of their terribly-designed Form 5 and Hello Touch X ("this toy looks like a mouth open in a silent scream of confusion, which is exactly how I feel every time I try to use it"), and loudly lamented the utter failure that is the Dame Eva ("you know it's bad when abstinence starts to sound appealing"). There's also the dual vibe nobody on earth should buy, the "couples" vibrator that made my boyfriend want to break up with me , and LELO's laughable attempt at an oral sex simulator which deserved all the ire I lobbed at them.

If you're into visual snark (i.e. me drinking too much wine and yelling about gendered sex toy marketing and horrible vibrations), my video review of the Princessa is pretty excellent. Also, one time I recorded my girlfriend and I having sex as we struggled to test an array of strapless strap-on dildos, which led to some great angry outbursts.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about sex blogging, and sex toys in general, that you aim to dispel?

LILLY: I do work a lot to dispel myths about sex toy materials from simple things like "wood sex toys have splinters" to "silicone toys that touch in storage will deform" but I've also discussed how vibrators have not only not desensitized me but have made me more sensitive which leads into more than one rant about how vibrators are not bad or shameful or harmful.

EPIPHORA: Yup. Several major myths persist: that sex toys are addictive (false),numbing (only temporarily), threatening to relationships ( ugh, not if your partner is a good person), or only for lonely people. There's a lot of concern about overuse of and dependence upon vibrators that really boils down to male insecurity. So what if someone needs vibration in order to get off? There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and nobody should make you think otherwise.

By far the most persistent misconception about sex blogging is that I'm paid to masturbate. People exclaim, "wow, I wish I could get paid to have orgasms!" as if orgasms are the only thing that I do. That is a huge oversimplification of my job and isn't representative of all the other work that goes into running a blog and maintaining a brand. I don't get paid per orgasm and I don't get compensated for shitty orgasms. I wish!

I think people imagine this utopia where I laze about all day masturbating and everything I try is amazing. They think I try something once and then just quickly write up my thoughts about it, no big deal. Actually it takes hours and hours to complete a review, from selecting the toy to acquiring it to thoroughly testing it and then writing the review, taking photos, and promoting it on social media. My credibility depends on trying mediocre and even horrible things more than once, just in case they will surprise me and redeem themselves.

LILLY: A lot of people seem to think that a "free" sex toy is "payment", or that reviewing is easy. There's a lot of pressure on a reviewer to describe the sex toy and their experience accurately enough to help readers decide if that toy would work well for them. I've also personally seen a lot of skeptical accusations of my work because I have a tendency to pick favorites and promote them more heavily. I've been accused of being biased, or employed by SheVibe or Tantus or We-Vibe. I've been told by some extra-skeptical folx that product reviews that utilize affiliate links cannot possibly be unbiased. There seems to be a misconception that honesty and payment for your work cannot go hand in hand. I don't even have words to express how angry that makes me; my responses are usually a series of angry sounds and facial contortions. That misconception should be easy to dispel — just look at all the negative reviews I write!

Q: Both of you have been blogging for nearly a decade. How have you (or your blog) changed since your blog's inception?

EPIPHORA: I've lived out my entire partnered sex life while blogging! That's what happens when you've been blogging for 10 years. When I started, I had not had penetrative sex yet, and for a long time I was monogamous. However, my reviews evolved a lot as I started having sex, used insertable toys more, and began to actually enjoy penetration. Finding my G-spot in particular was a complete revelation, and learning to squirt was the cherry on top — it makes me feel so powerful and magical. Sex toys taught me so much about my body and my sexuality.

Naturally, as I've grown older, become immersed in the sex-positive community, and expanded my relationships to include sex with other people, my understanding of sexuality has become more nuanced. And, of course, I know a LOT about my own sexual response, way more than I ever did when I started, and I've become more confident and communicative of my needs.

I'd like to think my writing has vastly improved as well!

So What’s With Dildos By Epiphora

Photo by Hey Epiphora

LILLY: The first two or three years of my blog are what I consider my Dark Period, literally and figuratively. My blog's design has seen many changes and my first few are cringe-worthy. Dark, brooding, "sexy" — I liked to accent with a shade of burgundy that's nearly purple and I don't even love that color all that much! But I've stuck with it out of some semblance of continuity! Dangerous Lilly circa 2008 was sooooo Myspace that my blog's title was "This Could Be Dangerous…". I think I was "trying too hard" my first few years and if I'm being totally honest I wish I could delete most of my first year posts and reviews. Yes yes they show I've grown but oh my god I was awful.

Please give me a moment to have a glass of wine or three to shake off the shame of that paragraph.

My "origin story" is on my About page, so I won't spend time here talking about that but it describes how my blog's focus and topics have changed.. My world-view has changed thanks to blogging & my blogging friends; I'm much more of a feminist, I'm much more sex-positive, and much more queer. I feel like I finally have come home to "my people" in this world and I truly enjoy the place my blog is in now. I think I'm the most "me" when I write those scathing reviews or dig deep into sex toy material science and experiments.

Hey Epiphora & Dangerous Lilly - Doing The Dirty Work So You Don't Have To!


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