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Juicy Sex Stories Interview
Dangerous Lilly is one of the best known sex bloggers in the industry. Known for her sharp tongue and honest reviews she is quite rightly highly respected by industry peers and fellow writers.
Sex Blogger Dangerous Lilly
Lilly took some time out of her busy schedule to chat to us and offer useful advice to anyone wanting to start out as an adult blogger.
You started out as a sex blogger back in 2008 - I imagine you were one of the first?
Goodness no, I'm certainly not one of the first. Sex blogging has been going on for many years, perhaps even before the millennium! I actually wrote a post "A Brief History of Sex Blogging" and have had others chime in with their recollections. People have been doing this for as long as there have been journalling/blogging communities!
I guess you've seen a massive change in the blogging landscape in that time - can you outline some of the changes?
One of the primary changes came with social media - bloggers see less interaction within the comments section overall. But another great change has been the sex toy reviewing landscape - back in 2008 there were a fraction of the sex toy reviews that we have today, and of course they were mainly reviewing low-grade sex toys made of toxic materials. But today we have entire blogs dedicated to sex toy reviewing. The consumers are no longer left in the dark!
You are known for your honest sex toy reviews and deep knowledge of the sex toy industry. Why do you think your reviews appeal to so many? What drives you to keep writing?
I'm certainly not the most popular reviewer on the block, but for those who do like my reviews it's my honesty. I also type how I speak, so it's not uptight or boring language. Or, I try for it not to be! I'm not afraid to call out a crappy toy, and I'm less afraid to give a negative review on a popular "luxury" toy.
My blogger friends and the readers who contact me to thank me, they keep me going. That and seeing a new toy come out on the market that cannot possibly be as good as others are claiming; my fingers itch to get to real truth!
Do you have a favorite review you are especially proud of? What's your favorite toy?
I can't really pick favorites for reviews. But I do have a favorite toy, by far, it is the We-Vibe Tango. After testing dozens upon dozens over the years, the Tango is the holy grail for my clitoris. The type of vibrations (deep and rumbling) are my perfect match and just what my body needs.
Too many vibrators out there have "surface" or "buzzy" vibrations that sound loud, but they aren't deep enough to travel through flesh or even the silicone they might be buried in. They feel itchy on higher speeds, and not really very pleasant.
Do you think you've been able to influence toy manufacturers to improve their products? And if so how?
Me personally? No. As a collective group, the reviewers? Yes. We're the most vocal in pointing out flaws and things that could be improved upon, and we've seen manufacturers like We-Vibe and even Lelo make changes and revamps to a model.
Often the change works out and is great (like with We-Vibe products) but sometimes it's still not enough (Like with certain Lelo products). One of the stand-out manufacturers of silicone, Tantus, makes use of the bloggers by sending out prototypes sometimes to get feedback. They're one of the only companies doing this right now. More companies should do it though!
What's the best thing that's come from your time in the industry? And the worst? And Why?
The best is the people. I've gone to conferences and events and have met some of the bloggers and small company owners and many of them are good friends.
I've met so many wonderful people, so many like-minded open-minded people. If only I could see them more often! The worst? Looking behind the curtain. Knowing that companies can, and are, lying to consumers about the safety of their products. Knowing that there are millions of consumers we have yet to reach, cannot reach, to tell them that some sex toys are toxic.
The sex-bloggers community is a very tight knit group. What's it like being part of this?
We have to be tight-knit, we have to stick together. Those who are in it to make a change in the sex toy industry need to stick together to see our common goal furthered - a reduction in toxic toys being produced and purchased.
As with any community, there are cliques and hierarchies (which I can't say I like, but it's the nature of society) and in-fighting. It's not all rainbows and daisies. We really should be supporting each other and helping each other thrive--we don't need to compete as much as some do, we could all achieve a lot more collectively if we worked together, helped each other out. But as I said, it's life, we're people, and expecting everyone to get along well with everyone else is unrealistic.
It's not just the bloggers who are part of the community, many retailers and manufacturers are in it too. It's.....weird. I can't think of any other niche of consumer products or blogging where the bloggers get to know the employees at companies so well, well enough that when a bunch get fired, we essentially start a picket line.
Perhaps it is because we're all such open people, many of us share a lot of ourselves with the blogging and social media and we get to know each other pretty well. There is diversity yet cohesion. Some days it is beautiful, other days it is awful. It's life.
Do you read erotica and if so what do you like?
I don't quite as much anymore as I used to, but I do enjoy it! I tend to have a preference for first-person narrative, and prefer realistic situations and language--less on the romantic stuff, the coy euphemisms like "rosebud"--meet those criteria and the topic less important than how it's written.
If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps and start a sex blog how would you advise they start? Can you describe some pitfalls they could avoid?
They need to really think it over. It's not quite as easy as it was a few years ago. Blogger/Blogspot doesn't allow for affiliate links anymore, and any reviewer would want to join an affiliate program. Ditto with Wordpress.com's free blogs, they started deleting blogs in waves for violating TOS that had existed for awhile.
So the free places aren't friendly to adult blogs. If you just want to blog and write, then you can certainly do it at Blogger. If you want to make a go at reviewing sex toys, you need to get your own domain, and self-host. You can use the Wordpress software for content management, and it's the most popular. I've written a lot of posts for fellow bloggers, advice and guides. and even did a session at a conference on site design and taking your blog to the next level.
What kind of things have you done to promote your blog? What has worked and what has been less useful?
Pretty much the usual. I'm active on social media like Twitter and Facebook, even Tumblr. I use Google Plus. Pinterest hasn't been useful for me, despite the growth in overall activity. I just pretty much rely on word-of-mouth. That's why it's important to write WELL and be interesting / informative / in some way unique.
You, your blog, your content--it needs to stand out.
Read Dangerous Lilly's full blog here
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