The End of Kinky Tumblr – A Personal Farewell

It has been three weeks since Tumblr announced that they would be banning NSFW content on their platform from December 17th on. Until this point the platform was one of the largest – if not the largest – collection of porn in human history. But the moment the news hit the scene, not only a ludicrous discussion about freedom of speech and censorship started[i] but people back-up their data and deleted their blogs. The exodus of active users, one star reviews in the app stores and steeply dropping numbers of blogs and app downloads apparently hit Tumblr so hard that they were forced to release a spurious statement that they would not be deleting but instead hiding stuff and that people can still leave their content on the platform – though nobody could see it anymore. Naturally this did not stop people from leaving Tumblr. At this moment a number of different websites are competing for the users looking where to display and consume their porn elsewhere, but no major one has emerged yet.

Being a big opponent of Facebook’s policies, I never used any of their services, including WhatsApp and Instragram. I have been on Twitter for ages, first with a vanilla account and when I started to set up ToyTorture.com with a kinky account. Tumblr followed some time later when I realized that Twitter was not the best place to present kinky pics. 

Tumblr opened up a whole new world of kink to me. The aesthetic inspired me for pictures, the play setups gave me ideas which toys to get and the perversions sparked interests in trying out new things. It also quickly became an important social media channel for ToyTorture.com. Not only gave the large followership and reblogs my reviews a big exposure but the message and chat feature over time became the largest inbox for reader questions. Since this website is my love child, a single-person operation into which flows a lot of my time, sweat, tears and love, knowing that a lot of people read what I write and getting feedback from my readers means a lot to me. Tumblr helped with that.

Last but not least, the affiliate links for Mr S, Regulation and E-Stim Systems I posted under the posts created a little flow of store credit. It was always my plan to make ToyTorture.com an ad free website to keep it independent. Despite all the critic I get for “promoting” certain products and manufacturers through Desiderates and Christmas gift tips, etc. it is still my personal taste and my wishes as a private person, pervert and toy collector which influences the toy selection and not some corporation urging me to post stuff in order to make money. Because of that, ToyTorture.com actually costs me some money for the server and despite a little stream of review samples a lot of money to buy the toys I review. The affiliate programs gave me store credit help me to buy stuff people are keen in reading a review about even when I am not that interested in the toy that I would spend my hard earned money on it. With Tumblr dying, I am certain my affiliate income will drop and thus limit the range of toys I will be able to review.  

At the time when this blog post will be published, my Tumblr account is still active. I am astonished how many surprisingly sexual pictures are still visible to the public. But still… Tumblr feels barren these days. For years, the Tumblr app on my tablet was my go-to app when I was up WAY too early because of my insomnia. After the purge it is still a collection of hot pics but a lot is missing. It does not feel whole(some) anymore. Having “only” lost 25% of my followers and actually gaining new ones every day (probably flocking to the blogs which still have a decent amount of original pictures), it would probably still be worth to put content on there. On the other hand, the entire controversy spoiled my mood to post content there.

So I guess, I should delete my blog, taking a stand against SESTA and FOSTA and the frightening amount of sex-negativity and conservatism creeping into many societies these days by attacking Tumblr where it hurts them the most: Their ad revenue. To start the new year with a clean slate, I will be deleting ToyTorture.tumblr.com on January 1st 2019.

All the content I posted on Tumblr will probably surface somewhere else as soon as the dust has settled and a new major place-to-be for all the perverts will emerge. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter for content and the latest update where to find my smut. And if you are planning to buy something at Mr S Leather, Regulation or E-Stim System, take a detour over my website and click on one of the links in this article or the banners on the right sidebar. You comments, retweets and affiliate clicks keep ToyTorture.com alive. Thank you for your support and see you soon – where ever this will be.

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[i] By definition, a private company can not censor content or violate the freedom of speech. It is their right to decide which content is allowed on their platform. The freedom of speech only applies towards the government which must not forbid specific things to be said or published.

On Reviewing Anal and Breath Control Toys

Welcome back from the hiatus guys. Despite being short it was a greatly needed time to recover, gather new ideas and just relax. You all can look forward to some exciting new stuff coming in the next couple of month.
I also took the time to think about ToyTorture.com. In a couple of weeks this website will celebrate its fourth birthday. Four years ago I was already working hard on producing content, designing the layout and struggling with WordPress. It has been tremendous four years. If you would have told me where this website and its social media channels would be today and what doors it would open for me, I would have laughed at you, calling you an even bigger day dreamer than I am. I also would have hardly believed that this project would still be running, bringing me a lot of fun, joy, work and most of all in touch with interesting people! You, the readers of ToyTorture.com, your questions, comments and criticism motivate me to keep writing, showing that this website has indeed become a trusted and respected resource in the kink community.
In the past four years the readership and I has changed. I started this website as the resource I was always looking for when I started out in BDSM: A place to provide information on which are the best toys to buy for a certain scene. So my core readership was BDSM players. But as I got more successful perverts, kinksters and pet players of all walks of life started reading my little website and sending questions in, asking for reviews of toys for their kink.
The premise of ToyTorture.com was always that I would only review toys that – in theory – I would like myself (in the review process it could always come up that the toy is horrible). There are so many toys and manufacturers out there that this was the only somewhat reasonable heuristic how I – with limited time and money – could choose which toys to review. Looking back four years ago, I was not into anal play at all. Looking at my xTube channel… well… things have changed. So in the next couple of month I will break with the paradigm that I won’t review toys without added play value. I have selected some high quality, ass busting toys which I am looking forward to test for you. Since I can’t apply the usual criteria I use for BDSM toys it will be an interesting  experience for me to see how I  will be reviewing these toys.
Another category of toys I have been ignoring in the past four years were breath control toys. I simply consider breath play a too potentially dangerous for of play to „spark some interest for spontaneous trying out a new kink“ (something I hear often from readers who read my texts). But on the other hand people will try out breath play regardless if I write about it or not. So after much consideration I decided to at least will write some intro on breath play providing pieces of information how somewhat safely approach this extreme form of kink.
I look forward to continue bringing you fun, interesting and educational content, hearing your feedback and make ToyTorture.com your primary resource on BDSM toys.

ToyTorture.com is going on hiatus

For those who follow me on Twitter might have picked up in the last couple of weeks next to kink my master thesis was a major thing on my mind. Next to writing my thesis I worked at the company I wrote the thesis for, was looking for a job and kept ToyTorture.com running publishing some of the most successful content yet. This morning I brought the thesis to the printer and with handing it in tomorrow my work contract ends.

As much time I now should theoretically have to publish content as much have the last couple of weeks taken its toll: The quadruple workload have left me a bit exhausted so I am leaving for a vacation later this week. Also:  I had way too little quality play time with BDSM scenes so I did not have the opportunity to gather experience with new toys. For these reasons I take a little hiatus and will return probably in the middle of August with some awesome toys and  interesting projects in the pipeline.

In the meantime: I hope  to see, meet and maybe play  with some of you during Folsom Europe in Berlin. Enjoy your summer and don’t get caught when you get down and dirty outdoors 😉

Season’s Greetings

Season's Greetings 2015I am wishing you my dear readers and perverts, your family and friends a peaceful and quiet and maybe also filled with a bit kinky fun holiday season.

It was an interesting and successful year for ToyTorture.com: I made an appearance at the NoSafeword Show one of the most successful gay kink podcast, the E-Stim Special was the most successful special to date, the Twitter account is now close to 1.000 follower and only about 2 month after launching a Tumblr blog to publish all the porn pics I have taken over the years while testing toys it is already a great success.

So what to expect next year? The first half will be all about bondage starting out with a six piece Playroom Essential series about bondage equipment where I will talk about rope, carabineers and safety equipment. After having covered the basics there will be a quite extensive special on heavy bondage gear. I am still working on getting some great new partners to feature even more suppliers of high quality bondage gear that will range from “simple” heavy duty restraints over suspension bondage up to isolation hoods.

If you want to stay up to date with the latest info and smut from me and my website follow me on twitter.com/ToyTorture or ToyTorture.tumblr.com. If you have any suggestions, just mail me at info@ToyTorture.com or hit me up on Recon or PlanetRomeo.

I am looking forward to another great year with all you perverted kinky fellas.

58. New Logo and… We are on Tumblr!

ToyTorture is now over three years old. For some reason I always tend to forget the birthday in Mid October. Thank you for your time, input, questions and critic! They show me that the little website I am filling with content here is appreciated.

The website design has aged fairly well in the past three years. I still haven’t found out how to do some stuff in WordPress and my toy collection pictures are hopelessly out of date but besides that the feedback on navigation I get is very good! Yet for the last few month I was unsatisfied with the logo: It look a bit cluttered, old fashioned and had problems performing on dark backgrounds. I also wanted on design that fits all three purposes: Watermarking pictures for the website, pictures I take as a photographer and private pictures showing me. So after some nightshifts and a lot of bad ideas I came up with a new simple, sleek and somewhat timeless logo which will hopefully stay with me the next couple of years. Along with the logo change I did some tweaks on the website which are not finally but are good in the meantime.

One of the reasons I wanted a new logo was that one of the most frequently asked questions I am getting is the one why there are no play pics on the website where the toys are used. The reason for that are German child protection laws. After much considerations and looking at different options I decided to finally open a Tumblr blog which you can see and follow unter ToyTorture.tumblr.com. The Tumblr just like my Twitter account will be a mixture of “official” website stuff and private posts. So you can expect some reblogs but mostly genuine BDSM and gear pics of me or that I have taken during scenes. While there probably will be some redundancy not every picture I post on Twitter will make it to Tumblr and vice versa. So it is worth following me on both platforms. I hope you have fun following me on that new social media channel.

As always if you want to complain, comment or have a suggestion send me an e-mail.

Website House Keeping

First of all I want to wish all my readers a merry and peaceful Christmas. I hope you have some quite time to unwind and maybe get kinky.

Due to being in Berlin and right after that heading to my parents for Christmas there was no review last week and will not be one next week since I am on a kinky New Year’s Eve party. I have spent the time being in busses and waiting for the candle on the tree being lit with some long wanted improvements of my website. Most of them are subtle like the addition of a page title and sub title and the reorganization of the “Support ToyTorture” section. More visible is the right side column. I have cleaned up the archive and category section, added two gallery widgets for inspiration when exploring the website and finally implemented a word cloud with the vendors I am featuring. This is a feature I wanted to implement for a long time but never found the time for the busy work. But now it is done and you can finally filter the posts by your favorite kinky store. This word cloud came with a bit of a surprise for me. I always had the feeling that the largest number of posts would feature McHurt or Mr S but it turned out to be Mister B.

Speaking of vendors two days ago I joined the affiliate program of Regulation. I hope to soon get my hands of some of their gear and review it for you.

Last but not least instead of a review my Christmas treat for you is a Buyer’s Guide to Pup Play. I wrote it mainly to show novices what kind of gear is out there but maybe even an experienced player can find some interesting new gear and toys in the article.

Why I haven’t reviewed products from Sinvention, Fetters or Regulation yet

In the last couple of month I have been getting quite some messages asking me why I feature only products from a limited selection of manufacturers (most of my toys comes from Mr S, Mister B, SlingKing and McHurt) and thus why I don’t review products from this manufacturer or why I have ignored that one for my desiderate section (Which has gotten a bit neglected). There are a number of reasons out there and because they partly play a role why today’s Christmas gift tip nearly came without pictures I decided to elaborate them:

  1.  Toy Selection Pattern
    Against widely spread believes I buy most of my toys myself. I am thankful to Mister B, HML and UberKink who sometimes provide me with toys to review but the majority of my toys from my own money. When it comes to getting a new toy I am fantasy driving. Most of the time I have a specific scene or sensation in mind I want to create and for which I am lacking the right “tool”. So if I have gotten a toy for a specific sensation it is unlikely I am going to by one from another manufacturer just to compare them. Also the collection reflects my personal play style and my fantasies and fears.
  2. Money
    This leads to the next issue: Money. I am still a student currently without a job so my toy budget is rather limited. Next to toy categories I am currently not covering at all – like hoods or breath play – especially when it comes to bondage and impact toys I know that there slight variations of toys I already own out there which for my intention of having just the right toy for the right sensation at hand (or just for the convenience of having a second or third restraint set) would be great to have. But with my limited budget I simply can’t afford the luxury to have a deep AND wide selection of toys. So for the moment I am going for wide in the field that interests me and neglect the rest. And even with stuff that has become interesting lately like some hoods they simply are out of my budget for the moment.
  3. Shopping Style
    Due to the two above factors my purchasing process is rather sophisticated: When I have a fantasy I start looking at websites and from what I know of material and design properties choose a relevance set of toys that might deliver the desired sensation and fit my budget. Once the relevance set is done I go out and take a look at the toys I consider and try them out; I rarely purchase toys online. This is of cause difficult with stores being based in London, Atlanta or Canada.
  4. Review Process
    I have been getting messages asking why I don’t write about toys that have been used on me in scenes. When I gather notes for a review I am not going under in the scene. I am focusing on how the toy performs, how the sensation alters when used differently, etc. As much as I enjoy the reviewing scenes they are not as emotionally intense as normal ones and usually don’t get the top what he wants from me as a sub. So I stage “review” scenes where I interview the tops and subs afterwards. Of cause I do have an opinion on a toy used on me after a scene. For example I certainly can say something about the Padded Locking restraints from Mr S (I like them a lot) but that opinion is too indifferent for a review. So even though I have experienced toys from Sinvenstion, Fetters and Regulation (these are the three manufacturer I get the most questions about reviews for) I can’t say more than “I liked this and disliked that in that specific scene.”
  5. Copyright Issues
    This isn’t an issue for reviews but for desiderates. For the desiderate section I am posting pictures from the manufacturer/ vendor on my website and I have to obtain the right to do so from the current copyright holder! In the last two years I have approached over three dozen web shops and manufacturer several times and only got the permission from a handful to use their material. Most of them didn’t answer at all even so I stopped bothering them.
    Please note that some of the manufacturers named here have given me the permission to use their material for my website.

All of these factors can of cause lead to the impression that I am favoring certain manufacturers. This is partly true and as much I love the ones I am currently featuring I would much rather present a broader spectrum of toys and manufacturers to the community. So in the meantime while I am trying to win the lottery and fill my dream dungeon with all the dream toys, if you want to see a specific toy reviewed or just want to support my side by sending me toys, here is a list of toys that I am interested in but are for various reasons not on my purchasing list:

Sinvenstion – Arm Immobilizer Splints

Fetters – Calf to Thigh Restraint

Regulation – Leather Bag Hood

Regulation – Chest Binder

Mister B – Closed Leather Face Mask

Mister B – Iron Whips Wocen Cat 8×4 Long

Mr S – Asylum Muzzle

Parus Leather – Restraints No. 2106 & No. 2211

HML – Wide Bondage Belt

ErosTek – ET302R

Moving up North

As some of you might have noticed I have been a bit quite on Twitter and with posting stuff on here. It happened because in mid March I got accepted at a new and for my major better university. So I had to find a new place, organize an entire move and commute for 3 weeks until I moved in into my new home on May 1st. So sadly other things were on my mind than to polish already written reviews like the one for my steel ball stretcher which I have publisAs some of you might have noticed I have been a bit quite on Twitter and with posting stuff on here. It happened because in mid March I got accepted at a new and for my major better university. So I had to find a new place, organize an entire move and commute for 3 weeks until I moved in into my new home on May 1st. So sadly other things were on my mind than to polish already written reviews like the one for my steel ball stretcher which I have published today. Because all boxes are unpacked now and my desk is set up there is nothing keeping me from getting into writing and publishing stuff again. So stay tuned for some exciting reviews ahead like for my neoprene sleep sack.hed today. Because all boxes are unpacked now and my desk is set up there is nothing keeping me from getting into writing and publishing stuff again. So stay tuned for some exciting reviews ahead like for my neoprene sleep sack.

Reader Request and Site Housekeeping

As promised earlier this year I made some requested design changes: All old articles have gotten a new layout for a more attractive appeal and easier access to the pictures. Also, the conclusion box is back but without points in different categories. Instead the conclusion, pro and cons and where to get is put in a more structured way. The look of the box isn’t final yet but it is an improvement over the old style. Also after some requests I have where possible incorporated links to other big stores (until now Mister B for Europe and Mr S for the USA) where you can get the product from. With toys which are made by a big kinky manufacturer like Oxballs this is easy because the products I reviewed are the exact same in every store. Other toys, like the Clover clamps, can come from other manufacturers with different feather pressure, etc. So the link to the product I am actually reviewing is marked as “manufacturer” even though the store in most cases doesn’t really produce the toy themselves. A request I haven’t really figured out yet how to implement in a lucid way is to tag articles by which stores sells which toys For a little more comfort when browsing for toys from a certain store there now is a spreadsheet on the “Review” landing page where you can browse the reviews by manufacturer/ store, category and toy name. Sadly my WordPress theme still messes with the layout and the drop down boxes don’t work yet. Last but not least: I have finally put content on the FAQ page. If you have any other questions you think others also want answered feel free to send them to me and I will post them.

I have also gotten a couple of mails asking me to review some more basic and inexpensive toys. As most of the time I listen to my honored readers. Some of you might have already noticed the last two weeks I have been publishing reviews of ball stretchers and there are still some reviews to come. In my opinion ball stretchers are an essential and inexpensive toy so I hope you are happy with this little series even though I have to be honest: At the moment I am looking forward to test and review other stuff than ball stretchers right now. So I am hoping you are as excited as I am about the other great toys I will review in the not too distant future.

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