Why are the reviews always so in favor of the toys?
Until the date that I am writing this FAQ I have only gotten a toy from a manufacturer/store once in order to review it for them and that toy was a good one. The rest of the reviewed toys are my own. Since I am still a university student money is always tight so I consider every toy purchase a lot in advance. If I want a certain sensation I am looking which toys does that best and which has the best value-for-money. Most of the time I reach the conclusion that saving another two or three month in order to get what I really want is the best thing I can do. So I only very rarely buy bad toys. If this site becomes more famous I might get more manufacturers/stores to send my toys to review but since they probably want their store to be featured in a nice way they will probably not send my crap. And if they send me toys that are bad be assured that I will address all issues frankly in the reviews. However if I come across a bad, inexpensive toy I will buy it and look forward to rant about it.
Isn’t your page all advertisement?
As most things in this world it lies in the eyes of the beholder. Of cause talking about purchasable goods and providing direct links to these goods can be understood as advertisement – as basically every fashion blog or even Tumblr blog that reposts watermarked pics of professional porn sites is. What distinguishes the reviews from advertisement is the honest towards quality and functional shortcomings and the openness: When a manufacturer/store provides me with a toy to review I will always mention it so you can decide on your own how objective the review is. The link to the products was first intended as a convenience for the reader that if he wants the toy that he could directly access the product page without having to Google. The new enhanced store links to Mr S and Mister B was actually requested by a number of readers because they don’t want to set up account at a number of different stores.
Can I help with the reviews?
Of cause you can. I am always interested in tops and bottoms (preferable people who are ok with having pictures taken when using the toys) in Northrhine-Westfalia to try out new toys. But please be prepared to answer some questions after using the toys together with me.
Why are there no pictures of the toys being used on your website?
The German youth protection law is quite strict. I am currently trying to work something out like a Tumblr page. But it will probably take some more time.
Do I really need toys to have fun?
That really depends on what you want to do. Generally speaking no, your body comes with everything equipped to have a great scene. However there are two reasons for toys:
- Some scenes don’t work without toys: In order to restrain someone for an extended period of time and you don’t want to hold him in that position using your arms, you need some object to hold him in the desired position. Also, some sensations like e-stim or the impact of a flogger can’t be achieved just by just using your body.
- How a sensation is perceived depends on the subs current physical and mental state. But from the “input” side you can keep the sensation input constant by using toys.
You are always so indifferent when talking about (pain) sensation. Can’t you be more specific?
No, I can’t. As already written how a physical sensation is perceived depends on general and current the physical and mental state of the receiving part. Of cause a heavy and thickly padded paddle will never sting but how the thud feels (strong, deep, etc.) not only depends on the way the toys is used but also on the experience, pain processing and characteristics of the bottom. I always try to find a good compromise between being as precise as possible yet general enough.
What are “pervertables“?
The term pervertables was coined by David Stein and means “common household or workplay objects usable in BDSM” (Wright, Susan “SM Classics”, p. 241, Masquerade Books, New York City, 1999). A lot of “pro” toys in BDSM are actual pervertables like rope, whips and of cause everything medical from straightjackets over sound to Wartenberg wheels.
Can’t I use stuff lying around in the house?
Of cause you can use pervertables; these are the things most kinksters start out with experimenting like putting cloth pins on nipples , using spatulas for spanking or dripping candle wax on their skin. But please be careful! Not everything that looks like a good pervertable is a good one. A classic example of a bad pervertable are clotheslines for bondage. They are too thin and will cut off circulation. If you are interested in the subject of pervertables there are two great and in-depth episode of the awesome NoSafeWord show out the on there topic.
What is the best toy to start out with?
This is a very individual question I usually answer with “Whatever makes your dick get hard.” As a total new person to the scene that doesn’t really help. There are two ways to address the issue:
- Go into a good BDSM store. Look at the things, take them into your hands and is your desired item isn’t for insertion into your body you are most of the time welcome to try it out (and if you ask kindly one of the hot store assistants will probably help you).
- If you don’t have such a store around or are too shy to enter one, reflect a bit on your jerk-off phantasies. What is the most interesting/ fascinating thing about them? Which toys might play a role in them? If that doesn’t help you either don’t really need toys or you can take a look at your favorite porn or my reviews where I talk in the “Playing with it” section what you can do with certain toys. But a word of warning when it comes to porn: When you are new to the scene it is very likely that the people in the clips are more experienced than you are and can handle certain sensations better than a person new to the scene. A pretty trivial yet important advice I am giving new masochists is: Pain in does actually hurt in reality so you might want to look at “softer” versions of the toys you see in porn.
Generally speaking I recommend for subs to own a basic set of toys which are determined by the physical characteristics mainly restraints, all anal toys and sounds so it is guaranteed that they will fit when having scene.
Which stores can you recommend?
It is a bit hard to answer this question. Yes, I can recommend stores like IEM in Paris, Mr S in San Francisco, Demask Dortmund, Mister Chaps in Hamburg, HML in Bremen, Mister B SlingKing, McHurt and RoB all in Berlin or Recon as an online only store. And I have heard from a lot of other good stores like Regulation and Expectation in London, Doghouse Leathers in Seattle. But it is very unlikely that one of these stores in close to you so you would have to rely on their online stores. So before you shop online do some Google research and try to find a more local store. Especially when you are new to the scene looking at stuff physically, trying it out and talking to a sales person gives you a better sense of what you actually need and maybe want. Also most of these stores support the local scene so supporting them through your purchase is always a good thing.
Why are toys so expensive?
If a specific item you (want to) purchase is expensive lies very much in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion when you buy a toy you are having fun with, that enriches your playing and that will last for years or even decades when taken proper care of an initial high price tag suddenly becomes very relative.
But now to answer the question from the point of view of a person studying marketing: Yes, I have to admit most toys in most kinky/ BDSM/ leather stores have a higher price point. In Germany we actually have a word for that. We call it “perverts markup”. So how is this mark up (partly) justified?
- Working costs: Most toys are made in high-wage countries in a time consuming process for in order to archive good quality standard.
- Material: Good toys need good material. As much as I like my restraints from McHurt when I look at the leather gear I have gotten from Mister B or Mr S this is an entire different world which of cause drives the costs (a bit like the leather quality on budget and luxury cares). And it isn’t only leather: Good rubber and stainless steel simply cost more.
- Economy of scale effects: This effect basically says the more you make of a good the cheaper gets the individual one. Unlike most mass produced goods today toys are mostly still made by hand in small quantities so the potential for economy of scale is small. Of cause there are some economy of scope effects when handling a p.e. leather but they are not so big that they only increase the quality and don’t really decrease the price.
- In-store costs: At least in the bigger German cities the good kinky stores lie in not too bad and thus not really cheap areas where store rents are rather high. And of cause you need personal to sell the stuff. Furthermore: Despite having a large range of different goods turnover rate for the individual item is rather low (good toys tend to last long) so the cost of capital are also high. All these costs have to be earned by not so high sales because toys are purchased not so often.
Not a frequently asked question but some I want to answer: I am making/ selling toys. Are you interested in testing them?
Yes, of cause I am. Getting toys for review purposes has the big advantage of reviewing toys that are either too expensive or not on a high priority of my purchasing list because need other things to make my current phantasies come true (If you want to know what toys I would currently like to review but for one or the other reasons are not on my purchasing list, take a look at my Wishlist). But please keep in mind: I will write honestly about your product and will inform my readers who has provided me with the toy. Also, because I test the toys thoroughly with different partners as top and bottom it usually takes one to three month between getting a new toy and publishing a review. In exchange you will get a link to your store in my website and in the tweet about the review. Please feel free to get in touch with me.