A few days have passed, the exam went quite well and the texts I wrote about the last time have been written. They are not brilliant I have to admit, but they will do. I don’t want a Pulitzer Prize I just want to get as many people as possible good information about BDSM toys. And if they are a little bit interested in the origin of this project or me, fine. If not, I am also cool with it.
In order to provide useful information I need a system to judge the toys I will be testing. As you can see from the picture over the last month I have collected quite a lot of thoughts on that matter. The first draft included different rating systems for pain and restriction gear which at first made sense because regarding usefulness you can’t compare a clamp with pair of handcuffs. But these drafts also included criteria which I find difficult, like the pain strength or the tightness of the restraints. I know from my BDSM speech that pain is a very complex matter. Every pain has an affective and a sensory component which might be measurable quite objective. But due to pain memory, training, situational factors, etc. pain will be felt different every time somebody gets exposed to the pain source. Not to talk about that not every pain at applied at every part of the body makes everybody equally horny. So writing that a “clamp provides a mild, jet prickling sensation” might be ludicrous at best, at worst putting an eager beginner into agony harming his pain memory badly. Same works for the tightness of restraints. What one person finds pretty harsh and making his extremities fall asleep is just a slow start for a true bondage sub.
Another, quite technical approach was to measure how many Newton a clamp provide and how much force can be applied to restraints before they get torn apart. This would be very intersubjective and scienecy – and probably useless because nobody knows how many Newton one can bare per square millimeter clamp-skin-contact or how much force a sub develops. Also: This testing would mean the destruction of at least my bondage gear. If I would be rich, I might do such stuff even though I won’t provide practical information. But being a student with a very limited budget, it is impossible. Not to think about the investment in the testing facilities.
So, when doing groceries today (I know, I have weird thoughts at even weirder place), this system of criteria came to me:
Build Quality (10%)
Is the toy flimsy, does it feel cheap or has it a quality feel.
It there anything which might cause a severe harm when handled badly or even worse when handled right.
In how many ways and on how many different body parts can the toy be used.
Being up to the Task (25%)
Basically: Can the toy do what it promises.
How well handles the toy? Does it have a good grip, is easy to understand and can be released quickly in a case of emergency. How does lub, gloves (if anybody want to get me leather, latex and industrial rubber gloves in order to get a wider array of testing gloves, just contact me ;)) or sweaty hands effect the handling.
Glamour/ Coolness (5%)
We are all queers to a certain extend and love showing off at the Vanity Fair. So having a cool toys might just be the right mean to score a certain hot looking guy thus it influence the decision for a toy.
Long term Potential (10%)
How long can a sub be exposed to the toy. I know this is also an experience thing but sometimes pure medical factors speak against long term use.
Does the toy leave a mark? If yes, how heavy is it? I know that this is an important factor for newbies, people in non-SM relations and for hard players who have daytime jobs and who might get in problems when a welt is across their forehead. But on the other hand, some tops are looking for toys that mark their subs and leave them with something to remember the session for a couple of hours or days. So I am not yet sure if a toy should score high or low when leaving a distinctive mark for a long time. UPDATE: I Decided to award high scores when the marks are low.
I will probably use this system for the first couple of weeks and will be waiting for the feedback of the reader. Maybe it will prove useful maybe everybody else but me it is complete crap. We will probably see.