Valyn joined us way back in 2008, with a small collection of toys. She's been quieter in the community, but she's definitely earned her keep.
"I started reviewing in the fall of 2008, with my new little collection of three sex toys. They were actually bought at another online store, until I received an advertisement in the mail and deleted the account. I don't remember how I stumbled upon EdenFantasys, but it's definitely become my go-to place for sex toys, information, and people that love sex like I do!
At first, I just started looking around the website and adding tons of stuff to my wish list. I browsed the forums and found quite a bit of interesting information. I found out that EdenFantasys had an Advanced Reviewer status, and that some of these advanced reviewers were able to get a couple items free once in a while. Back then, to become an advanced reviewer, you had to submit two reviews, then get voted in if enough advanced reviewers voted for you. I threw out my first two reviews, hoping to get in... it felt like some exclusive club of sex-lovers, and I wanted in! Looking back at my first reviews, I'm glad I had to write again and try a second time to get accepted.
The best thing I found out about reviewing sex toys is practice makes perfect. My first few reviews lacked real in-depth description that comes naturally to me now. I also was inexperienced with toys in general, and had little to compare to. My first few toys were jelly, until I realized the risks jelly toys come with. But slowly, my collection grew, and I tried new toys and safer materials.
It's still difficult to write about a product I'm trying for the first time.. My first anal plug, first glass toy, pocket rocket, g-spot toy.. writing about an item when I had nothing like it I could compare with wasn't easy. I'd read other reviews on the product, and find different features others wrote about, like how hard a toy was.. and I'd see for myself - did the hardness bother me? Did I prefer it that way? I'd also look at similar products and try to imagine using something different, and how it might compare to the item in my hand.
The best thing to do when reviewing, I've found, is just to pay attention to detail, and think of what you would want to know about a product. As soon as I get something in the mail, I always take note of all the packaging, how annoying a package may be to open, if the product smells or feels weird, etc. When I'm writing my reviews I try to think about why I wanted this product.. and what I would want to know if I was reading a review about it."
Owl Identified has been with us for almost two whole years, and the whole time she's been nothing but helpful and informative, and gives us some of the best adult videos I've ever seen.
"Best advice from another reviewer: Always allow cool heads to prevail when something frustrates you. Take a step back, and remember that Edenfantasys is a diverse place with a lot of perspectives and opinions. I don't have to agree with or respect all of those perspectives, but it's important to remain civil. Learning to simply click out of a thread or let a comment on a review slide has made my time here MUCH more pleasant! The majority of the people I have gotten to talk to on EF have been incredibly warm and respectful, so I try not to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch as they say.
I heard about Edenfantays from: An ex-girlfriend of someone that worked for Edenfantasys when it was first starting up. The review program sounded like a really great way to expand my toy collection and if you haven't noticed, there's almost nothing I enjoy more than sharing my opinions! Hehe. The more I got involved here the more opportunities I saw for doing things beyond submitting a monthly review, and I've done all kinds of stuff from mentoring to video reviewing to the DR program, and everything I've done has been great for different reasons.
I have stayed for almost two years because: One of my favorite things about EF is that it's always changing and there are always new opportunities for reviewers and employees to grow. I am never bored on this site, which is why I check it multiple times a day as time allows. Edenfantasys stays up to date on all of the newest technology and innovations in sex toys and accessories, but it also stays up to date in all the latest in social media. Particularly I have enjoyed watching EF incorporate aspects of social networking sites into its interface - all while still maintaining the original mission of the site. EF is great at staying in touch with trends without just blindly adopting the latest fad and it's something that I appreciate a lot.
Advice for newcomers: Get your hands in as many pots as you like in the beginning to find out what you like, but plan to eventually narrow your area of expertise down to a few EF programs. I absolutely LOVE porn but I do not participate in the Porn Club. I think the club is an awesome and long overdue program, and I wish I had time for it, but I knew that if I had joined then it would compromise the quality of my contributions in other areas. Same goes for SexIs writing (something I've often wanted to do but didn't have the same for) and some other clubs. If you are new to the site than log a lot of hours exploring the interface, reading through club meetings and learning as much about your options as possible. Join some things, contribute, and when you're ready? Pick a few things you think you excel at and commit fully to them. For me this has been the most rewarding."
So please join me in welcoming Valyn and Owl Identified to the Reviewers Spotlight, and join us right here on Thursday, May 5th at 6 pm Eastern to ask them some questions, learn from them, and give them some lovin'!