Some tips and advice on writing reviews - hope they help!

Some tips and advice on writing reviews - hope they help!

Emma (Girl With Fire) Emma (Girl With Fire)
So, I wrote this out for my students a while back when I was mentoring, and since then, have had quite a few requests for it from people who were not my students. I give this information out freely to anybody who asks, and decided that I might as well post it. It is by no means complete, and is probably missing some info (especially on the male toy end of the spectrum), but I hope that it helps some of you anyway!

Advice on writing

Probably the best advice I could give about writing reviews is to start with the easy parts.
For me this means I start with the Pros and Cons and move next, to the packaging, and then to the cleaning and maintenance, material then to the design and function. The last things I write are the use, experience and summary. This helps me organize my thoughts for what I consider to be the most important areas of the review, the areas which take the most thought and careful consideration. They are the areas of the review that are usually the most engaging and the least technical.

What to include

Pros and Cons are usually easy they are the top two or three things that you like and dislike about the product.

Packaging: What does the packaging look like? Is it attractive, does it have much information about the product on it (material specs, what lube to use, how to clean it etc)?
Is it discreet or obvious? Are there naked people on the front? Does it have a picture of the product on the front? Does it say what the product is? What type of packaging is it? Platic, cardboard, a baggie? Was there a booklet with info included? Is it reycleable, or can it be reused for something like storage?

Cleaning and maintenance: What do you use to clean this? Soap and water? Toy cleaner? Does it need to be antibacterial, or mild? Is there any area of the product that is more difficult to clean or might be missed? Can it be sterilized? Can it be submerged during cleaning?

What is the easiest and best way to store the product? Will it pick up lint and dirt if left in a drawer? Will the smell transfer onto other things on contact? Is it safe to store with other products and lubes or will the materials damage each other? (This is a problem with silicone and silicone composite products)

What lubes are compatible with the product material. If incompatible with some lubes, what is the danger in using them?

Material: (material information can be found on EdenFantasys, there are usually links to the material information on the product page) What are the benefits of the material? Is it free of harmful or unwanted chemicals? Is it porous? Can it be sterilized?

How does the material feel in your hands? Is it soft, hard, sticky, smooth, tacky, rough? Does it have a bit of grab/drag to it? Does it require more or less lube because of the texture? Is the material rigid or flexible? Is it heavy or light? Are there multiple materials in the product? What effect does this have? How does it feel on the surface of the genitals, or when inserted? Does it add or take away from the pleasure?

Design: Is the product shaped to target specific areas? Does it actually hit the intended areas? Are there different textures/shapes designed to provide added stimulation? If so, did you find them pleasurable or annoying/uncomfortable ? If there are vibrations where are they located? Does the location of vibrations add or take away from the effectiveness of the product? How is the product powered? Where do you insert the batteries if there are any? Is it easy to open and close the battery compartment? If the product says it is waterproof, is it ACTUALLY waterproof? What makes it waterproof? Is it discreet and easy to pawn off as a non sex related item, or is it totally obvious? Is it easy to travel with?

Are there design flaws?

What is the quality of craftsmanship? Are there areas that don't connect smoothly, and does this effect the overall quality of the product? Are the closures tightly fitted? Is the product sturdy, or are there areas you are concerned will break or wear easily? Are there any visible seams? If so can you feel them during use?

Function/Controls: What are the functions of this product? Does it have multiple uses? Multiple settings? What are the settings? Are they effective? Is it more effective used one way than another? How is the noise level on different settings? Are there any design flaws that cause problems with the intended functions? How are the controls designed? Are they easy to use or complicated? Are they easily accessable during play? Is there an instant shutoff in case you need to turn it off quickly? Have you had any difficulty or problems with the controls?

Experience: How did the produt work for you? How was the fit? If it vibrates, were the vibrations strong enough to satisfy you? Were you able to climax or did it only serve to tease you into arousal? Was there anything about the toy that you especially liked or disliked? Is it comparable to other toys you own? If so did you like it better or was it worse?

Personal comments: Is there anything you can suggest, or advise against for those interested in this product?

Use: Who is this product geared towards? Who do you think it will work best for? Is it large or intimidating and therefore probably better suited towards Advanced users? Is it easy to use and would make a great toy for beginners? Is it best if used solo or with a partner? What is the product meant to do? Can it do anything else? Will it work anally? (It may not be designed for anal use, but some people will still be interested in it for this purpose. Toys that work anally traditionally have large or flared bases, providing an area that will stop the product from being consumed by a persons body requiring a trip to the ER. If you are not sure check some of the other anal toys and see if they have similar bases. Also toys used anally should either be completely non porous or covered with a condom to prevent bacterial growth and prolong the life of the toy.) Is the toy discreet and good for those who don't want people to find out what they are doing? Is it loud enough to be heard by people not in the same room?

Summary: Sum up your overall opinion of the product, what you like and dont, and why it is or isn't worth investing in.

What to watch out for: Run on sentances and misplaced or improper puntuation. (These can confuse the reader.) Grammatical errors in word selection such as then and than, its and it's, or discreet and discrete. Incorrect use of descriptive words, this can cause the reader to expect something other than what you mean. Too much repetition will make your review seem totally redundant. It is also good to keep assumptions about how produts will work with other peoples bodies to a minimum, people are shaped differently and will have different experiences based on that. You can add something like (if you are or have "blank" then you might experience "blank". Comments like this are probably best added to the personal comments or design sections, sometimes even the use section. You can choose the area you think would be most appropriate. Also text acronyms and emoticons are a review no-no, they make reviews appear unprofessional and editors are asked to remove them from reviews.
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Emma (Girl With Fire) Emma (Girl With Fire)
Product specific information to address in your review


Dildos/Anal toys

How big is it? Does it feel like it fills you up? Is it TOO big or too small?
Can it be used safely for, or is it designed for anal play?
What type of base does it have, if any? Is it compatible with any harnesses or vac-u-lock gear?
Is the product shaped to target specific areas? Does it actually hit the intended areas?
Are there different textures/shapes designed to provide added stimulation? If so, did you find them pleasurable or annoying/uncomfortable ?
Are there any visible seams? If so can you feel them during use?
If an anal toy, is it meant as a plug or for thrusting?
If a plug, does it stay put comfortably? Can it be worn for long periods of time, or is it meant specifically for short period warm up.
Is it discreet and easy to pawn off as a non sex related item, or is it totally obvious?
Is it easy to travel with?


What type of vibrator is it? clitoral, traditional, rabbit, egg, bullet, anal?
What type of control does it have? Buttons, knobs, dials, dial base, remote?
What settings does it have? One vibration setting, adjustable vibration, patterns and vibration?
What sets it apart from other vibrators of this type? (good or bad)
Are there any cords or wires that may be annoying? How well attached are they?
Is it water proof, or splashproof?
What type of Batteries does it take? Are they easy to insert?


Is it realistic?
Do you find the exterior design attractive? Does it add to, or take away from the experience?
How big is it?
Is it lightweight or heavy?
What is the penetration depth?
Is it opened or closed ended?
If there is suction, is there a lot, or a little?
What is the interior texture?
Is it easy or hard to clean?
Can it be turned inside out for cleaning?
How is it dried?
Lube compatibility?
Are there any special storage techniques the buyer should be aware of?


(Combine with questions for harnesses, restraints, floggers, and swings/suspension kits)

Is it vegan? Is it comfortable? Does it chafe anywhere? What sizes will it fit?
What are the hardware (buckles/drings etc) materials? Are they durable?
Are there special cleaning instructions?
Are there any special features?


What kind of dildos are compatible? Vac-u-lock, O ring/flared base. cock and balls. double ended?
What style of harness is it? Thong, double leg, underwear?
Is it flattering? Are the vagina or anus acessable?
Can it be worn by a man for double penetration?
Is it adjustable? What are the straps made of? Do they stretch or relax during use?
Does the O ring need to be removed for cleaning?
Can it be worn discreetly under clothing?


What type of restraint is the product meant for?
Is it wrist or ankle specific, interchangeable?
Will it hold up to a serious struggle, or is it only meant for light bondage?
What kind of closures are there (cuffs)? Velcro, buckles, locks? Does it tie?
Do they require any additional purchases?
Restraint system? Ties? Chains/connectors?
What can you accheive with the length provided (rope and tape)? Can you do intricate ties/knots or just basics?
What range of movement does the product allow?
Do they have to be attached to anything specific.


Will it hold up to repeated heavy useage?
What size/length is it?
How heavy is it?
Is it comfortable to hold?
Is it easy to control?
What kind of sensation does the Top receive? Does it jar the hand? Vibrate upwards?
What sensation does the Bottom receive? Does it sting, thud. slap? Mildly or badly?
What kind of marks does it leave? How long do they last?
Can this be used for both light and heavy play?

Swings and Suspension kits

What features does it have? (seat, thigh rests, foot rests, arm or hand rests, head rest, restraint attachments?
Weight capacity?
Would it work better for larger or smaller body types?
How is it set up?
If it attaches to a door or door frame, will all door frames work?
Does it feel stable?
What is the range of motion?

Lingerie and Costumes

What are the componants of the product?
Does it come with any extras/accessories?
What is the coverage like?
What kind of cups does it have? Are their underwires? How is the support?
Does the top shift while you are wearing it? How strong/durable is the material?
How sturdy are the seams?
If there are beads/sequins tassels, anything decorative attached, how are they attached, how well are they attached?
Does it fit big or small?
Do you find it to be flattering or unflattering?
If there is a defined waist, does it sit closer to the hips or ribcage?
Is the material comfortable?
Is there any give?
Does it stretch out as you wear
If there are multiple materials, do they all wear the same?
Is it easy to get into by yourself? to get out of?
Is it something that could be worn in public or just in the bedroom?
Are there special care instructions?
What would you suggest as far as cleaning it (if instructions were not included, or inaccurate)

Here are a couple of websites that I have found quite helpful

Skin Deep - For searching ingredients and ingredient information

Grammar Girl - For those times when you just aren't sure
Kindred Kindred
This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
Jul!a Jul!a
Very neat!
Mistress Mandy Mistress Mandy
Very helpful, thank you so much!
Cougar in Training Cougar in Training
So glad I found this. Thank you!
- Kira - - Kira -
This is great! Thanks for posting it.
PassionQT PassionQT
You covered it all! Great job!

I'd like to add:
1) Try to make complete sentences that flow smoothly. I see reviews with many great related ideas that could be included in one sentence rather than several small sentences. There's such a thing as too wordy, but there's also too fragmented. For example: "Nice toy, could be better though, not well made." Try to use articles, conjunctions, proper punctuation so you wind up with something like: "It's a nice toy, but it could be better because...... "
Remember, these are still somewhat formal pieces of writing. The wording doesn't have to be fancy, but the ideas need to flow smoothly.

PROOFREAD, several times if that is what it takes.

Practice, practice, practice.
Naughty Student Naughty Student
Wow, this is great! I will defintely refer my students to this if need be. Thank you so much for sharing hun!
geliebt geliebt
Thank you! I've been nervous about sitting down for my second review, this really helps lay it out a bit better for me.
Shellz31 Shellz31
I have had something sort of similar that I made when I first started mentoring. It's a great list to hand out when a student joins ya class.
unfulfilled unfulfilled
That is prefect for us beginners. Thanks!
fifi fifi
Thank you so very much for posting such a comprehansive guide for reviewing different items! My mentor sent me a link to this thread as a little extra boost for making my reviews solid, and i can see I missed a few aspects when I reviewed an item. Thanks for being so detailed!
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
Wow - this is an awesome thread and great tips. I've bookmarked it and may print it up and laminate it or something to have here for reference as I write reviews.
TheCoz TheCoz
Thanks so much for this. It helps a lot as I just joined a class for the first time today
Kissy Kissy
This is WONDERFUL!! Thanks for the very detailed how-to review!!
HarlequinBunnie HarlequinBunnie
Thank you so much for these guidelines. Very informative and decisive.
vanilla&chocolate vanilla&chocolate
Thanks for these guidelines!
SassySam SassySam
Thank you for the advice.
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Unique posters: 18