Being a community member at Sextoys.co.uk has its benefits as many of our members will tell you; there’s product testing, inside industry news, competitions, games and endless like-minded conversation to be had, not to mention the chance to rub shoulders with some big names in the Sex Toy Testing arena. Forums like ours have seen many creative, diverse and talented people nurture and hone their skills from humble beginnings to eventually reaping the reward of high-traffic blogs and websites with sponsors falling at their feet!
Blogging, Vlogging, Tweeting, Pinning, Tumbling and all manner of sharing has given the buying public a strong voice when it comes to recommending (or slating!) the products and brands that we now know and love, giving manufacturers a firm boot up the backside to make sure they listen to their market.
We openly welcome feedback and reviews from our customers and community members for our products and even reward those with the best communicated opinions with £100 to spend in-store every month! The more creative and informative, the better. However, aside from gaining enormous feedback from our by-monthly testing drives, we are also aware that many of our community members test and review in their own right, posting detailed, un-biased and opinionated feedback on the products that they buy (or are given to test) for the world to read!
Building and running their own blogs for some, is a full time job, these people are more than just opinionated, they are fast becoming sex toy experts…hell even Sexperts! It’s these forward thinking and inspiring people that could mean the difference between you purchasing your first strap-on or re-igniting your sex life for the first time in years.
In short, they’re kind of a big deal!
As a major retail brand in the Sex Toy industry, we felt that we could help push these people further with our backing and recognising that there’s no real governing body or sex toy version of ‘Which?’ to help the general public certify certain bloggers’ legitimacy and accuracy of product descriptions and performances, we felt some kind of award or seal of approval with our branding would fill such a void.
The Sextoys.co.uk Seal Of Approval was born.
To become a Seal of Approval accredited site will not be an accreditation given lightly, a rigorous series of checks will be run before considering awarding a site, making sure that the legitimacy of the award remains strong and trusted.
After a couple of months since the initial launch announcement, we are very pleased to announce our first Seal Of Approval winner after much deliberation, the delightfully deviant Midnight Boudoir! Making sure to keep her real life identity quiet (for work reasons), we had an interview with the toy testing trail-blazer behind the blog, revealing some very telling answers that helped her stand out from the crowd and be the first chosen for this prestigious award.
Are you surprised to be the first to receive this prestigious new award from Sextoys.co.uk? What does winning this title mean to you?
Yes, I was blown away and very humbled to be the first to receive this new award as there are so many amazing reviewers out there. I was shocked and excited to receive this news. It means so much to me to be recognized like this by a company like yourselves and of what this Seal Of Approval will be saying to others, it’s a real honour. I am so passionate about my site it means the world, thank you so much…*blush*.
How long have you being reviewing toys for now?
It seems like my whole adult life, I started using sextoys over 25 years ago so I could see alot of pitfalls in them all the way back then too. I then started leaving reviews on sites about 4 years ago, but professionally on my site Midnight Boudoir for the past year and half. I’ve always had something to say on how a product could be improved.
What or who inspired you to review toys on your own site?
I have always had an interest in sex toys and have watched the changes in the sextoy industry over the years and have kept myself updated on the latest products. Being an ex-nurse too I also wanted to offer sexual health advice, I care about people and want them to have a happy, healthy sex life up into their forties and more too. My OH mentioned I should get my own website to offer all this advice. It was then I realised I could combine all my passions of writing, photography and my love of sextoys, lingerie and erotica all into one site.
I have so much to say when I feel passionate about a product and Midnight Boudoir is my soapbox. I wanted somewhere to share my passion for my work in words and images as I get very enthusiastic when I use a toy that has given me the most earth quivering orgasm. I want to share it with the world…literally.
Midnight Boudoir enables me to have the chance to explain the strengths and weaknesses of each product; enabling the reader to work out if its a match for them individually as we are all very unique.
I decided to publish a more photographic review site as it has enabled me to indulge in my photography passion and being able to offer detailed images so people know the product back to front before deciding on their purchase.
Do you make a living from reviewing and blogging about sex toys, if not, are there any other benefits from reviewing?
I don’t make a living from reviewing but I do receive more toys than I ever dreamt I would which is still mind-blowing for me. I’m still just as excited when a parcel arrives as I was when I started whether it’s £4 or £200 product. I still find it amazing when companies and manufacturers contact me wanting me to review a product, I find that really humbling and Im always grateful to them.
The other benefit for me is that its something I share closely with my OH, I love getting his input and point of view on everything I review. I also have met some amazing people and fellow reviewers and discovered some great friends from all over the world since starting MidnightB, its so much fun to share new ideas and opinions on the sextoy world.
For me though most importantly its getting feedback from my readers, it means the world to me when someone emails to say a review has helped them choose a product or if some of my advice has really helped a section of their lovelife. I want to share my knowledge of sextoys and sex that has made me happy, so if that one piece of advice helps someone else it’s made my day…my year…everything. I will always have a little nurse in me wanting to help if I can.
So you’re a published writer and photographer, what work have you done that you’re most proud of?
I used to write for a known wildlife magazine as a regular writer and photographer, I also have recently just had some of my photos published in a brand new book and front cover of its accompanying magazine which I am over the moon and bubbling over with excitement. I was also proud to have some my images used in a calendar a few years ago; and to find they had sold out within a month was one of my proudest moments ever. I still find it hard to believe people like my work, I get excited over every great comment I receive about anything, I’m just a big softie at heart.
You review other products in the adult realm as well as toys, one of which being books, which is your favorite erotica novel that you’ve read so far and why?
Oh wow what a question I have so many favorites and I have got to know many of the authors and publishers well.
So hmm…well it has to be down to 3 authors, how can I choose between them…
1. KD Grace – Body Temperature and Rising
2. Janine Ashbless – Named and Shamed and
3. Kay Jaybee – The Perfect Submissive
I loved Body Temperature and Rising as there are alot of hot scenes that are all completely relevant and KD Grace makes every encounter sexy and exciting and its never “just another sex scene”.
Every character is believable and you can actually feel the sexual tension…well how can it not..steamy sex in caves on the fells…hell yes its every girls dream and fantasy….isn’t it..?
This is honestly one of the best books I’ve read and I don’t say that lightly. This beautifully written novel and a great mix of good plot and steaminess makes this a great start to the trilogy; I never realized you could write such a great novel mixing both supernatural and erotica without it being corny, I loved every page! The storyline is so brilliant you forget it’s an erotica book, as the sex is so natural with a fantastic parallel plot and twist at the end. I was absolutely gutted when it ended and have been lusting for book two (coming out next month) for ages.
But I also loved Named and Shamed by Janine Ashbless for her incredible hot sex and so many borderline fetishes and unique style of erotica with amazing hot illustrations. Perfect Submissive is Kay’s best book to date with a series of trials for a new and unsuspecting submissive with a great plot and relatable characters.
What would you say your biggest turn on is?
After Macchiato coffee and my favorite Galaxy chocolate it has to be all sorts of bondage with sensory and nipple play. As well as being able to try the most hi-tech unique techie toys. I’m a complete rabbit addict too as I love both penetrative and clitoral stimulation and have quite a large collection in my ever-expanding warren. I love the most latest innovative unusual and unique toys out there, I adore the more horrific or Halloweeny style products that is a huge turn-on in itself.
Which brand has you coming back time and time again?
Bad Dragon is one of my favorite brands with their amazing imaginative design ideas and also the luxury and quality of the gorgeous Lelo.
Who else in the world of sex toy reviewing is worth mentioning and why?
Oh now that’s a hard one, I have so many favorites and there are so many amazing reviewers and sex-bloggers out there.
In the UK
Carasutra with her incredible knowledge of BDSM, erotica stories and fun writing style.
Nymphomaniacness with her new Toy with Tuesday section so appealing to my love of photography.
Steve and Roxy with DIY Oragsms their main review site and also their new Sextoy Society, both sites so professionally done with so much information.
Kinky World with her incredible amount of products to her name and her detailed reviews,
True Pleasures who has a passion for the unusual like me.
How did you originally hear about sextoys.co.uk and how long ago was it?
Oh wow I have been looking at sextoysuk for 2-3 years now, maybe longer. You were recommended to me by a friend.
If you had to give one precious gem of advice to a beginner reviewer, what would it be?
As a new reviewer you need to get yourself known in the reviewing world; start a free to use professional looking blog and make it yours. Review your own products and always add photos if you can. Then add the review to sites you bought it from and network on Twitter and Facebook. Be active on the forums and get involved in the community to get you and your new blog known; you can then sign up to be a tester.
I love to see reviewers really enthusiastic over a toy for good or bad reasons and interject some humor its always good to smile and I personally like to feel I can relate to that person. Be honest and don’t be scared to say it didn’t work for you, it helps the stores wheedle out the poorer products.
If you like certain products contact those companies with a polite email with your site name and hit count, be friendly and enthusiastic they need to know your passionate and professional about what you do. Not just after freebies.
But its really important as a reviewer to state your own sexual preferences on your site eg; explain if you like powerful rumbly toys to buzzy. Don’t just say the latest toy is rubbish and you hated it, it maybe just the difference in our bodies, we are all different.
Always research and keep up with the latest and greatest toys and read up on the basics of materials and cleaning info etc, your advice needs to be correct for peoples safety.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share with us?
Since starting Midnight Boudoir a year and half ago I have had so much fun and never believed she would have grown as she has. I have so many plans for the future with some guest authors and some special guests, more videos, many many more new and innovative sextoys, lingerie and erotica reviews. Plus I have some exciting give-aways planned.
I hope my readers can come away with a smile and the thought of “I really want that product..or not”. Whatever opinion they leave with I hope I have helped them decide one way or another in finding something that will suit them. Something I could never have done without Midnight Boudoir its become a full time passion for me and I couldn’t be happier.
This blog was chosen to be awarded for the strong mix of educational content, reviews, imaginative graphics and imagery, broad cross-section of reviewed items and general navigation, look and feel of the site. We are extremely happy to be backing such a great blog and look forward to seeing how Midnight Boudoir progresses in the future.
Now the bar has been set, we can’t wait to find the next lucky site to be fully Sextoys.co.uk approved!!