One Year!

It’s a little hard to believe but it’s been a year already since I embarked on this project and first decided to start a blog. Since then things things have come a long way; my list of reviews has greatly expanded, I’ve branched out into toys I never thought I’d try, and I hope I’ve proven to be a useful resource for people out there looking for some reliable information. When you’re sat there surrounded by a mountain of sex toys it’s easy to forget what it was like when you first clicked onto a retailer’s website and were overwhelmed with choice, but ill-equipped with knowledge. Every sex toy reviewer has made some bad purchase decisions in their past, and I think that that is a lot of the reason why we write, to help others to avoid those pitfalls. One of the most enduring things I’ve gained since starting this blog is all the friendships I’ve made with other people involved in this field, and I’m very grateful for that; I’ve even learnt to appreciate Twitter as a resource.

I’m going to have a quick recap of the past year, and then there’s going to be what you’ve all been waiting for – a big anniversary giveaway! I’m doubling the prize from my half-year giveaway, so that’s a whopping $100 gift voucher that one lucky person will be walking away with.

It certainly has been a busy year year for me; when I started my blog in February 2012 I owned a mere 16 toys, and so that was as many reviews as I had to post. Today my collection stands at 90 individual pieces with 80 of those currently reviewed, marking over a five-fold increase. It’s funny to look back and see just how much this little hobby has exploded in such a short space of time.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great selection of manufacturers and retailers this year, who have provided me with products completely free of charge, and they have my sincerest thanks. They include: SexToys.co.uk, Lovehoney, Simply Pleasure, Bondara, UberKinky, Esmale, SexShop365, Desire & Pleasure, EdenFantasys, Rocks Off, Clone-A-Willy, Give Lube, Spunk Lube, X-Lube & Billy Boy. Without their support and generosity my blog would be looking a lot more barren right now, instead of brimming with regular content.

When my blog began I received a mere 639 hits in that first fortnight. At the time I was more than pleased to achieve that, but since then I’ve had a further 85,000 visits to my blog. Month after month the total of monthly visitors keeps on increasing, and I have only my readers to thank for that who keep coming back every time I post something new. I’ve even managed to be the top result on Google when you search for the name of certain sex toys, and this is something which a year ago I could never have imagined would be possible. My top three most read reviews this year have been for the Brent Corrigan dildo, the Flight, and the Pierre Fitch dildo – all Fleshjack products, so it’s clear which company you guys like most.

I really have enjoyed every minute of my time doing this, from the late nights staying up and finishing a review, to the mornings when the postman greeted me at the door with a package of new goodies to try out, and especially the feedback I get from people who won some of my past giveaways.  I’ve even had quite a good year myself for winning things; I was Review of the Month on SexToys.co.uk back in March, I won a Nexus Glide from DIY Orgasms, £50 from llellsee, a Rainbow Nubby Wand from Silverdrop, and recently a Kevin Warhol dildo from Kinky Angels.

Seeing as this is a recap of the last year I might as well look at some of the highs and lows of the past 12 months, in terms of new toy releases that I’ve acquired. I was going to do this at the start of the New Year but never quite got around to it so it seems appropriate to slot it in here.

Favourite manufacturer of the year: This has to go to Tantus. Some of my most loved toys to come out this past year have been made by Tantus. The Max O2 was nothing short of a triumph in large dual density toys, the Pack ‘n’ Play line illustrated the versatility of silicone with its gloriously squishy nature, the Space Toys were visually stunning, the Raptor (review coming soon) combined a great look with superb function, and who could forget the wonderful little Twist, Neo, and Juicer?

Best looking toys of the year: As my readers will know visuals are very important to me. I’m fed up of toys with boring appearances so I feel the need to commend those companies which go above and beyond. This has to be a three-way tie between the tri-colour Tantus Asteroid, the neon green VixSkin Maverick, and Vixen Creations’ wonderful Halloween-themed Leoweenie. They all look absolutely amazing and are as much a feast for the eyes as they are a joy for the body.

Most disappointing toys of the year: I really don’t like to bash products, especially if the manufacturer hasn’t done anything egregious, but I do believe in being uncompromisingly honest, and companies will never learn how to improve without constructive criticism. The most disappointing non-powered toy to come out this year was the James Deen dildo by Doc Johnson. It had two major problems; they used a poor mould, and they used too firm of a silicone. I love my realistic silicone porn star dildos, but only Fleshjack seem to be able to get it right. My most disappointing powered toy has to be the Ego E4 prostate massager by Jopen. It’s a toy which had so much potential, and a great shape, but they put the vibrating motor in the wrong end and didn’t give it enough power or any vibrating patterns.

Most pleasant customer service experience this year: I had to return an item to Lovehoney because it was faulty and they were an absolute delight to deal with. I’ve never returned a product like this before and they made the entire process simple, professional, and expedient. It gives you such confidence to shop with a company when you can see how seriously they take their commitment to customer service.

I could probably go on listing categories for a while but this post is getting rather long and I think I’ve covered all the main bases. So, without further ado, let’s get to what you’ve all been waiting for, the competition! That is if you haven’t just scrolled down straight to this point, naughty you.

In celebration of this milestone I am having my biggest competition yet, in order to thank you all for coming on this journey with me, and it couldn’t be simpler to enter below!

Good luck everybody! Here’s to another year and plenty more reviews coming this way soon.