A Sex Toy Reviewer’s Ethical Code of Conduct

Friends don’t let friends buy sketchy sex toys from Wish. And friends don’t let friends rely on fab­ri­cat­ed sex toy reviews where the writer hasn’t actu­al­ly fucked the toy.

A Sex Toy Reviewer's Ethical Code of Conduct 1
Collage. Background by Nick Shandra. Midground pho­to by Arthur Mazi.

My sex toy reviews are written for humans looking for detail and depth — not just robots wanting breadth.

We’ve all seen the extra AF, over-SEO’d titles in cookie-cutter shops sell­ing white-label AliExpress stuff. I know you know what I’m talk­ing about. Their titles are some keyword-stuffed shit like:

Silicone Realistic Dildo Ultra-Soft Huge Dildos for Women with Strong Suction Cup for Hands-Free, Flexible Lifelike Dong Sex Toy with Curved Shaft and Balls for Vaginal G‑spot and Anal Play.

Hooh, I need a sip of water after read­ing that aloud.

What does the current landscape of search engine optimization and social media mean for the reader?

You’ve prob­a­bly seen the cookie-cutter blogs “review­ing” sex toys that the writ­ers don’t actu­al­ly all own.

Just a few telltale signs of fabricated review blogs include:

  • Primarily post­ing sum­ma­ry listicles
  • Only post­ing pos­i­tive reviews or hid­ing drawbacks
  • Odd rep­e­ti­tion of head­ers and click­baity keywords
  • Using noth­ing but man­u­fac­tur­er stock images of the products
    • Or worse, some steal small­er con­tent cre­ators’ work

These arti­cles often only skim the sur­face and don’t say much (if any­thing) about the writer’s first­hand expe­ri­ence. They lack detail. What’s the point of a “review” where some­one hasn’t used the product?

Or, for that mat­ter, rave reviews from paid influ­encers who don’t have a frame of ref­er­ence for what makes a sex toy stand out from the rest? (I’m look­ing at you, ioba­toys OhMyG…)

You know the answer, and I know the answer: money.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a hustler and dildo peddler, too. But…

There are prin­ci­ples I stand by in my mis­sion to enhance orgasms around the world.

Here’s where I stand regarding the sex toy review landscape.

1. I will never recommend a toxic, shower curtain-smelling jelly dong as one of the best huge dildos.

I care about bring­ing you qual­i­ty, body-safe inserta­bles that can be ade­quate­ly san­i­tized and last a life­time with prop­er care. (Read more about why I rec­om­mend sil­i­cone over any oth­er soft mate­r­i­al for dil­dos.)

2. I mainly promote independent shops run by lovely people who:

  • Care about their customers
  • Work with inde­pen­dent arti­sans, too
  • Give a fuck about inclu­sive sex education
  • Give back to the community

3. There’s no unnecessary gendering of sex toys as “for men” or “for women” on my blog.

Ah yes, the three gen­ders: men, women, and cou­ples. I do dis­cuss the following:

  • Gendered cul­tur­al per­cep­tions of sex toys
  • Why a sex toy with­out a flared base isn’t safe for anal use

… but you won’t find me say­ing that only men or women could use a product.

4. I’m passionate about my writing and am not just here to make money.

5. I care about bringing you the best sex toys for you and your body — and that includes being honest and authentic in my reviews.

If a product:

…then I’ll be blunt about it.

7. I own (or at least have owned or tried) the sex toys I rave-review and recommend.

8. My sex toy knowledge comes from my experiences (or my partners’ and collaborators’ experiences) and not just regurgitated copypastas I found elsewhere on Google.

9. I don’t use black hat SEO or unethical advertising methods.

Let’s just say that there are ways that web­sites can gain unfair advan­tages against or out­right attack com­peti­tors behind the scenes.

Using aggres­sive SEO tech­niques to rank high­er on Google search results doesn’t mean that their mate­r­i­al offers val­ue to read­ers. Remember that when you’re look­ing up reviews.

10. No hate speech. It sounds obvious, but needed to be said.

Members of the Alliance of Independent Sex Toy Testers abide by the above code of conduct

While sex blog­gers have dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ties (I fuck­ing love fist­ing and giant dil­dos), the over­ar­ch­ing ethics apply to all in the Alliance of Independent Sex Toy Testers.

Who is currently in the Alliance?

I’ve arranged this list in reverse alpha­bet­i­cal order so that those of us near the end of the alpha­bet can get some extra love, too. <3

This list was last updat­ed on April 5th, 2022.

How to join the Alliance of Independent Sex Toy Testers

If you’d like to join, email sex toy tester alliance [at] gmail [dot] com. From there, we’ll have sev­en days to vote on whether to add you to the Alliance or not.

There is a pref­er­ence that the blogs have been up for at least one year and have at least 16 reviews published.

Also, since the pur­pose of the Alliance is to sup­port oth­er mem­bers, each of us has a list with do-follow links to each other’s blogs.

How can readers support Super Smash Cache?

And, of course, keep check­ing back on my sex toy review blog reg­u­lar­ly for updates!

New here? Overwhelmed?

5 Responses

  1. Cam says:

    I trust your blog. And love read­ing dis­likes and likes of prod­ucts. It’s sad that peo­ple will steal from small­er blog­gers. Thanks for keep­ing it real

  2. Sm says:

    Why is insta­gram crossed out as to how you can share your profile?
    I’ve kin­da always want­ed to review toys. How did you start?

    • Instagram some­times prompts users to log in before being allowed to see any­thing, which reg­is­ters as a bro­ken link. It’s sil­ly, but not impor­tant enough for me to fix.

  3. Chloe says:

    I think Phallophile Reviews should be added to the list. Her blog has intro­duced me to a lot of good toys and gave me new insights.

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