5 Ways Companies Try to Screw Over Reviewers & Cam Models
The business of blogging involves alliances and collaborations with companies. How do you navigate that?
Though many sex shops are delights to work with, psychic vampires also run rampant in the industry. They feed on the unsuspecting, trying to squeeze every last drop out of promotion from freelancers and money from buyers.
If you’re a cam model or pleasure product reviewer, know the worth of your work.
Don’t fall for these sketchy ways sex toy companies (or people pretending to be them) try to take advantage of influencers.
I chatted with risqué content creator Tawney Seren to uncover times businesses knowingly oversold their merits or otherwise screwed people over. We’re not going to name names here — just warning you to watch out for these recurring themes.
In this post
- Paid positive reviews with canned captions
- Getting people to PAY to work for THEM
- A gazillion spammy “do-follow” links
- “Cross-promotion” to their following of freeloaders
- Working with XXX content creators only
1 Paid 5-star sex toy reviews on Amazon or canned Instagram scripts
I’m starting here because this tactic especially goes against what I stand for.
If I hate a sex toy, I’ll tell you why. I don’t give glowing reviews just because I’ve been paid. In some cases, I’ve turned down money because I wanted to deliver pure, unbridled salt when something displeased me or hurt others.
If a sex toy company sends me a contract saying that I can only say positive things about their product, it’s a no from me. I respect that small companies need good press and would prefer to keep negative feedback private. At the same time, though, I choose not to accept review samples with those particular strings attached.
Paying for positive commentary on Amazon is definitely against the protocol. If you participate in that, you run the risk of getting your reviews shut down.
Some marketers on Instagram also push influencers to make fabricated claims and use canned scripts. Many of us have seen that in the diet industry and from dating coaches. It happens in the sex toy world, too.
Perhaps the most egregious example is falsely declaring that the toy is body-safe when the seasoned dildologist knows it’s not. I’m also alert to “revolutionary” toys that are overengineered in the worst way possible. Overall, leaving a 5-star review for a sub-par product is just a shitty thing to do to potential buyers.
2 Asking models to pay to work for them
“Free” sex toys don’t pay the bills. Coupons don’t, either.
Look: if you’re an influencer who’s worked to build a following, then your readers’ trust is worth more than a 30% off discount for a product.
Consider whom the exchange favors. If the so-called “payment” is a coupon, the company’s trying to make money from you while not giving you much in return. If it’s them sharing a picture you posing with the product, they essentially get free labor instead of paying a model and photographer.
Also, it’s backassward. The point of an influencer is so that the company gains exposure from a trusted source — not the other way around.
Getting the shout-out or discounted toy may be worth it to you personally, especially if you’re new to the world of cam modeling or sex toy reviewing. I respect that the hustle is like that sometimes. However, also consider that your time and reputation have value.
Let’s say you’ve built up a body of work, and companies are finding you.
Saying “no” to mediocre offers opens up your schedule to fantastic offers.
You know, ones where the company will promote you AND pay you for your craft because they genuinely adore you.
3 A gazillion spammy “do-follow” links
How Google’s search engine algorithm works isn’t common sense to the layperson. Here are the basics that influencers must know:
- Businesses want you to link to them.
- The quality of the websites you link to matters.
- How you link to them matters.
- Carelessly linking to shitty sites can make your Google rankings PLUMMET.
Learn about the difference between “no-follow” vs. “sponsored” vs. “follow” link tags.
A “follow” tag means you’re passing on a piece of your site’s reputation to the page linked. That’s what companies want.
I know that upfront, linking doesn’t sound like a big deal. But if you do it too often, your ranking on Google can drop from the first page to the fourth. A business with the gall to ask for myriad spammy links doesn’t give a shit about the hit you take.
Bloggers and cam models all have different boundaries when it comes to linking. Again, I respect the hustle, but educate yourself on what you’re risking. Decide what’s worth it to you.
4 “Cross-promotion” on their porn retweet Twitter
You know the Twitter accounts I’m talking about:
- Most of their page is retweeted smut.
- They have tens of thousands of followers.
- Their followers are mostly looking for free porn.
They have something they want you to promote — maybe a particular page on their website, or a sex toy giveaway. The deal goes along the lines of, “You promote something of mine, and I’ll promote something of yours.”
That’s where I usually say, “Great! These are my rates for sponsored social media promotion.” And they may push for free advertisement, claiming that cross-promotion would be doing me a favor.
After all, I’m getting exposure to their huuuuge following, right?
Not so fast.
Look at what they’re posting and how many people engage with the content. It’s a bad sign if:
- A Twitter account with a gazillion followers has only 1 or 2 likes on each post.
- There’s nothing but uncredited porn on their page.
Yeah, they might have many followers, but those people will likely NOT:
- Click on my non-XXX content and go to my website in the first place.
- Offer any engagement (likes, retweets, etc.)
- Buy sex toys through my links to bring me a commission and support my work.
So really, who is doing whom a favor here? And if these pages are doing so well with their massive followings, what do they need me for? ???
5 When they’re in it for XXX content
Some companies only ever send products to creators who post XXX content on Pornhub, Twitter, and so on.
The people involved are adults who can make their own decisions, but there are a few reasons not to partake in the exchange:
- Pornhub isn’t exactly known for paying their models well — there are ways to get more bucks for your bang.
- If you’re not someone who does XXX content by default, such a request seems unprofessional and left-field, no?
- “Free” products come with strings attached, and they in themselves don’t pay the bills.
Maybe you LOVE the company’s toys and are down for the collaboration. That’s fine, but remember that by saying “yes” to it with your time and energy, you’re saying “no” to all the other things you could be doing to build your business. What’s important to you?
Let’s wrap it up!
If you’re a newbie to the business, some of these offers may seem enticing. It doesn’t mean you’re a sucker — I’ve had my share of drones doing me dirty in the past.
With experience, you’ll hone your discernment and find collaborators who respect and love the work you do.
If you’d like to work with me, feel free to read my policies page and get in touch!