Guys! I have news!
I was interviewed in the April issue of XBIZ Premiere, a prominent adult industry magazine, for a newish feature called “Blogger Spotlight.” Fist pump! My interviewer was XBIZ Associate Managing Editor and badass Ariana Rodriguez, who asked me how my blog got on its feet, what I write about, my relationship with my readers, the value of sex toy reviews (I HAVE MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS), and what it takes to be a good blogger.
The magazine can be accessed in its digital form — click “view current issue online” to digitally turn its pages, or click here to go straight to a PDF version (be warned; it’s big!). The interview is on page 121. Here’s what it looks like in the magazine, but since you know how I feel about white text on a black background, scroll down for a copy of the full text — including links to the stuff I discuss!
Thanks again, Ariana and XBIZ, for featuring me! I’m really honored!
Hey Epiphora Offers Thorough, ‘Relentlessly Honest’ Sex Toy Reviews
By Ariana Rodriguez
A self-proclaimed “sex toy encyclopedia,” Hey Epiphora began reviewing sex toys in 2007 for an online sex toy shop before launching her own platform to unleash her own “snarky, ridiculously truthful thoughts on sex toys” in 2008. HeyEpiphora.com has since blossomed into a trusted source for consumers looking for comprehensive product recommendations and commentary on modern-day cultural views on sex and its icons. She was even quoted in sex educator/author/adult filmmaker Tristan Taormino’s book, The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation. In the latest edition of Blogger Spotlight, XBIZ highlights the personality and dedication behind HeyEpiphora.com.
When did you launch Hey Epiphora?
Fall of 2008. I didn’t have any grand dreams for it, which I think is an asset when launching a blog into the abyss! At the time, there weren’t many blogs focused solely on sex toy reviews, which is what I wanted to do. Without much of a model to go by, I just made up my own. I wrote because I loved it. And slowly, it grew. I gained readers, I honed my reviews, and my rabid opinions became trusted. Now, I’m looking toward a long future with my blog, and I’m always brainstorming ways to make it more entertaining and more user-friendly.
Describe Hey Epiphora. What info do you share with readers?
I’m known for my sex toy reviews, which are straightforward, snarky, and relentlessly honest — not coy, not sultry, and not sugar-coated in any way. Many readers have told me that I have never steered them wrong on toys, and I take great pride in that.
I always enjoy spotlighting horrifying sex toys, like a disembodied rubber finger and a vibrating jelly “rope” with an internal spine. I also write about current events that amuse or irritate me, like the recent Nightline segment on James Deen. And I keep a “Jack-Off Journal,” a comical summation of my more memorable masturbation sessions — like the night I timed my orgasm for the exact moment the kitchen timer went off, signaling finished corn dogs. Still proud of that one.
Oh, and I run giveaways! I recently wrapped up a giveaway for a custom dildo with the winner’s choice of small items embedded in the silicone.
How would you describe your relationship with your readers? Do you communicate with them?
Yes, they are amazing! Many of them are my friends. I’m on Twitter constantly, and readers always email me with questions. Rest assured that if you ask my opinion on something, I’ll give it to you. In spades.
What is your motivation behind reviewing sex toys?
Consumers need direction when it comes to sex toys. There are so many toys out there, and so many made of disgusting materials. Folks need to be convinced of the importance of splurging on their sex toys; they’re used to spending $15 for a vibrator that breaks within months. Conversely, they need to know if a high-end toy is overpriced or doesn’t work as advertised. In short, they need — and deserve — the truth. And I believe in the importance of giving it to them.
Unlike when I started, there is no shortage of sex toy reviews on the internet these days. Now the tricky part is wading through all the bland and/or promo-ridden reviews to find genuine opinions. I try to write my reviews so that readers never finish one and wonder how I felt about a toy. It’s not my job to make everything sound worthwhile. I’m a reviewer, not a company rep (although I’ve been told I should be on njoy’s payroll for all my gushing about the Pure Wand).
Manufacturers can easily get a feel for their brand reputation by browsing sex toy reviews, and they’d be smart to do so. I’ve seen a lot of sex toys, and I can tell you what makes toys stand out — in both good and bad ways. I really appreciate the companies like Tantus that take the time to interact with bloggers and improve their products based on our feedback.
What do you think it takes to be a good blogger (as far as skills, experience, knowledge)?
A love for writing and a unique writing style. An angle. Time. Knowledge. Honesty. An eye for design. WordPress skillz. An intense hatred for embedded audio. And, of course, persistence.