April Fool’s wrap-up (+ bloopers!)

How I crafted the perfect sex toy video review for April Fool’s Day, plus a new video of bloopers.

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Enjoy: bloopers from my April Fool’s Day video review:

Watch on YouTube here.

I had many ideas for April Fool’s Day this year, but the idea of a sex toy video review was solidified one night when I realized I could craft a video which began well but devolved into a pile of shit. It would start out great, with an awesome theme song and me being my charming1 self. Then there would be strange cuts. Bad lighting. I would say weird shit I wouldn’t normally say. But it would happen slowly, so that for as long as possible, the illusion of sincerity would remain. Then at the end? The same theme song, performed horribly.

Even with this idea, I knew it would be hard to fool you people. I’ve been pulling pranks for five years now, and you expect one from me. So with each step of the arduous process of producing this video review, I took into account whether it would “give away” the joke.

First, I needed a toy. A carefully selected toy. It couldn’t be a toy that readers would immediately know I’m reviewing as a joke — so bad rabbit vibes from Cal Exotics were off the table. I wanted it to be rechargeable, so it would have enough features for me to talk about/butcher. I considered stuff from Jopen’s Envy or Lust lines or maybe mini vibes from Fun Factory… but decided on the Vibratex The Girls Princessa.

Then, I began laying the trail. Placing little clues on social media. This was the first one:

Meanwhile, I started writing the script. I’d lie awake at night thinking of stupid ideas and emailing them groggily to myself:

“Good for nipple stimulation. Kinda like using a weird vibrating flower.”

“Reminds me of that other toy I reviewed from Vibratex… hmm… can’t remember the name of it.”

“Thought I hit record but no. Had perfect take but whatever here we go again.”

At the beginning of March, I went on a trip with Kynan and Lorax, and we spent one night trolling YouTube for the worst sex toy video reviews from which to gather inspiration. It was here that I came up with the idea to show the sex toy in murky reddish water,2 vibrating awkwardly against its own bag, and held much too close to the camera with the ever-present qualifier, “I don’t know if you can see that.”

Ah, the usual sex toy video review shots: showing the toy vibrating Jell-O and me holding the base up to show the charging port.

When I got back from my trip, a package was waiting for me. It was time for another subtle social media hint, so I took a picture of the contents. The comments only confirmed my choice of toy. “Oh, dear. I dread and eagerly await your review of the Princessa,” someone wrote. “I can’t wait to read your signature snark on the princess vibe from Vibratex,” said another. “It is so buzzy it makes my eye twitch.”

My phone filming the Vibratex Princessa on my not-at-all-staged charging station.

I’d read reviews of the Princessa and felt it in person once before, so I knew it was going to be a disappointment. Still, I was appalled at how utterly useless it was. I assure you, every negative thing that I say in the video is true. I actually did question whether I was having an orgasm with it.

I began filming. It took two days to film b-roll of the toy sitting in various locations throughout my house, and to capture with precision my artfully-arranged charging station. It was time for another clue, so I uploaded this photo.

But it was too much of a give away. Some of you were just too smart. The moment I saw this comment, I hid it:

Comment reads: This just left me thinking, "Oh that's right, April is coming..."

I started to lose hope about actually fooling you. But I soldiered on. I needed my partner’s opinion on the toy to add to my video, so I literally forced him to use it while I laid next to him with a notepad in my hand. He deemed the toy, and the experience, “really upsetting.” When I told him the toy retailed for $75, he yelled, “ARE YOU SHITTING ME?”

I set aside an entire day to film the main footage, a day when my boyfriend would be home to help me wrangle the cats. Script in hand and natural light on my side, I sat in front of my phone for hours filming myself. When the script read  “chug a glass of wine,” I followed its orders — and continued filming. Most of the post-wine parts were improvised.

Video editing in Pinnacle. Oh my god.

Editing the video was an endeavor all its own. I’ve been using Pinnacle since high school, so it’s unfortunately all I know when it comes to video editing. A decade later, the program is as buggy and inexcusable as ever. I’ll give Pinnacle one thing, though — it made my life super easy when it came time to add ridiculous transitions and sound effects.

Bad video effects such as ripple, tint, CD case, and fire.

5,000 hours into editing, I talked to my dad on the phone. I thanked him for “blessing” me with the inability to do anything half-assed, including APRIL FOOL’S DAY JOKES. He said, “if you’re going to do something 90%, why not do it all the way?” So. That’s where I get it from.

The music was the final finishing touch, and thank goodness my boyfriend is a musician. For the music bed, I needed a 12-minute opus that sounded wonderful at first but degenerated into chaos, and boy did he deliver. The first inkling of weirdness comes right when I say the toy could be good for nipple stimulation. Truly beautiful. I wanted my theme song to include the phrase “discerning vagina,” which was a challenge — but the song he wrote was a home run. During the credits at the end, we decided on a karaoke version of the song, complete with drunken buffoon slur-singing along.

Finally, it was time to unleash the video for the masses.

Watch on YouTube here (includes captions).

The social media response was all I’d hoped for. Some people seemed to understand the video was a joke, while others thought only the toy was.

Facebook responses to my video.

The truth is, I don’t plan to do video reviews from here on out. At least not regularly. Now that I have a sweet theme song and title sequence, though, I must admit I’m tempted. But for the moment, I’m taking a deep breath and remembering why I prefer writing. There is SO much that goes into a video, no matter how effortless it seems — actually, the more effortless something seems, the more effort it took. I have a whole new appreciation for vloggers like Laci Green and Lindsey Doe.

Tumblr reply: "but where DID you put the pistachios"

So, peeps, did you know the video was a joke? Did it seem legit up until a certain point? How long was the theme song stuck in your head, and how on earth am I ever going to fool you again?

  1. questionable
  2. actually, it was raspberry wine