Because sex journalism is still fairly niche, and because sex coverage in general is usually done by reporters who have a range of other “beats” (dating, health, beauty, etc.), I often receive press releases that have nothing to do with the topics I actually write about. I imagine these PR people are reaching out to me simply because of the publications where I’ve had bylines – GQ, SELF, Insider, etc. – and assuming that if I write about sex toys for those places, I must write about other stuff for them too, which actually isn’t the case. These days, sex toys are my beat, and I almost never venture beyond them in the writing I do for publications.
I used to fret about being offered “press samples” by these companies. I would show my spouse these emails and tremulously say, “But what if I ask them to send me the purse/shoes/piano they’re promoting and then they get mad that I don’t write about it for any big outlets?” – to which my spouse always says, “If they’re offering a purse/shoes/piano to a journalist who only writes about sex toys, that’s on them. They should’ve done better research on the people they were contacting.”
This is true, but is still hard for me to accept. So I often end up brainstorming potential ways I could use some of the random products I get offered, while remaining on-brand. Here are some pie-in-the-sky dreams about what I would do if I was sent some of the items that have appeared in my inbox…
A pink leather purse
Granted, I already have enough of these. But if I was sent one to promote, obviously my first order of business would be to see how many sex toys I could cram into it.
I can see the blog post now. A flat-lay photo of the bag next to two dildos (one silicone, one glass), a petite clitoral vibrator, a travel-sized bottle of lube, a bracelet that converts into handcuffs, and a mini flogger. “All packed up for a weekend of debauchery,” the caption would read.
In addition to how many toys it could hold, I’d want to review the bag for its discretion (will your dildos spill out as you’re riding the subway?), its number and size of pockets (is there a compartment that could keep lube separate from everything else in case of spills?), its aesthetic (does it look sexy/kinky, like a doctor’s bag that would work well for a medical play scene, for instance?), and whether it had any potential as a “pervertible” (e.g. if I smack someone with it, will it break, or will it hold up?). And then obviously I would also post lots of cute outfit pictures in which I was holding it. Easy peasy.
Black leather boots
The ones I was offered today were not even fetishy. They were just normal-ass rugged-looking boots, the likes of which you might see a Portland hipster wearing on a hiking date.
Naturally, if I was sent a pair to write about on my blog, I would want to use them for a trampling scene. Put ‘em on, have my partner lie down on a carpeted floor, and (gently, carefully) step on them. I would want to take photos of the shoe-print left by the sole on my partner’s back, and any scratches or marks that could be accrued if I scraped the toe or the heel across their skin.
I would also want to do a bootblacking scene with them, i.e. sit in a comfy chair while my partner used saddle soap and mink oil to clean and condition the boots. Extremely classic kink shit.
And I would probably put on a whole lotta eyeliner, some tight jeans, a tank top and a leather jacket, and do a photoshoot in the boots where I was looking very “soft-butch biker babe.” Might as well, y’know?
A digital piano
I am still a bit sad that the music company Donner declined to send me a piano that they themselves had initially offered me in a press release (sigh). But if they had sent me one, I would want to have sex on top of it and see if it could support my weight as well as a more robust model like a Steinway grand. (Not that I’ve tried, but… a Steinway definitely looks like it could handle that, no?)
I’d want to be “forced” to play songs on it with one hand tied behind my back and/or with a blindfold on, like some kind of humiliation/predicament scene. The performance could be livestreamed, increasing the stakes. Maybe I’d have to take requests. Maybe I'd have to play an occasional note with my nose, or my toes.
As a daily weed user, I would be happy to just try these out and review them for their effects on pain, insomnia, anxiety, etc. But as a sexual media-maker, I would also have to compare them to other such products for their utility in intoxication-play scenes. Do they relax me enough to make me pliable for a partner who wants to (consensually) use me? Do they amp up sensitivity, lower my orgasm threshold, or both? Do they look enough like innocent candies or pills that they could be incorporated into a roleplay where I “don’t know” I’m being drugged?
I’d also probably take a photo of one of the gummies on my tongue, because pervs love tongue stuff, idk.
An acoustic guitar
I got an email today from the Gibson guitar company – one of the most highly-regarded guitar companies – about their line of gorgeous $3,000+ acoustic guitars. I can imagine no better way to honor the beauty of an instrument like this than by playing it naked. There is something naked about an acoustic guitar itself, in that there is no amplification or distortion to hide behind; it makes sense to pair it with nudity, approaching it with an open vulnerability befitting of the instrument.
I also think that if I owned such a high-end, well-made guitar, it would make me think about “objectum sexuality” – the phenomenon of people falling in love with and/or being sexually attracted to objects. I’ve very rarely experienced anything like that before, but musical instruments make me feel it more than most other kinds of objects can, so maybe I’d want to write a lusty love letter to my new guitar.
My overall takeaway from writing this essay: companies should send me more stuff. 💅