Friday, July 24, 2009

The Man in My Reviews

Since I first began, reviewing sex toys has always been something I've done. My boyfriend knew about it, he was often right there with me picking out toys, he got to test drive my reviewing items, he got to read the drafts, and when they were toys for couples, I would pick his brain. He never showed any interest in doing any more toward reviewing than this. Mostly it's because he often has a hard time putting thoughts from a sexual context into words.

Over the course of more than half a year, I helped him learn to at least talk about our toys. I'd sometimes interrogate him instead of pillow-talk, or surprise him over dinner, or sit him down with me as I drafted a review. The real breakthrough came when I was reviewing the Climax clicks Lonely hearts cock ring.

In many ways, it was a good idea with nightmarish execution. I am often the most painstakingly thorough on the reviews of toys I really dislike, because I'm trying so hard to find a redeeming feature or two. From my end, there was little to like, so I asked his opinion. He hated it so much that he shocked us both by waxing eloquent about its faults and flaws.

He also suggested a few dozen ways of getting rid of the thing, but that's beside the point. (please stop aiming it at my roommate's head, love... it's not a weapon, sweetie... and no, I don't think it would make a good hood ornament for your neighbor's car. Put down the superglue.)

I pointed out to him that he'd just given me fodder for a whole portion of a review. He was flabbergasted. He had been so convinced that because he wasn't a "good writer" he wouldn't be helpful, that it had never occurred to him that just telling me how he felt about a toy, in detail, could be useful. And he had to remember that I wasn't going to make fun of him, no matter how bizarre his grammar turned out. Ever since, he's been very helpful at pointing out things I'd missed, even on toys that are traditionally girl-only toys.

Fast forward a few months. I spring the news to him that we're going to be reviewing our first boys-only prostate toy. Instead of the unease and shyness this idea had brought in the past, he was as excited as a kid promised a trip to the candy store. And it makes him so proud that he can help me so much with the reviews, that I can tell him "Here, take this toy, play with it for a week, then report back."

I may make a writer out of him yet.

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