I've been a bad reviewer.
It was a shock to realize that I dropped the ball.
It was more of an embarrassment to realize that it wasn't even on my radar ... and it should have been.
And this post is why I have that 18+ age restriction on my blog because sooner or later it was going to apply.
WHIPS (with feathers?)!
ROPES (asanawa,kinbaku, shibari)
**waggles brows** Got your attention, didn't I.
Reviews aren't relegated to only sharing an opinion. Information is shared as well to inform a reader of possible topics that might hit their Squick Button.(read - gross them out or upset them)
Some review sites don't have a list of tags that highlight features within a book that some readers might find objectionable. It's left up to the reviewer to include it in the body of their review.
Really? Yes, really.
I admit, explaining about toys wasn't on my To-Do list and I am due a wet noodle. You see, when I used 'anal play' as a tag for the list, I assumed that it encompassed or included through inference any sexual aide that might come into play in that area. Boy, was I wrong. Fingers might get a pass from some readers but a multi-speed vibrator butt plug with a remote control infrared beam signalling device might push them over the edge and they'll stop reading the book to go take a TUMS or something - and, worst case scenario - refuse to finish reading the book.
Some publishers will list warnings with the blurbs on their sites and that's great. But for those readers who don't actually visit the publisher but instead base their purchase on their favorite and/or a respected review website, the responsibility of the reviewer is hefty.
It's not just toys that need to be mentioned, what about rape? How sensitive will a reader be if it's inferred or actual? Retelling or active? What about furry sex? How close can a reader get to shifter love and not throw up? Where do they draw the line? Reviewers might mention it if it affected them and made them squeamish but what about those reviewers who weren't bothered by it and consider it no big deal? Will they think of writing about it? To make mention of something that didn't faze them? Human nature being what it is, possibly not.
So, this post is geared toward raising your awareness of what kind of information would benefit a reader.
Whipped Cream Reviews has a list for its reviewers to choose from, but it's by no means all inclusive. The reviewers for that site have the additional task of adding more descriptive tags because sexual play has gotten so inventive and creative. The more the doors open up, and readers get a spotlight eyeful on the BDSM scene as well as other kinds of genre that push the sexual envelope, the more aware they have to be about adding the toys that go along for the ride.
I'm still amazed that I finally earned my 18+ restriction. I don't know if I should be impressed with myself or not. I certainly hope I've not shocked you too much. But, it needed saying.
Any other shocking toys out there to add to my short list?