Years of experience and more than 900 reviews: LetsTalkSex.Net offers concentrated knowledge about sex toys and other sex-related products. Deon Black started the project out of personal interest in 2013, and he is still heading LetsTalkSex.net today. In our interview, we discuss the makings of a good sex toy – and a good sex toy review.
Deon, you are the founder and editor-in-chief of LetsTalkSex.Net. What kind of project are we talking about here? How do you talk about sex on the website?
Deon Black: LetsTalkSex.Net is and has been the best sex toy review website in the world since 2013 to say the least. We help people from all around the world making an informed buying decision when it comes to sex toys and sex-related products in general.
Our reviews come from hands-on testing and real-life experience. Our team includes certified sexologists and experienced sex toy users. We are honest and direct, and yes, the best.
When did you launch the site and why? How did you come to write about sex and sex toys?
Deon: I have been using sex toys for over 15 years now. But the story behind it… it’s crazy.
In my 20s, my dating life was pretty bad, I struggled with it and when I reached rock bottom, I decided to take control of it for good. I spent years studying seduction and dating women around the world, completely transforming my sex life. I had lots of failures but also lots of fun. I have incredible memories from that time.
At my peak, I was dating 11 girlfriends at the same time. And as my sex life became abundant, I also found out how bad I was under the sheets. So, I promised myself I would push this to the opposite level and become the best lover ever. I read all sex books I could find, I practiced techniques and trained with many of the women I was dating and started integrating sex toys in my sex life as well (thanks to a crazy girl I met who introduced me to them). Believe it or not… soon my lovers were saving my name on their phone’s contact list as Sex God and I had a long list of girls knocking at my door daily.
Feeling blessed with my sex life, I decided to help guys who were struggling in bed, so I wrote a book, called “LAST”, designed to help men improve their stamina in bed, later rebranded “The 47 Hour” (the47hour.com). I also adopted this pseudonym, Deon, which means God, and at the same time I started my epic blog about sex toys and I decided to call it LetsTalkSex.Net. At the beginning, I was writing all sex toy reviews and comparisons myself.
I remember that back in the days, most people in this market were writing about sex toys in such sleazy ways, and the majority still do now. I hated that. I think sex toys should be presented in a real, fresh, light-hearted and yet comprehensive way.
How has the site changed since 2013 and what kind of articles can visitors expect from you today?
Deon: It has changed a lot. At the beginning, I was doing all the reviews myself and it was all about men’s toys. As LetsTalkSex.Net increased in popularity, I started collaborating with sexologists and other experienced sex toy users, both men and women. We have some big educational projects in store, but hey, you have to keep an eye on our site for updates.
One central aspect of LetsTalkSex.Net is the sex toy reviews. How do you approach this topic? What are your criteria?
Deon: We do real in-depth research before publishing a single article. We have been around for a long time, but we don’t have a huge number of articles published. This is because at times it takes us 2-3 months to publish a review.
We test all sex toys ourselves, consult with sexologists in our team as well as with other professionals in the industry such as product developers, engineers as well as giving away lots of toys to our friends to get additional feedback. We want to make sure we only recommend the very best.
People’s preferences and bodies are different person to person. Is it even possible to test and evaluate sex toys objectively?
Deon: Given the feedback we receive daily from our readers we are confident our recommendations work for most people. Of course, there will always be someone who doesn’t fit in the group, but hey, it’s just a toy after all.
My advice if you are just shopping for sex toys for the first time is to buy something on the cheap scale, don’t make this choice a big deal. First of all, just do a test and see if you like using toys. I have a friend who told me he laughs if he just holds a toy in his hands. Definitely sex toys are not for him, and it’s good he discovered this on a $20 rather than a $200 toy.
The market for toys and other erotic products is constantly growing and the number of products is almost overwhelming. How do you choose which products to show on your site?
Deon: Yes, it’s true, every day new toys come out in every direction of the market. It’s crazy. We receive daily emails from sex toy manufacturers promoting their products as well as from sex toy developers looking for my approval for their crowdfunded project.
But we stay focused on our mission to help our readers buying the best and only the best sex toys out there based on our personal experience, our extensive testing, and our in-depth research. We can’t let the new shiny thing distract us from our company’s objective.
Therefore, we review the sex toy industry trends quarterly and plan on what to cover next, then we do our professional testing and take it from there.
Is there a product that has really impressed you lately?
Deon: I’d never thought I’d see a sex toy becoming an Instagram influencer with 2 million followers @lilmiquela.
Having tested over 900 toys over the years, you must have seen the good as well as the bad. Are there some general rules about what makes a good erotic product or sex toy?
Deon: I believe this is the same as for every industry, the sex toy industry is no different. A sex toy is good and successful when the owner creates it with the customer in mind, sacrificing his ego or his idea of what “should” work.
Take Steve Shubin for example. Yes, pocket pussies existed before, but they looked terrible and cheap. He took the idea and made it into something classy, high-end, and associated it with some of the most beautiful girls in the world. He played to the customer’s need, but also to their sight, their imagination and their emotions… It’s one thing to masturbate with a cheap piece of plastic, ugly to see and that makes you feel guilty about it, and a completely different thing to masturbate with a patented SuperSkin Fleshlight moulded after your favourite star. The main difference between the first and the second is imagination.
Another big section on LetsTalkSex.Net is tutorials. What exactly do you teach your readers?
Deon: We have written a lot of tutorials over the years, mostly about how to use or clean specific sex toys. One of our most recent tutorials is about BDSM. One of my team members worked in a New York dungeon for years as a professional Dominatrix. The stuff you see in Fifty Shades of Grey, but real. I asked her to write a BDSM 101 tutorials for those who would like to try this lifestyle and have no idea where to start from. She also mentions for each BDSM “technique” interesting anecdotes related to her professional experience.
What can you tell us about your readers? Who are you doing all this work for?
Deon: We have the coolest readers on earth. Our readers are people who love sex toys and are cool about it. We keep our tone light-hearted because we want to communicate a positive, fresh, empowering vibe throughout our articles. We want people to feel good about sex toys, and at the same time not make them a big deal. I found this detached enjoyment to be the way to go.
What will the future of LetsTalkSex.Net look like? Are there any projects or new sections that are already planned?
Deon: So many projects. Some of them were supposed to go live this month, but we all know what’s going on in the world right now, everything is shut down, people can’t gather in groups and it’s not easy to meet with my team and start filming…