A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

So the sex blogger community has been all abuzz today because of a certain adult toy store banning Epiphora, a very popular toy reviewer. I’ve kind of always known that there was something not quite right about that website ever since I first heard about them. First it was because they sold products that are dangerous (which they later stopped selling) and then I heard brief mentionings of how they had wronged people who had worked for them. I’d never really researched it though since I felt like it never really concerned me since I wouldn’t promote them here on my blog anyway.

But since there was the buzz today I decided to do a little bit of research. Both AAG and Essin’Em have written about their experiences with the company and that enlightened me quite a bit.

But all I can think about is how EF is so much like Suicide Girls (you’ll notice I won’t link to either of the sites because I dont’ want to give them traffic). I have a lot more experience in the alt porn community than I do in the sex blogging community. Or at least I did at the height of alt porn. So this is the connection I instantly drew.

Both sites are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are both pretending they are something they are not, but even worse is that they are pretending to be good, but they really have other intentions. They pretend to be the good people who have worked hard to create a good, ethical product or service and then they exploit it in order to make lots of money.

Suicide Girls pretended to be a typical alt porn site that just happened to rake in tons of dough. They even pretended to be run by a woman so that they could put a softer feminist touch on the whole porn thing. They weren’t out to exploit women! They were women! Bullshit. The bigger they got, the more difficult it was to keep the sheep’s wool in place. Their real goals and intentions started to show through more and more as models were made to sign ridiculous contracts while other models were banned from the website and yet their content still remained and was often sold off to the highest bidder. The community members and newer models refused to believe what was going on. They tried to discuss it in the community only to find threads deleted and them banned as well. SG fooled a lot of people, but a lot of us in the alt industry saw them for what they were pretty quickly. I was a part of a site that helped them into existence and then got stabbed in the back once they were doing well enough on their own. These good companies then changed their contracts to show the models that they would protect them and their images; to show that they were the real deal.

There are similarities here to EF. EF has made money by pretending to be an ethical honest sex shop like the feminist sex shops out there who have worked their asses off to spread the word about healthy sexuality and dangerous products. But see there’s an obvious difference right away. When confronted with the fact that anal-eze is dangerous they continued to sell it until it no longer fit in what they wanted their image to be. They didn’t stop selling it on principal. They sold it because people bought it and that makes them money. Only once they felt that it truly conflicted with the image they were trying to portray did they stop selling it.

EF is not a feminist sex shop. They have not worked hard to make the world a better place. They work hard to make money. And you know what, that’s fine. It’s a business which is supposed to make money. The problem is when they pretend that they are all the things that the feminist sex shops of the world have tried so hard to attain, but aren’t actually that at all.

And just along the same lines of SG, EF is now censoring and banning community members. I predict the next move they will make is to insist that all reviewers only review for them.

Ok the truth is that I don’t like drama, but I felt this needed to be said because I feel like it is so difficult to know who to trust in the adult industry. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing and just straight up wolves. But without education a lot of people can’t even spot the wolves who aren’t hiding. There are so many dangerous products and exploitative services in the adult industry because there are few regulations. It is an industry that has to self-regulate. That is why it is so important to be able to trust who you are giving your money to.  If you can’t trust them, how can you be sure they’re not out to screw you in the most unpleasant way possible?

4 comments to A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

  • I first got into reviewing toys when EF asked me to get involved – and things were lovely for about six months. Toward the end of ’08 they shared my legal name with the world (and not just mine), and their reaction to that initial (although appalling) error made me decide to have nothing more to do with them. How they’ve treated AAG, Essin’Em, ThatToyChick, and now Epiphora suggests that I made the right move.

    People are always welcome to support companies as they see fit. But I don’t support EF – even though I try to avoid bad-mouthing them – and they continue to fuck themselves over with their disgusting treatment of people.

    xx Dee

  • Hear hear. Thanks for speaking up. Clearly, one or two people don’t make chance on the interwebz, but maybe a chorus of voices will.

    -S

  • When I was reviewing for them, I was really upset that the toys continued to be grouped into “male” toys and “female” toys (which was pretty rough for men who like something in their ass, because insertable toys don’t count as “male”). I said my piece about that more than once, and it didn’t really make a difference. (Toys are still categorized that way — yes, there are categories such as vibrators, etc, but the very top two categories on the left hand side are “female” and “male”.)

    When the debacle with AAG went down, I walked. I don’t regret it.

    But I miss what I thought EF was when I started.

  • I hate that people have been treated so awfully by both ef and suicide girls, however Im very greatful that everyone is speaking up about it as it has certainly stopped me from even considering having any kind of relationship with EF.

    I too shall never link to either sites!

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