One of the things I’ve been most excited for this year on the blog was starting up monthly interviews. Of course life quickly got in the way, meaning I wasn’t able to start till now, but nonetheless here it is! I’ll be running this series every second month from now on, and if you ever have any requests for who or what company I should interview next then let me know!
This month I’m interviewing UK sex blogger and adult toy reviewer Emmeline Peaches! She was one of my biggest inspirations when I started up my blog and has continued to amaze and motivate me with the crazy volume of great content and reviews she brings out almost daily. I recently got the chance to connect with her during a Team Amazeballs collaboration and I am so excited for her to be the first guest in my new interview series!
Firstly, thanks so much for letting me interview you and connecting me with The Slinky Minx which resulted in my recent review of the New York Toy Collective Ellis! Since this interview is a #TeamAmazeballs collaboration could you explain a little bit about what it is and what prompted you to start it up?
You’re so welcome! I always love working with other bloggers and promoting content from a variety of different writers. It’s what helps our community thrive! That’s really what #TeamAmazeballs is all about too.
#TeamAmazeballs started out of complete happenstance as a joking hashtag said among friends, but then when the Brunette Reviews approached me at the same time, asking if I wanted to do a toy-swap/review kind of thing it occurred to me that we could start something.
What rapidly emerged was an adult content trading platform in which creators could essentially agree to do projects for each other which would then be showcased in a form of cross-blog promotion. This could be a toy-swap-turned-review but it could also be a toy for an interview (like we’ve done), erotica swaps, article swaps, even photography swaps. If two people want to swap content and they’re happy with the terms they agree upon then it counts in my eyes.
#TeamAmazeballs also came about at a rather volatile time in the adult community. Due to the political climate and a recent categorisation and ranking of bloggers (plus, on can only assume, a lot of life-strife in general) there was some real friction emerging among some bloggers.
I’m terrible at conflict so the only way I knew to engage with the issue was to try and help those who felt marginalized or disconnected find ways to reach out to others and create different bonds (both professional and personal). I’ve spoken to some wonderful people as a result of #TeamAmazeballs and I’m constantly smiling whenever something new comes up in the hashtag.
Your About Me page mentions how your sexual exploration journey started when you learned you were suffering from Vaginismus. How does it feel to have come so far from that and now run one of the UK’s most successful sex toy review blogs? Plus, if you could go back and tell your old self (and any readers who may also be suffering from the condition) one thing, what would it be?
‘One of the UK’s most successful sex toy review blogs?’
My gosh that’s some high praise! (I’m blushing right now).
Honestly it’s very surreal. I think back at times in awe like ‘Did I do that? Was that really me?’ and the feeling when I think ‘Yes, it was’ is incredibly affirming.
I think the one thing I’d want to convey to my past self and to so many others suffering from Vaginismus is that it does get better. It’s not immediate but you will overcome this.
Vaginismus has an incredibly high recovery rate. The methods we have work. The journey is one of the most significant you’ll take in life but it is just one aspect of your life and when you look back at it one day you may also feel that same surreal disbelief that I did.
I often find that about our past selves in general. How many of us look back with complete and utter understanding? Usually it’s some degree of ‘What was I thinking back then?!’, especially if fashion choices are involved, but I digress.
What is your day-to-day life like besides working on your blog?
I’m right at the end of my PhD—I’ve submitted, had a successful Viva Voce (the defence of the thesis), and now I’m just working on the final edits and correction before I get to call myself Dr Peaches.
This means that usually my life is split between PhD work, my blog, my partner, my hobbies, and freelance work.
Breaking down my day I tend to get up super early and do some exercise and yoga to start the day off. I see Mr Peaches off for work and then get the glory of having a power nap (much to his envy) before getting up and getting on with the day.
Usually my day involves testing toys, doing some PhD edits then writing a freelance article, followed by writing and editing my review and posting it.
This month I’ve also been doing a Sugar Free challenge for Cancer Research UK and I’ve been VLogging my progress through my vanilla social media. This means I’ve also been learning how to Vlog, recording videos, editing them, and posting them up daily.
Never a dull day for this peach!
Is anonymity an important factor for you or is your blog something you are open about?
I recently took the decision to put my blog down on my resume. Mostly because I’m damned proud of all that I’ve done and the skills I’ve picked up along the way.
I’m also increasingly adamant that my life be honest and authentic in every regard.
What’s the point of living if I can’t be me? This philosophy may backfire in the long run but, if it does, I suppose that’ll just focus in my preferred social group even more? Wishful thinking.
All of my friends know what I do. Some even guest blog for me. Every one of my immediate family knows and I’d be frank about it with my remote family if it ever came up.
The only person who ‘officially’ doesn’t know is my grandmother, but she’s a savvy matriarch so I’m sure she’s clued on by now too, we just don’t discuss it over high tea or anything in particular.
I’m still hesitant to show my face on my blog though. Chalk that one down to a lack of courage.
Where does the name Emmeline Peaches come from?
‘Peaches’ was a word that Mr Peaches and I decided upon during therapy for my Vaginismus to indicate when he was going to change pace during our PiV practice. It stopped me from being caught off guard and suddenly seizing up from anxiety. Over time it evolved in to our general safe word and was something I knew I had to incorporate in to my blog name.
‘Emmeline’ was an appeal to my love of floral-sounding names. I wanted something that sounded almost poetic. Emmeline was selected for how it sounded to me but also due to the efforts of suffragettes such as Emmeline Pankhurst.
Fun fact: My birth-given name is also linked to a strong and pioneering female too.
How many toys do you think you have collected now over the years and how do you go about storing them all?
Honestly I’ve lost count! Well over 300, I know that much. As for storage, it’s a constant challenge.
I currently have 8 drawers dedicated to sex toy storage, plus a blanket box, plus a giant picnic hamper, plus about 4 cardboard boxes where the less desired toys get stored. Mr Peaches also has his own stashes and drawers, which I think adds at least 3 more to the mix.
It’s got to the point where sex toys are scattered around the house and even actively on display as part of the decorative aesthetic of our home.
Friends expect it now and anyone else tends to adjust quickly.
What are your sex toy favourites that regularly see use in the bedroom?
The Lelo Smart Wand Large is one, without a doubt. I’m also very fond of the JimmyJane Iconic Wand, which gets an almost equal amount of love nowadays.
Sliquid is my go-to lubricant—usually Sassy or Sizzle—and Intimate Earth/Organics comes in as a close second.
I always have a bottle of Shunga Organica Green Tea Oil to hand for blow jobs, and the Intimate Earth Cherry lube.
Skyn condoms are our favourite and we buy them in bulk. I usually alternate internal toys depending on what I’m testing but I’ll regularly return to the Tantus Bound when I want some texture.
Mr Peaches always has a Fun Factory Bootie available and the OxBalls Cocksling 2 in addition to some Tenga Spirals tucked behind his computer screen.
I also have one or two collars that are near and dear to me.
What do you think is the most important piece of information about sex toys that you wish you could teach to everyone?
Research is key.
This doesn’t just mean reading reviews and finding out all the essential facts about your anatomy (although this is important) but a certain amount of ‘field research’ too.
It’s often said (even by me) that no one knows your body like you, but the truth is that this knowledge isn’t innate—it’s something that is cultivated with time, practice, and experimentation.
If you try a toy and it doesn’t work for you the, yes, it can be frustrating but it’s also a positive—you just learnt something about yourself. Be persistent and diligent with your research, enjoy the sense of discovery and exploration and using sex toys becomes a truly transformative process.
You seem to have new reviews out almost daily! What is the process like behind your reviewing and do you have any top tips for regularly producing such great content?
There have been days where I’ve posted three times. It’s been crazy!
I don’t recommend such a high upload rate as the standard (and even once a day may be completely unobtainable for many). I think what really matters is finding a rhythm that works for you and accepting what you’re capable of.
I personally review, write, take photos, and edit multiple toys at once. I have a little box by the side of my bed with the weekly testers and I rotate through testing them while also writing a review each day. This keeps a nice flow going without getting too confusing.
Of course life doesn’t always play ball and so I like to have a few ‘emergency reviews’ stored. These will either be guest reviews or reviews of products I purchased myself. Because there’s no company commitment for personal review there’s no commitment to post such reviews up asap so they make the perfect buffer if ever needed.
Other than staying true to your own time management limits and planning ahead I think the best any blogger can do is stay true to themselves in terms of content and style. We all have a different lived experience and a difference way of perceiving the world so everyone has something interesting to say and their own way of saying it.
That’s my take on things, at least.
You are one of the few big name reviewers who accepts toy reviews for products that aren’t made of body-safe materials. What is your idea behind this approach?
Ah-hah, yes, even I haven’t fully reconciled my thoughts on this, but I’ll try my best to give you my current logic.
To my mind most people who start exploring sex toys usually do so by either walking in to their local adult store, or going to a mainstream adult retail site and checking the best sellers or low budget options.
This usually means that many people’s first encounters with sex toys (my own included) will be with non body-safe products.
These are never the ideal. They never should be the ideal. But some people still buy them, some people enjoy them more than body-safe toys, and some have no other options in terms of pricing and/or accessibility.
If these are people’s first encounters with toys then they are also likely to be the first things they Google when it comes to reviews. From there it’s my hope that such individuals will find my reviews, read about the material qualities of the toys and be able to make a more informed choice about their adult purchases.
This may mean sticking to the toys they love (I can only inform people, not force them to change), or it may mean doing more research, looking in to the body-safe alternatives I suggest, and generally becoming more passionate about adult products.
But if that initial connection isn’t there then we minimize the chance of such individuals even getting the chance to engage with these issues.
I guess I consider it as a form of positive sex toy education in which consequentialism sometimes trumps material purity.
What are your favourite types of sex toys and what do you look out for when choosing toys to review in terms of particular size and stimulation preferences?
Wands, wands all the way.
I’m a real power queen and I adore broad stimulation and deep, rumbly vibrations so these are my personal preference.
When it comes to reviews, though, I tend to cast a wider net and try all different varieties of toys, even if they may not necessarily cater to my specific needs.
I’m writing my reviews for my audience, after all, and just because something isn’t my favourite product doesn’t mean that someone else won’t adore it.
It’s all about being empathetic when considering people’s sexual needs and how a toy might cater to them. During testing I then consider how that toy meets the expectations I thought it might and who it could truly appeal to.
But if I’m being selfish it really is wands and curved, textured dildos all the way.
Finally, what has been some of your favourite and most memorable experiences that have occurred due to your blogging journey so far?
Going to a Knicker Rocker Glory Afternoon Tease was absolutely brilliant and it’s something I must repeat again soon. Working with Narelle of The Slinky Minx has also provided me with a brand new friendship and many cheerful moments.
I also adored meeting Adam of Godemiche at the first London Alt Market I attended and his enthusiasm has stayed with me. I also can’t forget partying with the Sh! Gals at the Lelo Hex debut. That was a night to remember!
On a more personal note whenever I get an email or a comment saying how important my blog has been to someone or how it’s helped them with their Vaginismus…well…those are the moments that make it all worthwhile for me.
It’s cliché, I know, but my heart glows whenever I hear about how my words and experiences have helped someone.
I’m a great big softie.
Thanks so much again to Emmeline for this interview. Make sure you check out her blog to read her awesome content!
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