We have now reached the milestone of 200 articles here on the latest incarnation of Sex in Review. We will be on hiatus for the summer, and will be rolling out many changes beginning in October.
This current reboot was launched on January 5th, 2016. Sex in Review goes back quite a bit longer then that, though, with hundreds of articles since the very first appearance in the late 1990s.
The very first iteration appeared as part of About.com, one of the largest sites on the Internet. When they were purchased by a more conservative company, they decided that they no longer wanted to include adult content, despite the fact that they were some of their most popular and lucrative sections. They could not fire the adult section editors outright, so they just changed their policies (such as no longer listing them publicly) so that traffic dropped to nothing. Since all of the adult content creators made money based on traffic, they saw their incomes drop from thousands a month to being lucky to get a couple of hundred dollars for a lot of work. Most quit, and the few remaining were soon forced out as well.
Sex in Review was reborn a short time later as part of the Dr. Susan Block network of sites. Her sites got a lot of traffic and they provided Web space. That lasted for about a year, and then in 2000 Sex in Review decided to go out on its own.
Sex in Review ran for another 8 years independently, publishing on a quarterly basis. After an 8 year hiatus, it has returned as part of the not for profit Center for Sexual Expression and Education. It now publishes many new articles every month, and continues to educate readers about adult products as part of CenterSEE’s educational mission.
A number of changes are planned. While we have done a few reviews, our primary focus has been on feature article. We are going to dramatically increase the number of reviews we do.
Adding more reviews is actually a complicated process. The first step is to acquire products for review, and we had to add a new person to our team to handle that. She is very knowledgeable about adult products, is an MBA so she understands what companies need and how to talk to them, and is a delightful person in general. We are very lucky to have her.
Our process for evaluating products is also complicated. On most review sites, you have just a single person trying things out. Sites that attempt to use multiple reviewers have to deal with sending out product and waiting for others to try them and write up their experiences. This often does not work very reliably, since getting reviews back on a timely basis can be a problem, and sometimes the reviewers prove not to be reliable.
Fortunately, we have the resources of the Center for Sexual Expression and Education, which gives us access to a lot of sexually open couples. These couples have experience with sex toys and are willing to come to toy testing events that we hold in Los Angeles. At these events we get immediate feedback about products, and the writer works directly with the couples evaluating the product.
Besides couples testing, we also evaluate the products in other ways. We try to determine durability, how it compares with similar products, and we do a number of types of measurements.
Another major change is the addition of audio interviews. We will cover the basics of the topic in the text part of the article, which will also include a streamable interview related to the main topic.
These interviews will be conducted by Jeff Booth, who has interviewed major names including Buzz Aldrin and Dick van Dyke. He has also interviewed dozens of people in the adult industry, from porn stars to toy designers.
There is a lot going on at CenterSEE. This summer we release the first book from CenterSEE Press- Passion! Artists and Their Nudes. The Museum of Sexual History is a virtual online museum and it is now open and free to all. While our Erotic University project is not currently being developed any further until we can begin conversion into HTML5 from Flash (primarily an issue of money and resources), there is still plenty to explore there in its current version as an experimental laboratory in non-linear learning.
More books are in the pipeline, and other projects are just beginning that will keep things busily humming along for the rest of the year. We look forward to sharing it all with you.