I’ve discovered a website/blog that makes me think I should just shut up shop and go home. Masterminded by Jane, who lives in a quintessential flowery English cottage where a Laura Ashley bomb went off, the blog everything I was aiming to do with Ecstasy Files but with taste (never been my strong point).
‘Behind the Chintz Curtain’ isn’t about curtains. It’s a cute, saucy and intelligent little blog that reviews both erotic books and sexy toys – (why didn’t I think of that? Actually I did - then chickened out on the sex toy bit. Meh – maybe later when I’m famous). Jane, accompanied by her fellow US based book reviewer, Mysterious Michael, has created a site that looks more like it would host nanna’s recipes than detailed descriptions on the functionality of a sex toy. Which is why the site works. It’s very female friendly, not in the least bit sleazy or in-your-face sexy at all.
Jane first met Michael online through Goodreads. She asked for some feedback on a piece she was writing and got very honest and constructive critique from him. They started swapping thoughts on erotic fiction and Jane invited him to co-review on her blog. The combination of their views works a treat.
The old rule holds, first impressions count. How a blog looks when I first open it determines how far into it I’m willing to investigate. The understated look of this blog appealed to me, especially with the cutesy, almost 1940’s, custom designed images it uses at click-on’s to the sites content. Rather than the bold colours and bulging muscles many erotic blogs use (mine included), Jane has gone for subtlety. The cream background and beautifully designed maroon icons give the user the impression of respectability.
The theme of lifting the veil (or curtain) to view what’s going on behind it is used well throughout the site. Jane gently invites you to explore further, and gives plenty of warning up front as to what lies behind each curtain, so if you wind up all red-faced and flustered, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
This is where it gets really good. Across the top of the blog are labelled boxes which will take you to the two speciality areas of this blog: ‘Words’ for erotic fiction stories and reviews; ‘Toy Box’ (too cute) for sex toy reviews.
‘Home’ gives you all posts, no matter what category they fall into, with some spicy photos on Sundays that are well worth gazing at (and not a big, steroid filled muscle in sight (yet)).
On the right hand side you’ll find The Chintz Barometer. Three beautifully designed and very tasteful little logos depicting Chintzy Lady wearing a skirt, from the waist down. The hotter the book or sexy item, the more of her legs are revealed. Each is accompanied by a clever little warning as to how hair raising the review might be.
Chintz’s book reviews are honest (I mean HONEST), well written and mighty entertaining, especially when they get spiky – which they occasionally do. Michael and Jane do joint reads/reviews, both putting up their views in a kind of in-tandem conversation. They each have their own quirk – for Michael it’s insightful and relevant quotes, Jane’s is stick figures. Yep. Cute little hand drawn cartoons of her experiences during reading, which are great fun.
For added value try Jane’s 5 minute erotica and her progressive erotic story, ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ (she’s up to part 17). Jane has developed the story with some reader feedback, which I think is mighty brave and a bit humble, admirable qualities in a writer. She writes delicious, quickly consumable bits of sexy stuff and it’s all there on the website FOR FREE. Generous is another word that comes to mind.
I gotta be honest, I love this bit of the blog. There are pictures (just the toys - not in use) accompanied by very thorough reviews that covers everything from the packaging, to functionality, design, price, what they’re made of and usability.
My FAVOURITE discovery here was the Fantasy Man vibrators. This is one of those ideas you look at and think – why didn’t I think of that? A set of four vibrators based on our best loved romance fantasy men: The Fireman, The Millionaire, The Tennis Coach and The Frenchman. All that’s missing is The Vampire – actually, come to think of it, a vampire vibrator might not sell so well.
Jane provides an Index for Toy Box, so if you’re looking for something specific it’s not too hard to find. To date she has more than 30 reviews and they are all categorised by item type: anal toys, vibrators, condoms, lubricants, games, lingerie, BDSM and miscellaneous – truly something for everyone.
Like I said. Think I’ll pack up and go home.