This week, we learn about Obsession Rouge!
This series was created to highlight sex bloggers (new and old) to my readers. If you’d like your sex blog featured, please read my instructions and get in touch!
1. Which sex-related blog(s) do you run and how long have you been at it? By what name may we call you? Pronouns?
I’ve run ObsessionRouge.com since 2017 and you can call me Adam. My partner Eve writes the french version of the website and we’re a straight couple. Obvious names, we know. 😉
2. Where are you from?
I’m from Britain and Eve is from France where we live. This is the reason our website is bilingual.
3. Where can we find you on social media?
4. Sum up your blog (such as its theme, focus, quirkiness, uniqueness).
Put simply, our goal is to review sex toys in an elegant way. The english version of the website is mostly my voice and typically when straight men like me write about sex toys and penis pumps, it is kind of vulgar. So one of my goals is to present those products with a more elegant and educated tone. I think anyone can enjoy my content, though I’m still in the process of adapting some of my earlier writing to be more gender-inclusive.
The main quirk with our website is that it’s bilingual, so we sometimes have english content about french brands and vice versa. The french version of our website is mostly Eve’s voice so if people understand both languages it gives them a different flavour. After Eve translates my content into french I sometimes go back through the english version adding in a touch of her elegance because I’m sometimes too direct even in english. In contrast, sometimes when I translate her content I make it more direct because for english audiences that works better. In any case, neither version of the website would be the same without the other.
5. What is your blog’s creation story? Why was it born? Did any already-established bloggers inspire you?
From the beginning of our relationship together, Eve and I made a deliberate effort to be very open about sex, fantasy and certainly toys. It was an obsession at the time, hence the name we chose. We created the blog as an experiment because we were enjoying testing new things ourselves so much. Even though we hoped it would go somewhere I think we were both surprised when it finally did start to take off a bit. If we’d known from the start that we’d keep it for a long time I think we would have done things differently, because initially we really had no plan.
I’ve been following your blog for a number of years and definitely consider you an influence on how I wrote and organised my reviews early on. Dangerous Lilly and the Big Gay Review were two others I followed a lot so they too inspired me. Eve didn’t tend to read blogs herself so she was initially inspired by the same people as me.
6. What do you do full time? Blog? Or do something else?
We both work professionally in unrelated areas and really enjoy our jobs. Blogging is something we enjoy and take seriously but I can’t imagine that we’ll ever go full time with it. Though there are certainly periods when I’d like to have more time for the blog!
7. Do you consider yourself an advocate/supporter of any particular group(s)? And/Or, are you a member of a group whose voice is often suppressed?
Not particularly. I happen to think porn is a bad idea and have a strong opinion on its relation to erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. I’ve only written about it in a small number of articles for now though.
When I began writing, I was writing directly to other straight men. Partly because I didn’t imagine so many people would read it and partly because that’s what came most naturally to me. More recently I’ve been trying to calm that down so that my content is more inclusive. I still have many articles that I need to edit on the website but slowly I’ll get there. So yes, definitely some efforts underway for the LGBT community even if my content is usually from my own point of view.
8. What are your short and long-term goals for your blog? Aiming to stay for years, or is this a short-term hobby?
My long term goal is to expand the scope of the blog to include other related things that we are personally interested in. Things that can still be discussed from a sexual health angle. For example, I’m starting to do that with the privacy tool reviews I’m writing, because I believe online privacy is very relevant to people who search for information about sex toys and sexual health. Eve also has some new ideas that I’m quite excited about and that will probably first appear on the french version. Our thinking is that we’ve each got some unique angles that we can come from and if we use them in the right way we can add something new of value.
In the short term, we’re currently in a big redevelopment of the website. Depending on when you read this, it may or may not be live. The new version will split the english and french sides of the website more. Eve and I want to get away from presenting everything as a couple because we want each version of the website be driven by one personality rather than two. Eve will still review vibrators, dildos etc on the english version and I will still review penis/prostate toys on the french version. However, we hope to present each language with a stronger personality than before.
9. What is your favourite post on your blog to date? Why? (Include a link)
It’s a post I wrote about psychological erectile dysfunction. It’s the most honest and open article I’ve written to date on the website because I used to suffer from it myself. Yet for one reason or another, this article is one of the ones that flew under the radar in terms of visitors! Probably because I wrote it earlier on when our traffic was low. I’m hoping to find the time to write more content around this in the near future because it’s something I care about a lot.
10. What does “sex-positive” mean to you?
The ability to talk about sex in an open way without shame or objectification.
11. Have you found any friends (or heroes) in the sex blogging community?
No friends from the community yet. Maybe one day!
There are some people including yourself that have expressed strong opinions on certain companies and spread the word about body-safe materials which I really respect. I almost reviewed an auto-blowjob machine before I realised it was from the same company as Silicone Stroker, a company you exposed for dodgy advertising. Dangerous Lilly has been someone I looked up to from early on as well. Without her glass jar experiment with all of those bad dildos I may have not come to know why materials mattered so much.
12. Who is the single biggest supporter of your blog? I.e., moral support, tech skills, resources, anything.
There is a certain sex toy company in France called Passage du Desir that has been a big help to us. They had an affiliation manager that became very interested in the way we were doing our blog, even before we were receiving many visitors. The same company invited us to an event once too and it’s the only time we got to meet people in person for the blog, which we really enjoyed. We feel really lucky to have found them and although the original affiliation manager has now left the company, our relationship with them is still good.
13. How important (or unimportant) is anonymity to you?
Nobody I know would be completely outraged if my identity became exposed and seeing as everything we do is quite elegant, it’s not like it’s very shocking.
Yet, we still desire to keep our identities anonymous. A select few know and that’s enough. Even outside of Obsession Rouge, privacy and anonymity are very important to me. I like having control over my personal details, so whenever possible I use ‘online names’ and take measures against personal monitoring.
14. Have you ever had anything bizarre or horrible or funny or amazing happen as a result of blogging?
Horrible yes. The first sex toy company to send us stuff to review turned out to be dodgy. It was a company from China making itself out to be a big brand there. Before this, we never imagined that companies would send us anything. We accepted too quickly without questioning enough and they sent us five sex toys at once. While we were waiting for them to arrive I started looking more closely at information on their company and began to realise that this company was clearly new and that their social media accounts contained lame sexist memes.
When the toys arrived I also realised that the toys weren’t made by this company. On the website, it had been very misleading and looked like everything was their brand. We weren’t sure what to do because the company had sent so many things and they knew our real identity. Eve tried one of the toys that they claimed was silicone and it gave her a burning sensation. After that, we decided to stop immediately and contact the company to tell them we were not going to review or promote in any way their sex toys. Everything went in the bin and luckily the company didn’t create any drama for us. We’ve been more careful ever since.
15. For sex toy users: If you could only have one sex toy for the rest of your life… what is it?
For Eve it’s without a doubt the Womanizer Pro40. I’m not so attached to a particular sex toy myself but, for now, let’s say the Desire Luxury P-Spot Vibrator by Lovehoney, that thing is great.
16. Has sex blogging shaped/influenced you in a broader “real-life” sense? (i.e., your worldview, your personality, your confidence?)
It’s made me more adventurous than I was before because there are some things I may not have bothered to try. It has also made me consider the LGBT community more and has lead me to rethink the way I present things so that what I write is more inclusive. For Eve, I think it’s given her some confidence that people enjoy reading what she writes and that she’s actually pretty good at translating english into french.
17. Introvert or extrovert? Cats or dogs? Coffee or tea? Which Hogwarts house?
Both of us are very social but we’re introverts. We have a cat called Oscar and we both spoil him too much. Despite me being British, I prefer coffee and so does Eve. Regrettably, I haven’t watched or read Harry Potter so I can’t answer the last one!
18. If you could magically and instantaneously change something about this community (i.e., sex toy industry, blogger politics, erotica, porn, sex education, etc), what would you change?
To be honest, the drama on Twitter is too much for me. I hate to say it but for my taste, there is way too much ranting, argument, outrage and personal grievance on there. While I respect people’s right to output their distress and anger, I often find it difficult to relate to. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t participate more on social media.
The second thing that would be nice to change is for companies like Fleshlight to stop printing pornstars on the side of their products. I like their products and Eve is very open-minded but a sex toy box plastered with pornstars is still not ideal when I like using this stuff with her.
19. What are the top 1-3 reasons that keep you blogging?
- I believe we’re putting out content that will help people.
- I like the challenge of finding new ways to boost the website.
- Companies keep getting in touch with interesting things to test and promote
20. Lastly, what advice would you give to readers considering starting a sex blog of their own?
Unless you’re very technical and have a lot of time on your hands, avoid making your blog bilingual like ours. It took me a lot of time to get it right and it still causes me the occasional headache. If there are only two of you, your content output will be considerably slower due to the need to translate everything. Eve and I have too many contacts on both sides to change our website to a single language. However, we’re still going to try to separate the versions of our website more so that we can get content up more quickly. If we went again from scratch, we’d make it only one language.
The other thing I’d recommend is not fronting your blog as a couple. We did that from the start, thinking that it would be more original or more relevant to people in relationships. The problem is that it also dilutes the message and personality of the blog. In my opinion, it works far better to have one personality as the driving force behind a blog, even if the blog has articles from different people sometimes. Everyone should get credit for what they review and write, yet there will always be one of you that is more passionate than the other. The more passionate person should front the blog because it’s easier for readers to connect to one personality than two. Eve and I are currently trying to address this because we consider it a problem with our own blog.
The last thing I’d say is to be aware not only of SEO but also the humour, style of writing you use and the length of your articles. If you’re not a seasoned writer then you might put jokes and funny expressions into your work that you believe are great. I did it myself and now when I read my older stuff I find it amateurish and annoying. I’ve realised more recently that I’m too wordy and that some of my articles take too long to read. Always be aware that you are writing for an audience, it will give you less to correct in the future.
Thanks Adam and Eve! If you’d like your sex blog featured, please read my instructions and get in touch!