This week the illuminating spotlight for my Sex Blogger Spotlight Series falls on Mel MacFarlane of Voluptasse. An admirable and hard working lady of many talents, Mel runs her own sex toy shop online as well as an advice and sex blog, and she also writes erotica under other names around the web.
Mel is one of those people that I believe is as close to truly benevolent as it gets; her own family is happy and colourful as we saw from the TV show Happy Families. But Mel also devotes a great deal of her time to helping others, and backing charity campaigns (such as helping out the Lullaby Trust) and doing what she can whenever she learns of someone in need.
All in all she’s one of my life heroes and I am delighted to be able to share a snippet of what she does here, in this Sex Blogger Spotlight Series.
– Cara Sutra
Sex Blogger Spotlight on Voluptasse
What’s your blog name/online handle and how did you come up with the idea?
My blog name is the same as my business name – Voluptasse. My friends and I sat around one night brainstorming ideas for my sex toy venture and I wanted something that sounded upmarket and classy. After some research we discovered that the Goddesss of Sexual Pleasure was named Voluptas. I added a couple of extra letters to make it unique and voila! Voluptasse was born.
Which country do you live in?
I am from the UK and a very proud Northerner.
Approximately how long have you been sex blogging?
I have been blogging for just over 18 months now officially but have always written in some capacity.
Why did you start a sex blog or reviewing sex toys?
I started the Voluptasse because I love to write and I find that it’s a great way to let potential customers know about the different products that I sell and my experiences with the different products on the market. I also want my customers to see the person behind Voluptasse and to understand that I am not just a sales woman, I am a wife, mother and ordinary woman just like they are,
I also review sex toys for other companies too, it’s important to give my readers a full picture of all the different products on the market and the different experience that comes with each different company. I have a great relationship with my competitors and I work hard to maintain this, it might seem strange to review for another company but it’s another way to give a full picture of the sex toy retail market and helps to boost small businesses just like mine too. I treat all companies exactly how I would like them to treat Voluptasse and because of this I believe that I am respected as an impartial reviewer.
I love sex toys and I love to write, for me it was a natural progression to put my two passions together and use it to benefit Voluptasse.
What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is the community and the people in it, I enjoy the feedback and the sales from the products I recommend are a great boost but the people I have met on my journey are amongst some of the nicest I have ever encountered. I was also the first blogger to feature a sex toy review in the ETO magazine and seeing my writing in print felt so amazing, it gave me a real thirst to write more.
Do you use social media? If so, where can we find you?
I am on Facebook, Voluptasse
Do your friends know you’re a sex blogger?
My friends and family know exactly what I do as I am very proud of Voluptasse, if you look carefully you’ll see blood, sweat and tears and I wouldn’t hide it from anyone… except the kids lol.
Have you ever done anything specifically so you can blog about it afterwards?
My reviews are always pre-planned and I visit places so I can blog about it afterwards.
Do you take part in any blog memes? If so, which ones?
I have never heard of a Blog Meme? Sorry!
Share with us a funny or interesting experience that’s happened to you in the course of your blogging.
An interesting experience that came with Voluptasse was when I filed for my own divorce. I’d held a home party the night before and in the midst of clearing up I’d shoved various large rabbit vibrators, bullets and other sex toys into the over-sized bags which were fashionable at the time. Unbeknown to me, when entering a county court all bags must be searched and emptied by 2 security guards. They had a great time pulling each and every item painstakingly out of my bag, in front of a queue which consisted solely of middle-aged men whilst my face glowed redder and redder with each product. They then had to go through an x ray machine along with my bag.
I filed my papers and RAN! I was mortified, they still give me a cheeky grin whenever I come across them again. The joys of living in a small town eh.
Will you still be blogging in 5 years time?
Not only will I still be blogging in 5 years time, I will be an award winning blogger. Watch out for me! It’s early days yet but I love to write and I know that I am getting better as my experience grows. I can’t imagine my life without Voluptasse and my blog now. It means a lot to me.
If not already a professional blog: would you say you’re looking to earn a living from blogging eventually, or will it remain a hobby?
It would be great to make money from blogging and I would certainly accept advertisements from manufacturers and other organisations but I am limited in which advertisements I can place without compromising my own interests too much. I have expanded my writing to other organisations and have sold blog posts to other companies which I intend to continue. Blogging has also led to copy writing work within the sex toy industry which is amazing for me because it helps expand my knowledge of so many different products on the market. It also gives me lots of idea’s for new blog posts. I have been very lucky in the opportunities which have come my way.
Tell us about three other bloggers you admire, and why.
I admire the Cara Sutra, she works so hard and has created an amazing brand within the adult industry. She writes beautifully and is a brilliant journalist and consultant. She juggles a busy family life with hard work and always remains professional and discreet.
I love the Xtra Curricular team, they have a unique his/her blog and were the winners of my Review Idol competition. They also write beautifully and have a fun, interesting and informative blog which I loved to read.
I also love the Toy Addict, she is a no holds barred, no nonsense writer and I love her matter of fact reviews. Again, she writes beautifully and remains professional in her approach. She reminds me of the Simon Cowell of Sex Toy Reviews but is so much nicer.
If you review sex toys, what are the top three toys you wish you could get your hands on next?
I WANT A SQWEEL 2, my life is incomplete until I own one.
I’d like a LELO Smartwand, they look fabulous!
I also want something discreet and whisper-quiet which I can slip into my knickers whilst my husband controls the remote from across the room. So far, everything I have tried sounds like a steam train hurtling through a tunnel.
Who is your favourite adult shopping company, and why?
My favourite adult company is obviously Voluptasse. I word so hard to ensure that my customers get an amazing one on one experience and every transaction is 100% personal to the buyer. I hand pick all items and will gift wrap, send cards and strive to ensure that my customer is absolutely satisfied with their transaction. My home parties are legendary and are a great way to examine products before purchasing!
Voluptasse is not about ‘the sale’ it’s about the person and although I need to make profits I’ll always make sure that my customer has the right product regardless of the price.
Another favourite of mine is the Vibrator Kingdom. I see a lot of similarities between Donna and myself and see another young woman working hard to build on a company that she created because she loves the products and isn’t simply after a fast buck. I admire her tenacity, oh and she also has the most beautiful website I have ever seen! I am insanely jealous of it!
Do you prefer blogging fictional erotica, real life sex anecdotes or factual based content such as reviews and advice guides?
I like to write different kinds of things depending on my mood, I’m lucky to be able to write different things and enjoy all the different aspects of writing.
– Mel Macfarlane, Voluptasse