Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Pleasure Panel FAQ

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    Cara Sutra


    What is the Pleasure Panel?

    The Pleasure Panel is the Cara Sutra community of guest reviewers. They are a talented, enthusiastic bunch of sex toy fans who volunteer to test products (that either I send out or they own themselves which aren’t reviewed elsewhere) and the reviews are published here at Cara Sutra, after I have approved them.

    You can find the Pleasure Panel area at the forum here, for general chat and also to find the latest items which need reviewing volunteers. You can follow the latest announcements & reviews through the #PleasurePanel hashtag on Twitter.

    How do I join the Pleasure Panel?

    You will need to be a member of the CaraSutra community, so please sign up here, and then complete this application form and await my reply.

    NEW: There has been an increased number of new applicants over recent months. I must ask that new applicants send me a review (minimum 300 words, but can be as long as you like, and please include some photos of the product) for an adult product you already own. This must be sent to me before I will post something out to you for review. Amongst other things, this ensures that Pleasure Panel reviews continue to meet the standard expected from such a renowned group of reviewers.

    Then it’s a case of staying tuned for the next round (date will be announced through my weekly newsletter only).

    How do I change my username?

    Please choose your username carefully as they can’t be changed after they’re set!

    In order to change your username I have to delete your old account, assigning all your content and posts to a new account in the new name. It’s a long, drawn-out process and I don’t really like doing it to be honest (although I can if absolutely necessary) – so please choose the username you’re sure you’re going to stick with. Thanks 🙂

    Can I join if I’m not in the UK?

    Yes! I send Pleasure Panel products to review worldwide, as long as your country will allow me to send that specific item to you of course. Some countries may have postal restrictions on intimate use products. It would be helpful if you could check on your country’s postal restrictions for sex toys etc before signing up to the Pleasure Panel.

    Can I join the Pleasure Panel if I work in the adult industry?

    Sorry – but I’d rather Pleasure Panel members not be part of an adult industry company, business or service. This is to avoid any conflicts of interest or any bias in reviews. Thanks for your understanding.

    Can I be totally anonymous?

    Yes! You can choose any email address that you own to be associated with your member profile at CaraSutra, and you can choose any username you like. Please be aware however, that if you use an email address which is registered with Gravatar, those details will be pulled through to your member profile at CaraSutra.

    Using your Gravatar email with your CaraSutra member account is a great way to prefill your profile (and later on, your author page at CaraSutra) with your profile photo, your bio and your web and social media links already on Gravatar. Using your Gravatar email address with your CaraSutra member account is the only way you can have a photo on your profile, as there is no availability to upload your own through my server (to avoid malicious use).

    Therefore if you want to avoid any of that information being pulled through, don’t use an email address which is already registered with Gravatar, unless that information retains your anonymity of course.

    How will I know when the next Pleasure Panel round of products will be up?

    Next ’round’ dates will first be announced through my weekly newsletter (sent Fridays) and then on Twitter with the hashtag #PleasurePanel (so keep an eye on it…)

    How do I request a product to review?

    Once the next ’round’ of products is live on the forum, please have a look through the available items and comment with which one you’d like to review the most. If you can give a selection of a few it can make it easier for me to assign products. For a first time reviewer, I’d prefer to send a lower cost item, just to safeguard the sponsoring company’s investment and my own spends on postage to you (yes, the postage all comes out of my own pocket). I need to make sure that I can trust all reviewers in the Pleasure Panel to complete and submit reviews within a reasonable time-scale and to a good, thorough standard.

    As time goes on and you write more reviews, you will be trusted with higher cost items. You’ll also earn rewards… more about those in a moment!

    How do you assign products to volunteers?

    The new Pleasure Panel rounds go live once a month, and in the evening, usually 8pm or 8.30pm UK time. This is because I don’t want anyone in other timezones to be left out or feel they have to be awake at an unreasonable time, and this seems the easiest way to include most people.

    By the time the initial excitement is over and most people have commented with their choices, it’s quite late here in the UK. It’s always a very busy day for me and it’s simply not possible to assign products to people that night as well. It’s not first come first served either, so I like to let the night go by to give other people – those who might have missed the first minutes of a new round opening – a chance to comment with what they’d like to review, given chance.

    The next day I get busy assigning the products to those people who have volunteered for them, as best I can. I comment on the same forum thread with what each person has been assigned to review. It’s a difficult job and I’m afraid I can’t please everybody all of the time, but I do try!

    If you are not assigned the product which was your first choice, or even any product at all, please try not to be too upset. There are usually more items already en route to me and I am fair in offering them to reviewers who may not have had luck of the draw first time round.

    If I don’t already have your real name/address to post to, I will request that you email me these details (please don’t put them on the forum!) so I can send your item asap.

    How many products will I get to review?

    As a general rule, each reviewer gets one item to review at any one time. This means that I can send a product and not send another until I receive the review for the first item sent, and so on. There may be exceptions to this, notably books (hardcopy and e-format) which pop up on the forum from time to time for reviewers to volunteer for. I don’t mind if someone has a product review outstanding and they also volunteer to review one of these books. Books aren’t as popular as sex toys to review, so this is an extra bonus for those who will read and review books for the Pleasure Panel.

    How long do I have to review my product?

    A reasonable time frame… I don’t like putting a set time on it as I know it can take a while to really get good, well-rounded thoughts and opinions about a product after several uses in different situations, moods, with different lubes, with or without a partner etc. There’s also illness, hormones, life, work and stress to factor in. However I would say a maximum of 3 months before I’d really start getting a bit tetchy!

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that I won’t send you another item to review if you still have a product review outstanding (yay for spreadsheets) – so you may miss out on something in the next round if you don’t have your review back to me by the time it’s live. I do give ample and repeated notice about a new round going live to give everyone a chance to finish up reviews and get them over to me.

    Once you email your review (and any photos) to me, I count that as ‘in’ – even if I haven’t had a chance to publish it yet (as long as it follows guidelines – being over 300 words -but as long as you like! etc).

    Can I submit reviews for products you haven’t sent me (but are part of my collection)?

    Yes! I love when the Pleasure Panel sends me reviews for products they own in their personal collection. Please send a photo or two of the product as well, this would mean I don’t have to resort to finding stock photos (real photos are always much better, for a ‘real-person’ feel).

    Sending me reviews for products you own will also see you climbing the Leaderboard quicker, therefore earning your reviews quicker (I promise I’ll get to those soon)!

    I reserve the right to:

    a) Link to a retailer of my own choice in the event that the submitted review either doesn’t make it clear where the product was originally purchased from, and/or it would be more beneficial to the ongoing running of this website to link to one of my affiliates instead

    b) Refuse to publish any submitted review which I feel isn’t a genuine review, isn’t of a good enough written standard, doesn’t fit with the tone of this website or doesn’t meet criteria for any other reason.

    How do I submit a review?

    Please email me your review. There is a Submit A Guest Review form on the site, but you won’t be able to send photos that way, they always need to be emailed. As I much prefer reviews to come with photos if at all possible, email is probably the best way forwards.

    How long do reviews need to be?

    All Pleasure Panel reviews need to be at least 300 words (but they can be as long as you like! I personally love reviews anywhere between 800-2000 words for a fully rounded review). Please could you ensure they’re spelled correctly and are written to the best standard you can, as it can delay other people’s reviews being published if I have to spend an age proofing and editing your review to make it easily understandable by readers.

    If reviews are consistently submitted which are of very low quality with regards to thoroughness, length or poor written skills then I will have no choice but to remove that reviewer from the Pleasure Panel.

    Do you publish all reviews?

    I publish all Pleasure Panel reviews from genuine members who wish to review products, which are written to a good, understandable standard of writing and which are unbiased and fair. Examples of reviews I wouldn’t publish are:

    – Reviews which I can’t make head nor tail of because the standard of writing is so bad

    – Reviews submitted by members of staff of adult product companies under the guise of being fair and unbiased but which are in fact thinly disguised promotional posts (yes, people have actually tried this!)

    If you’ve sent me a review and you don’t get any response within 7 days please email me again to enquire as it may have got lost in the internet wilderness. If you use the submit your own review page it’s your responsibility to keep a copy of the text in your own files in case the one sent through the page on this site goes missing somehow. Ugh, internets.

    Can I publish my review on my own site? Can I send you reviews I’ve put on a shopping website?

    Sorry – all reviews for the Pleasure Panel need to be unique to CaraSutra. By publishing the same thing on your own site you could be harming your website and mine too. You can read more in this post on using content (which was intended for companies but it explains the principle). Basically it comes down to something called duplicate content.

    However you are *very* welcome to put a short (say, a paragraph or two) excerpt on your own blog or site with a link to where readers can find the full review at CaraSutra.

    If your review is already on the product page of a shopping website, you can re-write the review using different words and send it to me if you like. As long as the copy is entirely unique to CaraSutra (and over 300 words) then I will accept it.

    Can I submit photos and/or video as part of my review?

    Yes – I love reviews to come with ‘real-person’ photos! They feel much more trustworthy in my opinion that those just with a heavily edited stock photo.

    Videos are also acceptable, as long as they are hosted on YouTube or other external video service and I would then embed them to CaraSutra rather than hosting on my own server.

    What are the guidelines for review photos/videos?

    The feel of the CaraSutra website is intended to be erotic / educational rather than explicit / porn. I don’t mind a cheeky bum or nipple but full frontal/pink spread/graphic pornography or other ‘during use’ photos and videos wouldn’t be acceptable in Pleasure Panel reviews. Thanks for your understanding.

    I noticed an error in my review after it was published. Can I amend it?

    Of course! You won’t be able to edit it directly at the site but just send me an email with what needs changing and I’ll sort it right out for you.

    What are the Pleasure Panel rewards & how do I get them?

    Told you we’d get there eventually! There are three tiers to work towards at the Pleasure Panel:

    Approved Reviewer (3+ reviews published at CaraSutra)

    VIP Reviewer (5+ reviews)

    Turbo Reviewer (15+ reviews)

    The rewards for each level are:

    Approved Reviewer – Welcome Kit with exclusive badge, sticker & more

    pleasure panel approved reviewer welcome pack at cara sutra

    VIP Reviewer – Cara Sutra Pocket Rocket Vibrator

    VIP Rewards Pleasure Panel Reviewers-5

    Turbo Reviewer – Choice of Pleasure Panel mug for your tasty hot brews


    Find out more about the Pleasure Panel rewards here – and check out the Leaderboard here to see where you’re at!

    Do you have any other questions about the Pleasure Panel? Perhaps you’re a company who’d love your products reviewed by the Pleasure Panel at CaraSutra?
    Please email me and I’ll do my best to help.




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