Filling Your Niches

 

by Renee Miller

Many of us here at Deviant Dolls write in what are called “niche” genres. A niche genre is one that appeals to a small, specialized reader base. So, unlike something like romance, which has thousands and thousands of loyal readers, our genres attract a fraction of that number. And traditional publishers don’t go gaga over such books. Yeah, they want you to write something original and new, but not too original or new. They need to have somewhere to put it. If they can’t find the shelf your book belongs on, it’s a marketing problem. Plus, a fraction of thousands is not as good as thousands. It’s risky. Publishers are businesses, so this is understandable. Frustrating, but sensible if you’re looking at things from their point of view.

Just wish they’d stop asking for all this newness if they don’t want it. *grumbles*

I’m joking. Mostly. So, why would we choose to write in genres with such limited sales potential? Well a number of reasons.

First, a niche genre doesn’t mean you won’t sell just as much as someone writing in a popular or “commercial” genre. I mean, consider how many authors are out there writing the popular stuff in the first place. Spread those many readers out across those many authors, and the numbers aren’t so staggering for individual authors.

Second, I’ve found that these niche genres have the most loyal readers ever. This means, if they like what you’ve got, they’ll keep coming back, because it’s hard to find what they like. And they don’t mind paying. There are a lot of readers out there who’ve grown accustomed to the freebie. They expect it. Nothing wrong with that. We writers have created that expectation, so it’s our own fault. However, fans of niche genres like bizarro, erotic horror, absurdist comedy, slipstream and the like, know that it’s tough to find well written books that appeal to them, so they see value in it. When a reader sees what you’re offering as valuable, the freebie thing becomes less important.

Third, it’s fun. The most exciting part of publishing today is that we can bend and break genre lines. There are a bazillion sub-genres out there, and authors are creating new ones every day. Are they going to be bestsellers? Probably not. I mean, selling is the really tough part of publishing. However, it doesn’t mean they won’t sell. You can experiment. Have fun with your settings, themes, characters, etc. This experimenting helps us learn and evolve, and eventually, find the genre (niche or otherwise) where we excel.

I love writing weird stuff. If it’s strange or uncomfortable, I’m your girl. I also love writing sex scenes. Is that weird? Probably. I love writing about themes that are uncomfortable and using bizarre characters or situations. The more “WTF” or “OMG, no!” a story is, the more fun I have writing it. I’m not much for the butterflies and rainbows or the happy ending. What I’ve written previously that includes such things was a chore to write. I struggled to make it be what I was told it should be to “fit.” Sometimes I love writing tried and true stuff, but my “muse” is only truly satisfied when I’m going to an extreme of some kind. I like being a little uncomfortable with what I’m writing. Makes me more productive.

At Deviant Dolls, we chose to embrace genre straddling (and genre breaking) authors, because we believe in fiction that challenges the reader to think in new ways. We believe entertainment is valuable and so is allowing the reader to escape into a world that asks only that they buckle in and enjoy the ride. We love readers who beg to be scandalized, horrified, and/or tickled until they wet themselves. Niche genres make it easy to do this. Maybe, one day, these niche genres will become part of the norm. (Exciting) It’s more likely they won’t. That’s cool too.

Because we’re always looking for new ways to keep our readers happy, we’re curious: What’s your favorite niche and is it being filled? (Pun intended, because puns area great.)

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Just for Fun: Modern Sex Aids That Might Give You Nightmares

By Renee Miller

First off: THIS IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR TO READ AROUND THE CHILDREN BECAUSE THERE ARE PICTURES.

The sexual revolution has been a bumpy, unsettling, and not always fathomable road. From rock to wood to leather, to metal and then latex and plastic, our sex toys have evolved into works of art (sometimes). It’s unclear if everyone survived, let alone achieved orgasm, but one thing I do know is that the sex toys of today haven’t become any less terrifying or puzzling than the monstrosities used in the good old days. In fact, I think we’ve taken sexual deviance to a new level. No judgement here.

Okay, a little bit. Let’s get started.

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Electro Sex

We’re taught our whole lives to stay away from electricity. Shocking our genitals is definitely a no-no. However, “electro torture” is a thing. For example, the Rimba Electro Sex Gloves connect to an “Electro” box, and the gloves give off an electric current, zapping your lover wherever you touch them.

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Credit: Rimba Electro Sex Gloves

Electro sex aids aren’t limited to gloves. There is a whole line of electrically charged devices, including nipple torture cups designed to zap your breasts with electricity. It sounds terrifying, and you might wonder why anyone would shock themselves intentionally, but the amount of electricity generated by these toys is said to be safe. The idea isn’t to cause pain (usually) and the devices actually send a low-level current that stimulates nerve endings, causing more of a tickle or a vibration than an actual shock. However, when used on their highest setting, these devices cause pins and needles sensations, and may even sting. Personally, I like my nipples best when they aren’t stinging.

Mr. Jack Mouth

First, never Google search “masturbatory toys” ever. Second, when you see the words “Mr. Jack Mouth” just don’t. This male sex toy has to be the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. It resembles a penis, with a face… and a mustache. Here:

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What the fuck are those stabby-looking protrusions in the mouth? I’m (fairly) certain they’re meant to feel good. Right?

The mind-boggling thing about Mr. Jack Mouth, though, isn’t that porn-stash or the pointy things in its mouth, it’s that somewhere, someone—more than just one someone—actually finds the idea of masturbating with Super Mario’s face arousing. Or maybe it’s Luigi? I’d like to keep my childhood characters non-sexualized, thank you very much.

The Cannon

I think the name says it all, but let’s break it down anyway. The “Cannon Suction Huge Dong” (available on Amazon) is a massive rubber penis shaped sex thing. Initially, I thought it was a gag item, because IT’S FUCKING HUGE, but when I read the product listing, I realized it’s not. It’s described as a stretching aid that is equipped with a “strong suction base,” with a 13 inch “insertable” length. INSERTABLE LENGTH, GIRLS.

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The Cannon is described as “a piece of heavy artillery” and meant for “balls to the wall” action. We’ll pass on this one. But wait. What’s this? A destroyer?

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“You will probably need a ball gag, too, unless you want the neighbors to hear all the noise! There is just no way you can be quiet while trying to take on this seriously massive cock. What more can we say? This thing is HUGE! We figured out how to deliver more dick than you will ever need, now it is up to you to figure out where to put it all. Brace yourself! Measurements: 16.5 inch overall length, 13 inch insertable length, 2.65 inch max shaft diameter, 9 inch circumference” – Amazon description

Christ.

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There’s another item for the Christmas wish list. **Wink-wink-nudge-nudge**

 

The Nut Crusher

First, I’d like to say,

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The nut crusher is exactly what it sounds like, unless you think you’re buying something to crush the hard shells of walnuts at a festive holiday party. This sexual aid is designed to crush testicles. The plastic varieties aren’t as disturbing as the metal devices, which resemble clamps you’d find in a carpenter’s workshop. Don’t take my word for it. Here:

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Basically, you attach the device to your testicles and then tighten the clamp-like part using a screw. Some even have a ring at the end of the screw so that once desired tightness is achieved, you can hang weights from it. Joy!

Urethral Sounds

Urethral sounds gives one the image of medical devices, and there’s a reason for that. Urethral sounding is actually a medical procedure.

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As a sex aid, though, these long, scary devices are inserted into the end of a man’s penis so it can stimulate the super-sensitive nerve endings inside the urethra and stimulate the prostate. That doesn’t sound fun at all.

Users are advised to find the size that fits their urethra best, for “minimal stretching and resistance,” because that would be bad. Never “force” a sound in (no worries here) and practice to find the right angle. And don’t forget, you may experience burning during urination, but that’s normal. Unusual discharge, bleeding, fever or cramping is not, so seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

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Animal Dildos

Zoophilia, more commonly known as bestiality, is when a person fantasizes about or engages in sex with animals. In most states, this is a crime, so obviously anyone dealing with such fantasies who has an aversion to prison would be frustrated. Well, fear not, there’s a sex toy for you guys. I bring you, animal dildos, which are exact replicas of animal junk. I’m not sharing every picture. Just… here. That link is NSFW, by the way. DEFINITELY NOT SAFE.

Just LOOK!

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Sorry, guys. This pitbull penis replica is sold out.

SOLD… OUT.

Anyway, you can buy these at specialty sex stores or curious shoppers can just go to Amazon, which has a lovely dildo modeled after a whale penis. It’s not the dildos that are troubling, in my opinion. They’re strangely fascinating to look at. The puzzling thing is that people actually use them. I suppose it’s better than molesting an actual animal.

Teddy Love

Remember that snuggly teddy bear you used to cuddle up with every night? Prepare to never see that bear in the same way again.

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Teddy Love is an actual teddy bear with a specially designed “nose” area that vibrates at ten speeds, which are controlled through its ears. And, best of all ladies, you can snuggle up with him after you’re done, just like the good old days.

Guys, don’t think we forgot about you. Apparently, “You can flip Teddy Love upside down and the nose can go around the anus and the tongue can touch the taint.” Precious.

Parents out there will understand the potential for disaster this poses. Imagine young Jimmy finding Mommy’s teddy bear on her bed, stealing it as any youngster would do with a cool new toy, and then snuggling up to that vibrating face you just had in your vagina… or vibrating your taint. I rest my case.

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“Autosuck” Road Head Simulator

The Autosuck Road Head Simulator is a device that plugs into a cigarette lighter and is designed to simulate oral sex, in your car.

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Fear not ladies, roadside fun isn’t just for guys. There are also devices for women. The Rabbit Travel Vibe is 12 volts of “pure vibrating ecstasy” that ensures “complete satisfaction on the move.”

“Oh hello officer. Sorry I crashed into that sign, I was climaxing.”

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Yes, the troubling part about these sex toys is not their design or purpose. Who doesn’t want a little action on the side of the road, right? No, it’s that you plug it into a cigarette lighter in your car. While there’s a warning about using it while driving, we all know there are idiots out there who won’t heed said warning and will use them while speeding down the freeway.

Latex Vac Bed

Because some of us enjoy being shrink-wrapped and breathing through a tiny hole now and then, there’s the Vac Bed.

Basically it’s a latex prison a person is encapsulated in. The bed comes with a PVC frame. You place the latex sack around the frame, climb inside, zip it up, and then vacuum out the air. The entire body is covered so you can’t move, with only a mouth hole for breathing or whatever.

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What’s mind-boggling about this sexual aid is that it’s kind of like sticking a plastic bag over our head, except the bag is big enough for our entire body, and we can’t move. I’m already freaking out.

Well, I know what the Dolls are getting from me for Christmas.