I'm going to go over how I won each of the prizes, and how you can find competitions to enter as well. I don't want to be greedy!
1. Get to know Rafflecopter. It's the widget used in most competitions, and it makes things easy. You can log in with them through Facebook, or make your own account with them. Once you've done that, the widget itself will give you instructions on how to enter each contest. These instructions are set by the person running the contest, and might include things like 'Tweet about the giveaway' or 'Leave a blog comment'. Most contests will have multiple ways to enter, and many will include Twitter or Facebook tasks.
2. About Social Networking: If you don't want to use Facebook and Twitter because you don't want your coworkers or kids or parents knowing you enter sex toy contests, then make a separate adult-content-only account to use. You'll find as a happy side effect that you can talk freely on it, and will meet lots of interesting and fun people this way! If you don't Tweet, you'll miss out on a lot of opportunities!
3. Start following Pleasurists. They have a contests listing at the start of every weekly issue, and it's a good place to start, though it won't have all of them. Start entering the contests and following the bloggers who host them, and you'll start seeing tweets in your timeline about more and more competitions. It builds on itself, and the more contests you enter, the more you'll learn about. This is the best way to find blog contests to enter.
4. Twitter competitions: Another type of competition is the Twitter competition, and this one is often held by manufacturers and retailers. They'll ask you to follow them and retweet about the competition and then draw a winner of all the people who did. Again, you'll learn about these by seeing the retweets in your timeline from people who entered - and be sure and follow the instructions! I actually lost out on a prize once because I retweeted, but forgot to follow! Oops! It was from Nice 'n' Naughty, who were generous enough to send me a consolation prize of a couple of soft porn dvds. I'm looking forward to popping them in one evening when the boyfriend is here. Should be fun!
5. Other types of competitions are those hosted on the website of the manufacturer or retailer. It's a good idea to follow your favourite companies on Twitter, and you'll hear about them.
6. Facebook competitions exist too, but I haven't done much about searching them out yet. I probably should, but I'm having so much success already, I haven't gotten to it.
7. If you live outside the US, check for the dreaded 'Open to US Residents Only' disclaimer before you enter. If you do live in the US - lucky you! You have about a zillion more contests to search out and enter than us international folk!
Now, on to the prizes I've actually won:
I won the Tantus Cush from Kissing Blue Karen, in a contest sponsored by SheVibe. I picked the pink one, and it's gorgeous. This amazing dual density dildo retails at $50-$60.
The Close to You Opus and the LAYAspot I won from SexIs Magazine, in two separate Friday afternoon trivia competitions on Twitter.
Every week, they give away two $25 gift cards to Eden Fantasys, two 30% off coupons, and one main "Prize of the Week". Trivia is held on Twitter every Friday afternoon and starts around 4:30pm EST. You need to follow @SexisMagazine on Twitter. The winners are randomly chosen from the first ten correct answers to each question, and the questions are all from the previous week's articles in SexIs Magazine. Both toys retail for about $60 each. This competition takes a little more time to put into it than the others, as you have to actually be there following the Twitter thread, but it's a lot of fun, and there's chit-chat and fun stories to talk about in between the questions. I wish I remembered to be there every week! (Friday trivia is no longer held.)
From BeanFiddler, I won this gorgeous and sexy RodeoH strap-on harness. This competition was sponsored by the manufacturer, and the product retails for about $45. At first I thought I was going to go for the Black and Gray, but after I won, I changed my mind and had to get the red. The O2 Cush fits nicely into the RodeoH, but the pink and red just don't go.
Obviously, I need a bright red dildo!
Here's the most valuable prize I've won - my choice of any Lelo product from Sextoys.co.uk, and let me tell you, that was a tough decision! At the time, the SenseMotion products were not yet available in the UK. If they had been, I'd have asked for the Tiani, but now I'm glad they weren't, because I LOVE my Lily! Sextoys.co.uk advertises their competitions on their forum page.
In addition to these toys, I've won third prize in one of Eden Cafe's weekly competitions, which got me a $25 gift card, and I won a $30 Eden Gift Card in a giveaway at Tiff's Pixie Dust.
Does that sound like a lot of prizes? It sure does! My naughty drawer was filled up quite nicely this year!
I've got one more company to mention. Lovehoney is my favourite sex toy retailer, and they do give out a lot of prizes - I just don't happen to have ever won anything from them! You can find Lovehoney competitions on their blog.
Now, ready to get started? Visit every site linked to in this post, and find the 'Follow me on Twitter' button. And follow me too @SilverdropUK. You'll start seeing contest information in your timeline very soon, and hopefully the winning will soon follow!