trends

A Look at the Latest Trends, Innovations Shaping Pleasure Products

A Look at the Latest Trends, Innovations Shaping Pleasure Products

As today’s attitudes towards sexual wellness have evolved, the growing demand for pleasure products has fueled elevated standards for quality and creativity as well as inclusivity in design and marketing. Endorsements by celebrities and social media influencers have sparked shortages of the “rose” stimulator among adult retailers, leading many to wonder what new sex toy will be the next big thing?

Manufacturers’ views on the most sought-after functions and features suggest that innovation is growing steadily, though somewhat slowly, as certain functions such as suction continue to be favorites among consumers.

Potential customers respond best to formulas that aren’t chock-full of unnecessary ingredients.

“The most in-demand features right now are ‘sucking’ and air pulse technology,” said Brent Aldon, the director of sales and marketing for Aneros. “Even though it has been out for a while, different designs like the ‘rose’ have maintained popularity due to social media.”

Nu Sensuelle Communications Coordinator Lauren Schwartz highlighted how her company has tried to go a step further in building upon this trend.

“There seems to be a lot of demand for both suction and air pulse technology products — although we personally favor suction over air pulse,” she said. “Air play products produce air pulses that do not directly touch your clitoris, but rather mimic the sensation of suction. Users have described the sensation to be a tapping feeling on the clitoris that is less powerful than true suction. Our Trinitii does not offer air pulse technology, but rather firm, intermittent suction. Oftentimes, users who are either on antidepressants or menopausal have decreased clitoral sensitivity. Suction increases blood flow to the clitoris, making those 8,000 nerve endings a lot more sensitive.”

Schwartz also highlighted Nu Sensuelle’s proprietary roller-motion bead technology that’s featured in items such as its Andii Plug and Roxii Wand.

“Toys like these allow users to feel pleasure in more than just one centralized area and repeatedly hit those hard-to-reach sensory spots with more of a massage-like sensation,” she said.

Nasstoys’ Suzy Contreras explained the pioneering manufacturer’s top-trending product features, which span multiple categories.

“Buyers and consumers have been going crazy for air pulsation or suction features and our warming collections of vibrating dongs and luxury massagers,” she said.

With clit stimulation being so essential to female pleasure, it’s safe to say that toys targeting this erogenous zone are here to stay.

“Consumers are seeking direct clitoral stimulation from vibration, but also from other forms of stimulation,” said Nichole Grossmann, the director of marketing for CalExotics. “CalExotics has a line of products called French Kiss that features intense flickering action. This has been very popular as it offers intense, direct clitoral stimulation. Empowered is another popular collection; these offer clitoral suction and smart features. Users can set the suction pressure and play with a variety of different settings. The suction sensation is another form of clitoral stimulation that is in high demand.”

Womanizer pioneered Pleasure Air Technology several years ago. Johanna Rief, the head of sexual empowerment at Womanizer and We-Vibe, said that air pressure toys are popular because they provide a sensation that traditional vibrators cannot.

“While this technology isn’t new, it’s effective and people want to purchase a product that they know will do the job,” she said. “Pleasure Air is so appealing because it offers simulation similar to oral sex, but it is more gentle than traditional vibrators that might be too much for sensitive users.”

Devices that connect to one’s smartphone and are controllable with an app also constitute a trend that is still spreading as more manufacturers adopt the technology. According to Rief, the popularity of app-controlled and couples’ toys is because people are looking for adventure and new experiences after the isolation of the past two years.

“In fact, according to a survey conducted by We-Vibe in January, more than 85% of people noted a new desire to get more explorative and creative with their sex lives,” she said. “This means exploring new technologies and products that take partnered pleasure to the next level. Whether it be teasing your partner with a remote-controlled panty vibrator like the We-Vibe Moxie or creating a custom vibration pattern in the We-Vibe app, the possibilities are endless thanks to these technological advancements.”

Schwartz acknowledges the popularity of app-based products, but notes that some people may find phones distracting during sex. She recommends standard hand-held remote-controlled toys to keep couples in sync during their intimate time together.

“At Nu Sensuelle, we developed remote-controlled products in which the remote vibrates in sync with the toy,” Schwartz said. “This allows both parties to experience the same sensations together and know exactly what the other is feeling — eliminating the need to ask, ‘Did you feel that?’ Our remotes are also multi-toy-compatible, so if you own more than one Nu Sensuelle remote-operated toy, you can control them all using just one remote.”

Today’s pleasure products tout numerous functions, adjustability and accessories to help each user find their specific way of enjoying their toys.

“Beyond specific functions and features, customers are really looking for a personalized experience,” said Kristen Tribby, the global head of marketing and education for Fun Factory. “They’re no longer just power-focused — they are looking for a toy that can be tailored to their mood and where their body is at. So, a toy that taps, thrusts, pulses and vibrates gives people a range to play with while avoiding habituation to one specific sensation. Sundaze is the only toy on the market that has this range.”

New pleasure products brand Our Erotic Journey recently unveiled a new space-themed line, which includes items featuring today’s popular functions like suction as well as dual-stimulating toys such as the Cosmo Critter.

“This Gravity Rocket is compact but it’s a suction toy that also vibrates, and the Cosmo Critter is dual-speed and it’s got suction. And then, Eclipse Bunny is just a power tickler really. It’s for all over; it’s got tons of power,” said Tony Cleary, the company’s sales manager.

Eco-friendly pleasure products brand Love Not War offers products with interchangeable heads, which also allow for more options for users.

“They give the customer the option to try out multiple products without having to purchase a completely new toy and new battery every time,” said Love Not War CEO Will Ranscombe, who sees increasing demand for innovation in sustainable sex tech.

“Sex is turning green, and this is going to become a real driver in our industry, and across all industries,” he said. “Consumers are starting to search out eco products. They are looking beyond just function and are paying more attention to the materials used too. Our most recent product to hit the market, MAYA, is a direct innovation because of this customer desire. MAYA is made from 99% recycled aluminum. It’s made from the aluminum of four drink cans.”

Schwartz also notes the trend towards eco-friendly materials, noting that the quality of materials used in pleasure products has improved overall. Nu Sensuelle products are made from the company’s proprietary Hypureon silicone, which is UV-resistant, which means that its color won’t experience bleaching effects when exposed to sunlight. The silicone is also stress-tested for extreme heat and cold and is 100% body-safe and free of latex and phthalates.

Vibing and Thriving

Even while manufacturers consistently implement innovative new functions for sexual stimulation, vibrating sex toys remain a mainstay. Most modern vibrators have been revamped with rechargeable batteries and a multitude of vibration speeds and patterns to choose from.

According to Nu Sensuelle's Schwartz, consumers nowadays are seeking products with dual motors, thus increasing the range of patterns and levels of intensity.

“Products that are dual-motored allow for an extra layer of versatility,” she said. “In other words, consumers can now buy one product with the intent of using it in more than one way. Take Nu Sensuelle’s Alluvion Wand, for example. Alluvion has a motor in both its head and handle. Not only can consumers feel vibration when using the product externally, but they can also enjoy the toy’s vibration internally by using an entirely different part of the product. This eliminates the need to purchase one product for external stimulation and another for internal.”

Rief also sees dual-motor products currently trending among consumers, especially when they can be controlled via a remote control or an app, and when the dual motors can be controlled separately. She cites her company’s We-Vibe Chorus as an example. “The Chorus also is flexible,” she said, “which is crucial in ensuring that the fit of the toy is comfortable for each user and hits just the right spots.”

When products have a slew of functions, users have even more options for customizing the experience to their personal needs, Schwartz added. In addition to being engineered to emit different vibration patterns, some of Nu Sensuelle’s products are also programmed with its proprietary turbo boost technology, which revs up the speed to 9,000 rpm for 12 seconds.

“A function of that nature is not only great for reaching climax, but exploring different types of pleasure, such as edging,” Schwartz said.

Nasstoys’ Suzy Contreras notes that some of the manufacturer’s most popular vibes feature up to 32 functions and patterns of vibration.

“Many of these items have dual clitoral and shaft motors, as well as intense prostate and perineum stimulation features,” she said.

Aneros’ Brent Aldon said that although vibration patterns and intensity levels may only vary slightly, that can make a difference for some.

“Aneros’ new Helix Syn V has specific percentages of intensities that have a proven purpose on the sexual health side,” he said of the pioneering prostate massager brand’s newest sexual wellness device.

Fun Factory’s Tribby points out that it isn’t all about power and multiple functions. If a sex toy design isn’t ergonomic, then no matter what it does, it still won’t hit the spot.

“We at Fun Factory worked hard on our newest bestseller, NOS, to make sure the vibration would actually reach the clit during penetration, which doesn’t happen with a lot of other C-rings,” she said. “This unique selling point has been popular with customers who have been disappointed with C-ring performance in the past.”

Be Still, My Heart

Powered sex toys might be the quickest way to experience orgasms for some, but dildos, plugs and other non-vibrating toys also are fundamental to adult retail and comprise a category that is continuously being refined.

Aneros has attracted a legion of fans with its non-vibrating prostate massagers, which are designed to work with the body’s movements and contractions.

“That is why every shape, angle and size down to the nanometer is important for the effectiveness of our products,” Aldon said, noting that the company’s careful product development process takes a minimum of two to three years of research.

Fun Factory’s new Share Lite is another new product designed with the body in mind.

“It is a non-vibrating double dildo that has been perfectly balanced, so the weight of the shaft doesn't cause the toy to sink,” Tribby said. “We also added a bendable hinge for a customized, secure fit.”

An innovator in the non-vibrating category is Balldo, which introduced the world to “ballgasms” with its device that straps onto the testicles to give them a firm, torpedo-like shape that can be used to penetrate a partner. Jerry Davies, the company’s CEO, explained that “The Balldo set is really a kit for you to have your first ball-sex experience.”

Davies described how users can customize the Balldo with additional spacer rings that can be purchased separately to make the testicles “erect.” “You might use one, you might use two; you might have to buy another two. Some guys will buy four … If the rings weren’t there, you wouldn’t be able to thrust with it.”

The Balldo device has openings for direct contact with the skin — which is what stimulates the testicles and makes the ballgasm, Davies said.

“Lots of people are still blown away that you can do something with your balls,” he added. Nevertheless, Davies said that the company isn’t “wedded to balls” and may venture into other categories, as well as a vibrating Balldo in the future.

“Loads of people are requesting it,” he said. “We were going to do it anyway; it’s just the logical progression for Balldo. We’ve also got a bunch of toys that we’re going to bring out, which also use our patent.”

Lubes With Traction

The perfect sex toy companion, lubricants enjoy a wide-ranging consumer base that includes those looking for the cleanest, simplest formulas, as well as fun, exciting ingredients that enhance sensation or add a taste of flavor.

As Rebecca Pinette-Dorin, the North American sales manager for Exsens, shared, “Aloe Vera is definitely a winner for all lubes, but CBD remains the trendy favorite. I’ve seen a lot of horny goat out there recently as well.”

“Horny goat” is a genus of flowering plants popularly used in Chinese traditional medicine, and believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.

In contrast with Pinette-Dorin’s perspective, Uberlube’s Brand Director Cheryl Sloane acknowledged the buzz around CBD products but thinks consumers are more interested in clean products.

“Some might say CBD is trending, but I think the trend is understanding what's in your lube. Fewer ingredients,” Sloane said. “Body-friendly ingredients and more active decision-making about which lube works for you. I also believe that consumers are starting to understand that they may want more than one lube.”

Wicked Sensual Care Marketing Director Cassie Pendleton said that ingredient-focused consumers are looking to make sure certain ingredients are not in their products.

“At Wicked Sensual Care, ‘CLEAN’ has even become an acronym that drives our product development. For us, ‘CLEAN’ means ‘Consciously Linking Effective And Natural.’ Our goal is always to formulate effective products with as many naturals as possible. We also strive to give consumers diverse choices and options based on their ingredient preferences or sensitivities.”

Reflecting on popular trends, Erik Vasquez, Sliquid’s VP of Marketing, also shared that consumers are looking for cleaner products. As he explained, “Sliquid has found that our customers, and potential customers, respond best to formulas that aren’t chock-full of unnecessary ingredients.” This has motivated Sliquid to focus on formulating lubricants free of unnecessary ingredients.

To reach the maximum number of potential lube consumers, businesses must craft branding that appeals to various demographics. Sliquid, Vasquez explained, is benefiting from a generation of 18-to-30-year-olds who are part of a population undergoing a sexual awakening.

“This generation of avid digital media users is endlessly consuming positive sexual messaging, such as loving their body, loving themselves, and being confident in their sexuality because it’s theirs and only theirs,” Vasquez said. Interestingly, despite the vast criticism hurled against social media, Vasquez credits rising sex positivity to social media platforms.

“Social media has opened these young adults’ eyes to the not-so-taboo world of pleasure, and this is a good thing for both them and pleasure product companies,” he continued.

In addition to young people, Sliquid strives to reach eco- and health-conscious buyers with packaging and branding that communicate the company’s use of natural and healthy ingredients, and has found success in presenting some products in a “more masculine aesthetic that appeals to more masculine-presenting customers,” Vasquez said. The company has also created a line aimed at trans people. This, Vasquez explained, “has been important to our trans customers who are appreciative to see something on the shelf that speaks to their unique experiences.”

Mirroring Vasquez’s enthusiasm for young adults, Pinette-Dorin of Exsens also sees millennials and Gen Z as great markets. “There has been a mainstream destigmatization of sexual wellness in general, and lube in particular in the last decade or so. We can really thank millennials for this, to be honest,” Pinette-Dorin explained. To better appeal to these newer consumers, Exsens overhauled its packaging and marketing by using brighter colors.

Though pandemic lockdowns are becoming less frequent, many shoppers are reluctant to go back to stores when they can instead shop online. Despite ecommerce becoming so prevalent that many think it has become standardized, companies that sell lube have found a variety of ways to build their online identities.

“The challenge and mission when marketing lube online is to be able to provide easy-to-digest pertinent product info along with eye-catching and poignant marketing within a website and product listings. Consumers, when shopping online, can’t ask questions as easily or get to engage with the amazing people who work in our industry’s brick-and-mortar stores. Retail staff in our industry are trained by brands like ours and have an in-depth working knowledge of the lube and products they sell. Social media is such a necessity now for all retailers, online or otherwise, and such a driving force in marketing products due to how many people are using social platforms to aid in their buying decisions.”

Pinette-Dorin’s experience with Exsens has shown her the importance of informing consumers about what the products are so that they know what works best for them personally.

“Education, education and information,” she said. “Give people what they need to pick the lube their body and lifestyle requires. List ingredients, list pH, list osmolality. Are they vegan? Are they paraben-free? Are they hypoallergenic? Long-lasting? Condom-safe?

“A great lube for someone who gets a lot of yeast infections is not necessarily a good lube for anal. A great lube for anal does not necessarily work with a silicone vibrator. Give maximum content on the lubes you sell, and make sure that content is factual,” Pinette-Dorin continued. “Too often I see the same five bullet points under every single lube in a web store. If we help customers to buy the product they need the first time, they will be back to buy it again.”

On this subject, Vasquez stressed four aspects of digital marketing: “earned, paid, owned and shared media.”

Given that a customer’s first encounter with a company will most likely be online, Vasquez explained, “there needs to be intentional continuity and consistency between everything from your company’s website to its social media platforms, email, text and search engine ads.” Accomplishing this will drastically increase a company’s odds of success.

For a company to remain afloat, regardless of its products or services, it needs to make sure its customers are satisfied with their purchase. Given that different demographics look for different experiences in order to remain happy with a company, lube producers and sellers have to be aware of what their customers want.

This, said Vasquez, is why “customer service is paramount at Sliquid. Most of our consumers, regarding customer care, only desire two things: accessibility to the company and knowledge that the company stands firmly behind the product they produce.”

Uberlube works towards happy customers by monitoring all consumer feedback and meeting frequently to discuss how to improve shopper experience. As Cheryl Sloane explained, “It's more than the customer always being right. Satisfaction from a brand perspective is how you partner with your retailers and consumers.”

Part of the way Uberlube accomplishes this is by prioritizing research and communication. “Our education team is constantly visiting stores and asking questions, while our customer service team is answering emails and calls and charting trends on a daily basis,” Sloane continued.

Another way to satisfy customers is making sure sales staff and buyers are informed about and engaged with the products. Pinette-Dorin touched upon this when she explained how Exsens approaches consumer happiness.

“We try to give total information right from the start to make sure our customers are getting what they are looking for. We also offer testers, especially for our flavored products, but also for our perfumes,” Pinette-Dorin said. “We want to make sure everyone loves the product with all their five senses. We train our clients’ retail staff whenever possible, and provide online training films, because we realize that sales staff is the best way to get the right product into customers’ hands.”

Pendleton agrees that education is a way for lube brands to equip stores and consumers with information.

“This enables them to understand the intention of the formula whether it’s a lubricant, a lubricant with a sensation, an enhancement product, or a toy cleaner,” she said. “With enough information, a consumer can make the choice they believe will suit their needs and preferences. We also preach that lubricant is a journey. We all have different bodies, different sensitivities and there shouldn’t be just one lube on someone’s nightstand.”

Even with inflation pushing wallets and budgets to their limits, sex is so key to the lives of so many that lube sales may not be negatively impacted by economic anxiety. Regardless, it remains crucial for producers to consistently work to understand what their consumers want and how to reach them.

Beginners Welcome

Whether new consumers learn about pleasure products through media and retailers or word of mouth between friends, they must then determine which items are the best options for their needs based on their level of experience.

Nu Sensuelle classifies its products according to the 10 different proprietary motors that it offers. This classification further helps retailers recommend the right product based on the consumer’s preferences pertaining to power and intensity.

“On the lower end of the intensity spectrum, Nu Sensuelle offers a line of products, Nubii, catered specifically towards those beginning to explore their sexuality,” Lauren Schwartz said. “I feel that novice users are more inclined to explore using sex toys when they feel represented in the market. I also think first-timers are being drawn to using pleasure products because we’ve been actively chipping away at the stigma associated with pleasure. Nowadays, sexual wellness education is more widely talked about, and masturbation is seen as being a part of the overarching umbrella of self-care.”

As manufacturers benefit from pleasure products becoming more welcome in the mainstream, Ranscombe says, society overall is evolving.

“They are not just available to purchase in sex stores. In fact, they are right there on the shelves of Urban Outfitters and Sephora,” he said. “The new generation coming up the ranks is sexually free and confident and not afraid to talk about their sexuality or preferences. This alone is giving others confidence. Even older people who would never have dreamed of openly owning a sex toy before are jumping on the bandwagon. Long may it continue!”

Mainstream exposure in popular news outlets, like women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan and adult industry-friendly shows like “The Howard Stern Show,” has helped companies such as Balldo stay in the spotlight. Davies said the company will also be appearing on the “Sex Sells” show.

“We’ve got a long way to go until it’s in all the stores, or a lot of people are aware of it, but it’s happening,” he said. “As we get more exposure on TV, more social media, more people want to know about it. It’s kind of weird: I’ll have a couple of flat days, and there’ll be a post somewhere — and it’s huge again. It’s still very newsworthy.”

Particularly during the height of the pandemic, media reported about the surging sales of pleasure products, which further boosted sales for adult retailers.

“It’s been good to hear how successful the industry has been since the pandemic started,” said Scott Watkins, Doc Johnson’s vice president of sales and marketing. “I feel that it’s much overdue success; we deserve this success because we’ve fought for so long to be a normalized industry. And more and more new consumers are coming to us. If you can sustain that growth — which I believe came from new consumers, and I believe there’s an addictive nature to these products, because once you start using them, it’s hard to not ever use them again — and so, if we can keep these new consumers in our ecosystem, as an industry, we will continue to grow.”

Watkins also said that rather than trying to invent the latest innovative technology, Doc Johnson focused on what it does best and diversified.

“Our Main Squeeze line is a great example,” he said. “Our Main Squeeze line grew 10 times. So, we continue to go out and find new partners, new models — diversifying that line and not just with porn stars. We also have cam stars and celebrities.”

Packaging That Sells

A shopper’s first impression of a product is often based on the packaging. Pleasure products sit on retail store shelves, aiming to catch the eye of passersby with eye-catching colors, imagery and phrases.

Dame Products’ Savannah Zinkand explained that the company recently updated its packaging to have a more cohesive look when merchandised together in stores.

“We really wanted to double down on our retail experience and get a more tangible feel — like you want to pick up the product,” she said. “We know that if you want to pick up the packaging, you’re like 75% of the way there to buying the product. And that goes for any consumer good. Like if you go to a grocery store and you pick up a bottle of spaghetti sauce and look at the ingredients, you’re pretty much there in putting it in your basket. So, we wanted to invoke that same feeling and also, kind of have an emotional response within two seconds of seeing our packaging.”

According to Zinkand, that experience continues as Dame consumers unpackage their purchase to find a free branded storage bag that’s been updated, as well as marketing and educational resources.

Today’s manufacturers are modernizing their marketing materials to move away from the gender norms and stereotypes that are often reflected in everyday advertising, and embrace different gender identities, sizes and relationships.

According to Schwartz, last fall, Nu Sensuelle launched a rebrand that included sleek new packaging, logo and rainbow brand colors. The new look was meant to accomplish more than simply being easy on the eyes.

“Our rebranding was, and continues to be, a strong effort to promote the inclusivity of our community and empower individuals of all identities,” she said. “During the rebranding, we took a huge step away from gendering our products by name and color, and instead create versatile products catered towards users of all gender identities, sexualities, body types and relationships. Our team is vastly diverse, which allows us to personally understand the needs of a wider audience of users. We identify as different sexualities and gender identities. We come from different backgrounds, ethnicities and practice different religions. Some of us are mothers and fathers, while others of us are freshly out of college and in our 20s. Needless to say, we at Nu Sensuelle believe that every human is deserving of love and pleasure no matter their demographic or lifestyle.”

Offering products that can be enjoyed by all, Aneros aims to be completely neutral with its packaging.

“We stay inclusive by not using any photos of faces, bodies, etc.,” Aldon said. “We only use drawings or graphics to showcase and highlight the internal parts of the body to describe how the products work with the body.”

Kristen Tribby says Fun Factory is paying tribute to the LGBTQ community with new packaging that relates to different lifestyles and demographics.

“We’ve just released special Pride-themed packaging created by a queer artist, Andrea Vollgas, for our rerelease of our Rainbow AMOR dildo,” she said.

To cater to the diverse consumer base that shops at adult retailers, Suzy Contreras says, Nasstoys offers packaging that is a fit for retailers, whether their image is “hard” or “soft.”

“There is a version of Anal Ese and Sta Hard that can be merchandised in either boutique-like retail stores and sites or in hardcore sites and store locations,” she said.

Product Categories to Watch

In addition to air pulse and suction toys being at the peak of their popularity, industry experts also report growing interest in other categories, particularly those targeting men.

“Society has progressed, and we have seen increasing numbers of men interested in issues such as mental health and sexual wellness,” Johanna Rief said. “Because of this, the topic of male masturbation has become less stigmatized and therefore there is growing demand in this category.”

According to Rief, Womanizer and We-Vibe parent company WOW Tech is investing its efforts into expanding the Arcwave portfolio, including with the recent launch of the VOY. VOY targets the Merkel-Ranvier receptors, which are sensory cells in the penis skin, to stimulate them with its Tightness Adjustment System, and can be manually adjusted to create the perfect level of tightness for the user.

Love Not War’s Will Ranscombe also predicts growth for the penis toy category, following in the footsteps of today’s mainstream-friendly toys.

“Vulva toys have been trending and are clearly in the mainstream with female celebrities lining up to endorse brands, but penis toys are still lagging behind and I think this will start to change and grow over the coming years,” he said.

Nasstoys’ Suzy Contreras also highlights the company’s Deelite line of strokers as a current bestseller, noting the line’s range of “skin” tones as being its main appeal.

“More diversity in skin tones has been successful for us, especially in densely populated regions,” she said.

Many attribute consumers’ growing curiosity about pleasure products to the pandemic, which may have also made them open to trying products that they once considered taboo.

“There’s always been this misconception that anal is only for homosexual men, but we’ve actually seen a considerable spike in the populations of women, straight cisgendered men and heterosexual couples partaking in anal play,” Nu Sensuelle’s Lauren Schwartz said. “There’s also a lot more sexual wellness education pertaining to anal play these days. Cis men are learning that their prostates are pleasure centers. We’re teaching users about the importance of lubrication and which lubricants are safe to use. We’re normalizing anal sex in media and in the conversations that we’re having with those around us. I think anal products are going to keep growing in popularity. As a manufacturer, we pay close attention to trending categories when conceptualizing new products. We’ve made a variety of anal products — some for novice users and some for experts, some that are remote-controlled, and others that have roller-motion technology. As consumers continue to explore anal play and get acclimated to the more beginner-friendly toys, they’ll find that there’s a wide selection of products to work their way up to.”

Bathmate, known for its hydro penis pumps that use water pressure to enhance size, stamina and blood flow, is expanding further in the male products category.

“The Prostate Pro is a very powerful prostate vibe,” Bathmate’s Kerri Middleton said. “It’s got three motors in it: one in the tip, one in the core, one in the base. It has a remote control so you can cycle through the different settings. You can turn down the intensity if it’s a bit much or you can turn it back up. It’s completely waterproof, rechargeable and has a really good price … that’s our newest product. But for us, the bestsellers are always going to be the pumps.”

Middleton believes that male toys have become more socially acceptable.

“I think the conversation is more open,” she said. “I think people are more likely to test and try stuff, whereas before, if we asked them about prostate, they were like, ‘no,’” she said. Now, I think that people are a little more health-conscious — and when they understand the health benefits, they are like, ‘Actually, I will give that a go.’"

Pleasure on the Horizon

As a testament to the ever-growing nature of the pleasure products industry, new companies are sprouting up all the time. While some startups are launched by entrepreneurs originating from outside the industry, adult biz veterans also often try new ventures to forge their own success.

Freedom Novelties’ Brian Herbstman said that his company went from seven items to 700 items over the past year and a half.

“We really progressed into acquiring stuff, making some stuff and landing distribution deals,” he said.

The company first acquired distribution of the Snail Vibe, and has now added the German brand Fröhle to its lineup.

“After we had Fröhle, and we launched Snail and Fröhle, we combined forces with Tango Novelties,” Herbstman said. “Tango Novelties has about 300 items of top-selling products in all adult retail. Now we have Eden Novelties, which we own all the molds of these products. Right now, we’re going after products that we feel need a home that there’s a big demand for — and not just online retail, but also in brick-and-mortar retail … Everything from Tango and Eden is FDA-approved.”

Among Freedom Novelties’ lineup is the Otouch line of male masturbators featuring heating, vibration and suction functions, including an oral sex simulation design patent and a stroker with lifelike, skin-realistic vaginal contraction.

Nexstarr is another startup launched just last year by another industry vet.

“We came up with the idea in 2020 during the pandemic, and we launched it, probably, July or August of 2021,” said Jessica Quinn, the company’s president. “The Wild Rose was our first toy. We’ve been in the business a long time, so this isn’t our first rodeo of toys. Sitting in the pandemic, we’re locked down — and we’re thinking, ‘What do I do next? Do we go mainstream? Or do we stay with what we’ve known?’ [My husband] has been in this business for over 30 years, and I’ve been with him almost 20. We figured we’d come up with this and jump in the game. So, this is our startup. We hope to be successful and put out great product for the consumer.”

Among the company’s new releases is a mold of male performer Jessy Jones, who’s previously been a contract star for adult film studios Evil Angel and Brazzers.

“We molded and replicated his penis,” Quinn said. “It’s nine inches. It’s a really well-made, premium PVC penis. Hopefully, it does well with us.”

For the future, Quinn says that she plans to be very hands-on with the products that Nexstarr offers, and only stock products that will fly off retailer shelves.

“I don’t like to have warehouses full of stock that doesn’t move; I’m hoping to have a warehouse full of stuff that moves that people enjoy,” she said.

The passion behind every manufacturer continues to drive today’s latest innovations. While we may have yet to see this year’s next great tech advancement, today’s modern manufacturers are consistently raising the bar with quality that’s setting new standards.

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WIA Profile: Blanca Estrada-Gonzalez

Blanca Estrada-Gonzalez will be the first to tell you that she “drops panties for a living,” and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Though Magic Silk’s star saleswoman once aspired to become a medical doctor, the universe had other plans — and those plans involved jock straps, lacy undies and see-through bedroom wear for all.

Women In Adult ·
profile

N69 Founder Kamila Hrecka Brings Sex Ed, Products to the Polish Market

Come for the Catholic cathedrals, stay for the world-class pleasure expertise! While that may not be an official slogan, there is no denying that modern retail boutique N69 is adding a touch of intimate class to the Polish adult products market.

Colleen Godin ·
profile

Canadian Sexual Wellness Brands Nobü, BodiSpa Reveal Goals for Growth

Today’s most beloved pleasure products often blend the adult and mainstream worlds, marketing their sensual designs in boxes that won’t deter vanilla shoppers — or mainstream retail buyers. Canadian sister brands BodiSpa and Nobü aim to embody this vision, bringing adult fantasies to even the shyest of consumers.

Colleen Godin ·
opinion

How Gen Z Is Reshaping Pleasure Product Marketing

Gen Z is breaking the customer funnel, and it’s exactly what we need. In the past, figuring out customers’ purchasing habits, both in-store and digital, was relatively straightforward. But Gen Z’s priorities are completely different from those of their predecessors, and so are their shopping habits.

Naima Karp ·
opinion

A Look at the Serious Business of Novelties in Retail

Adult retailers put a lot of thought into the products they carry. They want to offer customers high-quality sex toys with the latest technology and features, plus a robust selection of condoms and lubricants — all at competitive prices.

Rebecca Weinberg ·
opinion

Retailer Online Engagement Strategies for Pride Month

Pride month is more than a celebration; it is a platform for advocacy, inclusivity and community empowerment. As we celebrate Pride month in June, therefore, it is essential for the pleasure industry to engage with the queer community by embracing thoughtful digital marketing initiatives that resonate with LGBTQ+ audiences.

Verna Meng ·
opinion

A Deep Dive Into 'Shallowing' Sex Toys

The term “Shallowing” refers to engaging only in shallow penetration of the vagina, and/or stimulating the vaginal opening and the few centimeters inside of it, rather than deeper penetration and trying to stimulate the G-spot or A-spot.

Carly S. ·
opinion

Which Tech Should Retail Businesses Consider Outsourcing?

Since technology is the backbone of almost any retail business nowadays, one of the biggest challenges adult retailers encounter is making sure they have the right technology stack and staff needed to support growth.

Sean Quinn ·
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