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Meet the Up-and-Coming Pleasure Purveyors of 2023

Meet the Up-and-Coming Pleasure Purveyors of 2023

Despite the COVID pandemic, the last few years have seen several new ventures emerge that are poised to disrupt the pleasure products industry with their inventions, creativeness, ingenuity, passion and gumption. There is no stopping these laser-focused trendsetters and inventors whose aim is to shake things up and leave their mark on the personal pleasure world. Just when you think you’ve seen and experienced everything in sexual stimulation, along come new companies driven to realize their own vision of what’s missing in the market, and to bring their ideas to life — and to stores — to satisfy consumers.

Entrepreneurs new to the industry quickly discern the challenges they face, from moving beyond outdated perceptions and assumptions about gender to navigating the ever-changing world of social media. In this special report, they tell us about what they are doing to create innovative products, position their brands and get their ideas in front of future customers.

My biggest milestone was to just get it out there, but the fact that it's selling, and people are reordering is what speaks for itself.

After more than 15 years in the pleasure products industry, veteran adult products developer Rob Reimer recently launched his own company, Demon Kat, with long-time friend Buck Angel.

“We came together to create a brand that was all-accepting and all-encompassing for every gender and sexuality out there,” Reimer said. “Buck and I both feel the world has changed so much over the years we’ve been in the business, regarding body acceptance, gender acceptance and gender fluidity, that it was necessary to come up with a brand to fill that void. Our brand design and packaging are cool retro with very few references to actual body parts, to contribute to the gender-free ideals of our company.”

Women entrepreneurs continue to break glass ceilings by starting pleasure companies in an industry that for decades was dominated by men.

“I wanted to have a voice in the conversations about female empowerment,” shared Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, co-founder of Intimately GG. “I believe we are living in a time where women are more aware of their worth than ever before. And with that comes a lot of women who are single and/or not finding time to be properly fulfilled sexually. Women are now CEOs of companies, they are running entire households, they are constantly doing what needs to be done in order to prevail, and in the midst of all of that, we forget about our own personal needs and desires. With Intimately GG, I wanted to reach out to all of those female CEOs, to the soccer moms, to the single women or simply to the women who want a little more sexual intensity and better orgasms. I wanted to show them that as women, embracing our own sexuality without shame is the same as female empowerment.”

The breadth of products emerging from today’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs cover many traditional spaces in the pleasure products industry, as well as new and creative ones. Kenzie Taylor, founder of the new brand, Feelz by Kenzie, has unique insight when it comes to creating new products in the industry.

“As a woman who works in the adult industry, I’ve never been able to find the perfect products. I wanted to develop products that really work, in a way that’s accessible to everyone,” she shared. “It’s also important to me to make something vegan and cruelty-free. I want all consumers to know what is going in/on their bodies is safe. Taking into consideration that I’m the first adult film star to release my own lubricant and edible elixirs, I think that Feelz by Kenzie will definitely fill a void in the marketplace. I back my products 100%, recognizing not only the quality of the product itself, but the quality of care that goes into creating each item.”

The line includes aphrodisiac elixirs in several flavors and a vegan, water-based lubricant infused with aloe vera, all packaged in clean designs wrapped with bold colors.

After working in the pleasure products industry since 1999, Michelle Liss ventured out on her own last year with the debut of the Maxtasy line of automated strokers.

“It was an opportunity to grow and to learn the ins and outs of creating my own business and a product line,” she said, noting that she enjoys thinking outside the box to market a product for penis owners. “The strokers could be used as a couples’ toy or they can be used by men that want to do their own thing.”

As a seasoned sales executive, Liss has applied her own knowledge plus feedback from industry colleagues to shape Maxtasy into a retail-friendly brand.

“Retailers’ input is extremely important and valuable, so just spending time with them and getting their feedback is essentially how I did my research,” Liss said. “I spent a lot of time in stores talking to the retailers and just seeing what the customers were looking for. I want to offer something that there isn’t a ton of out there and hope I change the game a little bit.”

Catherine Magee, co-founder and chief executive officer of the new company, Playground, took a more scientific approach to the development of her product line.

“Eight out of 10 women struggle with sexual discomfort, pain or arousal issues, yet most existing products focus solely on men’s sex needs or use white-labeled generic formulas that are undifferentiated. We set out to change that,” she explained. “Playground’s proprietary products use biotech formulas and active chemistry-enhancing ingredients that are clinically tested to improve a woman’s sexual pleasure. With six unique, plant-based ingredients and bottles of our lubricants starting at $24, Playground aims to democratize access to high-quality sexual wellness products because we believe sex and sexual health is an essential part of overall wellness for every woman.”

Given the fact that several of the women leading Playground’s charge come from the cosmetics industry, the different formulas of Playground’s lubricants include ingredients that are not often used in the lubricant field, yet are body-friendly and provide the slipperiness consumers look for when using a lube for intimate encounters.

Dr. Dmitry Loktionov, a London-based gynecologist, recognized that there were few options that combined a high-quality, water-based lubricant with the documented benefits of CBD. His newly developed product line is Quanna.

Loktionov described Quanna as a “next-generation sexual wellness company” whose mission is “to reimagine sex and sensation for women without shame or stigma.”

Also noting the staggering number of women not enjoying sex, Loktionov said the company was founded with the goal of formulating a product line “that cares, with clean ingredients and that is backed by gynecologists.”

Personal Fav was founded in 2022 by friends Hannah Hutton and Stephanie Elias, who shared insights about why they started their company.

“We launched Personal Fav Co. in the adult channel starting in March of 2022 with Pique, our first product, which is our CBD pleasure oil,” Hutton said. “We noticed parallels between the cannabis and sexual wellness world and decided to take a risk by launching this product as an extension of our product line. Sexual wellness and cannabis are both considered ‘taboo’ markets; however, we view this as a welcome challenge. We use full-spectrum CBD in Pique that stimulates blood flow to sensitive areas as it calms, soothes, and intensifies arousal and orgasm! Pique is an amazing product for vulva owners, anyone who masturbates and for fans of anal sex.”

Product development in the pleasure industry is a process of constant innovation and reinvention based on real-life needs and circumstances.

Kevin Letterick, creator of Shower Jelly, developed his product to address a growing need for couples’ intimacy.

“Shower Jelly Shop was developed as an answer to social isolation and increased loneliness following the COVID-19 pandemic, to bring couples together,” Letterrick said. “Data shows that showering together increases intimacy more than lying in bed together and cuddling. We searched for products in the marketplace for couples who want a fun way to spend quality time together or perhaps are looking for a less intimidating entry purchase. We visited many different adult stores and none of them offered a fun, modern, brightly packaged, sharable foreplay product. Our shower jelly soaps have a luxuriant feel and intoxicating scents that provide a unique sensory experience for couples to enjoy together.”

As the name implies, Shower Jelly is a gel-based soap that slowly dissolves as it releases its sensual scents in water. Each container supplies at least three wet sessions of slippery soapiness, with all-natural, cruelty-free and vegan formulas available.

Two new startup companies have launched to address erectile health for penis owners.

Jeff Bennett, the CEO and founder of Morari, shared what drove him to develop a product that combined his scientific background with his interest in making the world a better place for men.

“I have over 20 years of experience in medical device marketing and in one of my early roles, I managed an implantable neurostimulation product, which utilized electrical energy to manage chronic pain,” Bennett recounted. “This is where I became exposed to the use of electrical energy to treat medical conditions.

“In a later role, I worked for a company that developed and sold various urology products. In that role, I became exposed to the field of sexual medicine and some of the many unmet needs that exist. During this time, I learned that 30% of men suffer from premature ejaculation. Even though this is a large percentage of men, I realized there are extremely few options available to delay an ejaculation and I was inspired to come up with the idea of some type of wearable patch. Due to this void in the sexual health marketplace, I decided to quit my job in the medical device industry and form Morari.”

The Morari patch, Bennett explained, is placed on the perineum — the area between scrotum and anus — and shoots electrical pulses that feel like internal vibrations.

“They don't hurt, but they ‘confuse’ the nervous system, reducing feelings of stimulation — and ideally making you last longer,” Bennett added. “When the time is right, the device is activated by touching a spot on the ‘Band-Aid,’ or by clicking an app button on your phone. A light sensation is felt that doesn’t interfere with sex but confuses nerves responsible for carrying the signals from the penis to the spinal cord and brain, and those from the spinal cord to the prostatic urethral muscles that cause contraction and ejaculation.”

If the concept sounds familiar in the adult industry, it is because the stimulation pathways are similar to other devices used primarily for electrostim play, although Morari takes it one step further to the general audience of those who may be experiencing ED.

“Our product uses the basic principles of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which uses electrical energy to inhibit nerve activity,” Bennett said. “We are not shocking the penis or balls, rather providing electrical stimulation, which is not painful.”

Also furthering the availability of products to address penile health is Elliot Justin, M.D., CEO and founder of FirmTech, and creator of a new device that combines several technologies.

“In this age of healthcare wearables, rings and watches, it’s time for the first smart under-wearable,” Justin said. “What do men care more about: the number of steps that they took yesterday or their performance and erectile health? Men need the equivalent of an EKG/stress test for their sexual health that can be used regularly and comfortably in privacy and without appointments and prescriptions.”

Describing the technology behind FirmTech, he added, “We embedded sensors into an advanced, ultra-comfortable erection ring which graphs during sex the duration of erections, firmness and force of ejaculation, and worn overnight, the number of nocturnal erections that indicate vascular health and the impact of medications, supplements and alcohol. These parameters are the vital signs of every man’s most vital organ. I’m proud to say there is nothing like FirmTech on the market.”

The recent winter edition of XBIZ Retreat unearthed another innovation in sex enhancement with Matrix Mixology developing topical products that promise instant results.

“We are actually delivering instant erections,” said co-founder Rick Magana. “Instant erections. So, no more pills. No Viagra, Cialis, etc. There are a million pills out there, right? And they come with a lot of side effects. That’s a prescription; we’re over the counter. Technically, our delivery system is medical-grade products. But our ingredients are all natural. So what we deliver is really second to none. That’s why everybody loves our product. Instant arousal. Everything we do for men, we do for women.”

Among Matrix Mixology’s offerings is the Excel, which Magana says can lead to a permanently larger penis. The company’s vaginal tightening formula, Encore, is said to promote rejuvenation.

“The less invasive ingredients you use, the healthier it is for you,” Magana added.

Dr. Otika, a former wound care specialist, developed Matrix’s topical formulations. After creating a medicine that worked particularly well, he considered potential sexier uses.

“Because I was getting incredible results and I’m a kinky guy, I was like, ‘OK, if I have this delivery system, and it gets these incredible results over here — what if I added some other ingredients?” he said. “That was December of 2014. I mixed my delivery system with some herbs for male sexual arousal. I used it, and it worked. I met Rick like four years ago, and we created this business. So that’s the background. Our technology is patented.”

Today’s up-and-coming brands are not all based on new tech or ingenious combinations of ingredients. Good, old-fashioned reading was the inspiration for founder Melissa Saavedra when she launched Steamy Lit. She shared why she started her unique business.

“I have always loved romance novels, but it was during the pandemic in 2020 that I really got invested in the genre,” Saavedra recalled. “While we were all at home during lockdown, I found myself turning more and more to a variety of romance titles and with each book I’d finish, I would find myself wanting to have conversations with other like-minded readers and connect with other fans of the genre. I then casually mentioned to a friend about how someone should create a service that provided people with both romance books and sex toys to enjoy together, to which she replied, ‘You should do it!’ and as they say, the rest is history.”

As with any of our intrepid entrepreneurs, Saavedra decided to address what she felt was missing on the literary side of the pleasure products world.

“In terms of filling a void in the market, I don’t think it’s news to anyone that the publishing world is very white, and this was something that was really highlighted to me when I was searching for my own books to read,” she said. “While there are, of course, many great white authors who I love in the romance community, truth be told, I just really wanted to read books that were about people and by people who looked like me. However, the more I searched for books by these authors, the more it became apparent just how unrepresented this demographic, and many other historically marginalized groups, were in the publishing world. With that in mind, I wanted to create a platform that would not only break assumptions and stigmas about female pleasure and sexual wellness as a whole, but would also allow me to be intentional about offering a platform to the many underrepresented authors and help them to amplify their much-deserving work.”

Many companies launched over the past few years have experienced challenges related not only to entering the adult marketplace, but also to starting up their businesses in the shadow of COVID. Yet these entrepreneurs have faced both kinds of challenges head-on and are continuing to overcome hurdles one at a time.

Rob Reimer and Buck Angel’s Demon Kat is one of the newer companies we spoke with, and their experiences reflect those of several other new companies as well.

“As for challenges, when you create products, there’s the expense of each and every mold that’s needed to make your idea come to life,” Reimer said. “If anyone reading knows those startup costs, they’ll know what I mean. The good news is that we have a good source of seed funding and since the orders are coming in fast and furious, we should be all set for the future.”

According to Playground’s Catherine Magee, consumers lack knowledge about personal care products.

“There is a lot of misinformation around what products are safe, high-quality and approved for intravaginal use and during intercourse,” she said. “We understand the importance of educating women about lube and overall sexual wellness. The vagina is the most absorbent and sensitive area of a woman’s entire body, so it’s critical that women get the information they need to make informed decisions around the products they use, especially the ones that go inside their body.”

As with many products created for use either internally or externally, one of Shower Jelly’s main issues was coming up with exactly the right way to deliver the company’s unique invention.

“Once we decided on shower jelly soap as a product, it took us 18 months to work with different detergents, gelling agents, scents and colors to develop the final product, so it was definitely challenging getting the ideal formulation,” Letterick shared. “We worked very hard to create packaging that conveys our message and stands out on shelves amid brands with a long-standing history.”

At Steamy Lit, the obstacles were more about people’s beliefs and assumptions.

“We offer products and a service that is often seen as ‘too much’ simply because we are unapologetically open about diversity, sexuality, preferences and pleasure,” Saavedra said. “So often when it comes to the mainstream, there are still so many people with a level of unconscious bias towards these topics. It can be seen as a taboo and so some of our biggest challenges include shifting people’s mindsets and actually being able to use the media, both traditional and social, to let people know that we exist.”

Justin explained that FirmTech has experienced the typical challenges that other technology companies face, including application glitches and subsequent updates, smart sensor failure and structural redesigns to increase both pleasure and comfort for wearers. On top of that, the shame associated with sexual wellness also creates an obstacle.

“A challenge has been breaking through the stigma when marketing our rings, of talking about men’s, especially straight men’s, erectile health, and ED,” he said. “Men can be too proud to know what will make their sexual performance better. Also, we are providing data that has until now not been obtainable. Men and many doctors are ignorant or lacking in awareness of what we have accomplished.”

Jeff Bennett expounded on an ongoing challenge that many companies currently face, whether they are new or well established, when it comes to expanding the public’s awareness about their products and brands.

“Like many other sextech companies, we have been challenged in getting social media ads approved to include using social media as a platform to recruit volunteers for our studies. This has required us to be creative and find other channels for advertising, such as running radio ads, which were successful.”

Of course, financing a new company poses unique hurdles to overcome. Bennett continued, “The other challenge has been fundraising. We have been fortunate to have investment support from friends, family and angel investors but despite many attempts to raise money from venture capital firms, we have not had success yet. Many VC firms don’t invest in ‘vice’ businesses, lack sextech experience or want to see revenue traction before investing. An early mentor informed me that 100% of my job as CEO is raising money and 50% of my job is running the business. This early guidance has helped me in managing the highs and lows of fundraising.”

Quanna faced similar restrictions since one of the main ingredients is CBD, Dmitry Loktionov noted.

“The main challenge is advertising restrictions on our categories, which is sexual wellness and CBD,” he said. “Both categories are restricted from advertising on Facebook/Meta and Instagram. We had multiple accounts blocked, even the ones that we were not selling from, but just promoting education and conversation on sexual wellness topics.”

With CBD as an ingredient in their Personal Fav products, Elias and Hutton encountered the same frustrations.

“CBD regulations are tricky, and certain retailers choose not to carry products containing this misunderstood ingredient,” Elias said. “It has been challenging, but also a terrific opportunity to educate people on this powerful, magical plant. We tap into all sorts of experts to write for our blog regarding CBD and pleasure, to diffuse stigma and shift the narrative to a more empowering manner. We are hopeful that retailers will be more open to carrying Pique in the near term, and that the scrutiny lessens around CBD and its uses.”

The mainstreaming of cannabis products has led to the rise of their use in pleasure products, including the recently unveiled world’s first vape aphrodisiac, Nuud. All-natural, hemp-based, nicotine- and tobacco-free, Nuud features the company’s patent-pending blend of natural extracts.

“The natural ingredients come together to give mind and body sensations during sex to give the ultimate experience,” Nuud owner Ethan Barak said. “It’s been an amazing journey. We launched about four months ago. We call it a vape aphrodisiac, vapor aphrodisiac. The reactions we have gotten have just been incredible. People take all these pills, and these pills have a lot of shit in them, excuse my French. And pills take between 45 minutes and 60 minutes to start working. And hemp or weed has been a natural aphrodisiac already, so we decided to spice it up a little bit more, and add a little bit more of a bodily effect as well.”

According to Barak, Nuud vapes take about five to 10 minutes to take effect, and unlike sex enhancement supplements, partners can vape together.

“Usually a guy takes the pill, and there’s not really female sexual wellness products on the market per se. A bare minimum. So we’ve decided to cater flavors for her and flavors for him,”

Barak said. “It plays on the pheromones. So, we have vanilla lavender for her, citrus peppermint for him. And now we’re coming out with strawberry basil passion fruit for her and watermelon mint for him. We’re coming out with four more flavors this coming week. We have gummies and a whole bunch of other stuff coming out. They’re all going to be aphrodisiacs. It’s going to be, God willing, the brand for pleasure and wellness on multiple different categories.”

Considering the orgasm gap reported among women in general, Barak says Nuud is receiving positive feedback from this target demographic.

“Women have claimed to experience being clear of mind during sex, which is a very big thing for women,” he said. “Women tend to have a billion things on their mind at all times, and concentration during sex is a very complicated thing for them. And they’ve claimed to experience severe lubrication. Some of the girls in my office, their boyfriends have told them they can tell when they smoke and when they don’t. It’s been insane. And then, men have experienced being more at attention during the moment and much firmer. We have to be careful what claims we make, as a company, because we fall under severe regulations. We’re under sex products, smoke products and hemp products. So we don’t make any claims, but thank God our testimonials speak for themselves.”

Play by Viola is a new pleasure products collection that was founded as a “cannabis-influence-based” brand by NBS veteran Al Harrington and his wife Michelle. The new collection is billed as the first toy brand to use copper-infused silicone. The unique material is described has having high ductility, malleability, thermal and electrical conductivity, and resistance to corrosion to ensure longer-lasting products. Viola, the Harringtons’ flagship cannabis brand, has made a name for itself as a lifestyle brand, which company rep Ryan McCrobie believes will also translate into the pleasure products line.

“They’re focused on a social media explosion growth system based on minor and mega celebrities and just a waterfall influence system that just kind of creates like an ecosystem,” McCrobie said. “He created this cannabis brand. He had to do all the ground-level learning, all the legal stuff. His brand is very accessible as far as diversity. So, what he’s tapped into in the cannabis market is how to sell based on the experience. And it’s something that we’ve coveted in adult; some people can do it, but you’ve got to be really in that mindset. They reach everybody where they’re at with a product.”

Describing the up-and-coming product line as “disruptive,” McCrobie said Play by Viola is going to offer Bluetooth-enabled products, CBD-infused lubricants and more. Similar to the in-store events that Viola has hosted inside dispensaries, Play by Viola plans to host branded events in adult stores.

Milestone Moments

This year’s brands to watch are making their way onto retail shelves, and that alone is a proud accomplishment.

“Since launching in May 2021, it’s been amazing to see the overwhelming response regarding the positive impact from Playground’s lineup of personal lubricants,” Magee said. “It’s incredible to see that women are embracing the dialogue around sex, sexual experiences and sexual health. By speaking openly and sharing feedback, we can further catalyze conversations that are vital to women’s health and wellness.”

Although Steamy Lit has received positive reviews from customers, Saavedra says, the company is not interested in resting on its laurels, but is always keen for feedback to see how the company can improve. This method of operation appears to be working for Steamy Lit, which also plans to give back based on its success.

“At Steamy Lit, we donate 5% of the proceeds from each of our subscription boxes to nonprofit organizations that we really care about who are doing some great work with communities in need,” Saavedra said. “This past year, we were able to double the amount of money we donated from the previous year, and this was something we are extremely proud of and something that we’re so grateful that we were able to do.”

Bennett said that one of Morari’s proudest moments so far has been coming up with branding and the product name Mor. The launch has also given him a feeling of pride on a more personal level.

“I would say the proudest milestone was having the courage to step out and be vulnerable to any criticism of starting and leading a sextech company,” he said. “While working on my undergraduate and MBA degree, I did not have a goal of being a sextech CEO. It took me a while to get comfortable with how I tell my wife, family, friends and business colleagues that this is what I want to do next in my career. Since making the decision, I have received nothing but positive support as we work to improve sexual health and wellness for millions of couples worldwide. It’s been such an awesome experience so far that I truly wish I would have done it years earlier.”

The payoff for taking that vulnerable step into the sextech industry has been an encouraging degree of mainstream visibility.

“The response to what we are working on has exceeded all expectations,” Bennett said. “When the Consumer Electronics Show allowed sextech companies to exhibit, we signed up with just a product concept. To our surprise, we received significant media attention and articles in global leading publications. Last year, the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ show spent over one minute in the monologue talking about our product, making fun of me and acknowledging that early ejaculation is an issue for many men. While all of the PR is great, the unsolicited messages I have received from men around the world, asking how they can get the product or be a testing volunteer, have been very inspirational. The stories these men have shared on how early ejaculation is impacting their relationship are the motivation driving me and the company forward each day.”

According to Justin, FirmTech’s greatest milestones last year involved groundbreaking data.

“The most exciting event was in February 2022 when we first visualized, in a graph, nocturnal erections and the duration and firmness of all erections,” Justin said. “Others have worked on achieving this for over a decade and we succeeded! Almost as important and consequent to the need to collect data overnight or during active sex was our fresh cock ring form. It is uniquely effective, comfortable and safe. Say goodbye to tight, uncomfortable and time-limited silicone cock rings. Finally, launching at the American Urology Association’s annual meeting in May 2022 was the satisfying culmination of hours of time, research and financial investment by myself and our team of bioengineers and urologists.”

FirmTech’s Tech Ring is being embraced by urologists, sexologists and customers as a critical tool for assessing and sustaining erectile fitness.

“For both our Tech and Performance Rings, our patented loop-and-hook design and soft elastomer body has been broadly appreciated,” Justin said. “Many customers relate that our rings are the best they’ve tried. By using the data, men are changing medications, diet, supplements and their use of recreational drugs and alcohol. As our database of users grows, we will be able to help men of all ages and conditions better sustain their sexual pleasure and address any difficulties.”

For the Maxtasy line, Michelle Liss says the proof is in the pudding when it comes to its success.

“My biggest milestone was to just get it out there, but the fact that it's selling, and people are reordering is what speaks for itself,” Liss said. “I still have a long way to go. I really need to market more, but you know when you’re just starting, you have to be careful about marketing money, so essentially, I've hit the ground running on my own and I'm just trying to get it into as many stores as possible.”

Quanna’s proudest moments in 2022 included getting picked up by luxury retailers such as Sephora and being named World’s Best CBD Sexual Wellness Brand award and Best Lube for Vaginal Health by The Independent. The response from consumers also has been positive.

“So far everyone loves the product and the branding,” Loktionov said. “They feel more empowered holding our lube bottle and don’t feel ashamed. We have managed to change the sex lives of a few women who used to find other products were causing a lot of problems. Retailers love the feel and look of the product — and they love our sales.”

Goals Ahead

Now that these pleasure brands have gone from up-and-coming to up and running, their sights are set on growth and expansion.

According to Saavedra, in 2023 Steamy Lit aims to double its subscribers and with that, also its donations to the nonprofits that it supports.

“It’s therefore our goal to reach over $10,000 in donations in 2023,” she said. “We hope to also partner with more great authors in 2023, to introduce more special-edition book covers to our subscribers. In August 2023 we are hosting our first-ever ‘Steamy Lit Con’ in Anaheim, California and we’d also love to completely sell out the 2,000 tickets that are available for the convention.”

Bennett said that Morari will launch its first product this year and will be generating revenue by the end of the calendar year.

“To accomplish this, we will complete formal development, perform safety testing to satisfy regulatory requirements, submit for and gain FDA approval to sell our product,” Bennett said. “We also plan to expand our team to include expertise in consumer goods.”

As FirmTech is less than a year old, Justin says the company’s plan is to continue to grow the brand and help more men enhance their health and sex lives. The company also plans to release a female-focused device later this year.

“This year will also see the publication of several academic studies by urologists on how to use the Tech Ring in the evaluation and treatment of ED,” Justin added.

In 2023, Quanna will release four new products as it continues to expand into retailers throughout the U.K. Feelz by Kenzie also has adult retail on the brain.

“My goal for 2023 is to be in the adult retail side of things all throughout the country — to be distributed nationally. Lastly, to launch even more items to our product line. There’s always room for improvement and growth. I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!”

Despite only having ventured into the pleasure products industry not too long ago, Gharachedaghi says she’s learned a lot already and has developed a newfound respect for the business and what it can produce for its eager consumers.

“Until the end of time, we will continue to have sexual needs and desires, so I would love to continue to evolve with my consumers and continue to provide them with high-quality products that satisfy them,” she said. “I've been thinking of expanding Intimately GG by adding lingerie/intimate wear that can help women feel sexy and empowered. Lingerie can often make some women feel insecure since we don't match the size 0 models that wear them in magazines or social media pictures. It shouldn't be that way. I want all women to feel sexy in their intimate wear. So, we'll see... hopefully I can make it happen and I'll satisfy women the way I have been so far with my Intimately GG toys.”

In the coming year, Liss said, retailers can expect strokers with new functions from Maxtasy. Upcoming releases will also include styles equipped with a remote control.

“For this year, my goal is to be on everybody's top 10 of sellers and just to knock it out of the park,” Liss said.

She also shared her predictions for the pleasure products industry in general, and the continuing development of sextech.

“I think this industry is just going to keep evolving and getting better and better,” she said. “All these companies are going to keep coming out with new and innovative products to keep making people smile and feel good.”

Similarly, many other owners of up-and-coming brands also shared a positive outlook for the future of the industry as the acceptance for pleasure products grows.

“I predict that as an industry we will continue to make headway in the area of openness,” Saavedra said. “We’ve watched the sexual wellness world move more into the mainstream across 2021-2022 and I believe this is something that is going to continue as we keep breaking stigmas and have open conversations. Roll on, 2023!”

As pleasure products become destigmatized, Justin predicts, we will continue to see them become more readily accessible — and hopefully backed by science — and increased conversations about the importance of pleasure in our daily lives.

“I hope people will continue to see pleasure products as an enhancement, rather than a crutch or something to be ashamed of,” he said. “I would also like to wish my fellow adult retailers a fit — and firm — 2023!”

Given the advertising barriers that exist with social media, Bennett predicts that the industry will continue to search for and leverage influencers to drive awareness of sextech products and services.

“In turn, this may reduce the need for formal social media advertising,” he explains. “I think the industry will also try to merge the messaging of toys with that of wellness or enhancement products, or at least I hope this is the case. When companies speak about ‘toys,’ I think they are doing the industry a disservice, as the products are much more than a toy. In many cases, they help improve the overall quality of life in relationships and individual mental health. I hope that the next few years allow a more open conversation in the industry and a more open conversation between couples.”

It seems that these new startup pleasure products companies are looking forward to 2023 — and if their early days are any indication of their future success, they all have years of continued growth ahead of them. May they continue to be embraced by distributors, retailers and, most of all, consumers, to make healthier and happier sex lives.

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Leading a small-to-midsize adult retail business is exhilarating, yet daunting. Among the gazillion decisions you have to make, choosing the right point-of-sale (POS) system is one of the biggies. Whether you’re just setting up shop or expanding your store footprint, your POS system is the functional backbone of your operations.

Sean Quinn ·
profile

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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