Feb 232011
 

About a month ago one of my ex-coworkers that I’m still friends with asked me to come along with her to her friend’s sex toy party. This friend, N, is one of very few that knows a little bit about my open relationship status but knows nothing about my blogging life. At first my text response was a simple “thanks, but no” and she pressed, insisting it’s just fun. When I said that I think most of the stuff is either unsafe/cheap crap and/or drastically overpriced and that I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, she asked how many I’d been to. In her own ways N is a little bit more liberal than most of my coworker friends but still isn’t to my level of acceptance. Still, I took a deep breath and admitted that I review sex toys for a website. She laughed, seemed surprised but not freaked out, and said she wanted to hear some details some time. We’ve talked/gotten together once since, and she didn’t bring it up so I haven’t either.

A post today by Crista.Ann got me talking about why I love reviewing toys: to help people buy a better sex toy. I lamented that there’s no quality sex toy shops around either here or CT and that I’d never do one of the sex toy parties for the reasons I refused to attend N’s friend’s party.

Then I started thinking.

Do I have to be a true and certified sex educator to have sex toy education parties in my own home?

If I could … how the hell would I get people to come? I mean seriously, how the fuck do you market that?

I have a DREAM….that one day…I’ll have a houseful of open-minded sex-toy-virgins for me to help. Picture it:

I’d have on display a whole bunch of toys and talk about the ones I have. I’d talk about phthalates and why it’s bad and how to look out for it. I’d show off my Nobessence and Njoy so that they can see the joy of these materials. Ooohh ooo! I could do handouts of the posts I’ve written about phthalates and vibrators!! They could look at the toys I have in person. I’d also have all of our computers (yeah, 2 geeks, we have a lot) set up in the party area for the women to be able to browse online retailers. I can teach them how to look for reviews, and how to navigate the sites, and which sites are good. And when they want to buy, if for any reason they are fearful of having it sent to their house, I can be the delivery site where they pick it up from like Girl Scout Cookies. !!!!

But how the FUCK would I get people there. Where and how would I advertise this? It’s not like I could post up fliers in grocery stores.

I’m feeling terribly excited by the idea but already very daunted by the details of making it come together. I wish. I dream. I hope. Maybe someday.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm
  • http://www.pinksexgeek.com Crista.Anne

    As I said in response to your comment I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT SEX TOY PARTY COMPANIES!!!11!!1

    What you’re describing was what Love U was. It was amazing. We had GOOD, HIGH QUALITY!!!! toys at decently reasonable prices considering the Home Party Format is always going to have an extra markup. We had a fuckton of education as Ducky DooLittle was President and a number of Big Name Sex Educators were consultants.

    The sad fact of the matter is that, overall, the sex toy buying public and home party people were just not ready for us. I cried like a little kid with a skinned knee when they had to close up, but they were just losing too much money to keep going.

    I have a fuckton more to say on the matter, but again, I’d rather do it on Email or IM. *nods*

  • http://www.dustbunnyinthewind.com nitebyrd

    I don’t have a clue as to how you’d go about it but word of mouth and the internet are powerful tools.

    As a former “Toy Party” salesperson, I can tell you first hand that the toys are terrible, overpriced and the training is only to get you to buy more and sell more. Education about the toys, what they are made of, the lotions, creams, etc is damn near nil. As I became more aware of sex toys, mainly through reading blogs, I knew that selling this stuff was not for me.

    Buying quality products AND getting quality information would be priceless.

  • http://duskinchains.wordpress.com Dusk

    You know, I think advertising would be difficult but not impossible. If you start ahead of time, you could utilize craigslist or ask local physicians in your town if you could post a flyer in their office. That way your material isnt completely out of place (since it’s health related)! You could probably also ask Planned Parenthood if they would let you post flyers there.

    ~ Hmm yeah. Craigslist is possible but I kinda fear it would bring in too many men looking for demonstrations or something. I would hope planned parenthood would be open to that, we’ll see.

  • R

    I’d say most of the younger generation are buying their first sex toys early to mid-twenties and would love to have more information from someone like you. If there’s a local college or university around why not advertise there? Women’s unions, sexual health groups, or queer positivity groups tend to be very sex-positive and would no doubt advertise for you.

    ~ That is a really valid idea. I’d have to concentrate on local small colleges though, bc all of the bigger CT colleges have the very wonderful Megan Andelloux doing sex education seminars, and she’s actually a real educator (ohmegan.com).
    And actually, I’d say that women of all ages can be new to sex toys but not just new to them overall, but require info. Women a little older than me are not probably very accustomed to anything much else than plastic and jelly rubber. Silicone, glass, wood, etc are more recent in a way.

  • http://joker-satx.livejournal.com/ Joker_SATX

    I do…I would be able to market this in a heartbeat. And it’s easier today than ever because you could do it over the web. Depending on how expansive you would want your company to become, I can see you being the foremost toy reviewer where companies would line up to get your certification on their product line, and you would be touring the country…one hotel ball room full of women at a time…..

    I am dead serious…

  • Surreal227

    I have to admit, one of the first things I was stuck on when I tripped over your blog is how awful some of these materials are for you. I immediately started searching what my toys were made of and was replacing them as fast as I could. I think in home sex toy education would be awesome. And the idea of having computers setup so they can see all their choices is brilliant. You have something here… I hope you continue looking into it!

  • http://lusciouslily.blogspot.com Luscious Lily

    This would be so amazingly awesome, even if it was a once-in-a-while, word-of-mouth thing instead of a company. I wish there’d been something like that to come to my college dorm when I was first getting interested in toys – I’d NEVER have bought that jelly crap if I’d had any idea of how awful it was. If, miraculously, this ever gets off the ground in any way, shape, or form, keep us updated! Even if it’s just to ponder ideas. :)

  • http://www.nocturnalchat.blogspot.com Black Pearl

    if you think it, you can achieve it!!! I’ve been wanting to throw a few myself…we’ll see who gets their dream first…I’m betting on you!!

  • emme0704

    You could totally do this! Esp using your internet savvy skills to get the word out. I also love the college campus idea as well. I’ve been to the ‘other’ sex toy parties and they are super fun – even if the products are sucky. So make them just as fun and sell quality/safe products and it’s WIN/WIN!

  • Riff Dog

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall at one of these parties. Which is why I guess you don’t want guys like me coming to these parties!

    In Los Angeles, they have something called “The Learning Annex,” which is a bunch of independent type “classes” on all sorts of things like ceramics or yoga or whatever. I believe some of these classes are sex oriented. If there’s something similar where you live, I imagine they list your “class” for free, then you give them a cut of the “tuition.”

    Hmmm . . . I just realized people have to pay to attend these classes, so that might might not work for a sales party. Then again, it still might attract women who do want to be educated. There are a ton of people out there who have lead very conservative lives and are itching to branch out.

    ~ well the point isn’t to be a sales party, really. It’s to educate. It’s like a workshop, I guess.

  • Derek Brown

    You made the comment “the stuff is either unsafe/cheap crap and/or drastically overpriced” So I would like to ask you to take a peek at the new http://www.IntimateTickles, Where they take great pride in their selection of female safe, quality material, safe material sex toys at good prices. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

  • http://www.dangerouslilly.com/ Dangerous Lilly

    WOW. So, fine. I looked. It took me about 30 seconds to find my first “Are you KIDDING ME?!?”.

    Your company (if your email address is intimate.tickles@gmail, I’m going to assume this is an advertisement not just a random reader) is renaming, obliterating the brand, on an OVO K2 rabbit found here (http://shop.intimatetickles.com/product/deepest-desire-k2 ) and then charges a whopping $85 for it. At SheVibe it’s $46 (http://www.shevibe.com/ovo-k2-silicone-multi-speed-rabbit-style-vibrator.aspx#oid=1011_2). Your store sells the Tantus Curve for $100!!!! SheVibe sells it for $49.99 (http://www.shevibe.com/Curve-Dildo-by-Tantus.aspx#oid=1011_2). You sell the We-Vibe Tango for a disgusting $129 and SheVibe sells it for the realistic $79 (http://www.shevibe.com/we-vibe-tango-waterproof-discreet-vibrator-blue.aspx#oid=1011_2).

    Your prices are sky high and on some brands you cover up the brand name and rename it, so that people won’t know how badly you’re price-gouging them. These prices are shameful. THESE PRICES and the low selection is EXACTLY why I hate most home sex toy parties. So yes, my comment of “drastically overpriced” stands firm here. I’m not sure how you thought this could go any other way.

  • Derek Brown

    Nice. Okay. There is a lot of work to do. Thank you for you honest assessment. I really just wanted a subjective look, and you provide that for me. I am going to have to search out the issues of rebranding though, because this is something I do not want happening. I know some items were given “cute” names in their title, but in the description are named out. If this is not the case it will be changed. Thanks for pointing things out. Peace.

  • Derek Brown

    We are new to this in the sense of owning the business ourselves. We were with another in home party plan. Their products, we felt, were lame and Disney. We are very serious about customer service, product knowledge, product quality, and training.

    We did MAD research on prices within the other companies. She feels that our prices are $2 +/- the other companies. Obviously, you will always be able to go to the source or another sex toy website and purchase items MUCH cheaper. SheVibe is a retail store. There is no romance company that is going to be able to come down to that and survive. It’s just the nature of the business.

    We do NOT rename products, however, we allowed some of our consultants to name some products that had labels such as OVO D4, K1, K2 to give them more “vibrant” names. However, you look at the tags, or shop by brand – you will find them in the OVO category and brand.

    Still – we feel we come to the marketing with some advantages. 1st – our consultants receive a True domain with which to market with, as opposed to a replicate. We train them to fully customize and optimize that site to be visible in their local area. Next, Ginny really did a MAD research for our products. She made sure that there were female safe, quality materials, not just “the trend of the month”, and from companies that back their products. Finally, we put heavy emphasis on customer service, product quality, and training.