After my recent review of an atrocious Lovehoney product, the Rockbox Finger, quite a few people exclaimed “Oh! That was the pumpkin-knife design!” so I knew I had to watch the short series on Netflix. While I watched I took notes of my reactions to various things. All episodes have one or two situations they’re dealing with but heavily pad the footage by showing the customer service gals on the phone or checking in with the returns department.
Frisky Business, Episode 1:
Well, it’s 3 minutes into the first episode and I’ve already spied more porous sex toys than I ever care to see for a lifetime. Sadface! Seeing the Sqweel in “action” for the first time; it looks fucking terrifying. A warp-speed wheel of slapping little tongues? How does that simulate actual oral sex?
We’re introduced to the returns department! Wow. “Upwards of 200 products are returned every day”. We’re shown the things people are returning. Roy seems like he’d be awesome to work with.
This is interesting – If a box of toys comes in and it’s ripped (the packaging? the shipping box? they’re not clear) then the contents get gathered up and the staff gets to take home whatever they want. Rejects from the staff box that have hung around a few weeks get taken to a local charity shop. As they are saying this, the camera pans to a bunch of pocket pussies. That would be a damn interesting thrift store.
HERE IT IS! THE FINGER! Oh my god. They weren’t kidding. The inventor basically stuck a Wet For Her brand Two Finger Extender Sleeve on a pumpkin carving blade. Lovehoney Owner Neal is shown numerous times taking it around to female employees to get their opinion. Somehow, the prototype seems to be less noisy than the real version. Many ladies say that it seems like they’re on the right track, with some changes. Some say that it’s a bit much at first; Neal tells them confidently that “it’ll be adjustable so you can start slowly”. I guess that bit of logic was trashed!
Next they show former Lelo founder Eric Kalen looking at the design, and it’s a second, more refined prototype. Every valid suggestion that the ladies in the office give is shot down for design reasons. At this point, the button isn’t on the very end like the final design, but close to it. One gal shows how she would hold it and says that the button would do better if it were closer to the insertable part, but Eric shows that there’s 4 batteries and clearly, no room for a well-thought-out button placement. Several people, even Neal, raise the point about the extreme noise being a negative to which Eric replies that it’s “part of the experience”. Shade is thrown, side-eyes are flying. It really seems that the final product is so much worse than even the prototypes.
Nobody discussed the pinching factor on camera, and it almost seems like it’s less of an issue with the prototypes. The battery cap on the prototypes is different, and seems to be easy to use. So with all the talk about “yes, we’ll change that” and whatnot, I can actually see why people would pre-order this atrocity after seeing the show. It is absolutely shameful that the final product made it out the door as it is.
Frisky Business, Episode 2:
We see a lot of Annabelle Knight, their product video review personality, in this episode. There’s a part where she’s showing off half a dozen or so low-quality, porous dildos. They’re prepping to do demonstration videos for them. Annabelle says that she normally does video for the luxury toys but is branching out. The look of despair tinged with what I imagine to be disgust and resignation, as she looks at the small pile of disgusting dildos really tells me all I need to know. I like her.
Also in this episode they are choosing the winner of the latest Design competition. During the final round-table meeting, we are introduced to Eric Kalen again and Tracey Cox a “sexpert” who has her own line of sex toys via Lovehoney. During the description of a toy that is meant for the g-spot she is explaining what it’s meant to do, to the camera, and then says “IF the g-spot even exists”.
Frisky Business, Episode 3:
Nothing special to note, really. A trade show, some Betty Page stuff. More customer service and returns dept peeks which is clearly how every episode will go. I’m wondering how I’ll get through all 6 episodes. My desire to watch is flagging.
Frisk Business, Episode 4:
We get to see them setting up Lovehoney Australia. In order to see how they should market, I guess, there have been polls on what each region of Australia likes. Results for Brisbane – Anal Ease. Anal Ease?!?! REALLY???? Nooooo please no! Australia, just say no to Anal Ease!!
Frisky Business, Episode 5:
Coco de Mer – I somehow had no idea the two were related! Coco de Mer is their “upscale” boutique shop in the heart of London, looks like. They only carry the luxury toys; they definitely carry all of the overpriced Lelo Special Edition toys. Here one of the shop runners is showing Shiri Zinn glass dildos and talking about temperature play – they suggest putting it in the microwave. Um……no. Absolutely not. For one, that’s dangerous to the user and for two, these Shiri Zinn dildos are the silly ones with rhinestones and metal glued to them. She may have also recommended the freezer for the cold aspect, I’m not sure. I was too horrified by the microwave comment to pay attention anymore.
And another “high end” spin-off of Lovehoney is their Blue Bella home parties – basically they sell lingerie for skinny white women. No lie, there is not a single POC in their photographs. They claim to carry sizes up to 26, but when you click on 26 or 24 or even 22 you get a big ole “there’s nothing here” page. Erm. Absolutely no real plus-size options. You might find a few things that would fit US Size 16, but it’s primarily just a couple of pairs of panties.
Frisky Business, Episode 6:
My interest is really at the bottom rung about now, since each episode has been very padded with returns department moments and customer service department moments. Every close-up shot they show in the warehouse is a cheap, porous item. Most of the returns are cheap, porous items. I’m just so sick of seeing cheap, porous toys!!! Ugh. They are talking about how they have to rename very crude products like Pipedreams “Fuck Me Silly”; well, here’s a thought: don’t fucking list this shit? They claimed to have come about as a company specifically “friendly to women” yet they carry sexist/racist products like this Pipedream line.
New Trend discussed: “Sex toys for men are on the rise”. Ha. Punny.
Despite the fact that the episodes started to bore me after awhile, I enjoyed the behind the scenes look, overall. It reminds me that I could never actually work in a warehouse like Lovehoney because I wouldn’t be able to tolerate seeing all the manky, porous sex toys in droves. And overall, the people there mostly seem damn cool – they seem like people I’d like to work with and know. Besides seeing the tons of porous, gross toys the other thing that concerned me is their famed 1-year return policy – I’m not keen on the specifics of their return program. Unless I missed it, they never explain what their criteria are for deciding if something was used or not. I saw many items trashed, but also a few were determined “unused” and put back on the stock shelves. I would feel better knowing the exact criteria used because honestly, if I clean something well and the packaging isn’t tamper-proof I think it could look new & unused.