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  • Dildo Design

    How innovative design is reshaping the sex tech industry

    By Emily Dixon CNN

    There's long been a dearth of innovative design
    Experiencing vaginal dryness, she sought out a lubricant stockist.


    "The only place that sold it in my hometown was a sex shop on the side of a highway next to the airport. It was a horrible experience," she said. "And I thought, 'Why wasn't there a brand name that was making appealing products in this category, in the way that Warby Parker was making glasses, or Casper was making mattresses, or Glossier was making makeup?'"


    The result was Unbound, founded in 2014, which sells stylish sex toys and accessories from a vibrantly colored, retrofuristic website.
    The products have social media-friendly names like Bender, Shimmy, Saucy and The Booty Basics Set, and none of them resemble penises.


    Historically, Rodriguez explained, vibrators were predominantly the creations of cisgender men targeting heterosexual, cisgender women.


    "The reason they looked like penises was because the people designing these products had penises," she said. "Veiny, plastic phallic vibrators were designed from a biological perspective that makes no sense." (According to a 2017 study, only 18% of respondents reported achieving orgasm from penetration alone.)


    A selection of Unbound sex toys in pleasing colors. Credit: Courtesy Unbound


    Rodriguez said that the predominance of men in the tech industry, compounded by the stigma attached to female and femme (a term used to describe lesbians who opt for a traditionally "feminine" appearance) sexuality, makes it harder for female-led sex tech companies to get off the ground.

    "It's systemic -- only 3% of venture capital funding goes to women," she said. For Black and Latinx founders, the landscape is even harsher: In 2017, less than 4% of the women who received startup funding were black, and under 2% were Latinx.




    "So many people are raised with a lot of puritanical societal norms, with some type of shame talking about sex, periods (or) bodies openly," she said. "We really leaned heavily on being design-friendly because it makes it much more approachable."

    Unbound, too, prioritizes design. The company's products aren't designed to languish at the bottom of an underwear drawer. In fact, some are intended to be worn, like the Palma vibrator ring or a set of gold-plated handcuffs that double as bangles.


    "So much of the wearable tech that existed to me wasn't fashion-forward. It was clunky, it was big, it wasn't elevated," Rodriguez said. "We wanted to design a product that could stand alone as a piece of jewelry."


    The designers changing the conversation around lingerie

    Perhaps the best-known piece of wearable sex tech is Crave's Vesper vibrator necklace, an elongated bullet on a 26-inch chain, which comes in silver, rose gold, and 24-karat gold plating that can be engraved with a personal message.
    Ti Chang, an industrial designer, founded Crave alongside Michael Topolovac in 2011 after noticing a "void of design" in the existing sex toy market "because it was thought to be taboo."

    Chang hopes that the Vesper can challenge that perception and help to destigmatize female sexuality. "That's the magic of this product: It empowers the users to wear their pleasure around their neck," she said. "Having a product that has high design aesthetics... takes this product that's previously in the darkness into the daylight. That's a conversation starter, and that's exactly what we need."


    Crave co-founder Ti Chang wears the brands Vesper, a bullet vibrator meant to be worn as a necklace. Credit: Courtesy Catalina Kulczar

    But starting conversations isn't the only reason for bold design. Many sex tech companies find themselves blocked from advertising their products, particularly on social media. While companies can share their products on their own profiles, they can't pay for promoted posts: Facebook and Instagram prohibit ads that promote "the sale or use of adult products or services, unless they promote family planning and contraception," and Twitter has banned the promotion of any "adult sexual content globally."

    Distinctive design, then, can enable sex tech to effectively advertise itself. Rodriguez explained: "We had to build a brand that people would talk about, so it could grow through word of mouth."


    Sex tech companies have difficulty advertising offline, too. Both Unbound and Dame Products, a sex toy company launched in 2014, had adverts rejected by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in 2018.

    Dame Products, led by sexologist Alexandra Fine and engineer Janet Lieberman, is currently suing the MTA over "its decision to privilege male interests in its advertising choices," arguing that their ads were rejected on sexist grounds. In a statement to CNN, the MTA said the rejection of Dame Products' ads was "not gender-based or viewpoint discriminatory," adding that "the MTA's FAQs about its advertising policy clearly state that advertisements for sex toys or devices for any gender are not permitted."


    Crave's Vesper vibrator is meant to be worn as a necklace. Credit: Courtesy Crave

    "They were running ads for erectile dysfunction medication all over the subway at the time," Fine said. "There were adverts for everything from the Museum of Sex, to breast augmentation, to sheets that you can have a threesome in, to dating apps for one night stands. Why are all those OK and not ours?"


    The robotic massager is designed to create "blended orgasms" by providing both internal and external stimulation, with distinct parts that produce stroking and sucking sensations. "I wanted a product that could be adjustable and customizable, that could be totally hands free, and that used human motion instead of vibration," Haddock DiCarlo said.


    The Lora DiCarlo "Ose" sex toy, which was eventually was re-awarded the 2019 CES Robotics Innovation award. Credit: Courtesy of Lora DiCarlo


    The incident sparked public outcry and accusations of gender bias. "There were products at the show geared towards male sexuality, like VR porn," DiCarlo said. "It showed how we demonize female sexuality."

    CTA ultimately apologized and reversed its decision, saying in a statement, "CTA did not handle this award properly. This prompted some important conversations internally and with external advisers." At CES 2020, Lora DiCarlo won two more awards for upcoming products Baci, which simulates oral sex, and Onda, which targets the G-spot.


    Many of these new, female-led sex tech companies share similar goals: to lift the taboo around female pleasure, inspire users to feel confident in their own sexuality and enable more women to experience more orgasms, whether with partners or alone.


    "For me, it's about people being able to own their pleasure. Women's sexuality has been condemned and misunderstood for hundreds, thousands of years," Chang said. "We are tired of not being able to talk about it. We're starting to feel we can have the pleasure we deserve."



    Last edited by harrymsmarkle; 03-15-2020, 06:32 AM.

  • #2
    Which is your personal favourite?
    Originally posted by Ergenburgensmurgen;n186588
    What are you talking about, I don't post on Teakdoor.


    https://thailandchatter.com/core/ima...ies/giggle.gif

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by serrollt View Post
      Which is your personal favourite?
      ...something simple...an eggplant maybe...

      Comment


      • #4
        Might you have something in a imitation Madagascar vanilla flavour?

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice.. that vibrating necklace sounds cool!!
          Beautiful colors and designs!

          Comment


          • #6
            Sphincter rings....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
              Sphincter rings....
              ...trendy, but shop assistants aren't always helpful when you want to try one on for size...

              Comment


              • #8
                ...something simple...an eggplant maybe...
                Much cheaper too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by serrollt View Post
                  Which is your personal favourite?
                  Butch wants the one that tickles his Prostate...
                  God, the panic within the Dems, MSM, and left must be horrifying...realizing that Joe is really the best they've got.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                    Butch wants the one that tickles his Prostate...
                    ...definitely: I need a real man's anal intruder...

                    Comment

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