It's 2010. Everybody and their father has admitted to using and enjoying sex toys. We gals, in particular, can attend nary a girl's night, book club meeting or parent-teacher conference without ultimately comparing favorite vibrators. But we all know, like sex itself, vibrators can be totally awesome or frightening and weird
Here at Lemondrop we're often like, "Hey, what gives, sex industry? Who invents this stuff?" Answer: Chad Braverman. Well, not just Chad. But he's an actual "adult novelty" designer (for venerable house of naughty-bit ticklers, Doc Johnson
), has actually won some awards for his R-rated creations, and he agreed to answer some of our silly questions.
Punch it, Hurb! Let's talk about sex ... toys!
Lemondrop: How on earth does one get into sex toy design?
Chad Braverman, Vibrator Artiste: I was born into the business. My father, Ron Braverman, one of the true pioneers of the industry, founded Doc Johnson in 1976, so I learned about product design and development earlier on in my life. It was never taboo in my family, so I got an insider's education on all aspects of the business. I gravitated to product development because I enjoy being creative and it's something I'm good at. It obviously helps to have an understanding of the adult industry -- however, anyone with a knack for product design and a knowledge of consumer trends can excel within this business.I recently met with a press release announcing a sex toy with literal spinning blades. I feel like this may signal some sort of pressure in the novelty world to be more innovative. But, really, like -- how crazy can you get? Aren't there more or less two basic iterations?
Adult toys are, in essence, electronics to some degree. And in the electronics world there is an incredible amount of pressure to be innovative and unique. It is no different in our industry these days. The "squirmy" style rabbit vibrator has been around forever. No one has really ever changed it. But we just invented a "throbbing" squirmy called Throbbing Hearts that actually mimics the throbbing sensation a man's penis has during and after orgasm. It's an incredible concept.
What do you consider your proudest accomplishment as a designer of adult novelties? i.e., what's your Mona Lisa?
The success of Lucid Dreams line, which included the Lucid Dream #14
, which won the Women's Health Best Maxi Vibe in their inaugural Sex Awards issue. A close second would be the wildly successful Men's Pleasure Wand, which was the first vibrating prostate-massager on the market. That product created a market and a whole generation of toys aimed at the other side of male pleasure.
We recently covered that dildo that you strap on to your head. Seriously, do you guys just come up with these things to be hilarious? Have you ever seen someone's design and thought, "Okay, that's just ridiculous?"
I have definitely seen designs that made me laugh, but nothing is created for the sake of being funny. Sex is an incredibly private pleasure. What gets one person off might sound strange to another. But there is a market, albeit not always a big one, for everything. At Doc Johnson we strive to meet all needs -- from niche and fetish items to products that you'd find on mainstream retail shelves.
In all seriousness, the WeVibe (a couple's vibrator you wear during sex) is kind of cool, as far as innovation goes. What adult novelties are you most impressed with? What's the future of sex toys?
The WeVibe is a great item. Incredibly innovative. I'm most impressed these days with sleek design and new materials. No need to reinvent the wheel completely. But consumers are more savvy across the board. They are looking for higher quality, better materials and better function. I think this is where the future lies in the novelty world. I also expect to see a lot of cross-over with content in a virtual sense. See the action, feel the action. Products embedded with chips that will connect users away.
International two-way sex toys? Colin Firth and I are thrilled. Thanks, Chad!