Just as women are in different shapes and sizes, the use of sex toys has no hard-fast rules. The reason is simple, the disposition of every single individual towards sex differs significantly. Some people may prefer lipstick vibrator, hyper-realistic, rainbow glitter dick, or even a dildo that looks like a real dick. However, some people who consider sexuality as non-binary may feel offended classifying and selling toys based on gender.
Given the increased cultural awareness about non-binary and transgender identities, toy manufacturers have changed their product perspective as well. The forms and functions of adult toy products are no longer explicitly based on sex and roles. The days where sex toys are pictured as pinkish phallic contraception or vibrating jelly beads are passing away. Today, sex toys are migrating from the previous model; they are now sleeker, more discrete, and use trending technology.
Explicit gender design seems to be a drawback to the industry. Some manufacturers and retailers still prefer to classify sex toys by gender; some products are naturally classified as pink, even among the high-end ones.
Stu Nugent, who works with LELO, a leading sex toy company, gave an insight into the industry. He said that gender stereotyping has been an integral part of the industry right from time. He recounted his experience 14 years ago while attending a meeting with one of the leading sex toy retailers. Stu said that the meeting centered on demonstrating the model of a conventional penis-like ugly, pink-colored, wobbling vibrator. He said that the “thing” even has a rotating head!
When someone suggested having a smaller design for those who haven’t used a dildo before, an executive suggested the model should be shrunk and pinked!
Well, Stu hinted that the days of shrinking and pinking models passed away a long time ago. However, it would take a long type before those stereotypes leave the industry completely.
One can also take a cue from a recent Instagram post by Zoe Ligon, the founder of Spectrum Boutique. Zeo wrote that sex toy companies should stop treating their customers like infants! He said that the attitude of coloring sex toys pink and giving it amorphous shapes would simply alienate potential customers.
Lauren Clair, from Nikki Darling, said that sex toys are effective for exploring one’s sexuality and gaining insight into one’s body. So, it would be preferable if the language used for these kinds of stuff does not underscore inimical societal messages about our bodies.
She went on to explain that it’s a great feeling when you browse a site that offers diverse and inclusive products. Such shops won’t trivialize your needs by displaying them blatantly in marketing materials and products selections
Lauren also noted that it is a frustrating fact that sex toys have been branded feminine over the years by society, including progressive feminist stores. She further explained that these stored would simply reserve a small section for pumps, masturbators, and rings for men. “It is a limiting way to categorize products,” Lauren concluded.
It will take some efforts to change the present model that stereotypes the industry products as gender-specific. The marketing methods that depict sex toy products as “for men” and “for women” must be eradicated. After all, sex toys are inanimate, they will not discriminate if they are being used by a man or a woman. They are simply pieces of silicone that sometimes contain electronics.
The preconception about sex toys makes some people nervous when they want to purchase one. Lauren explained that removing the gender-related marketing schemes would go a long way in eliminating such prejudice. This genderfluid approach to sex toys might undermine adult search engine optimization strategies. But looking at the brighter side, this approach can open up a new world of sexual expression for everyone, including those who identify with sexual binary.
Lauren explained that once the gender dichotomy is no more, people would have the freedom to explore sex toys like never before. “It would help people discover new things and make new choices they haven’t thought about before,” She said.
To buttress her point, Lauren made an example of the bullet vibrato, regarded as a feminine toy for use on the clitoris. She argued that the toy doesn’t have to be used by a woman, or on the clitoris. They can also be used to stimulate the nipples, as well as the perineum, frenulum, and inguinal canals.
Stu agrees with the stand of Lauren. He said that the focus on sex toys should be on what it does for the body and not on the gender that uses it. He explained that the toy named “G-Spot vibe” could also be used as a prostate massager!
Stu said gender-neutral toys opens a new world of possibilities for sex toy enthusiasts. For instance, the Lelo Transformer is a double-ended vibrator that can be used as a wrist restraint, cock ring, prostate massager, and a rabbit vibe.
According to Matt Smith, the founder Cherry Banana, removing gender-specific language and images from products and promotions would make it easier for genderfluid enthusiasts to access a wider range of products. However, he said that there is no need to abandon the hot, pink glitter dick altogether.
Matt further explained that the argument of gender-neutral folks about phallic objects are logical, but should remember that the body has lots of erogenous zones besides the vagina and penis.
Progressive retailers hinted that the adult sex industry is journeying into a future of genderfluid sex toys. Vendors would no longer dictate which gender should use an adult toy product. According to Lauren, this approach would allow people to explore their sexuality, gender, and bodies without restriction.