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AdultEx - The business of Sex Toys

2 May 2013 11 comments

Who wouldn't want to spend 3 days checking out the latest sex toys from around the world?

This blog post is exceptionally long but please stick with it as it will give you an insight into what I plan to write about in the future.

I spent last weekend on the Gold Coast, Queensland at the Royal Pines Resort where I attended AdultEx hosted by Calvista. AdultEx is the largest business to business trade show for adult pleasure products in the southern hemisphere. And Calvista is Australia and New Zealand's largest distributor of these types of products. I'm the Managing Director and largest shareholder of Calvista.

So....what is AdultEx? Each year the major international manufacturers of sex toys, lubricants, condoms, lingerie etc come from around the world to Australia to show and demonstrate their latest pleasure products. Calvista also invites erotic film producers to show case their latest films. These studios always send their most popular female actress’s to meet and greet everyone at the show.

Calvista invite their top retail customers to AdultEx. In total 230 delegates attended. adultshop.com had 10 staff attend this year. Four were from retail and web, working in our head office, and the other 6 were retail stores managers (including Maria from our store in Moonah Tasmania).

Years ago the General Manager of Calvista and I attended trade shows around the world, like ANME in Los Angeles and Venus in Berlin, where we'd see the latest and greatest toys and products and of course meet a few erotic film stars. What we always found difficult when we returned back to Aus was how to disseminate the information we learned about new products to not only Calvista's customers, like adultshop.com (we have 15 stores in addition to the website), but also to the actual sales staff selling the products in the stores. AdultEx gives adult retail sales staff the opportunity to meet manufacturers and hear first hand why particular new products are winners, why they're already selling well in the US or Europe, and how to present them to customers. Many customers coming into adult stores these days don't know exactly what they want (many simply ask for a rabbit or popular toys they've read about like Ben Wa Balls or restraints ala 50 Shades of Grey). It then assists shop sales staff in ensuring the customer gets the right product for them. This is why it’s important for retail, and web, staff to attend AdultEx.

Susan Colvin from Cal Exotic

For me I suppose it's quite easy, and normal these days, to talk with sex toy manufacturers like Susan from Cal Exotics or Chad from Doc Johnson or Justin from Screaming O (all 3 companies are based in California) about new and exciting products. I keep a straight face, and so do they, as it's just business (although I do often make mental notes to grab certain products for personal use....work work work). This year I took my girlfriend Tracey Jewel along to AdultEx. She really struggled to keep a straight face, and understandably so when asked to hold and feel different vibrators and other sex toys. We both attended the presentations by manufacturers (30 minutes in a room of about 200 delegates....for me it was similar to being back at university). We sat in the front row of the Cal Exotics presentation where Susan (the founder and owner), Lupe and Robin spoke passionately about their new sex toys and passed a few through the crowd so everyone could touch and feel them.

I was very impressed with the new Ego range, the Body and Soul range and the Jopen range of sex toys by Cal Exotics. What felt really amazing was the new Japanese silicon that Cal Exotics use with some of their new toys like this in the Jopen range. We were all in fits of laughter when Susan pulled up an ad on the big screen that said Jane doesn't need Dick tonight she has Jack (as in Jack Rabbit which is one of their really popular vibrators).

On Saturday night we had a great carnival themed party where Calvista handed out awards. Cal Exotics won awards for Best New Pleasure Product Range – Jopen and Manufacturer of the Year.

Nick Hawk (cutout) and Chad Braverman

Cal Exotics have a new range of sex toys called Nick Hawk Gigolo. Nicks a good looking guy (looks like Chad from Doc Johnson)... who's a real life gigolo and who stars in the US television series Gigolos. Cal Exotics have produced an awesome 'coffee table' book featuring Nick with a few gorgeous girls in many different sexual positions. The photography is awesome....and the positions....well they're mind blowing! Nick gives each position a hardness factor from 1 star to 3 stars. His philosophy is; if you can't do a position then you need to get your ass into the gym more (& I think yoga would help in many cases). I've ordered a book for home and plan on starting from the front and working my way through every position. Trace and I both train regularly at a gym, and do some yoga, so it’s going to be a challenge to be able to do some of the more difficult 3 star positions. I'll update you on how we go in future blog posts.

Two years ago at the Erofame business to business trade show in Hannover Susan from Cal Exotics convinced me to hold onto the Intensity vibrator (that also has electric shock functionality) where she dialed it up quite high and shocked me (I felt the shock through my fingers and out my toes). This is a kegel exercise sex toy (I'll explain another time). Anyway Ruben from Pipe Dreams convinced me to allow him to touch my arm whilst he was wearing electric gloves (one of their new products). After my earlier experience with Susan I wasn't keen but I decided to give it a go. Well it did give me a small shock. Somehow this is supposed to be erotic and even arousing. It didn't do much for me but it was quite a hit with many of the other AdultEx delegates.

Ruben gave me 2 of their best selling glass toys from the Icicles range. One being shaped so that it could also stimulate the G spot. I already have 4 of the Icicle range of glass toys at home that I've tried (with Trace) and they're winners, so I thought hell why not try a couple more!

I loved some of the 'sex furniture' on display by Liberator. They're a large US based manufacturer of furniture (some looks relatively household) that has been designed specifically to assist with certain sex positions. I've already put in a personal order for a few pieces to try them out (more work work work....). They also produce a special blanket that retains fluids and doesn't allow the fluids to soak through to the bedding. This means that for females who ejaculate/squirt/gush there's no more need to grab a towel or 2 and put down before having sex. I thought this was very innovative as female ejaculation is more popular than most people realize. I personally put this down to the discovery of the G spot and the realization that stimulation of the G spot can lead to not only a woman orgasming but also ejaculating or squirting. I'm going to do a full blog post on this topic in a few weeks time as I often get asked about this ‘phenomenon’.

Lavi from NS Novelties in California, who I had dinner with in Perth last week, couldn't wait to demonstrate the new 3 prong sex toy called the Infinite. It's really quite different with the 3 prongs being pliable and able to be bent in various directions. I'm keen to personally try this as I was impressed with it.

I ordered, for personal use, a new leather love swing (also called a sling) from Love in Leather. I’m going to hang this in my burgundy room (I set this up before I read of Christian Grey’s red room in 50 Shades of Grey). Bondage and Discipline, and living out fantasies, is more popular than ever thanks to the 50 Shades trilogy. I’m already planning to write a blog post about this soon.

The presentation by Alexander from Pjur was great! The video clips he had up on the big screen were seriously funny. Selling lubricants is a serious business so I found it clever how they've managed to sell emotion with their products. Later at the booth he showed me the Caffeine Pjur lube. I had a question for him: how many espressos were in each average squeeze of lube? His response was about half an espresso. Apparently, well this is what Alexander tells me, the mucous membrane absorbs caffeine at a faster rate than by drinking coffee. A few squeezes of Pjur's new caffeine lubricant before sex might just add to the stimulation. Maybe no more going straight to sleep straight after sex for some? It's another product I'm keen to try personally as again I thought it was quite innovative.

Of course it's not all work and no play at AdultEx. Each night we had dinner where we all had a chance to mingle then have a few drinks after and catch up. It's great to hear first hand what's happening in the adult retail world in other countries and around Australia. I'm good friends with many people in the industry (I’ve been the Managing Director and major shareholder of Calvista since 2000) and these trade shows are always something most of us look forward to attending.

Last week in Perth I had Justin Ross, the owner of Screaming O , staying with me at my Kings Park apartment for 5 days pre AdultEx. Apart from catching up on lots of business talk I was able to show him around Perth where we even managed to enjoy a great mid week stand up paddle boarding session at Cottesloe Beach. Next week’s blog post will be an interview I did with Justin where we talked about Screaming O. Stayed tuned for that.

Whilst at AdultEx I interviewed Susan from Cal Exotics and Chad (looks like Nick Hawk) from Doc Johnson. I'll post those interviews in a few weeks time after I polish them up a bit.

If you have any questions fire away by emailing me or posting in the comments section below. I'll try my best to answer them (when I'm not busy in the office, product testing at home, training at the gym in preparation for trying Nick Hawks sex positions and giving Trace lots of attention).

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

Amanda 2 May 2013 at 7:16 pm
Thanks for that Mal, reading this makes me proud to work for you even more than I already am. Manda (from the Albany store)
Nat 3 May 2013 at 12:13 am
Great Blog Mal. Such an interesting read and great to hear whats going on in the world of new sex toys and suppliers. Have fun trying the new products and keep us posted :)
Sam C 3 May 2013 at 1:05 am
Hi Mal,Am amazed! I usually can't stand people's blog posts, finding them to be a little self-indulging and trite. But I must say l found your blog-post here to be informative without an obvious bias to any one product. Sounded like a great show up there and am looking forward to your next post. What a job you have! Take care. Sam
Sexy Balls 7 May 2013 at 12:16 pm
An amazing write up Malcolm. Perhaps one day I will enjoy to be part of the Adultex. Also, in regards to Nick Hawks sex positions. I have every thing covered in that department. ;-)Looking forward to read more of your future adventures.Wallace Rios
Jarrod D 8 May 2013 at 7:30 pm
I have to admit that when it comes to sex toys I am a little naive. I am looking forward to other posts like this one that will give me all the information I need to liven things up in the bedroom!
Neil_Duckett 14 May 2013 at 12:17 pm
A great read, i particularly like the honesty of it all. I'm constantly asked by friends about the industry, it makes for a great dinner party topic. ;-) Looking forward to the next installment.
Chelle Fitzgerald 14 May 2013 at 6:54 pm
Great post Malcolm, as one of your staff I'm personally interested in hearing your story and how you came to be in the adult retail industry and what associated extras you do (ie Breast Cancer Care WA)!
Adultsmart 30 May 2013 at 7:43 pm
I love your post and enjoy details, personally and have always found your reviews to be educational and not at all boring. http://adultsmart.com.au/ov...
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Kayt 16 March 2014 at 1:01 pm
I think we need an update on the Nick Hawk Positions! :)
18 July 2018 at 3:56 pm
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