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Sex toy trade show in LA

18 July 2013 6 comments

If you thought attending a sex toy trade show in 'the valley' Los Angeles for 3 days sounds tough - then me telling you that I'm now laying in the hot Californian sun poolside, on the rooftop of the very hip London Hotel in Hollywood, writing my blog post, will probably make you feel less sorry for me...especially given the cold weather in Perth and most of Australia right now. Well as a business owner I need to get a few non taxable fringe benefits besides previewing and test driving the worlds latest and greatest sex toys and pleasure products.

The ANME adult products business to business trade show is the largest in the world and certainly one that every supplier and large retailer should attend. Here all the major manufacturers display their latest toys, lubricants, fetish gear, lingerie and other pleasure products. Whilst all the main players have a booth, the show is dominated by Cal Exotics, Doc Johnson and Pipedreams. They win many of the industry awards for the best and most innovative products.

It's quite amazing how the pleasure products business has evolved since I've been part of it (1995). The rate of change over the last three or four years has been dramatic! This is generally attributed to the decline in DVD sales, the advent of the Internet, the development of new materials like body safe medical grade silicone, the focus on packaging design and in store point of sales kits, plus the entrance of new industry players like Lelo and We-Vibe who've been able to gain mainstream acceptance of their products. Lelo and We-Vibe have over the last few years brought to the market some very innovative silicone sex toys that have forced major manufacturers to rethink and redesign their products with the end result being a far wider selection of fantastic products! It certainly makes it difficult to choose which ones to sell.

ScandalScandal

When I attend trade shows I usually have two 'hats on'. One being managing director and majority owner of Calvista, which is Australia and New Zealand's largest sex toy and pleasure products distributor (we have over one thousand accounts), and the other being the founder and owner of adultshop.com (fifteen stores and website). As a retailer it gives me additional insight and experience when looking at what products Calvista should consider wholesaling in Australia and New Zealand. I have quite a good feel (no pun intended) for what should be popular with consumers.

Apart from the advent of silicone, the themes that most of the pleasure product manufacturers really focus on today are g-spot stimulation, clitoral stimulation and anal play. The success of the 50 Shades trilogy has also inspired many manufacturers to produce bondage and discipline (B&D or S&M) type products. These are selling extremely well. No surprises there for me!

So what really stood out? Cal Exotics introduced some amazing new products like the Comet Wand, which is part of the Key by Jopen range. It's the vibrating version of an earlier best selling g-spot stimulator (and one of my girlfriend Tracey's favourite toys). Also new to Cal Exotics is a range of products called Embrace. I loved the new body wand and "g" wand. I'm looking forward to trying these out at home next week along with the new Jopen lubricant and massage oil (yes we all know erotic and sensual massage can be great foreplay). Cal Exotics have just released a range of light B&D products called Scandal. It's a classy elegant range that should sell well.

Briana from PipedreamsBriana from Pipedreams

An all time best seller for a few years has been the Doc Johnson iVibe rabbit. They've just released the new and vastly improved version. Better and smoother silicone, no pearls inside, better functionality and a far superior product. Similarly their new iVibe pocket sized rocket is fantastic and super powerful (in fact I believe too powerful for most clitorises).

Pipedreams continue to surprise me with new materials. Last year their Icicles glass toy range became an instant success. They just released two unique ranges of dongs and vibrators using anodized aluminium and also a ceramic range. The non vibrating ceramic toys have a removable seal-able cap that allows the user to add either hot or cold water for a different effect.

We-Vibe unveiled the new and improved version four that's going to hit the retail shelves later in the year. They've taken number three and redesigned it. For those who don't know, the We-Vibe 3 is a small U shaped toy that allows for simultaneous clitoral and g-spot stimulation. In contrast to their latest toy the Thrill, which is for solo play, the We-Vibe 4 is for couples play. What's different? The 'arm' that's inserted is smaller and flat on one side allowing for a more anatomically correct fit and to make it easier for actual intercourse whilst using (a serious bonus). Additionally the controls have been moved from the centre to the top to make it far easier for the woman to use. The silicone they use now has a better feel to it. I'm sure the We-Vibe 4 is destined to be a popular present this Xmas :)

Lavi from NS NoveltiesLavi from NS Novelties

Whilst NS Novelties featured the Alise2 and the Infinit at the AdultEx trade show on the Gold Coast of Australia a few months ago they had it proudly on display here in LA due to the overwhelming sales success of both products. Lavi gave me one of each for testing with Trace. The Alise2 looks a bit like a rabbit vibrator...but it's different and I love it. The Infinit looks a bit strange however after Lavi talked me through the functionality and demonstrated how the 3 bendable prongs, with individual motors and controls, move...and the different combinations of pleasure points that can be activated simultaneously, I was sold!

Fleshlight have been so successful over the last few years with their male masturbation aids that a number of other manufacturers, like Pipedreams and Screaming O have recently developed their own male masturbation aids. Justin Ross, my buddy and owner of Screaming O, has just released the Taco. With some lube I think you can picture how a man would use this...no need for me to explain.

I was super impressed with the new artwork and direction of Rocks Off! Their artwork is very Ed Hardy. Their catalogue will certainly become a collectors item. I'll probably leave mine on my coffee table. I loved their new Ro-deo toy!

Sportsheets just released some new products within their Sex and Mischief range (sounds like a great tattoo idea). Their collar and chain with connecting nipple clamps caught my attention. I've ordered a couple of these for my 'burgundy room' back home.

Tantus harnessTantus harness

Over the years lesbians, and girls who like to have sex with girls, have often complained to me that strap on harnesses (used with dildos) are too loose or the material stretches. This means that the dildo doesn't sit right against the pelvis resulting in a very poor experience for both girls. So...Tantus have released a couple of awesome new adjustable leather harnesses. The leather felt like a Prada handbag! Luckily their harnesses are far cheaper than a Prada handbag...and I'm sure a lot more fun! I'm looking forward to receiving some personal samples...although I'm not into 'pegging' (but I don't judge men who like to anally penetrated by a girl with a strap-on dildo). A few months ago I'd never even heard of the term. Hard to imagine it's quite popular these days with couples (& straight guys). Dr Nikki Goldstein, one of the leading sexologists in Australia, has an article on pegging in this months edition of the Australian version of the Cosmo magazine.

The ANME show culminated in a dinner last night at Ron Braverman's house (the founder and owner of Doc Johnson). He and his beautiful wife Naomi, and Susan Colvin (the founder and owner of Cal Exotics) hosted an extravagant dinner party for about 40 industry leaders. I was humbled to be invited. Last year Larry Flynt (the founder of Hustler who now uses a gold wheelchair) was an honoured guest at their famous annual industry dinner party.

Today I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the very passionate and gorgeous Dr Ava Cadell (www.sexpert.com) in her office on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. She's one of America's leading sexperts and consults to many local celebrities including Gene Simmons from Kiss (we shared a few stories about Gene). Tomorrow I'm meeting her for dinner along with Hollywood celebrity couple Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchinson. Dr Ava is working with my girlfriend Tracey and I on a new and exciting online program that we're launching next week. I'm very excited about it and can't wait to share it with you...but for now I need to bite my tongue. Courtney and Doug love the program hence the dinner tomorrow night.

Well that's a wrap this week from Hollywood! I'm happy to report I didn't get sunburnt whilst typing away. I'll be back in freezing Perth by the weekend so needed to soak up some sun before leaving LA.

I'd love to hear your feedback on this weeks post.

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

Jarrod 18 July 2013 at 11:37 am
Looks like there's a lot of exciting new products on the horizon. In the mean time, sunning it up in California...don't work too hard, Mal! :)
Neil_Duckett 18 July 2013 at 12:09 pm
I hope to get there next year, but for this year, Ero Fame will be my one and only trade show. Good write up as always.
Chelle Fitzgerald 18 July 2013 at 12:30 pm
How soon do you think we will be seeing the vibrating Comet wand in Adultshop.com stores??? The original is great but vibrating would be amazing!! Enjoy the rest of your trip Mal :)
Malcolm Day 19 July 2013 at 6:28 am
Chelle - before Xmas we will have them in-store at adultshop.com. They're sending me one next week as a sample to try with Trace :-)
Chelle Fitzgerald 19 July 2013 at 6:45 pm
Awesome! Can't wait, I love having exciting quality new toys to show our customers. When we get excited about products it really shows when we sell them!! ooh lucky Trace the guinea pig!
7 September 2018 at 9:09 am
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