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The Vibrator gets an Overhaul
May 15, 2012 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Jimmyjane (NSFW) makes luxury, design-oriented vibrators and other sex toys and accessories. ("Design inspired by Apple, not Hustler.") They'd like to change the way Americans think about them: instead of as 'dirty little secrets,' they're hoping for mainstream acceptance and to usher in an "Age of Great American Sex." (Via) posted by zarq (42 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are aesthetically pleasing, but incredibly overpriced. Just like Apple.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2012 [11 favorites]


Brookstone is carrying Lelo brand vibes in the airport at LAX. I'd say there's progress being made in terms of acceptance.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:15 AM on May 15, 2012


As far as I can tell, there is no nudity in any of the linked articles. But they do contain pictures of vibrators, and of course there's the topic. YMMV.
posted by zarq at 11:15 AM on May 15, 2012


Brookstone is carrying Lelo brand vibes in the airport at LAX. I'd say there's progress being made in terms of acceptance.

I agree, there has been an amazing mainstreaming and destigmatization in recent years.
posted by Forktine at 11:18 AM on May 15, 2012


As someone who works in the sex toy industry, I have to say that this post comes really close to being an ad for Jimmyjane. There are a lot of companies making "inspired by Apple" dildos and vibes.
posted by melt away at 11:24 AM on May 15, 2012 [11 favorites]


...they're hoping for mainstream acceptance and to usher in an "Age of Great American Sex."

At $145 - $185, I think their definition of "mainstream" is probably different than mine.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can get vibrators from Amazon. They sell vibrating ring condoms at most discount big box dept stores.

I live within two miles of two sex toy stores. I think these toys are already easily available for people who want them. And the sextoy as Apple product take/ripoff angle has been going on for years.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:39 AM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


melt away: "As someone who works in the sex toy industry, I have to say that this post comes really close to being an ad for Jimmyjane. There are a lot of companies making "inspired by Apple" dildos and vibes."

I was unaware this was a trend. Read the article, thought it was a neat concept I hadn't heard of before.
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on May 15, 2012


melt away: "As someone who works in the sex toy industry, I have to say that this post comes really close to being an ad for Jimmyjane. There are a lot of companies making "inspired by Apple" dildos and vibes."

I've been seeing this around the internet lately in a way that makes me think that Jimmyjane must have recently hired an ad firm with a social media department.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:48 AM on May 15, 2012


A while ago I bought one of these at its luxury price since it was a quality product available in matte black, with no pink or glitter or frills. I never buy or use anything else in iridescent purple, and I didn't want a vibrator that looked like that either. I'm probably precisely their target market - a woman who they might have seen sitting at a coffee shop a block away from their office, working on something related to software. It'd be nice if they inspired other companies that make products marketed to women to add more non-girly colors and styles.
posted by mysh at 12:32 PM on May 15, 2012


zarq, thanks for posting this today -- because I really wanted to make a FPP about this video/company but decided it was too thin, and here it's only a minor derail:

"Grand Old Party" is a data visualization project. It is also a set of butt plugs..
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:33 PM on May 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: This is what you get when design, art, music and sex collide at high speed.
posted by Splunge at 12:38 PM on May 15, 2012


We've had a couple of their products - The wife loves them and I find them to be easy to maintain.
posted by smackwich at 12:49 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, these fancy expensive "design-y" things are weaksauce. I stick with the classics: Hitachi Magic Wand.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:52 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been coveting the Form 3 for two years now... but just can't bring myself to drop $120 on it.
posted by carsonb at 1:03 PM on May 15, 2012


This thread is too far along to get deleted, but, yeah: it's an ad for a particular firm, that offers nothing distinct in style or function from its competitors (except for unpaid advertising space on Metafilter).
posted by IAmBroom at 1:13 PM on May 15, 2012


Okay, what competitors? Can you please link to some companies that are doing something similar in the way they design their products and have expressed a similar company philosophy?
posted by zarq at 1:15 PM on May 15, 2012


I agree it's about JimmyJane's publicist; this issue (super-expensive-but-mediocre toys suddenly everywhere!) got discussed a day or two ago on The Hairpin.
posted by smirkette at 1:21 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, what competitors? Can you please link to some companies that are doing something similar in the way they design their products and have expressed a similar company philosophy?

Tantus. Lelo. NSFW.

I've seen more knock-offs in a wholesaler's catalogue, but I can't remember the brands right now.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:47 PM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


These sex toys may be mainstream, but I think we're still a long way from seeing the Fleshlight at the mall.

Anyways, mainstream retail has been selling vibrators for years, they just used to call them back massagers.
posted by modernserf at 1:58 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kitty Stardust: " Tantus. Lelo. NSFW."

Ah. OK. Thank you.

Kitty Stardust: " I've seen more knock-offs in a wholesaler's catalogue, but I can't remember the brands right now."

Yes, but knock-offs aren't the same as the original, yes? I mean, a company can copy an iPod, but that doesn't mean they're creating one.
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on May 15, 2012


These are aesthetically pleasing, but incredibly overpriced. Just like Apple.

Clearly, Metafilter is so tough its users build their own vibrators out of sticks, dryer lint and various consumer electronics found through dumpster diving.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:05 PM on May 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Okay, I am at work and totally totally not digging around for this, but a little while back I saw an expensive artsy-sculpturey chess set in which all the pieces were secretly various things you could put in your orifices. I think Kiki de Montparnasse sold it.

But, yeah, stylish well-designed high-quality vibrators have been the general trend over the past ten years, not a rarity. Jimmyjane's just apparently ratcheting up the marketing right now. They've had the gimmicky gold-plated vibes and such (again, at work, not digging) for a while.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:11 PM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, but knock-offs aren't the same as the original, yes? I mean, a company can copy an iPod, but that doesn't mean they're creating one.

Lelo launched in 2003. Jimmyjane in 2004. I remember seeing Lelo products for sale in the lingerie department of Harrod's a few years ago. I think overall the current upscale sex-toy trend is more toward minimalist-violet-summer-squash-shaped-thing than pink glittery dolphins.

What burns me is that these things are 3 or 4X the price of the cheesy stuff you get in an adult shop but no more powerful. Or can you tell I'm a disgruntled person who spent over $200 for a lame purple squash-shaped thing that had less power than a Pocket Rocket?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 3:23 PM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also what Metroid Baby said.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 3:23 PM on May 15, 2012


Kind of like the sex toy version of Veritas Tools.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:35 PM on May 15, 2012


Yes, but knock-offs aren't the same as the original, yes? I mean, a company can copy an iPod, but that doesn't mean they're creating one.

I always thought they were knocking off Lelo.
posted by bongo_x at 3:40 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah gotta say this FPP reads like an ad. The ensuing comments are going okay, and I'd rather people know more about their sexytime options than less, so... ::shrug::

Metroid Baby, here is the chess set you mentioned. I still super want it. But what I want more is a tri-D chess star trek themed one. It'd have pretty much everything I like in one place. Anybody coming over would very quickly get where my priorities lay.

As for other brands doing the classy vibe thing, I enjoy We Vibe which bills itself as all heteronormative married couple understated sex toy nonsense, but actually makes some rather lesbian-tastic products. Please do not knock my purple squash/tongue shaped object.
posted by Mizu at 5:06 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


No offense meant. There's love enough for all the squash-shaped things in the world.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 5:16 PM on May 15, 2012


The We-vibe engineers have a rather unexpected backstory as well. If this thread is safe for your work, then that link probably is too.
posted by peppermind at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2012


Peppermind, that is awesome. Are you saying that I have NASA technology all up on my ladyparts? Clearly they don't quite realize the untapped science nerd potential for advertising their products.

Next up, Lelo uses the same composite material as in the James Webb Space Telescope for maximum lightweight rigidity!
posted by Mizu at 6:08 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps Milwaukee or Makita will enter the market with offerings to tempt the truly power hungry.
posted by bz at 9:44 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've flagged this because it looks like an ad. If there were a dictionary definition for astroturfing, this would be it.
posted by thewalrus at 10:29 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I admit that I'm not a chess expert or a sex expert, but I can't imagine a way either activity would require 32 dildos.
posted by BurnChao at 2:57 AM on May 16, 2012


Ooooooh, I get it.
posted by BurnChao at 2:59 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Though I think you'd need special rules for check and checkmate.
posted by BurnChao at 3:01 AM on May 16, 2012


And capture en passant.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:53 AM on May 16, 2012


Melody Murison of WeVibe recently retired and is now touring the world. I have met the Murisons; they radiate a delighted sort of smug, the smug of a married couple who have more good sex than is conceivably possible.

We vibe is also a furious litigator; they are currently defending their patent on the WeVibe in a way unique to sex toys. It's long overdue - the trend of cheap knockoffs is poison to true innovation in this market.

I'd also argue that the push towards sleek, glitter free design is not new. Lelo isn't even the first. The two big players - Doc Johnson and California Exotic Novelties - have been periodically trying non-pink sparkly toys for years. Calex especially had this habit of trying every conceivable shape and texture of toy off one basic motor. And now that both companies are moving away from using shitty rubbers towards silicones and stable elastomers, the notion of sleek design is becoming the norm, not the exception. I'm really impressed actually by the way Calex has recently made a big push to get body safe silicones down to a lower price point. You can get decent silicone toys now for a price that would have been unthinkable five years ago.

It all comes down to what the market wants. While Applish sleek pieces may look lush, what most people still buy is an affordable number closer to 18 bucks, not 180. Pink glitter dominates because that's what sells. I sell exponential amounts of pink toys, even in the Lelo lines. A blue Lelo vibe will sit about for weeks while the baby pink one goes overnight.

Mizu: I know, right? The We Vibe itself is an awesome addition to harness play, if you're into that. I've had solid feedback about vag-bearing people wearing the toy with a harness, for maximum oomph.
posted by Jilder at 9:54 AM on May 16, 2012


I'm disturbed that sex toy news or discussion might be considered NSFW, heck even sex toy stores if they lack "models".
posted by jeffburdges at 4:41 AM on June 8, 2012


jeffburdges: "I'm disturbed that sex toy news or discussion might be considered NSFW, heck even sex toy stores if they lack "models"."

I add in the tag as a courtesy to people whose jobs might not be as enlightened as you are.
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suppose the NSFP(rudes) tag hasn't really become standard jargon yet.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:56 AM on June 8, 2012


jeffburdges: "I suppose the NSFP(rudes) tag hasn't really become standard jargon yet."

With respect, if you have a problem with the tag would you please take that conversation to Metatalk?
posted by zarq at 9:17 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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