Down The Rabbit-Hole
September 9, 2014 5:49 AM   Subscribe

For the very first time, the sales of one million sex toys and 45,000 of their reviews have been analysed to reveal what we do in our most intimate and uninhibited moments. Research by Jon Millward, who also brought us Deep Inside. (Previously) [All links NSFW]
posted by chavenet (20 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite


 
Strongest headline I've seen on the blue in a while. Chavenet, I salute you.
posted by mhoye at 6:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


In talking to people about this project, many reacted to the concept of butt plugs in the same way a 65-year-old might respond to hearing dubstep for the first time. They understand it exists, they acknowledge that it’s very popular, but they just don’t ‘get it’.

Even the strangest sex toy has to be better than going to the ER because you "slipped and fell" on a household object in the shower.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:35 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interesting, but it got a little weird about straight men and butt plugs. It's not really that surprising that they might like to use them on themselves, is it? Everyone has a butt.
posted by Akhu at 6:46 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


the strangest sex toy

Now there's a superlative I might not click on.
posted by fairmettle at 6:50 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Everyone has a butt.

Hey, I just bought my kid this book.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:51 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


For the very first time, the sales of one million sex toys and 45,000 of their reviews have been analysed to reveal what we do in our most intimate and uninhibited moments

Huh? All this 'reveals' is what a certain segment of the public that buys sex toys does in their "most intimate and uninhibited moments" (they use the sex toys they've bought).
posted by Flashman at 7:37 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Everyone has a butt.
posted by mhoye at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Click image for enlargement" ho ho ho.
posted by marienbad at 8:59 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lovehoney (the retailer being mined in this case) is incredibly good at PR. They even managed to get a TV Show on the air which was billed as "reality tv / behind the scenes". The formula seemed to be a few minutes of showing how pleasant and normal their staff are (message - sex toys aren't for perverts), a few minutes of product r&d (message - buy this now) and a few minutes of giggling at the more extreme products (message - look, even if society thinks you're a pervert don't worry because we have sex toys for perverts).

But in their case I think the PR matches the reality. They aren't particularly cheap but their customer service really is excellent. The returns policy is particularly good and protects from "size shock" and poor quality products falling apart shortly after purchase:

"We have a 365 day no-quibble returns policy [...] You can return anything for any reason, even if you just didn't like it, including if it's been opened, worn or used."

Can't argue with that.
posted by samworm at 9:06 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


You can return anything for any reason, even if you just didn't like it, including if it's been opened, worn or used.

So. A few weeks ago, my wife and I had been talking about this, about exchange policies at online sex toy shops, about how it's somebody's job, how there is a person who gets paid to open up boxes which they are certain contain used sex toys, and to possibly handle and test the functionality of those toys.

And so this person comes home from work, sitting at the dinner table with their partner, eating chicken cutlets, discussing their days ...

... and that's as far as she got because she had a giggle fit and went positively hypoxic trying to laugh without waking the baby, who is still sleeping in our bedroom.

And now I can just say "chicken cutlets" and she'll die laughing.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:17 AM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


You win +10 internets for the title of your post ...
posted by etherist at 9:19 AM on September 9, 2014


Metafilter: Everyone has a butt.
Touché (nsfw)
posted by xcasex at 9:24 AM on September 9, 2014


Glad some of you like it, I really enjoyed working on this project. I'm new to MF, so not sure what the deal is with replying to individual comments or if it's even possible to do it. But what samworm said about Lovehoney is right, in my opinion. I met them twice in person and the company is extremely cool and laid back. Their offices really have that business 2.0 vibe...everyone chilled out. Dildos all over the place. Like Facebook or somewhere.

If anyone has any questions regarding the piece, I'd be happy to answer them.
posted by JonMillward at 10:32 AM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm new to MF, so not sure what the deal is with replying to individual comments or if it's even possible to do it.

Welcome to Metafilter, Jon. It is certainly possible to reply to individual comments, but we do not use threaded comments, so sometimes the response may come some time after the original comment. For this reason, it is usually helpful (and customary) to copy and paste the original comment and then italicize it, like I did in this comment, to indicate something you are replying to.

Of course, it is also not required to reply to individual comments! It is always very nice when the subject of a post comes by to reply to the community, but please do not feel obligated to do so. Again, welcome!
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:53 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Their offices really have that business 2.0 vibe...everyone chilled out. Dildos all over the place. Like Facebook or somewhere.

So the rumors about Facebook are true
posted by Greg Nog at 10:58 AM on September 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


It is always very nice when the subject of a post comes by to reply to the community, but please do not feel obligated to do so. Again, welcome!

Gotcha. Many thanks for the welcome!

So the rumors about Facebook are true

I was particularly impressed with what some of their staff members were using as stress toys.
posted by JonMillward at 11:02 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm at work but will definitely check this out later. Very cool that the author stopped by; when I glanced at the FPP I thought his name was Josh Millard, leading to a quizzical look at my iPad.
posted by TedW at 12:02 PM on September 9, 2014


(T)here is a person who gets paid to open up boxes which they are certain contain used sex toys, and to possibly handle and test the function of said sex toys...

My most memorable return while working at Borders Books in Ann Arbor:

The customer: A middle-aged white guy, copper hair, championship dandruff, face like a half-melted bowl of peaches-and-cream ice cream. The book he wants to return: A copy of The Men's Self-Sexuality Handbook, which he pulls from a scrotally-wrinkled paper bag. The book's condition: Dog-eared. Also distinctly crusty.

I start to explain the store's return policy (i.e., books must be in saleable condition; unmarked; spoogeless) but before I can, he hands me the book he wants instead, and it's Child Loving: The Erotic Child in Victorian Literature. And he's got this squishily expectant, toothless smile on his face, and I become aware of a thick, humid smell, like wet cake crumbs and old laundry, that has enclosed him, and me, and the books, and his bag.

Then, suddenly, there are ten people in line behind him, and a clerk from upstairs is paging, urgently, for a someone to please bring up more toilet paper (because we're in the middle of the summer art fair, and thousands of tourists have streamed into town to take dumps and buy fae little birdhouses on poles) and I am struck by the shining, golden, unassailable realization that it would be an affront to all things good, joyous, and right for any living being on Earth to spend one more goddamed minute on this than is absolutely goddamed necessary. So instead of arguing or calling a manager, I swiftly process the return, put the new book in a fresh, clean bag, tell the guy to have a very nice day, and then wait about 8.5 seconds before throwing the newly repatriated "handbook" in the trash without asking permission or filling out a single one of the required forms.

I have no regrets.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: "I have no regrets, everyone has a butt"
posted by skepticbill at 1:50 PM on September 9, 2014


The overwhelming male preference for anal toys is kind of obvious is it not? Not everyone has options for penetration... or a prostate.

Also, the evo-psych "explanation" in the article was kind of poor. Just... unsubstantiated and unnecessary. The rest was pretty good and matter of fact.
posted by smidgen at 2:28 PM on September 9, 2014


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