VIP Interview With Isabelle Deslauriers President & Founder Of Désirables Expérience Design Inc

Isabelle Deslauriers From Désirables Expérience Design Inc

Désirables Expérience Design Inc is a design company founded by Isabelle Deslauriers in 2011 who create all their products with love, passion, inspiration and integrity. Désirables specialises in designing adult lifestyle products that are made from ceramic, which is an environmentally friendly material that is also body safe. The sex toys they design are made with the well-being of people in mind – each and every products is finely handcrafted with ergonomic designs that are incredibly functional. Their sex toys use the idea that you are able to control the precise amounts of pressure to stimulate your erogenous zones. This is a VIP Interview with Isabelle Deslauriers president and founder of Désirables Expérience Design Inc.

Tell me about yourself?

Hello, my name is Isabelle Deslauriers and I’m the president and founder of Désirables Expérience Design Inc, better known as “Désirables”. I’ve studied interior and industrial design and I have a certificate in business creation. I’m from Quebec City, a gorgeous French & historic city in Canada. Apart from Désirables, my passions revolves around lots of good food, yoga and gaming on my PS4 every now and then. My father founded his company at our house when I was very young so I’ve always been interested in starting my own company.

What did you learn about the adult lifestyle industry when you studied Industrial Design at the University of Montreal?

I must say, the adult lifestyle industry is NOT something that you usually learn in Industrial Design, though I think you have a special program in Australia focusing only on sex toys. I had to learn more about this industry because I chose this subject as my final year project: How to create a bridge between design, sexuality and intimacy.

The first thing I learned was that there is really a style, an aesthetic appeal for everything. The industry is so huge that you have products for everyone in terms of looks and feel. I had to dig a little deeper to find the problems that I try to resolve with Désirables. With such a diversity in terms of materials, I wanted to know which one is perfect for internal use. That’s when I discovered the issue around Phthalates and “toxic-toys”. I also discovered some possible issues with repeated usage of vibrations. If you study sexuality as a phenomenon larger than just the act itself, you understand pretty quickly that you could learn something new every day for the rest of your life, because sexuality includes notions of biology, sexology, intimacy, spirituality and even neurobiology.

Did you always know you were going to create sex toys?

Until my last year of University I never tough of creating a sex toys business. With that said, during all my years as an industrial design student, I always found myself criticizing sex toys that I saw in design newsletter. So in my third year, my friends dared me to create sex toys for my final year project, the project that would represent me in all the design community. I like to tackle challenges and I’ve always been very curious about everything surrounding sexuality, especially since we don’t have a lot of basic sexual education in Canada.

What inspired you to create your own business?

The health issues that I found convinced me that I should use this project to start my own business, my solutions needed to be out there in order to give a healthier, more ethically responsible solution to everyone who would like a sex toy, especially people who needed to reconnect and rediscover their sexuality.

Adori By Desirables
Sex Toy: Adori
Massage Stones By Desirables
Sex Toy: ADORI

What was it like applying for grants?

I actually applied for grants while I was studying business creation, first because my teachers said that I could actually win this thing. But also because I’ve learn that if you don’t try the only reply you will receive is NO, but if you give it a shot there is a tiny possibility that you might receive a YES. Luckily enough, that year I received 3 grants that gave me the money and confidence to start my first production.

What was it like starring in Dragon’s Den? Was it scary? Would you do it again?

It’s definitely an experience I would recommend to any entrepreneur. I must admit that I wasn’t scared at all, after applying for grants and some contest I was already comfortable to do a pitch in front of potential investors. I think that what scared me the most was the reaction of the general public. The reaction was amazing and 3 years later, I still meet some people who recognize me from this show. Sex Toys Company presented by a young mid-twenty woman is definitely unusual. I would do it again, though we are actually thinking about starting a Crowd founding campaign for our next project revolving around pelvic floor health.

Sex Toy Pitch On Dragon Den
Photo: Isabelle at Dragon Dens

What is your design process like? What is your favourite part of the design process?

I love books and I love research, so the biggest part of my design process is research. I like to have a little information from every part of the “big picture” when I design. I must admit that at the time, I didn’t do enough research with actual people, I just asked everyone in my program what were their issues and what prototype they liked best. If I had to redo it, I would definitely talk to more people.

DALIA by Desirables
Image: DALIA Sex Toy Manufacturing Process

The design process for me was this:

  • State the issue that you want to tackle, do research to see if this is really the issue that people have (At the beginning I thought that the aesthetic of sex toys was the biggest issue).
  • Research.
  • Redefine the problematic with the new information we gathered.
  • Propose 3-4 different solutions for the problematic.
  • Choose 1 that inspires you the most, today I would use the Value Proposition Canva to help me choose what solution is the best to solve my customer problem.
  • A lot of sketches, then you select between 5 and 10 that you like the most.
  • Clay prototypes, because ergonomics in small scales objects is really essential. We wanted to create product that could be used by everyone at every age so we had to think about arthritis.
  • After that I would choose my final form and print it with a 3D printer to see the final details. You can also more easily validate the product once it is in this form.
  • We’re always in the design process even after a product is produce, for example, the Dalia that we are selling now is the fourth version since our launch. We take into account all our clients reviews and new technologies available.
  • In the end, I didn’t have to do a lot of back and forth with my initial designs because the research was so thorough that every seemingly aesthetic decision I made was based on research.
Adori by Desirables
Image: ADORI Sex Toy Manufacturing Process

For all our projects, for example every time we have to create a new packaging for the product, we print them in order to compare them and make our final selection. Never stay with your first idea folks; this is not how you can create real change/value.

What quote/s inspire you?

For Desirables, a quotes from Charles & Ray Eames always comes to mind:

“Take your pleasure seriously.”

Personally… I love the sarcasm of Oscar Wild:

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

They inspire me because it is sometimes hard to stand by your ideas when these decisions are hard. We chose to make all our production here in Canada with local ceramist, most business advisor would tell us to go product in China in order to make more profit. In the entrepreneurial life, you definitely need some quotes to help you keep your authenticity because it’s easy to make a decision based on the money over the quality of life, ethics are hard to visualize in an excel sheet.

What materials are your products made from?

Our products are made in… PORCELAIN! This material is really underestimated in the sex toy industry. It has every feature you would like in a great toy: heat transfer capabilities (you can cool it or warm it), super easy to clean, non-porous (It’s been cooked twice between 1000 and 1400°C), hypoallergenic, body-compatible, it gives a gorgeous and luxurious look, and most of all…It can last a lifetime (and more).

Most people think that porcelain is very breakable, it’s only partly true. Porcelain is fragile to “shocks”, if you drop it on the ground it will shatter. But, in use it’s one of the strongest materials out there. That’s actually what dentist uses for replacing teeth, and now they even use it to replace bones because the body doesn’t reject is as much as the one made of medical stainless steel. Because we are such big believers in the power of porcelain and because we know that an accident can happen with your toys, we offer a 5 years warranty, no questions asked, on all our porcelain products.

Désirables Expérience Design Inc products are vibration free – Why is it important to use toys that do not have vibrations?

We discovered that excess vibrations can create problems for the user, gradual desensitization that create what it’s called a “Plateau” effect.  This means that with time, if you use vibrations regularly, you need to increase the strength of the vibrations in order to experience de same amount of pleasure. This is cause by the over stimulation of the nerves ending at the end of the clitoris. Vibrations are not inherently bad, it’s just the lack of information surrounding the use of vibrators that can cause harm in the long term. The mission of Désirables is to create tools to help people discover their body and take more time to experience pleasure. For me, vibrations carries a “performance issue” that place the achievement of orgasm above the pleasure of sexual encounters.

There are multiple benefits:

  • Firstly, for G-spot stimulation there is no nerve endings that could be stimulated by the vibrations. To orgasm from the G-spot, pressure is the key.
  • The absence of vibrations means that you will actually take the time to discover what brings you pleasure. Your partner cannot satisfy you if you don’t even know what you like.
  • You don’t have to upgrade to a new toy after a few months because the original one isn’t strong enough anymore.

What are your best sellers?

Our best seller is definitely the Dalia, our porcelain dildo. When I started, I was sure that our massage stones would be the biggest seller because it’s such an innovation. We discovered that it’s so far from what people are used to see that they don’t understand at first glance what their function is. In stores, our massage oil is definitely a big seller too, its fragrance is so complex and delicate that some people actually want to buy it as perfume! The texture is pretty amazing too. Like our porcelain product, our massage products are design to be hypoallergenic, without any additive.

Personal Massagers By Desirables
Buy Now | Sex Toy Store That’s Online

Désirables Expérience Design Inc had founded the Design & Intimacy Project – What is this project? How would you recommend couples communicate and use tools to explore their bodies for a better sexual lifestyle and relationship?

Actually this project is my Final Year project in Industrial Design, the project that started Désirables. You can find most of our findings in our booklets which are in every porcelain product box. In those, we give information about intimacy, sharing fantasies, the importance of using your 5 senses and even some yoga poses to help you release tension in your pelvic area.

What is your favourite moment from running Désirables Expérience Design Inc?

My favourite moment are definitely when I meet a customer in an event and they tell me how much my products helped them with their problems. From new moms to recently divorcees, I even had an older lady who just recently lost her husband and wanted to rediscover her sexuality. When I started this project I could never have imagine how much good design and a caring attention to details could really make a person’s life better.

Adultsmart would love to thank Isabelle Deslauriers for this amazing interview who is such a passionate inventor and entrepreneur. If you would like to find out more information about their company, be sure to check out Désirables Expérience Design Inc’s blog.ThankSave

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Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women's lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.

VIP Interview With Mr. Hankey Toys

Mr. Hankey Toys is an adult lifestyle company who design phallic dildos that are available in all shapes and sizes. Their product’s are made with the finest selection of 100% platinum silicone which is phthalate free, odourless and completely body safe, they are literary made to last you a life time. Mr. Hankey Toys products are designed to be compatible with the Vac-U-Lock system so that can be used with harnesses, suction cups, handles, hand grips and so much more. This is a VIP Interview With Mr. Hankey himself who is a partner of the company.

Tell me about yourself

I go by the name Mr. Hankey and am a partner in the Company, I am 40 years old.  I choose to remain anonymous because I am involved with other types of businesses and services in the community that would not be very accepting of my current position at Mr. Hankey’s Toys.  I appear pretty normal from the outside but have a pretty twisted mind, talking to me you would never guess though.  At work I am all business and in “work mode”, outside of work I am rarely ever very serious about anything.

What inspired you to begin your business Mr Hankey Toys?

There are really not very many manufacturer’s that produce large, platinum silicone toys.  I was disappointed in the (lack of) customer service with some, wait times with others and (lack of) new ideas and creativity with the rest.  I never really meant for this to grow as quickly as it has, I started off with one toy, the “Mr. Hankey” and sold it.  People bought it and liked it so I made more and more.  I have always had other means to support myself financially so doing this on the side was just a hobby.  It took a long time and a lot of money before it turned a profit.  You have to buy silicone in 55 gallon drum kits (110 gallons) to be able to turn a profit, we purchase about 3-4 drum kits at a time now and convert them into pails that are loaded into our machine.  I remember when I released the Mr. Hankey, I used to purchase 1 gallon kits.  I was happy if I sold 1 a week.  Now we can barely keep up.

Mr. Hankey By Mr. Hankey Toys
Sex Toy: Mr. Hankey

What character traits do you feel you needed to create your own company?

I am extremely disciplined and understand the importance of long term outlook and strategy.  I also understand that I sell to a niche market and not one that might do particularly well in your typical run-of-the-mill adult store so I am very picky about the retailers we sell to and we reject almost all retail sellers that approach us except for a select few.  I am very honest and run a very tight, clean and efficient business.  We understand that customers want a high quality product at a low price so that’s what I offer.  Silicone is never cheap but if you compare our price (by weight) we are lower than everyone else out there.  Our customer service is flawless; all emails go directly to me and I answer each and every one, sometimes instantly but usually no later than within a couple hours.  Our shipping time is nearly next day, we manufacture and ship as quickly as possible.  If a customer has a special request, we always try to accommodate.  We treat each customer like they were the only customer we have and will ever have.

What are your favourite quote/s that inspire you?

I can’t think of any quotes off the top of my head.  I don’t hang pictures in my shop that say “Success” or “Goals” or anything cheesy like that.  What inspires me is treating it like a game and trying to grow it and make it something that I can retire doing, I really love what I do and find the whole process of building the Company to be extremely satisfying and fun.  I have a GED so you have to realize that getting this far has far exceeded my own personal expectations (and the expectations of others as well), I guess I have been pretty good at self-educating myself between high school and now.  I have a son that is probably  my greatest reason to succeed with the Company.  No matter what, I have decided that the money will be there if he chooses to go to college, that was not something that was available for me at any point.  He will have a much different upbringing than I had and I hope he does not take that for granted.

How long does it take to design a Mr Hankey Toy?

It used to take about a week to design and release a toy, now it takes about 6-8 weeks typically.  Most of the process is proprietary, that’s why our toys look different and have so much detail and unique properties.  I can say that I send a basic idea with dimensions to our designer in San Francisco and they take if from their, it comes back for final approval and there may be some changes made then it starts to go into production mode.  Once it’s ready it goes to the photographer then we list it on the site. It has become an extremely costly process to develop a toy from start to finish but with the added costs also comes constantly better toys so I believe the added cost has been well worth it.  I do have to give much credit to our designer, he never compromises on quality and is excellent at what he does, we are very lucky to have him working with us.

All your toys are made with 100% platinum silicone, though not all platinum silicone is the same. What types of platinum silicone do you use and what are their benefits?

What people should actually understand is that there are no toys that are made of medical grade platinum silicone.  If a company says they are using medical grade silicone they are probably not.  You cannot take one of our toys and have a surgeon implant it in your chest.  Most plat silicone is not ISO rated skin safe either although I will say that other formulations of silicone may very well be skin safe, they have just not undergone the rigorous testing needed to earn that certification.  All in all, if you buy a platinum silicone product, I would not be too concerned about it’s safety, even if it’s a lower quality platinum silicone.  The toys you want to avoid are the mass produced, stinky stuff that’s sold at most adult stores.  That stuff is nasty.  We use a USA produced ISO 10993-10 certified skin safe silicone although I would not say that it is generally any safer than any of our competitors that don’t use an ISO rated skin safe USA manufactured platinum silicone.  Platinum silicone is generally safe whether it comes with certification or not.  Let me add a note that I do not and would not trust that any product that is labelled platinum silicone that originates from outside the US, especially China, is actually platinum silicone, the ability to confirm and QC any raw material that comes from outside the US is almost impossible.  In general, you also don’t want to buy tin-cure silicone.  If the toy is simply labelled “silicone” then you really don’t know what it is and it is probably not platinum silicone.  If you are looking for a silicone toy, you want to buy “Platinum-cure Silicone or Platinum Silicone” both are the same thing and it’s the absolute best material you can choose when buying a sex toy.

Your toys can be used with a removable testicle attachment named the “Mr Hankey’s Remove-O-Balls” so people can experience the natural feeling of testicles slapping or smacking your body during penetrative play. Do you find that people enjoy the feeling and sound of natural sex which adds to the experience?

The Remove O Balls are great on any sex machine or when used in a motion that will get them swinging and smacking.  It’s pretty hard to find toys that have balls that will actually move and smack.  Yes, to answer the question, when used in a particular way I do believe that the ROB’s add to the experience.

REMOVE-O-BALLS By Mr. Hankey Toys
Buy Now | Sex Toy Shop That Stocks Dildos

All your toys can be used with sex machine and strap-ons due to their compatibility with the Vac-U-Lock system. This adds incredibly functionality, does a customer needs to purchase it at check out in order for it to work or are they able to use the toy and then buy one later?

The vac-u-lock option is just a hole.  You add your own attachment.  I always suggest buying the toy with the hole just in case you do ever want to use it with any type of attachment such as a sex machine or strap-on.  The holes cannot be added later, they are cast into the toy.  If you try to drill or cut a hole into the back of the toy it will most likely cause your toy to split over time.

What other features would you recommend that you can add to a Mr Hankey Toy? (For example, suctions cups, handles, cock rings etc)

There have not been too many new additions to vac-u-lock attachments that I have seen.  There is a suction cup that is readily available online along with a handle I have seen.  People need to get creative sometimes and invent their own stuff, like a handle.  The mass marketed stuff out there is just not that great and very unimaginative.  Really, for the people using my toys, I would recommend a machine (Orgasm Alley) or/and a strap-on (Unisex – Corey Jay harness by Mr. S).  Well worth the money and will spice up your sex life quite a bit.

Can Mr Hankey Toys be used for temperature play? Can I place it in cold water with ice cubes or in some warm water?

Sure, you can toss them in a freezer or put them in a microwave.  Silicone will retain heat for quite a while.  2 minutes in the microwave and see how you like it.  Add more time if you want it hotter.  Silicone won’t melt like rubber or plastic, you can heat up hotter than you can ever want or should (don’t blame me if you get burnt).

What types of people would you recommend use the Medium Firm and the 75% Soft Level Firm?

There’s not a huge difference between the two but enough that I would consider the 75% (the softer formula) to be preferred by those that like their toys on the softer side or are trying to get a toy to fit a little easier, the softer formula will squish and bend and form to your body a bit easier.  The Med-Firm (firm formula) is for those that like their toys on the firmer side and may be a bit more experienced or want to “feel” bumps and texture a bit more.  Most people buy the 75% formula and that’s what I would recommend unless you know that you like your toys on the firm side.

What are your best sellers?

The Hogg has always done well, that one has a very unique shape that people like.  We are currently resizing the Hogg and will be offering it in a total of 5 sizes, it’s currently only offered in 1 size.  They all sell relatively well, some better than others but overall they all still do well, even our first toy, Mr. Hankey. The shape and size are going to be what makes a person really like their toy or not, people need to think about what they like when they are buying a toy.  Do they want it to get wider at the base?  A small head, a giant head?  Lots of texture or smooth?  Fat or skinny?  Long or short?  Those are the questions people need to ask when they are shopping, we have something for almost everyone and offer a lot of different shapes.

 

Boss Hogg By Mr. Hankey Toys
Sex Toy: Boss Hogg

If you would like to learn more information read our guide on silicone and sex toy materials.Save

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Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women's lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.

VIP Interview With Tom Stewart The Founder & CEO Of Sportsheets International

Tom Stewart CEO Of SportSheets

Sportsheets is an adult lifestyle brand which has been running for over 24 years. They made their mark in the adult industry when they invented the original Sportsheet Velcro Bondage Bedsheet which now has 3 different versions including the:

  • Sportsheet King Size
  • Sportsheet Anchor Pads
  • Sportsheet Queen Size

With a wealth of industry knowledge, they were able to expand and develop a large variety of products that are used to enhance sexual pleasure including restraints, sex toys, sexual positioning products, shower sex products, strap-ons and plus size wear.

They have won over 35 awards including the Tom Stewart named ‘Service To The Industry’ Award Winner at AdultEx April 2017, Julie Stewart named ‘Top 10 Most Important and Influential Women in Adult Retail Today’ StorErotica Feb 2017 and an Xbiz Award For 2017 BDSM Pleasure Company of the Year.

This is a VIP interview with Tom Stewart the founder and CEO of Sportsheets international.

Tell me about yourself?

I’m Tom Stewart, the founder and CEO of Sportsheets international.

My sister Julie is my business partner and President.

What are your favourite accomplishments of all time?

When I look back on everything we have done, I think that starting a business in the garage with just one product (the Sportsheet) and 24 years later employing 40 people with over 400 products among 7 brands to me, is an amazing story. That we survived those early years with no money and so few products, for me is hard to fathom. If it wasn’t our story, I think I would be a lot more impressed. The fact that we lived it and not only survived, but have excelled at it is a very satisfying accomplishment.

What are your favourite quote’s that inspire you?

My all-time favorite quote is

“too much of a good thing it’s never enough”.

I think my other more practical one is that

“everything you want is on the other side of fear”

Which I find true on a daily basis.

What is the story behind the inspiration, creation and development of your company?

The Velcro bondage bedsheet, the Sportsheet started off as a joke among my friends after watching David Letterman, a late night talk show host, who was famous for doing silly stunts.

One of his more memorable ones was when he dressed up in a Velcro suit, jumped onto a small trampoline and launched himself into the air and stuck onto a Velcro wall. My friends and I thought this was pretty impressive and of course the stunt generated many sexual references for us.  For example, “wouldn’t be great to stick your girlfriend to a Velcro wall and have sex with her, and you can peel her off change positions…”

This inside joke among my friends had a lot of life and soon the Velcro wall idea morphed from a wall to a table and then somebody mentioned

“what about bedsheets?”

Bondage Bed Sheet By Sportsheets International
Buy Now | Sportsheets Sex Toy Shop

That’s when the lightbulb in my head went off and I thought, there’s something to this. We started asking the girlfriends and wives in our social circle if they would find it interesting, being stuck to Velcro bedsheets. Sort of like bondage lite. Most all of them said that they would be willing to try this, to be tied up with Velcro as long as they could get out. This ability to get out was a recurring answer among practically all the women that we floated this idea by.

There was so much interest in this idea that I finally contacted the sales manager for Velcro USA and shared with him my idea. I told him that I wanted to make a bedsheet of Velcro and have the ability to stick my partner to it so they could not get out (much like David Letterman’s stunt) but be able to peel up the restraints and escape anytime they wanted to. He he started chuckling and said he never heard of such a great application for Velcro and that he would be happy to meet and show me some materials that he thought would be perfect for this idea.

So I met the man from Velcro and he showed me the two materials, the Hook and Loop component of what became the Sportsheet Velcro Bondage Bed Sheet. The bedsheet material (the Loop) feels like velvet and (the Hook) material is an industrial strength Velcro hook that sticks anywhere on the surface of the Sportsheet bedsheet.

I had a friend who is a seamstress and she agreed to sew our first bedsheet together. My brother Bob and I then set out to make the handcuffs and what we now call the Anchor Pad, which is the Velcro hook part that sticks to the Velcro bedsheet.

The handcuff idea came from the surf leashes that the surfers in Huntington Beach used to tether themselves to their surfboard. In the event they fall off, the surfboard doesn’t float to shore with the surfer still out in the water. The surf leashes were made from Neoprene rubber (like wetsuit material) which was comfortable, waterproof and attached with Velcro. There was a common theme here. We soon started making handcuffs (Sportscuffs) out of Neoprene, webbing and Velcro, and the beauty of this was that it was an easy on-easy off product which follows the theme of the Velcro bed sheet.

We needed something to attach the handcuff to that would stick to the Sportsheet. We tried many ideas from sewing Velcro hook onto many different things and it was Bob who came up with the brilliantly simple idea of a rectangle shaped Velcro (hook) pad. This pad had Velcro hook on one side and nylon on the other side with webbing and a clip. The Sportscuff also had a clip that would attach to the clip of the anchor pad, and the anchor pad could be placed anywhere on the surface of the bedsheet and stick.

Contents Of The Sportsheets Bondage Bed Sheet
Sex Toy: What’s Included In The Sportsheets Bondage Bed Sheet Package

The beautiful thing about Velcro is that when pulled against, Velcro is very difficult to release.  As everyone knows, to remove anything with Velcro you simply just peel it and it releases. So when a person is wearing the Sportscuff and that is connected to the anchor pad, the anchor pad is then placed anywhere on the surface of the sheet and really can’t be pulled off. However it can be very easily peeled up, providing the person who is “tied up” with the ability to get out anytime. This goes back to the original concept of many of our friends telling us that they would be willing to be tied up as long as they could get out.

We thought we had devised a pretty good system. By the time our seamstress finished sewing the first Sportsheet, we had a crude set of Sportscuffs and Anchor Pads. We invited some close friends over to try it out and selected our first volunteer. We attached the Sportcuffs around her wrist and ankles and then connected those to the Anchor Pads. As we spread eagled her out on the bed and stuck the Anchor Pads to the Velcro sheets, we all sit back and waited. I then asked her if she could pull against these restraints and get out.  She started straining with her legs and arms and turned red in the face with her efforts. She started laughing and said “oh my God I can’t get out!” Everyone standing around the bed just burst out laughing and saying “oh my God this is so funny but oh my God this thing really works”. When she had had enough she simply pealed up the anchor pads from her wrists and disconnected herself from the sheet. Immediately after that several of us several of us took turns trying to pull the Velcro Anchor Pad off the bedsheet and no one could. We could all peel the pads up and get out anytime we wanted to. The proof of concept worked and we are very excited about it. I reported back to the man from Velcro that we had developed a successful product and now we needed material to make more Sportsheets.

We started buying the bedsheet material from a mill on the East Coast and Velcro supplied us with the Velcro hook. We continue to tweak and improve the bedsheet design so that it couldn’t possibly pull be pulled off the mattress. With this improvement in place we set out to sell this product. This was 28 years ago and they were not the proliferation of adult stores there are today. We weren’t sure where to test sell this product until we met a man who was the head of a swinger’s organization and was hosting an upcoming Swingers convention with 300 couples. We had 20 sets of Sportsheets made for this event and took them to the convention. We sold every set and the business was born.

Why did you choose the material Velcro on the original Sportsheet Velcro Bondage Bedsheet?

The material that the man from Velcro originally showed us was this soft plush woven material that feels similar to velvet. When showed me that this would stick to a special Velcro hook I couldn’t believe it. This made for a luxurious feeling bedsheet. People were amazed that something so soft and velvety was Velcro compatible. We use the same materials in the Sportsheets today.

Where are Sportsheets products manufactured?

Most of our Sportsheets products are made in the USA in Huntington Beach. Many are made right in our facility. Our lower cost brand Sex & Mischief, which is designed for beginners, is made overseas.

What are the benefits of your manufacturing process?

The products that we make are undeniably of the highest quality of any comparable brand exists. We are so confident of the quality of our Sportsheets products that we offer a limited lifetime warranty on the entire line. Since we manufacture the products we can react to a surge or decline in sales very quickly. The other benefit is that we can directly control the quality of the product that we make.  This also allows us to make continuous improvements in our products.

How do you develop new products?

We have many creative people at Sportsheets that continually come up with new product ideas. We have a large R&D department that thrives on making new and unique products.

Many of the products ideas that we first come up with can be pretty crazy and “out there”. We take those ideas and refine them to where they become viable consumer items.

An idea becomes a prototype. As a manufacturing company we have all the tools and processes to make prototypes. Early in the prototyping process we’re able to show an item around the office to our sales and marketing people and get immediate feedback as to who is the consumer for this?  The entire prototyping process helps us separate the crazy ideas from the more viable ones.

How long does it take? What is the process like?

Sometimes a prototype will hang on our R&D wall for more than a year. We keep these products visible so that when people walk by and look, sometimes it strikes them that this could be perfect for a new brand. I will often sit with our graphic artist and design some ideas, work up different shapes and show this to our prototyping department.  They will take the drawing and come up with an actual usable sample. I find that the rapid pace of this process is my favorite. An idea can go from an idea to a printout, to the product developers in less than two days.

What does your company value the most?

Our employees are our biggest asset. When it comes to products which our employees produce, its quality and uniqueness. We are not a copycat company, we make high quality, original and creative products. This is by far the biggest reason that we remain in business for 25 years.

What are your favourite memories from working with Sportsheets?

Going way back, we went to many different trade shows, among which were swingers conventions, hard-core leather and BDSM conventions. None of us were swingers so when we entered into this domain we were quite unprepared for what we are about to experience. During every convention where we sold products we had a “hospitality suite” upstairs in our hotel rooms so people could come by with a little more privacy and try our products out. What we saw during these hospitality suites is still seared into my mind.

We learned a lot about sex and sexuality during these events. I was always interested in sex, (obviously, look what I’ve done for the last 25 years) but I wasn’t prepared for this rapid education we received in our first few years in business. Besides some crazy stories, a take away from hosting these events and participating at these conventions was a world of sexuality that I was did not know existed.  My “takeaway” was that everyone’s sexuality is very individualistic and everybody has a particular thing that they like. This helped me understand that in our customers there was not a “one product fits all” for everyone. Which is why over the years we’ve expanded our line from the Sportsheet to over seven brands and 400 different products. We have brands that go from beginner to intermediate to experienced and brands that fit somewhere in between.

Which products are your best sellers?

By far the best seller in our entire line among all our brands is The Under The Bed Restraint System. This is an adjustable four-point (wrist and ankle) restraint system that slides underneath the mattress.

Under the Bed Restraint System By Sportsheets International
Sex Toy: Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System

Why?

This is probably the most user-friendly and basic product for anyone just starting out, or for people who are really into it. There’s no set up other than sliding the straps underneath the mattress, and it’s strong enough to hold almost anybody. It travels well and I think the biggest thing is that it can be hidden underneath the mattress simply by tucking the cuffs and straps underneath the mattress, no one knows it’s there.

What type of punishment device would you recommend to someone just getting into BDSM?

I understand the nature of this question but I have to state that I don’t see our BDSM products as punishment devices. I see them more as facilitating couples to connect with each other, exchanging power, or submitting to the request of their partner for restraint play. Not be hypocritical I will admit that we do make many paddles that are very popular and riding crops that if used harshly can absolutely bring pain to a person, if that is the intention of both people involved.

I really like to think of our crops and paddles as more sensation play products then punishment devices.

What products would you use to bring BDSM into the bedroom?

I would suggest that for someone just getting into restraint play and exploring what this is, and what it means, that the Sportsheets of course is still the best BDSM sex toy on the market. Since it’s quite expensive I think this points to why the lower cost Under The Bed Restraint System is so popular. I would recommend this for anybody experimenting with BDSM. It’s an easy on easy off soft cuff system that a couple can use without concerns of somebody being tied up for too long or someone getting hurt by the cuffs.

Under the Bed Restraint System Made With Velcro By Sportsheets
Sex Toy: Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System

Along with the under the bed restraint system for a couple starting out I would recommend a blindfold and a feather tickler. When you allow yourself to be tied up, especially for the first time and you have your eyes covered with a blindfold any sensation is heightened. A feather tickler on the bare skin, when you’re blindfolded, can feel absolutely exquisite as can fingernails dragged across your skin. An ice cube becomes a hot or cold point of sensation and can absolutely make the mind expand into blissful delight.

Midnight Feather Tickler Sex Toy of the Month
Sex Toy: Sportsheets Midnight Feather Tickler

For example, floggers, whips, paddles and crops. Why?

We make some of the best ones on the planet. When couples get into using these products it’s a step up in their understanding and their connection with BDSM. Everyone in their young life has probably been spanked. When we do this as consenting adults it takes on quite a different sensation and significance. The sensation of a paddle on your backside, if done correctly, done slowly can be absolutely thrilling. If you approach your partner correctly with one of these products the pleasurable sensations that you can produce are quite extraordinary. If someone doesn’t have much experience with the paddle for instance and their partner says “sure I’ll let you spank me” and the partner hauls off and whacks them as hard as they can, doesn’t make for a very pleasant experience and will most likely be the last time the person will trust their partner to ever do something like that again. For people that can gently explore their limits in a constructive way are the ones who are going to evolve into the more frequent and satisfied users.

12 Inch Leather Heart Impression Paddle By Sportsheets International
Sex Toy: Sportsheets 12 Inch Leather Heart Impression Paddle

When I do customer trainings I like to introduce the “why would anybody want to get hit with a paddle”?  I ask the audience to clap their hands three times really hard, like they’re applauding for their favorite song at a concert, and at the end of this clapping pause and feel the sensation in their hands.  I ask them “what is it you feel”? Everybody says “it tingles”. I then ask them if it doesn’t hurt and they say “no, it tingles”.  That’s the sensation we are going after! When we spank, paddle or flog our partner we want it to tingle. We want to wake up the skins nerves and stimulate them. When I have this conversation with an audience they have a new understanding that there’s a different result they could achieve by using a paddle across their partner’s backside. Something as simple as that explanation , that if used properly, makes a paddle or crop go from a punishment device to something that can deliver pure pleasure.

Are there any products that you are surprised to find that are commonly bought?

Ball gags. I’m always surprised at the volume of ball gags that people purchase. It’s certainly part and parcel to the BDSM genre of products. I understand it, and I’ve come to realize the ball gag is similar to a blindfold for the mouth. When people are using one together, communication changes. When one person can’t speak, other methods of communication have to take place or simply no communication at all. I think it’s one of the more interesting aspects of people’s sexuality play.

Edge Silicone Ball Gag by Sportsheets International
Sex Toy: Sportsheets Edge Silicone Ball Gag

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It’s been satisfying to see the consumer market grow in this category of sex toys grow over the last 2 1/2 decades. When we started there was only leather or metal handcuffs or rope. We have brought more user-friendly BDSM products to consumers and the market has reacted favorably.

Ask anyone in the industry and they’ll tell you that BDSM has gone mainstream which I truly believe it has, to a point, but I don’t think you’ll be seeing a hogtie set in a department store anytime soon.

That being said, as more and more people become comfortable trying these products, the category, along with the consumer market will continue to increase.

Be sure to also check out a BDSM Guide for Bondage Safety.Save

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Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women's lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.

VIP Interview With Lynda Mort Director Of Business Development For XR Brands

Lynda Mort Director Of Business Development For XR Brands Photo

XR Brands is an adult lifestyle company who have created over 28 well-known brands including CleanStream, Inmi, Master Series, Raging Cockstars, Trinity Vibes, Vogue, Tom of Finland and Wand Essentials. They are most famous for their brand Master Series which is a fetish sex toy range which includes restraints, BDSM gear, prostate massagers, nipple play, strap-on dildos, chastity and much more. XR Brands focuses on the development of niche products for people who wish to fulfil their sexual desires with quality, innovation and comfort. There products really do define what is BDSM!

Most recently XR Brands have won multiple 2017 XBIZ Awards including the Tom of Finland Pleasure Tools and Master Series were awarded as the 2017 XBIZ Gay Sex Toy/Line of the Year and Fetish Product/Line of the Year. They have also been nominated as the StoreErotica 2017 LGBT Company of the Year.

This is a VIP interview with Lynda Mort the Director of Business Development for XR Brands with the Adultsmart Blog.

Tell me about yourself?

My name is Lynda Mort, I am the Director of Business Development for XR Brands. I have been with XR Brands for two and a half years.

What is the story behind the inspiration, creation and development of your company and product range?

XR Brands is located in Huntington Beach, CA. Our company was created to cater to those who have interest in the fetish lifestyle.  We offer a wide variety of fetish/BDSM/niche products. We understand that everyone has their own kink, and we want to show them that we have a product that fits their lifestyle. Our goal is to encourage our users to find their Kink!

What are your favourite accomplishments of all time working for XR Brands?

I am only as good as the team that works with me, and one of the things that we are most proud of is how far the brand has come in such a short time. Over the last two years we have grown so much, it is amazing to see our brands being offered all over the world! We have spent so much time choosing fantastic partners who believe in our brand, our business and our team. Our partners have been the key to our success, and we are so happy to be working with a network of successful distributors who want to grow with us. The time, effort and sacrifices that our team has made over the last few years is admirable and we pride ourselves on the incredible staff we have working for us.

What are your favourite quote’s that inspire you?

Recently a mentor of mine sent me this, I loved it so much that I printed it out and put it on my desk!

“Even if you go for it and it doesn’t work out, you still win. You still had the guts enough to head straight into something that frightened you. That type of bravery will take you places.”

The one quote that inspires me daily comes from one of the women I look up to, Sophia Amoruso author of #GirlBoss,

“It is she who listens to the rest of the world who fails, and it is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.”

These inspire me because they show you that you should not fear failure, but use it as a tool to learn and to grow. In my opinion, you cannot learn without failure.

Where are your products manufactured?

Our products are manufactured all over the world. We choose the location we make our products based on the materials we are using. We manufacture in regions that specialize in the products they are making. Because we use so many different types of materials we want them to be made where they originate from.

What does your company value the most?

Hard work! Our motto is PLAY HARD and we encourage our team to work hard and play hard! The company values each and every employee and the sacrifices they make to take XR Brands to the next level.

What is the product development process like?

XR develops products following market trends and customer feedback. We take customer feedback very seriously and we read reviews on our products religiously. We have developed and improved many products based on customer feedback. Our customers are the heart of our company and we value their suggestions. Once we have an idea, we roundtable and brainstorm the idea. It then goes into the prototype stage, and testing. When we are satisfied with the results, it goes to the buying team, then art and production. It’s a pretty fun process and I would have to say that we have the best jobs in the world!

What are your favourite memories from working with XR Brands?

Honestly, I have too many to count! I do work with some incredible people and have some of the best customers in the world! I would say that one of my favorite memories would have to be the XR Brands Dungeon opening party. It stands out as my favorite because the entire XR family was there, as well as our wonderful partners and customers and we all just had an amazing time. We did a live whipping and caning with a master Dom, and it was the first time I had ever witnessed something like that. It was truly incredible!

What are XR Brands best sellers?

Our best sellers vary as they span across multiple categories. We have items that range from Cock and Ball Holsters to Lube Launchers to Electrode Penis Pads. The reason for this is due to the wide variety of kinks that people are into. We have products that cater to so many different lifestyles. Because we are known for our fetish and BDSM products, those categories do best for us.

Zeus Electrode Penis Pads Sex Toy Image
Sex Toy: Zeus Electrode Penis Pads

What products would you recommend?

I would recommend our new SHEGASM forced clitoral stimulator. Ergonomically designed for easy use, Shegasm’s unique suction sensation is like nothing else you have experienced. Simply turn on, place the silicone tip opening over your clitoris, and feel its amazing suction. The easy to use dial lets you increase the vibration power for added stimulation. Since Shegasm is wireless and charges via USB cord, you can take this amazing pleasure vibe anywhere you go.

Shegasm Focused Clitoral Stimulator Sex Toy Image
Sex Toy: Shegasm Focused Clitoral Stimulator

Does XR Brands use any unique materials or technology?

We are always trying to stay ahead of the market. We recently released an update to our iFuk Virtual Reality Stroker. The update features actual stars such as Lisa Ann, Blondie Fesser and Indica Cannabliss. The stroker allows you to have a more interactive part in the scene you are a part of.

iFuk Virtual Reality Stroker Sex Toy Image
Buy Now | XR Brands Sex Toy Range

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don’t be intimated by our products. We offer something for everybody and we encourage people to explore themselves alone and with their partner. It’s important that we understand ourselves and our bodies. Don’t be ashamed to ask for what you want sexually.

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Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women's lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.

VIP Interview With Rob Reimer Chief Marketing Officer Of Boneyard Toys

Rob Reimer Chief Marketing Officer Photo

Boneyard Toys is an adult lifestyle company who develop masculine products for men. They were established in 2016 by Channel 1 Releasing an adult movie company who are affiliated with Rascal Video, Dirk Yates, All Words and Catalina. These movies companies have some of the hottest gay porn stars in the world including Johnny Hazzard, Eddie Stone, Brent Everett and Cameron Marshall.

Boneyard Toys products include cock rings, cock and ball straps, penis extenders, anal sex toys, lubricant, anal douche equipment and more. Recently “The Skwert” a patented douche with a 5 hole silicone nozzle which is compatible with almost any squeezable bottle won the AVN Expo “O” Award for Outstanding Accessory of the Year 2016.

This is a VIP interview with Rob Reimer the Chief Marketing Officer of Boneyard Toys.

Skwert Water Bottle Douche Adapter Image
Image: Skwert Water Bottle Douche Adapter

Tell me about yourself?

Rob Reimer – Chief Marketing Officer or some say Chief Toy Slinger   I currently live in Fort Lauderdale which I love because it is so easy to get to the beach, and the water is perfect all year and easy to get in, not like the freezing Pacific, where I lived for nearly for 15 years.  I also love travelling which is perfect for what I do, because I spend a lot of my time in Los Angeles where the Channel 1 headquarters are.  I also spend a lot of time on the road doing product trainings and education and meeting lots of interesting people in this industry.  I also love a wide range of music and go to lots of concerts.  Over the last few months I saw U2, the Symphony of the Americas, Dolly Parton and Metallica.

What are some of your favourite accomplishments of all time working for Channel 1 Releasing and Boneyard Toys?

Well I started working for Channel 1 back in 2003, it was my first foray into the adult industry and it was insane.  I travelled a lot with Chi Chi LaRue and her harem of porn stars, and got into lots of trouble with her, lol.  I ended up spreading my wings and seeing what else was out there, and about 2 years ago I decided I wanted to go back.  I always kept in close contact with them, so I approached them with the Boneyard idea and Viola, I’m back and loving it.  It’s like being home again.

What are your favourite quote’s that inspire you?

Well I have to include some of my most favorite rock star quotes.

“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” – Kurt Cobain

“The reason we’re successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course.” – Freddie Mercury

“I’m sober now, I just think stoned thoughts.” – Iggy Pop

“Go Forth and Set The World On Fire.” -St. Ignatius Loyola

Boneyard Silicone Ring Grey Sex Toy Image
Sex Toy: Boneyard Silicone Ring Grey

What is the story behind the inspiration, creation and development of your company?

Well, being a musician myself, it was always about rock n roll, but the name came from an in-flight magazine of all things.  I was flipping through it and came across an article about the Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas, it’s this incredible outdoor museum where they keep all the old retired neon Vegas strip signs, you have to go see it the next time you are there, it’s out of this world.  So I finished reading the article and it just clicked Boneyard.  There are all sorts of double entendre’s in there.

 

Rascal 12” Black Balled Dildo Sex Toy Image
Sex Toy: Rascal 12” Black Balled Dildo

What are the differences of working for an adult movie company and an adult lifestyle company?

Well not much actually. Even if you don’t produce movies you still have to do photo shoots with porn stars modeling your products, so you still interact with that side of the industry.  For us, we still produce movies and sell a lot of them, a lot of people don’t realize how big that market still is.   So there is all types of tie-ins with cross promotion, selling combo packs, etc. One of our best sellers is the Rascal 12” Black Balled Dildo that is based off the popular movie “Black Balled”.  So we have a collectors movie pack that goes really well with it.  We also have a new Boneyard Snake Oil Cum Lube that comes with a free DVD that is 200 Cum Shots back to back.  People love that stuff.

Boneyard Toys Snake Oil Cum Lube Image
Buy Now | Boneyard Toys Adult Store

Where are Boneyard Toys products manufactured?

We manufacture in both China and the US.  All of our lubes and anal bleach are made in the US and everything else mostly in China.  In China it’s easy to ship directly to our international distributors, but it’s also a challenge sometimes waiting for Ocean shipments to arrive into the US.  But then it’s sometimes very expensive to ship our cosmetic lines from the US.  There are positives and negatives to both.

What does your company value the most?

Definitely innovation.  Being a small manufacturer you have to find ways to compete with the big boys.  So we have to stand out, and the only way for us to do that is to either come up with an entirely new product that no one has done before like the Skwert water bottle douche, which comes with 2 attachments that turns most water bottles into a douche, or we have to have a feature that is entirely different, like the raised skulls on our new Spank paddle.  The skulls make a temporary imprint when you get spanked.  It’s something that people love and also sets us apart.

What are your favourite memories from working with Boneyard Toys?

Well its only been about a year since we launched but it has to be winning the AVN “O” Award for the Skwert water bottle douche.  It was the first award of the night and we won and I had to get up in front of a giant room of people, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I’ve never even thought about being a sex toy designer and then I win an award for my first design.  It was unexpected and overwhelming and the support I got from all my friends in the industry was amazing.  It definitely motivated me to come up with more cool stuff.

Which products are your best sellers?

The Skwert is the top seller and what I hear from everybody over and over is that it is something entirely new and that’s what people are looking for.  So we are going to be expanding the line of Skwert products as much as we can.  We just launched the Skwert lube injector which is the same concept of the Skwert douche where it comes with 2 attachments that fits most lube bottles and converts them into an injector.

What should people look for in an anal play products?

Yes everything we have is silicone or if it’s a TPR its phthalate free.  One trick a lot of people don’t know is that you can smell the product and if it smells like a pool toy, it’s probably not safe.  Sex toys should not smell at all, especially if you are inserting it into your body.  Also if something feels like it is burning you, throw it away or burn it!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just be on the lookout for new and great things to come.  Bone for Life!

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Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women's lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.
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