VIP Interview With Shay Martin Vice President Of Vibratex

Vibratex is the original company that made sex toy history and took the world by storm when one of their rabbit vibrators was featured in HBO’s hit series Sex and the City. In season 1, episode 9 The Turtle and the Hare, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda humorously discuss the downsides and upsides of replacing a man with a battery-operated device. One of the characters chimes in talking about an ultimate vibrator that she is absolutely head over heels in love with. It is her very first vibrator which is known simply as “The Rabbit”. When the main characters see The Rabbit for the very first time they are heard saying things like:

“Look! Oh, it’s so cute.”

“I thought it would be all scary and weird, but it isn’t.”

“It’s pink! For girls! Look.”

“Look. The little bunny has a little face like Peter Rabbit.”

“It’s even got a remote. How lazy do you have to be?”

For many, this episode marked the day that sex toys for women were made popular and socially accepted. Since it aired, The Rabbit has been the very first vibrator for many women all around the world. People walking into sex toy shops inquisitively look for this famous vibrator. The Rabbit always ends up being one of the main pieces in a sex toy enthusiast’s collection. The Rabbit is so popular that Vibratex has made many different versions of it so that there is something for everybody. You really can’t go wrong when you choose one of their sexual wellness products.

The original and famous vibrator is made by a company named Vibratex. Vibratex was founded in the early 1980s. They now have over 38 years of experience in the industry. They are located in Napa, California and are well known for manufacturing their own products. This gives Vibratex the ability to carefully maintain their high quality standards keeping customers all over the world happy and satisfied. If that is not enough Vibratex have also been in Glamour magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.

This is a VIP interview with Shay Martin the vice president of Vibratex. This interview will talk about what inspired the creation of Vibratex, what inspires Shay, amazing features from the products, how their products have changed over time and so much more!

Tell me about yourself

Shay Martin, Vice President of Vibratex.  Expertise?  Well I have a biology and chemistry background where I did cancer research for 12 years. I grew up in a household that was involved in the adult industry from retail, to manufacturing, to importing, to wholesale. It was my summer jobs that taught me so much about the adult industry.

What inspired the creation of Vibratex?

My parents had retail adult stores and discovered dual action vibrators in Japan that they had never seen before. This of course was back in the day where most “lifelike” vibrators looked like uncooked hotdogs and smelled even worse.  These vibrators from Japan were cute, female friendly and had the amazing ability (at that time) to stimulate the clitoris and have revolving penetration at the same time.  Plus they were made with high quality parts and materials which was unheard of back then.  They were expensive but people realized that they were worth it.  My father started importing them into the States to sell in his stores.  It wasn’t much longer that the competition sat up and noticed these new Japanese vibrators.  They asked him if he would consider selling to them as well and well that’s how Vibratex was born.

What inspires you?

I love John Wooden quotes.  It’s interesting that a college basketball coach had such great insights on issues and personality dynamics that can affect you in your personal life and business or sports.  I have sticky notes all over the place with his quotes and I find almost all are relevant to my life.  I also get a sense of peace and contentment with quotes from Rumi.  I am not Muslim but I believe many of his thoughts could do the world good.  Funny enough with books, I hold dear to my heart two books that have shaped me are actually some of my favorite childhood books – The World of Pooh and Where the Wild Things Are.  In its simplicity Pooh stories are about things in life and how to deal with them or overcome obstacles.  How love and support from family and friends are the best things in the world.  Where the Wild Things Are tapped into my imagination and my frustration at that time trying to grow up, being upset with my parents, wanting to escape but realizing that home is a beautiful thing.  I think it’s something everyone experiences.  Silly choices I know but I still have my books and I love their profound simplicity.

Vibratex is incredibly famously known for the world’s first blended orgasm vibrator Rabbit Pearl. Tell us about the amazing features of the Rabbit Pearl?

The Rabbit Pearl is special because it has a bendable rotating shaft and has bulbous pearls in the middle.  These pearls churn during the rotation to give you a really cool sensation.  The vaginal canal doesn’t have a huge amount of nerve endings but does feel different pressure points easily.  The pearls add different pressure sensations. The Rabbit Pearl is also known for its famous ears!  These ears are positioned at just the right angle to stimulate the clit without pinching or having to push down on the rabbit head for more contact.   We’ve always prided ourselves in making the Rabbit Pearl, a vibrator that fits just about every size of woman.  The shaft is not large and is comfortably sized to please.  It really is a perfect vibe for the first time user or someone experienced.

The Vibratex Rabbit Pearl appeared on Season 1, Episode 9 of HBO’s hit series Sex and the City. The character Charlotte who is portrayed with an innocent personality discovered and fell in love with the vibrator. After the Sex and the City episode aired there was a massive increase in sales. This moment marked society’s changing of attitudes to that of sex positivity. With other 30 years of experience in the creation of pleasure products, how have you found peoples outlooks to their sexual wellness and the use of sex toys changed?

Vibratex Rabbit Pearl
Image: Rabbit Pearl

I truly believe that the “Sex and the City” series allowed the average women to begin feeling comfortable taking charge of their sexuality.  Of course we had pioneer women such as Betty Dodson, Joni Blank, Dell Williams and retail locations that were already way ahead of their time.  But for the stay at home mom or working mom from the Midwest or other less progressive States, this series gave them a new perspective on the right to enjoy self-pleasure and to take matters in their own hands (so to speak).  I think from then on, women became more of an advocate for themselves and what they wanted in their sex toys.  I was one of the first women in the sex toy manufacturing end and I think that having that connection helped Vibratex to bring forward toys that were relatable to women.  Toys that were packaged to appeal to women, colors and designs that were thought out specifically for women, materials that were made with the health and well-being in mind.

How has Vibratex’s product range progressed over the years?

We have stayed focused on what we do best – thoughtful designs that work for the human body, simplicity of use, high quality materials.  We’ve been determined not to fall into the trap of making products that are the trend for the moment.  That is why our products look different from the majority toys out there.  I always feel that there is a “design du jour” that companies follow. To me it would feel like you are always chasing something instead of creating your own, with your own atheistic and personality.

What is it like to design new products and operate Vibratex?

Designs can be tricky.  I’m always looking for something with purpose instead of an amorphic blob, but that’s just my atheistic.  Japanese culture (of which I am half) is about beauty in everyday things.  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around a design that looks meaningless.  My husband has modeling clay that we use to help formulate ideas.  Sometimes it’s best when you have something tangible to hold to see if this is the concept you were thinking about. (I guess the 3D printer is next).  As far as operating Vibratex, I have the best staff anyone could ever imagine.  We are small and all wear many different hats but I like it that way.  It’s organic, ideas get tossed around a lot, everyone’s input is always desired. We all operate the forklift when needed when the cargo containers come in (except Nicole who refuses to learn, but then again she is the numbers lady). My mom will come in from time to time and do Sudoku. We have a desk set up for her to do that 😉

Tell me about Vibratex’s product range?

As I said earlier, we focus on a small but meaningful line. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to come out with 25 new SKU’s every month.  We want to stay focused on our quality, customer service and our small but integral line.  Half of our time, we are focused on the Magic Wand line, of which we are the sole importer for the Hitachi Corporation, truly an amazing relationship and AMAZING product.

Tell me about the materials Vibratex uses in the production of their pleasure products?

We focus on using materials that are non-toxic in their final form to the human body.  Working in science for so long I have understood the concerns and consequences of chemicals and the body.  We have silicone and non-silicone products that we sell.  We pride ourselves in the quality of our materials and even test extensively to ensure they are body-safe.

What are Vibratex’s best sellers?

Definitely our iconic Rabbit Pearl and Rabbit Habit.  The Magic Wand Original and the Magic Wand Rechargeable, the Mystic Wand, the Sugar Pop, Dahlia and our prostate stimulator called the Black Pearl are some of our best sellers.

Vibratex Rabbit Habit
Image: Rabbit Habit

What are your favorite appearances of Vibratex in the media?

Besides the appearances of many of our products on “Sex and the City” (besides the Rabbit Pearl), we’ve also had the pleasure of sharing the screen with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton in the movie “Burn after Reading”.  They contacted us to use our bendable dildo the “Silky” in one of their scenes.  They sent us the script and we approved the scene.  So when the movie came out, our whole company took the afternoon off and went to see it.  We brought the Silky with us and put it in the cup holder to watch the movie. It was perfect!  Then they sent so the movie poster which I thought was pretty nice of them.  We also were involved with the movie “Hysteria” with Maggie Gyllenhaal about the first use of vibrators for medical reasons.  They featured the timeline of vibrators at the end and Vibratex products were featured several times for works that have had a profound effect on the progression of sex toys throughout the decades.  We’ve been in many books on the history of sex toys and the impact of Vibratex on the industry.  If you think about it, when Vibratex was formed, there were on a few manufacturing companies that made sex toys and they were all run by men that didn’t know the first thing about what women wanted.  But at least they made products to start the ball rolling.  I really feel like when Vibratex came in, it was a breath of fresh air and the start of something momentous at the same time.  I love that we were at the forefront and now there are so many companies that make beautiful, well thought out toys for everyone to enjoy.  It’s been a truly amazing adventure!

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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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