Article: My Sex Toy Hopes For 2018 (Products I’d Like To See)

Happy 2018 everyone! Bring out the celebration .GIF!

I hope you achieved everything you wanted to last year and that you’ve got some big plans for this year (whether they were set for Jan 1st or not).

I’ve got a few hopes and dreams myself. Here are just a few:

  • Maintain a high level on content (and content quality) on this site.
  • Increase my social media presence (because I love nattering to you guys!)
  • Speak at more events (find my current ones here).
  • Improve my grammar.
  • Become a proactive activism for veganism and sexual health.
  • Get swole (okay, I’ll be a bit more objective: Learn how to do chin & pull ups).

But, in additional to personal wishes, there are a few things I’d like to see in the sex toy industry too.

You may have noticed that in 2017 I didn’t do a top toys list. Part of that is because, with daily posts, it would have been a mammoth task beyond comprehension, but that wasn’t the main reason.

Increasingly I’ve been feeling that people’s sexual identity, sexual preference, and how they use and experience sex toys is so incredibly diverse that to act as if I can compile an ultimate must-have list was just disingenuous to how I believe people should approach toys: That being with a sense of sexual self-assurance which is supplemented (but not replaced) by the opinion I share in my review, rather than dictated by it.

In short, I’d much rather you take each product (and each of my products reviews) on their own terms…even if it means I’m probably less marketable SEO-wise.

Much like any of you, have my own sense of sexual assurance and knowledge which is continually growing and changing.

Take size-queening, for instance. A while ago a shrunk away from anything larger that 1.9 inches in diameter, then I started to actively overcome that threshold and ravenously welcome larger challenges (with lots of lube, naturally). Now I’m indifferent to size and much more concerned with finding shapes that I like, plus I typically insert toys without water-based lube now, which was literally unfathomable until about September of this year. And that’s just one aspect of my sex life.

It’s this unique position that I (and all of us) hold when it comes to toys that has informed what I’m hoping for as the 2018 sex tech starts to roll out. What will arrive this year? How can it possibly top a self-shape dildo or the extensive expansion of VR porn? Only the sex gods know. Buuut, as a fun little way to ease into 2018 nice and gentle I thought I’d share with you my personal top hopes for what’s to come.

Let me know if any of them sound good to you to!

#1 More Focus On Communication & Interaction

I will hold my hands up right now and confess to being a shameless nerd when it comes to all kinds of technology, so I’ve followed the VR adult scene with extreme enthusiasm.

As time goes on VR in general will be growing rapidly (because, let’s face it, gamers are a formidable force) and thus so will the potential for increased in VR sex tech.

I would love to see situations in which two people can put on their VR devices, get their chosen sex tech ready (of which, the selection will hopefully expand), and experience a full 3D interactive sexual experience, with high definition offered as standard.

But, beyond this, I really hope that the sex toy industry continues to move beyond the outdated notion of toys as a replacement boyfriend, or a sexual surrogate, and increase marketing and design efforts to allow people of all kinds, in all types or relationship (including with themselves), to reach out and create tangible, meaningful connections.

Anyone who is part of the sex toy community already knows that this is what adult products are really capable of, so let’s monopolize on that.

This is the communication age, after all.

#2 More Affordable Bodysafe Options

I remember once I was talking to a very big adult retailer and vehemently pushing for body-safe sex toys. In principle they agreed with me but, in practice, they explained that stocking only body-safe options wasn’t financially viable for them, due to the increased cost of manufacturing these products.

Now you can get silicone sex toys for over half the price that I saw most of them when I first entered the adult review scene, and that was only 5 or 6 years ago!

What a time to be alive.

It seems like there are new silicone, glass, ABS plastic, or metal toys being released at budget prices every single day, and this is incredibly exciting to me.

Sure, some of them are knock-offs or basically just a single model rebranded and then stocked by multiple retailers, but better that then that exact same thing happening with TPR/TPE, rubber, cyberskin, or jelly toys (which typically used to be the case).

Big changes happen in small steps and we’ve made some solid small steps in 2017. I couldn’t possibly predict where this new trend will go, but I’m excited to be along for the journey.

#3 More Ethical Products & Companies

The above ambition for body-safe toys is a realistic and tempered hope of mine. The overall dream would be for more products and companies to embrace veganism, sustainability, self-love, sex positivity, and sexual activism.

If the entire world was full of companies and creators such as Smitten Kitten, Kink Craft, Ethical Kink, Crashpad, etc. then I would be jumping for joy.

Adult products address and cater towards one of the most intimate aspects of our lives and address an area of human desire that has been historically ridiculed, suppressed, and intersected with so many other complex social, cultural, and political issues.

Responsible companies and creators shouldn’t just be aware of this, but should be active influencers in the move towards change where needed and celebration where victories have already been won.

At least that’s my opinion, and I will always support and champion the companies/creators that share it with me.

Together change is possible. I strongly believe that.

#4 More High Quality Wand Vibrators

I mean, c’mon…of course.

#5 A Move Towards Gender Inclusive Products

We’ve got so many design options for cis-sexual, monogamous, gender-typical individuals and, although these products can be used by anyone, the marketing and design of them can sometimes be limited or a point of penalization or even shame.

As this year rolls on I’d love to see more creators take up the challenge of producing toys that serve as an open invitation for anyone to play, complete with gender inclusive marketing that promoted exploration for all individuals.

I say gender inclusive because I’m not an absurdist – I don’t believe that we need to be completely neutral when it comes to gender in order to achieve success. To be honest, I’d rather include and encourage all genders as opposed to devaluing the notion of gender and what it means to people (which can be a heck of a lot). This goes for everything too: Gender, sexuality, relationship preferences, identity politics, all of the good stuff.

…Okay, so maybe this is a bit of a pipe dream, but it’s one I’d still see companies/creators love to take up. And, if you do, then don’t hesitate to send an email my way because you can bet your ass I want to review what you’ve got to offer.

And That’s All For Now!

What are your personal hopes for 2018’s sexual developments? Are you doing any activism? Compiling a wishlist? Perhaps you already have one!

Whatever your thoughts please do share them with me, and don’t forget to embrace the skin you’re in (and perhaps apply a little buzz to that skin from time-to-time).

  • FYI, the creator of Sliquid has been called out for being sexually inappropriate at least one person, and a few more chimed in with various issues with him on Twitter in November (https://twitter.com/sex_ational/status/933331692835819520). That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to boycott Sliquid yet, unless more comes out about him, but I am backpeddling a good bit of my support for Sliquid and moving it towards lube makers who don’t have allegations of inappropriateness against them. Yes, as a company, Sliquid is making great products but they also are heavily tied with, for example, Buck Angel who has been incredibly problematic (publicly) towards trans folk who don’t pass.

    Unbound wouldn’t pay bloggers for their work for years (and went so far as to claim they didn’t pay themselves and are a “start-up” after years, and then request free labor, multiple times) but did just manage to get over 2 million from venture capital investors – now if that means they finally start paying bloggers, great. But their site and offerings is definitely not all that gender inclusive which you mention in point 5.

    I don’t mean to pick on your list which isn’t a full list, just examples, but I do feel you should know about them before you DO have them on that “good company” list.

    Supporting the good guys is great, but it is offset when you also support the companies who do bad things (Lelo, Kiiroo, etc). It nullifies the good work and hard effort that these good companies go to when one continues to support companies who don’t fit in with #3 and #5 – so I’m wondering then if your commitment to lift up the good also will mean no longer supporting the bad?

    • Thank you for bringing the Sliquid and Unbound situations to my attention. I’ve seen so many people praise these two companies that I somehow missed the accusations against them, so it’s very helpful to me that you’ve taken the time to bring this to my attention.

      In regards to your question, I find myself leaning towards a more pragmatic approach of championing the good while still reviewing products from companies deemed as bad, but with full disclosure about how the company are viewed and what allegations have been brought against them.

      I’ve spoken about this in the past, but I often find that there are multiple facets when it comes to review companies. You could have a completely shitty company, but they could make toys that literally revolutionize people’s lives, or open people up to sex toys, or make toys accessible to the disenfranchised.

      Because of this I like to separate the product from the company, to some degree, and review both on their own terms.

      Sometimes I’ve even found that it’s had a greater impact on people when I review toys that aren’t 100% the ideal compared to those more obscure but socially conscious brands. This is because the ‘big boys’ who don’t always play nice tend to have the larger ad and stock presence which means that more people are Googling for reviews of those items. Thus if I put reviews for those sorts of items up, typically negative reviews but they’re still out there, then people who may previously not have known about the different aspects of sex toy and adult product safety suddenly have an easy access point to that info.

      I suppose for me it’s a whole impact vs. purity issue and a matter of choosing one’s activism.

      I think it’s super fabulous and amazing that sex toy reviewers and activists of all kinds exist (which I why I will typically link to the socially important stances of other reviewers on questionable companies where I can), but I also think that there does need to be intermediary forms of activism and an acknowledgement that, sometimes, we can’t always hit perfection with our sex toy choices (or may not even want to).

      Again, this is something I still grapple with, both with the adult industry and my vegan activism.

      In theory I would love everyone to go completely whole-foods plant-based, be completely plastic-free, and live on only fair trade items In practice I tend to share out the yummy Vegan cakes & snacks (because that’s what people find easiest to cope with at first), bite the bullet when my veggies come pre-wrapped, and know that, try as I might, at least one piece of clothing that I’m wearing at any given point was probably made via slave-labor or another form of exploitation.

      In both aspects of my life I reconcile things by advocating strongly for what I believe in but by also recognizing and reconciling the line of ‘possible and practicable’ for both myself and my audience/readership/family & friends. And, for those who have a different approach, I try my best to support them too, because we are all so needed in this industry, and your amazing comment here just demonstrates that to me even more.

      • Wendy Wang

        Thank you for your pragmatic approach Emmeline. I’m still a sex toy newbie (a virgin until a few months ago), and I’ve been reading a lot of sex blogs while I try to pick out my first vibrator after my first-ever relationship ended. Your blog has had a lot of really good insight. I appreciate the approach of separating the company from the product to some degree. When I think about it, it reminds me of how, while many books have been written by people who believe truly horrendous things, the novels themselves still can be positive and life-changing.

        I also lived with a vegan this past semester, and that attitude likewise has had a positive effect on me and veganism. We’re frugal students, and my roommate recognized that there were certain things she had to compromise on. For instance, local honey can be a more ethical choice than imported cane sugar. Living with her has helped me make a lot more ethical, plant-based food choices than perhaps being confronted by hard-line vegans.

        Lilly, if you happen to be reading this, thank you too for your blog! Your insight and differing approach has been really valuable to me as well!