As I mentioned in my blog post back in January, going to the Adult Novelty Manufacturing Expo (ANME—not to be confused with anime!) often feels like going home. I first attended this twice-yearly show in January of 2014 and I’ve gone to every expo since. It’s a business to business show that I explain to non-industry folks as “fashion week for sex toys.” Manufacturers, retailers, buyers, press and PR folks and adult industry professionals descend upon Los Angeles every January and July to see what’s new and hot in the world of sex toys.
There were so many incredible products featured in this two and a half day show that I couldn’t possibly list them all! Here are some of the coolest innovations I witnessed this past weekend:
Fun Factory is an international toy manufacturer headquartered in Germany, and they truly showcase German engineering in their toys. The two new Fun Factory products I was most excited about were the Fun Cup and the Battery+ line. The Fun Cup is a reusable menstrual cup made of soft silicone. VP of Marketing Kristen Tribby explained that “the Fun Cup is the latest example of Fun Factory’s ongoing holistic approach to sex and sexual wellness. A person whose period protection supports their sexual health and confidence is going to have better sex all month long.” I love the gender-neutral colors and that each box comes with two sizes, so you can choose the best fit for your body. It’s nice to see a sex toy manufacturer take such a proactive approach to providing products not just for pleasure, but also for sexual wellness.
Buck Angel (who you may remember from his feature in the April issue of DOPE) is a human rights activist who does much of his activism in the trans community, and more recently the cannabis community with his new line, Pride Cannabis. Last year he released the Buck-Off, the world’s first stroker for transgender men, and this year he’s raising the bar yet again by partnering up with renowned lubricant company Sliquid to create T-Lube—a lube designed for trans men. I caught up with Buck at ANME to learn about his new product.
“The reason I created this product,” Buck explained, “is that many transgender men use testosterone, which creates similar effects to menopause—most notably, dryness in the vagina—but nobody’s really talking about it. It’s very important that trans men start talking about vaginal health, and T-Lube will help start that conversation.” T-Lube is formulated with aloe and carrageenan, properties that are highly nourishing and hydrating for vaginal tissue. It’s also gluten free, vegan, free of irritating chemicals, made in the USA and pH balanced.
I’m pretty sure I own every product in We-Vibe’s catalogue, so I am always excited to see what they’re rolling out at ANME, and I was not disappointed! As you read in my article about my V-Day threesome, I am a relative novice to receiving anal stimulation, and We-Vibe just came out with a gorgeous new vibrating butt plug, the Ditto, that is actually making me want to redouble my efforts in that arena. The Ditto plug is Bluetooth-app compatible, waterproof, rechargeable, and comes with a remote control featuring 10 pre-set modes, plus customizable speeds and patterns that can be created with the app. It’s definitely sized for beginners (which I appreciate), and features a We-Vibe 4 motor, so you know you’re getting the signature rumbly We-Vibe experience.
These are just some of the innovations I witnessed at ANME! Like cannabis, the sex toy/adult entertainment industry is constantly growing and improving, and it’s important to find brands and companies that care about things like ingredients and materials, effects and effectiveness of products, sustainable business practices and ethical behavior. I recommend consumers become savvy and aware of what is going into their bodies in both industries. There are a surprising number of parallels between the adult product and cannabis worlds, starting with the top two issues both industries battle daily—banking and marketing. Did you know that obscenity laws prohibiting the sale of sex toys in certain states still exist? The adult entertainment industry has been fighting the good fight for decades, and is well-practiced in lobbying, litigation, and free speech advocacy.
Feeling brave? Tell us about your favorite sex toy in the comments!