Sex toys, or should we call say "massagers" or even "realistic educational models", were initially celebrated as cure-alls and then quickly reinvented as ordinary house wares to disguise the sex toys' true purpose. Looking back in history, the earliest vibrators were marketed as cure-alls for any number of bodily ailments and advertised as contributing to the "health, vigor, and beauty" of men and women without evoking any sexually explicit connotations. This disingenuous marketing strategy continues today to the tune of 14 million Americans being dedicated sex toy users.
If you chance to purchase your vibrator sex toy in a drugstore or a discount chain, the sex toy is most likely marketed exclusively as a massage tool. Good Vibrations.com expands on the subject explaining: "Product illustrations show models running massagers up and down their aching necks and shapely calves, while packaging inserts refer to "facial attachments" and "foot attachments," as though there were no possibility of placing these appliances anywhere between your navel and your knees. You've probably seen advertisements for phallic- shaped battery vibrators featuring a female model who presses the tip of the vibrator against her forehead or cheek to massage her migraine-putting a new spin on the old standard, "Not tonight dear, I've got a headache." While brand-name appliance companies make no reference to the sexual possibilities of their massagers, tips from the instruction booklets such as " Always ready to help you in providing refreshing relief at the end of a busy day" or "Removes everyday dullness" are certainly evocative to the initiated.
Unfortunately, the only exception to the See No Evil, Hear No Evil marketing strategy is a caution found in some package inserts that "This unit is not intended for use on the genital areas of the body."
One apparent advantage to masking the sale of vibrator sex toys as electric massagers is that their distribution is not limited to only sex toy stores or online sex toy distributors. This camouflaged marketing scheme also benefits mainstream appliance companies by avoiding any conflicts with the religious right and by minimizing the threat of potential legal liabilities through the acknowledgement of their products making great sex toys.
However, on the web, sex toy sales and sex toy marketing is fortunately explicit so that the consumers are fully aware of the sex toy products capabilities and uses. In this online medium and in sex toy stores in most states, marketing is directly aimed at the consumer who knows what he or she needs and is not embarrassed or offended by the purchase of a sex toy rather than of a personal massager. For those who remain bashful and would prefer to purchase a personal massager rather than a sex toy, merchandisers continue to push the envelope with their camouflaged marketing schemes to fly low beneath the radar of corporate sponsors.