The erotica industry is on a quest to make sex toys for men just as cool for men as they are for women—but it’s a huge challenge, according to industry experts.
“Designing sex toys for men is difficult. It requires big investments,” says Fleur Breto, who works for a chain of upscale sex shops in Paris. “If the packaging is ugly and it's called something like ‘Cum-a-Minute’—well it's just not going to work.”
Christian Palix, the founder of an erotic cosmetics firm, says he increasingly caters to male tastes in designing his products, whether targeting couples, gay or straight men.
“A white design will suggest a feminine product. With black and gold, you are moving into more masculine codes,” he said. And the same applies to smells: For the scent of his latest massage oil, Palix hired a professional perfumer, who chose unisex notes like ginger and rosemary instead of the feminine vanilla or passion fruit. Hmmm. Black and gold … maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers can be recruited for advertising? It’s worth a shot.
What do you get when a couple of comedians write a book that follows the life cycle of a relationship from that first, breath-quickening moment all the way through to that soul-deadening, gut-wrenching final tableau? Well, Dave Horwitz and Marisa Pinson came up with Dealbreaker: The Definitive List of Dating Offenses. A “dealbreaker” can be an annoying habit (you talk through movies), a physical attribute (your soul patch), a lifestyle choice (your cucumber melon body spray), a worldview (your delusions of grandeur), and anything and everything in between, according to Horwitz. In other words, we’ve all been there.
“It’s a pretty authentic glimpse into an entirely new generation of dating,” he says. “Our book really accurately represents people in their 20s in the dating world.”
Horwitz’s own top dealbreakers? 1. You’re a bad kisser. 2. You sit on the same side of the booth in a restaurant (“Marisa assures me it’s probably the worst thing you can do.”) 3. You don’t like Prince.
The authors have no particular plans for Friday night, in case you were wondering.
Scotland Yard is warning newspaper editors across the United Kingdom that they can be held criminally liable if they run advertising for sex establishments that turn out to be linked to human trafficking or exploitation.
“Advertising in newspapers can play a key role in facilitating the exploitation of trafficked victims,” said the Yard’s Richard Martin in a letter to editors. “The adverts in question often purport to be massage parlours, saunas or escort agencies, but are in reality a front for criminal networks to advertise trafficked victims for sexual services.”
And we’re totally on board with being against human trafficking and exploitation—but have to wonder if eliminating sexual ads by intimidating the media isn’t overkill, and could work to drive the problem further underground, as perhaps has happened in the U.S. with the shuttering of the sex ads section of Craig's List.