Twice a year, the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo (ANME) gathers pleasure product companies from far and wide and sets up space to show future wares, cool innovations as well as shill already existing products, all for the benefit of retailers. Often, organizers and exhibitors schedule ‘events within the event’ to publicize their products and entertain attendees. This year the highlight was feminist, author, educator and pornographer, Tristan Taormino recording interviews for her highly rated and respected radio show Sex Out Loud™, on the Variety Channel of the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network.
I was thrilled to be one of the educators, retailers, exhibitors at ANME to be interviewed by Tristan Taormino. We talked about my recent workshop at the The Pleasure Chest - Big Beautiful Sex, and a bit about the future of sex. Stay tuned for the air date!
ANME happens twice a year and last July I attended my first – last weekend I came back for round 2. I checked out some of the fun and exciting pleasure products and accoutrements that might be coming your way in the first half 2014. Here’s a little sampling of what I thought might be something you want to know about:
1- Sportsheets had a lot to love in their tricked out display booth with mock shower. Mock shower? Yup. Nobody does sex in the shower like Sportsheets. New this year Sportsheets rolls out a very special lube perfect for shower sex, appropriately named Shower Gel Lube. For anyone who’s ever had sex in water you know that a smooth glide can be challenging as the water washes away any natural lubrication and using silicone lube is very slippery and could cause you to slide and fall. The Sportsheets Shower Gel Lube is thick and water-based, staying where you put it and washes away when it hits the shower floor. What I found most interesting about this formulation is its similarity to silicone lube in texture. If I were blindfolded and asked to identify it as water-based or silicone I would have guessed the former. I can’t tell you what’s in it as far as parabens or glycerins, but it’s hypo allergenic, odorless and a dollop stayed on the back of my hand, without moving or melting, for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye out for this one. Check out Sportsheets
2- Maia Toys has been around a little while but I’d never heard of them and I didn’t know them until now. Built around the concept that well-made, luxury sex toys don’t always have to cost a lot, this company makes a few that looked enticing, especially if you like your sex toys body safe, colorful and well-priced. Maia’s toys come in four colors, pink, blue, yellow and purple and run on batteries. They make a few interesting items I’d like to try, such as; smooth, silicone dildos that suction onto almost any surface, ‘The Marcia’ Sensor Balls‘ that only vibrate when you slip them into your vagina and a ‘Wicked Silicone Clip’ that looks like a small version of one of my favorite clitoral vibes ever. The most bizarre looking toy in the collection is the ‘Wicked Butterfly.’ A wireless strap-on vibe meant to sit in your panties (?) that looks like a silicone, butterfly/snail hybrid with a disproportionate, insertable 3′ penis sticking up from it’s back. I’m totally serious. I haven’t tried the ‘Wicked Butterfly’ and who knows, it could give me mind-blowing orgasms so powerful, they change my political affiliation. Delightfully, it is one freaky looking vibe and because it is so strange, I might have to purchase it. I have a bet with myself that this was the only toy in the line designed while on acid or, at the very least, by committee. Regardless, some Maia toys look fun, feel reasonably strong with a price point that’s affordable. Check them out at: www.MaiaToys.com
3- Anyone that knows me knows I love me some Jimmyjane sex toys. They’re reliable, high grade silicone, pretty and waterproof. So, when I went by the Jimmyjane booth I was curious to see what new device I could fawn over. While looking over the usual array of products and smelling a delicious Ember scented candle, I saw something glimmer from the corner of my eye. It was something new! When I spied their latest creation, I giggled and clapped like a Von Trapp child on chocolate. Glass dildos folks.It’s not officially part of their ;one for 2014 yet, but Jimmyjane might be offering glass dildos. The prototypes (see right) were beautifully simple like all Jimmyjane toys. Smooth, curved and on the larger side of my imagined “dildonic scale” they range from approximately 8″ to a whopping 12″ long. You can’t really tell from my (awful) photo, but the colors were a muted shade of pink or a stripey black, to keep in line with the Jimmyjane color story. All of three of the prototypes carried a bespoke Jimmyjane stamp on the bottom of the end along with a noticeable heft. Jimmyjane doesn’t know if these hand blown pieces (made in Venice! Venice, CA that is) will make their 2014 roster, they’re still testing and fine tuning, but they must be somewhat serious about it if they brought them to ANME to gauge interest. One thing’s for sure, if they make them they will be coveted and suitable for display.
4- Fun Factory had a big hit last year with the new thruster, The Drei. I was curious to see what was new and innovative from a company known for changing the game in pleasure products. I was so excited to see them releasing, the brand spanking new (in the USA) Amorino. The Amorino vibe comes packaged with a flexible rubber band that fits in a groove on the tip of the vibrator and then into another groove around the clit stimulator of this g-spot friendly vibe. The idea behind this band is that it increases stimulation to the vulva (labia majora and labia minora) and clit when chosen to attach it to the Amorino, (you can use it with or without the band). When chosen to use anally the curved tip is great for ‘P-spot’ stimulation and the curve on the lower end provides a nice vibration for the perineum (taint) or anus.
I’ve already tried this vibe (review upcoming this week) and can say it’s been in my nightstand for months. Nothing takes up limited and coveted space in my nightstand unless it’s essential. In addition, if you’re a Smart Balls fan, you will see a (probably) welcome change. Fun Factory has redesigned the shape to be more comfortable by providing a slightly conical shape to the insertable end of the ball/s and made one ball a bit smaller than the other. Also, another welcome change is the silicone that joins the two balls is shorter than the previous versions making the balls less unwieldily and more steady upon insertion. This isn’t a huge change, but a more efficient one that improves upon the previous model, something Fun Factory is really good at. I think fans of this product will like these balls even more than before. If not, at least I got to write a short paragraph where I use the word “balls” six times. Smartballs available now at Fun Factory. Amorino coming soon.
Other cool additions to the marketplace are a sleek re-packaging and expansion of Sliquid’s ‘Ride’ line, a small machine that sits in your tub and shoots water jets at your clit called the BubbleLove and a new clitoral vibe from Iroha/Tenga, the Mini, that looks like a cross between Mochi and a Weeble (but feels a bit stronger than their previous vibes).
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite treat at AMNE …
Pjur Lube had the most coveted item at the entire trade show. Everyone wanted one of these and if you got one before they were gone, you were glared at by passersby, licking their lips in envy. What was it? Plastic travel cups with cucumber lemon water. I know – #notasextoy, but when you’re walking and talking in a trade show all day, being hydrated is essential. Pjur, these were very much appreciated. Thank you.
All in all, it will be nice to see which products become favorites and what kind of feedback they get. There are other fun things on the horizon with a few companies that didn’t want to disclose what exactly they were, but from the looks on their faces, it will be a pretty interesting and orgasmic year.
*Featured photo: Me, Tristan Taormino and The Redhead Bedhead after interviews for Sex Out Loud Radio at ANME