We'll do our best to keep this sex toys niche exposé SFW. But it'll be hard. Really, really hard.
For years, there has been a stigma surrounding sexual health. But sex is a healthy, normal, and vital act. This pleasurable experience isn't just for making babies. Sex also helps people bond with their partners, improves self-esteem, lowers stress, and can even reduce the risk of heart disease.
Luckily, talking about sex has finally become more mainstream—it's no longer just a guy's market. Women are embracing their sexuality more than ever. Acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has also led to more sexual exploration.
And if you're worried about performance or just want to try something different, it's time to open the toy box. No, not the one full of Legos and Barbies (unless that's your kink—no judging!). Sex toys help singles, couples, and groups get more creative in the bedroom.
Sex is also the perfect market for the budding capitalist. If you fantasize about launching businesses while doing the horizontal tango, carving a niche in the sex toy market could be a highly lucrative, somewhat X-rated way to build a naughty fortune.
Sex Sells. But Who's Buying?
As it turns out, pretty much everyone. (Yes, even your awkward neighbor who wears socks with sandals and avoids eye contact like the plague.)
The global sexual wellness market is gigantic and continues to grow with a 12.4% CAGR. Experts forecast it will surpass $125.1 billion by 2026. And according to Grand View Research, the US sexual wellness market alone should exceed $15.9 billion by 2027.
And the sex toys niche continues to dominate the industry. Nearly 80% of women in the US own at least one vibrator. But the fun doesn't stop there. Other toys also rank high, including dildos, handcuffs, cock rings, penis pumps, and strap-ons. There are enough adult toys in circulation to put Christian Grey's BDSM collection to shame.
With sex toys selling at a record pace, there has never been a better time for a curious entrepreneur to make waves in the sexual wellness industry. And selling sex toys may be all it takes to build a 7- or 8-figure business.
I'll Have What She's Having.
When was the last time you had a ground-shattering orgasm? You know, the type where your legs turn to jello and every muscle in your body quivers in delight. That's what a well-designed adult toy can offer.
The latest and greatest sex toys do more than just vibrate. They combine technology with anatomy to create an out-of-body reaction. Say goodbye to rigid, plastic toys and hello to human-like silicone, programmable motions, and Bluetooth connectivity.
And some brands have already spiced up bedrooms everywhere. Whether you have a partner or fly solo, these sex-tech innovators created devices to ensure everyone experiences the true joy of sex:
Tired of faking orgasms?
Liz Klinger and Anna Lee founded Lioness in 2013 to improve female orgasms. The brand's namesake vibrator tracks arousal levels during each play session. It relies on precision sensors and biofeedback to note changes in pelvic floor movements. In April 2021, the brand released the Lioness 2.0, which offers a Live View feature. Women can watch their orgasm in real-time. This high-tech vibrator puts women in control of their bodies and helps them learn what works and what doesn't.
Could you use a hand(i)?
Andrew Gurza and Heather Morrison discovered millions of disabled individuals are unable to masturbate due to mobility limitations. Gurza, who has cerebral palsy, understands this struggle firsthand. The duo founded Handi in 2020 to make sex toys accessible to everyone. They worked with biomedical engineers, occupational therapists, and industrial designers to design the Handi Joystick. This toy is hands-free and lets users pleasure themselves with a one-of-a-kind chin control. It should launch to the public later this year.
Premature ejaculation is an embarrassing condition that affects 30-40% of men at some point. And Patricia López Trabajo decided to do something about it. In 2017, she founded MYHIXEL. The brand launched a stroking masturbation device that uses gamification to help men control their orgasms. Trabajo even employed a team of scientists from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche and the Murcian Sexology Institute to develop and test the product. And guys responded positively to the idea. A successful Kickstarter campaign raised $76,715 from 519 backers.
Sex should be fun, not painful.
Emily Sauer realized many couples were unable to enjoy a fulfilling sex life because of dyspareunia. And it was also something she experienced herself for more than a decade. Emily founded Ohnut in 2018 as a solution. Ohnut is a wearable, stackable silicone ring that helps users explore different penetration depths without pain. It's appropriate for vaginal, anal, and oral sex. While not your typical sex toy, those wearing Ohnut find it increases their sensation. It's a win-win for all parties. Maybe that's why 831 backers pledged $60,072 to the Ohnut Kickstarter campaign.
What do all these sex toys have in common? They offer a solution to an otherwise embarrassing problem and put the fun back into sex. And if you have an idea for a similar product, you could have a million-dollar brand on your hands. Even if you don't have the technical expertise or scientific background to design a sex-tech device, it's still possible to launch a successful adult pleasure brand.
A Sexy Subscription Box?
Subscription boxes are all the rage. In 2010, Birchbox launched the first beauty subscription box, and today, the service sends out over 300,000 boxes monthly. After seeing the brand's near-instant success, other companies decided to get in on the action. Now, there are subscription boxes for nearly every niche from pets to home decor to—you guessed it—adult novelties.
Why is launching a sex toy subscription box a good idea? Most people still prefer to buy their vibrators, dildos, and blow-up dolls online to avoid the embarrassment of running into their Sunday school teacher in the checkout line.
What goes inside an adult pleasure box? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Masturbation sleeves
- Cock rings
- DVDs (both educational and erotic)
- Body oils
The average subscription box sells for $25-$100, depending on the contents. It's possible to bargain source all of these products from Alibaba, but partnering with well-known brands will deliver a better ROI. After all, the allure of subscription boxes is learning about new products while getting a great deal.
Sex Toy Marketing 101
Marketing a sex toy brand is all about reaching your target audience. Who do you want to serve? How will your pleasure products solve a problem? What makes your brand better than the rest? Let's take a deep look at these points to ponder:
Pick your person.
Every brand serves a different audience, even those in the sex industry. And you should narrow down who you want to target before you start developing products. Perhaps you want to serve women who only know how to fake an orgasm. Maybe you want to assist men who need help lasting longer in bed. Your brand could even benefit the LGBTQ+ community by offering pleasure products to all genders.
Know their pain.
Is your audience shy about sex? An adult subscription box may help them explore their sexuality in the privacy of their home. Are long-distance relationships preventing meaningful sex? The latest sex-tech devices can help distant partners feel intimate no matter how many miles are between them.
The most successful sex brands offer something different than what's already available.
Take Betty's Toy Box, for instance. The company sells adult pleasure products and accessories, but they do so without being overly sexualized or intimidating. Customers can shop discreetly without worrying about porn popping up on the screen. And the e-commerce brand now brings in over $125K a month.
Pick your platform.
Sure, marketing sex toys on pornographic sites is always an option. But let's face it—most of those visitors only stick around for a few minutes. They may not even notice your brand's banner on the screen. What's a better marketing option? Social media.
Create brand profiles on all the major social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Post daily content on each site. But remember that these platforms are family-friendly. All photos should be PG-rated. Keep captions engaging, playful, and a little humorous, and always respond to comments.
Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads are other marketing avenues to explore. These ads target customers based on their browsing history, ensuring they land in your target audience's feed. And since Facebook owns Instagram, you can use the same ads across both platforms. Just be sure to format them correctly for each site.
YouTube is another marketing option. While the platform prohibits posting overtly sexual content, it's possible to reach your target audience by uploading wellness and lifestyle videos. Got an upcoming product launch? Create a dedicated video that talks all about the toy's features and benefits.
All social media accounts should include a CTA for curious consumers to sign up for your email list. Sending out regular emails is an effective way to offer loyal customers percentage-off discounts or to announce early-bird sales.
Oooh, your audience is huge.
Growing an audience is perhaps the most crucial step your brand will ever take—and it's also one that never truly ends. But the more you engage with your audience from the start, the more FOMO you'll create. After all, who wants to miss out on the best sex of their life?
Sexy Audience Leaders
Connecting with influencers in the adult industry is another way to up your brand's visibility. It may surprise you how many sexual well-being channels are on YouTube alone. Here are some to consider:
- Hannah Witton uploads about sex, relationships, and disabilities. And with 675K subscribers, a shoutout from her will reach a massive audience.
- Florence and Reed started their channel, Come Curious, to share their passion for all things sex. Their videos have amassed over 40 million views.
- Femme Forth is a micro-influencer with 3.84K subscribers. She creates videos about sex, BDSM, and gender to promote sexual liberation.
Partnering with influencers creates brand recognition. You can send free products in exchange for a review or pay a set fee for a sponsored post. An affiliate marketing program is another way to create a buzz on social media. Influencers mention your product, and new customers check out with a designated link or affiliate code. In return, you pay a percentage of the sale back to the influencer. Affiliate links are one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and increase sales.
The sex industry is on fire. Even during the pandemic, sexual pleasure products sold at record rates. And people don't all want a typical, vanilla sex life; they want mind-blowing orgasms. Plastic, clunky vibrators are a thing of the past. Today's sexually reawakened adults would rather play with BDSM, fetish, and sex-tech toys.
With all this tension in the air, it's no wonder the sexual wellness market is on track to surpass $125.1 billion by 2026. And with a bit of creative thinking, you can build a 7- or 8-figure sex toy empire. Ready to get a piece of that action?