Niche Trends for the New Year

When sex toy consumers want to up the pleasure ante, they head for two of the industry’s biggest growth sectors: powerful wand massagers and anal toys. While wand-style vibrators have long hidden under the guise of back massagers, they’ve since come out of the sex toy closet as some of the most coveted, gushed-about pleasure products of the year. The Le Wand Massager brand took the lead with sexual health influencers and progressive marketing campaigns, and the rest was history. Needless to say, Le Wand founder Alicia Sinclair was the perfect person to pull aside and get the story on what keeps her consumer audience coming back for every new release. If you’ve seen one wand, you’ve seen them all, right? Not so, says Sinclair! Similarly, anal pleasure products have continued to creep into everyday bedrooms, turning a once-taboo topic into a top-selling sex toy. It’s hard to find a manufacturer these days who doesn’t have an entire line (or two) of expertly designed and marketed butt plugs, prostate massagers and other anal goodies. Joanie Lee, who handles mass market and key account sales at XR Brands, might as well be a booty expert by now. XR has continuously grown and improved their anal toy lines to meet the needs of hardcore kinksters and first-timers alike. Lee predicts that we’ll get a taste of some never-before-seen butt stuff from XR Brands in the foreseeable future. In this exclusive trend peek with two of the industry’s biggest niche pioneers, Lee and Sinclair reveal what distributors and retailers should keep in stock to satisfy sex toy fanatics of all kinks and sizes.

Give us a peek into the anal toy niche of the pleasure products market. What are consumers currently clamoring for?
Joanie Lee, mass market and key account sales, XR Brands: For years most advancements in form and function were poured into just vibrators. Now there are an array of features that can be found in anal toys as well. Consumers are gravitating towards motorized anal toys that suit their own very specific needs. As more and more people are becoming curious about anal play, sizes have come down quite a bit. For example, our BOOTY SPARKS jeweled plug line has been a huge hit because they are beautiful and affordable and come in small size medium and large sizes. Small is by far our best seller.

In the wand massager category, what modern features are attracting your consumer audience?
Alicia Sinclair, founder, COTR Inc: We’re finding that people want something with lots of power, features body-safe materials, is stylish and modern, and a wand that’s easy to use and easy to charge. To sum it up simply – power, ease, and style.

What are some innovations in toy technology and design that are making waves right now?
Joanie Lee: Moving beads are all the rage, whether they are rotating at the base of a butt plug as our RIMMERS do or they are a moving bead targeting the prostate. We knew there was a hole that needed to be filled and we ran with it, creating anal toys that throb, gyrate and thrust, just like our THUNDER PLUGS.

Alicia Sinclair: Overall, we find that folks are really responding well to the idea that a wand can be used for all over feel good vibrations. Meaning that in addition to feeling really pleasurable as a masturbation tool, wands are also fantastic for muscle relaxation and pain relief. We’re also found that people really like the idea of being able to customize their wand with all our different attachments- which essentially allow one sex toy to become many. It’s pretty fabulous from a functionality standpoint.

What are your top sellers of the moment? Tell us what’s driving these toys to succeed in particular.
Joanie Lee: Our THUMP ITS line consist of three individually shaped plugs that use the power of motor and magnet to create a jackhammer motion. The motion is much more aggressive and faster than what you can find in any thrusting toy. They’re absolutely brilliant and there’s nothing like them in the anal market. They’ve done so well, that we recently released 3 dildo versions and 3 more butt plug shapes as well. I can’t leave out our TAILZ line, which started with a few non-vibrating faux animal tail plugs and has grown to tail and mask sets and even remote controlled wagging tail plugs. This line is a success because it brings fantasy and a cute and playfulness to anal play.

Alicia Sinclair: Our best-selling wand is our Le Wand Petite. It’s a great first wand and/ or works well for folks who prefer higher frequency and smaller sex toys. People also love that it’s so powerful for the size and that’s more portable than our OG Le Wand, which makes traveling a breeze.

What are your predictions for the trends and designs we’ll see from your product line-up in 2020?
Joanie Lee: Here at XR we have been toying with the idea of light up butt plugs for quite some time, launching our light up fidget spinner in 2018 and our new light up booty sparks butt plugs in 2019. We intend to grow this new type of technology even further as we plan to launch our new light up rechargeable silicone butt plugs in just a few weeks.

Alicia Sinclair: I believe that most people using sex toys aren’t demanding innovation in the technology of sex toys, that seems to be something specific to the cam industry and the interaction that apps provide with cam models. If we’re talking specifically about folks using sex toys for masturbation or partner sex, consumers generally want wands to look and act like modern consumer electronics- meaning that they operate as advertised, have functional and aesthetically pleasing designs, are made of body-safe materials, and offer a warranty in case there is a manufacturer defect. I think the trend is actually quite simple; It’s the acclimation and widespread acceptance of sex toys as part of our every day lifestyle.