“The idea is to make sex toys less of a stigma and more of a cool tool for making life better.”
Never before was it so easy for a layman to create their own dildo. Thanks to a new tool provided by website sextoycollective.com, anybody can create a mould for the sex toy of their dreams, with just a few clicks. Apart from that, all you need is a 3D printer to make this self-designed dildo a reality you can touch and enjoy. However, there is more to the Sextoy Collective, as we learn in our interview with Ian Munro, the mastermind behind the website. Among other things, he tells us about his goals for the site and the information he wants to impart on other sex toy lovers.
Ian, you run the website sextoycollective.com, a place for learning about sex toys and how to use them. Exactly which information are you offering?
Ian Munro: Hello! Thanks for having me. Yes, sextoycollective.com has guides that focus on interesting, innovative, and artistic sex toys; we showcase and highlight toys that are as pleasing to the eye as they are the body. Our discovery tool, for example, (sextoycollective.com/discover/) lets people scroll through a bunch of interesting toys, most of which are handmade or designed by independent artists.
Sticking with the collective theme, we also have polls where people can vote for the best sex toys by category. On this page (sextoycollective.com/best-dildos) the RealCock2 was chosen as the #1 dildo with 49 votes so far (voting is always open), with the Njoy pure wand and Hammer dildo as runners-up (toymakerproject.com/hammer).
Why and when did you start Sex Toy Collective?
I’ve been making dildos as a hobby for years. I started the site in early 2018 as a way to make some DIY tutorials for dildos since I noticed there wasn’t anyone else doing this. My original plan was to offers a dildo making course, but I’ve since switched to focusing more on guides and interactive tools.
You have released a manifesto on your website, a mission statement for the Sex Toy Collective. Could you summarise your vision for us?
This was inspired by the book ‘Buzz: a sex toy history’. In the end, the author describes what a perfect world would look like when it comes to sex toys. The idea is to make sex toys less of a stigma and more of a cool tool for making life better.
Is sextoycollective.com a commercial project? What are your goals with this site?
Yes, some of the guides have affiliate links which generate commissions if someone buys a toy from them. About a quarter of the toys on any given page have affiliate links, and the other half are for toys from Etsy and independent artists’ websites. Many pages are purely informational, like the guide to lube science and ingredients.
One of my goals is to make the site as large as kinkly.com (a website with sex and kink information) but be more sex toy oriented. I’m always working on adding new interactive tools, guides, and DIY tutorials.
You have developed an app that allows the user to design their own dildo. How did you get the idea for that project?
Would you mind taking us through the whole process, from the idea in my head to a finished dildo?
Sure, with the tool you can move points on a 2D canvas to customize your 3D dildo shape, which is viewable in the 3D preview panel. You can then add FX like spirals, bumps, ripples, and bends to get a more custom shape.
Once you have a shape you like, you can download a .STL file for 3D-printers. You can then upload it to your own 3D printer or use an online tool like 3dhubs.com/manufacture which will print it out and mail it to you.
Once you have the 3D print, I recommend sanding it a bit to make it smooth (3D prints are a little rough when they come out). Once smooth, you can make a mould of the 3D print and then use that mould to create your body-safe silicone dildos.
Could I really create any shape I want or are there limits due to the 3D-printing technology we use today?
With the tool it’s currently impossible to make an S-shape dildo or any windy shapes with the tool. Like what you’d see in wooden dildo styles shevibe.com/brands/NobEssence. It’s also difficult to make finer details like writing your name or adding hole-shaped handles. The tool is meant to be easy to use for beginners, though. If someone wants more control, they could use advanced design software like Autodesk.
One common problem with 3D-printed sex toys seems to be that the materials normally used are not exactly body safe. What is the problem here and how could it be avoided?
Yes, you aren’t meant to use the 3D print itself as a sex toy. Instead the 3D print is the model used to make the mould for larger scale production. The mould is like a negative of the 3D printed shape, and you can pour silicone into it to make silicone body-safe dildos. There’s also some instructions on how to do this on the tool’s page.
How has the response to the Dildo Sculptor Tool been so far? How many dildos have already been designed?
The analytics show people spend anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour using the tool, with the average time being about 10 minutes. So far there’s 130 dildos in the gallery, with the top voted ones being the ice cream cone shaped dildo and the Oscar-award shaped dildo.
Do you think that one day everybody will use their own printed dildos? Which future do you envision for this technology in regards of sex toys?
I’ve had a few companies ask me about doing collaborations so they can use the tool as a way to prototype designs for sex toys quickly, without having to wait for a factory prototype. However, since 3D-printers cannot print with a body-safe material, it seems more likely that some companies could use this technology to let people customise their sex toys online before they order them, kind of like the heroforge.com business model but for dildos.
Besides 3D-printing, which innovation impressed you the most with regard to erotic products in the recent past?
I like the Realdoll products like the RealCock2, which is the most realistic dildo right now and uses three layers of different density silicone. They also have a sex doll with built-in AI, which could be the future of sex toys as we know it.
What are your plans for the future of the Sex Toy Collective?
I have some more tools I’m working on programming, like a dildo database that lets you input a height and girth, then shows dildos that match your specifications. Also, a male stroker version of the dildo tool, that lets people design their own Fleshlight type toy.