Quality over quantity – this adage would be an apt description of NAKED FACTORY and their philosophy. Having been founded two years ago, the South Korean masturbator brand from Busan has only released a total of seven products. However, those seven masturbators tick all the boxes, from great attention to detail in the exterior design to well-thought out internal textures, making them a great choice for men who care about quality. What’s more, NAKED FACTORY continually improves and optimises these masturbator models based on customer feedback. In our interview with the company’s General Manager, we learn more about the company and their hopes of conquering the European market in the future.
Naked Factory is a sex toy manufacturer that has specialised in realistic masturbators for men. Would you mind telling us a little bit about the company and its history? Ryan Yun: Some time has passed since the NAKED FACTORY CO., LTD. was established in February 2017. As a new company, it was difficult to enter the market, but through a lot of trial and error and unforeseen events, the company is now in a strong position as a manufacturer of male masturbation toys in Korea.
Could you tell us more about your team? Who are the key people working for Naked Factory?
The co-founders and managers of the Naked Factory are: Mr. Yulbong Yun, who is in charge of overall product design and planning, Mr. Ryan Yun, who is in charge of product design and overseas marketing, and Mr. Jaemin Jung, who is in charge of online marketing. Before establishing their own NAKED FACTORY, they all had previous work experience in the sex toy wholesale and manufacturing industries, or as manager of a shop which was also called NAKED FACTORY.
This experience of working in the retail and wholesale fields has become the foundation for running the NAKED FACTORY. There are several segments in this industry, and each one sees the products in different ways. The manufacturing process focuses on productivity and merchantability. In wholesale, the selection standard for products includes how attractive each product is to retailers. And retail focuses on users’ actual needs. The combined experience of these three gentlemen is the core of the NAKED FACTORY.
How would you describe your corporate philosophy?
The business philosophy of the NAKED FACTORY is that if we are not satisfied by a product, it cannot satisfy others. Our business management policy is to make products that we want to use ourselves. The release cycle for new products by NAKED FACTORY is relatively slow. Since its establishment in February 2017, NAKED FACTORY has only released seven masturbation products.
However, we are very busy in the product development stage, as we focus on quality. After the product planning and design stages, a prototype is created and tested before the finished product is manufactured. In our warehouse, many unreleased prototype moulds are stored. Even commercialised products undergo modifications and upgrades based on feedback from the market. Currently, our products on the market have been upgraded at least two to three times. We at NAKED FACTORY develop and produce products by placing the highest priority on product merchantability.
Could you give us a brief overview of your product portfolio? Is there a product you are especially proud of?
The NAKED FACTORY’s products are beautifully designed. When users wear appropriate underwear and set the mood, then they can feel like they are with a nude model. However, we are not only focusing on the design. The purpose of the masturbators is sexual arousal. The product’s value comes from how well it stimulates the user when the user inserts his penis. We invest as much time, energy, and money into the internal design as we do with the external design.
There are other products with this type of internal design, but as the internal design cannot be seen from the outside, these products are not produced to the same standard. Most of these products have simple patterns and small projections that are often imperceptible. The shape and material of these masturbators allows for flexibility, and if someone inserts their penis, the inner tunnel expands. Due to the poor design, the device expands internally. Consequently, the device loses its shape and does not stimulate as well as it should.
We take into account the fact that the internal structure changes when we design our products. Therefore, customer satisfaction is high. We design products with unique internal designs, so each product has a distinctive way of stimulating the user. We are genuinely proud of each of our products. As already mentioned, the products that we currently sell were only released after an extensive development process, a comprehensive manufacturing process, and after commercialisation tests had been carried out. We improved our design based on user feedback after they were released. We make our products with the utmost sincerity. However, it is the customers’ right to buy products to suit their tastes and preferences.
There are already numerous masturbators on the market. What sets your products apart? Why should a retailer choose Naked Factory instead of a competitor?
It is true that there is a lot of competition in this market. Looking at just the products, not taking the packaging or the brand into account, how many products can consumers recognise? (Which company made it and in which country?) It is difficult to set our products apart from our competitors based solely on the design. Nonetheless, there are great variations in the elasticity offered by the material, the delicate design, and the realistic portrayal of the insertion opening.
NAKED FACTORY’s products have been developed by combining the needs of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and end-users. Based on the understanding of the materials, we have our own manufacturing technology, so our products have distinctive elasticity, flexibility, and stickiness, without any foul odour. Although consumers use our products for a long time, the toys keep their shape. As an added bonus, the lubricant, powder, and storage pouch are offered as a set so that the storage and management of the products is easier.
Realistic masturbators may be your main product, but you also offer lubricants and lingerie. What do you have to offer in this respect?
NAKED FACTORY’s main products are male masturbators, but NAKED FACTORY’s ultimate goal is developing a variety of items for a pleasurable sex life. We plan to manufacture gels and lingerie as part of our passion and vision. The lingerie we planned has been specially made for male masturbators. If consumers use the lingerie with the masturbators, visual excitement can be maximised, and therefore it can be more satisfying.
Right now, you are only offering partial bodies as masturbators. Are there plans to also release life sized dolls? How do you evaluate this market?
In the last few years, the number of life size doll manufacturers has rapidly increased. In the past, manufacturers made those dolls with expertise and luxury silicone in some European countries and Japan. Therefore, the dolls were expensive, and it was not easy to purchase one. As a result, people had a certain fantasy about life size dolls.
It seems that the manufacture of life-sized dolls using TPE materials is increasing in China and other countries. As the number of manufacturers and the supply volume increase – and since they use TPE material, which is cheaper than silicone – the prices have greatly decreased, but so has the quality. Due to the scarcity of the life size dolls and due to their excellent craftsmanship and quality, they were regarded not only as sex toys but also as works of art. However, they are not produced in the same way nowadays. We do not know about the situation in other countries but there is not a huge market for these products in Asia.
The reason is because of cultural differences rather than product problems. In Asian countries, including Korea, people tend to not talk about sex, especially masturbation, with others (although not all Asian countries are like that). In such a culture, it is really inconvenient to have a life size product at home that you have to keep hidden from others. After using the product, it is not easy to clean and store it. A life-sized doll is heavy, and it can be difficult to use. We know that products with human characteristics and AI functions have been developed, but they have limited functionality and it is difficult to form a bond with them. In the future, once AI and robot technologies have been more fully developed, life size dolls may corner the adult toy market. However, right now – especially in Asian countries – consumers tend to purchase simpler and more discrete products. And even if customers buy life size dolls, they tend to buy Naked Factory products as well.
Are you currently working together with distributors in Europe or are you planning on doing so in the future?
We have already sent samples to a few organisations, but we are also looking for other European companies to collaborate with. The European market seems to be an attractive market. Europeans are open about sex, and the market is also huge. There are a variety of products, and there are lots of products of well-known brands. It would be stupid to exclude doing business in the European market. When we have a greater variety of products, we will also participate in expos such as VENUS or EROFAME.
What are you looking for in potential business partners?
We have passion for our products and the NAKED FACTORY brand. Business partners connect because it’s mutually beneficial. Obviously, it would be important that our business partner can sell a large quantity of products, have various sales routes, and are able to supply our products to retailers all over Europe in a short time. However, it would be an honour if we could find a business partner who loves and cares about our products.
If the products are released via crowded sales channels without the necessary care, there is a high probability of failure as the brand may not survive the fierce competition, being pitted against other, better-known brands. NAKED FACTORY will not be satisfied with just selling products and creating profits. We want to become a brand that is synonymous with sex toys and ranks among the top brands.
Let’s talk a bit about your home market: How do people feel about masturbation and sex toys in Korea? Is there a big stigma surrounding these things or are sex toys seen as something normal?
It is not easy to operate an adult sex toy business in Korea. Korean society is conservative when it comes to sex and talking about sex with someone of the opposite gender is regarded as impolite. Although this is changing in the younger generation, Korea is still not that liberal about sexual activities or comments.
In this context, masturbation is one of the things that is difficult to share with others. So, people tend to think masturbation is a pathetic act enjoyed by single people when in fact most people masturbate. Although Korean people masturbate, they deny it. Korean people are reluctant to talk about masturbation. Adults disparage adult sex toys as unsafe products that should be hidden. According to them, adult toys are not mainstream products.
Therefore, people are passive about buying masturbators. However, people tend to explore their desires when anonymity is guaranteed. The internet and delivery services are highly developed in Korea and because anonymity is guaranteed, many people purchase items online. Compared to the conservative values displayed, a huge number of masturbators or sex toys are purchased online. Fortunately, the younger generations are more open to sex and adult sex toys. As for the future, I expect Korea to become less repressed and more liberal like European countries and other similar countries.
What are Naked Factory’s plans for the future?
Above all, it is important for NAKED FACTORY to be recognised as a premium masturbator manufacturer, and then we intend to develop a variety of products. In the today’s adult sex toy market, there is a great variety of products, including many unique products. But there are products that are yet to be invented or thought of, products that consumers will want and need at some point. We will research and develop ideas and designs that will allow us to enter even such a niche market. We think ours can become a brand that represents a pleasant adult culture, rather than a brand just manufacturing adult sex toys.