The launch of Lovehoney’s Sqweel XT for Men was the perfect opportunity for EAN to talk with the company’s Commercial Director, Ray Hayes, about this innovative new product and about the potential of male toys as a product category. What we learned: Lovehoney are confident that Sqweel XT will revolutionise male masturbation, and 2016 will be the year of male sex toys.
Sqweel XT is Lovehoney’s new, male-oriented version of the top-selling Sqweel – a product which was launched in 2011. Why did it take so long to follow it up with this new version?
Ray Hayes: All of the products developed within the Sqweel brand have taken time to develop due to the complexities of their design. They are not ‘me too’ sex toys and each and every component is bespoke. The original Sqweel hit the market in October 2009, Sqweel 2 launched in July 2012 and Sqweel Go launched in October 2013.
Sqweel XT has been in development for over two years and, being a completely new product concept, has taken a lot of testing and perfecting. We believe 2016 is the Year of the Male Sex Toy, so it was the perfect time to launch Sqweel XT for Men.
Would you mind explaining to us how Sqweel XT works and which features it offers?
Sqweel XT features 2 sets of Turbo Tongues – soft and extra firm, which rotate in 3 powerful speeds and 3 pulsating patterns to simulate intense oral sex action. USB rechargeable, the toy offers the ultimate joy for men on tap.
Its easy-to-grip sides allow for maximum control and it is 100% waterproof, so men can use it whilst bathing or taking a shower.
The official press release states that ‘Sqweel XT is revolutionising the way men masturbate’. What makes this product revolutionary?
No other product in the market features a handheld, open-ended 360 degree set of 10 moving silicone tongues. There are products on the market that ‘rotate’ for masturbation but all of them are big machines that the shaft or head of the penis fits in. The Sqweel XT allows you to control the area of stimulation like no other product.
Do you expect Sqweel XT to be equally successful as the original version for women?
We believe that it can be as successful as the original Sqweel. It is innovative, it looks great and it really does work.
It’s USB-rechargeable, offers a completely unique sensation and the price point is fantastic too.
The Sqweel XT has been marketed to appeal to men, but we think there will be plenty of women buying it for their partners too. It’s a fantastic addition to foreplay and oral sex.
You feel that Sqweel XT will be ushering in the ‘Year of the Male Sex Toy’. So will demand for male-oriented adult products continue to increase?
We still believe that there is a lot of potential for growth in the male-oriented product category, across all product types. There are very few recognised brands (by the general public) within this category.
A lot of people simply don’t know what is available or how to use the toys. We’re here to firstly educate the customer about what is available, and then to help them find non-threatening products to try.
Why did it take the industry so long to really tap into the potential of sex toys for men? Was the dominance of female-oriented products blocking the way?
Women were given permission to buy sex toys through mainstream media, as toys were regularly featured in a positive light in magazines, TV and movies. Unfortunately, the same hasn’t happened for men (yet).
There’s still a prevailing idea that it’s embarrassing or funny for a man to use a sex toy. Even if men get over that obstacle, many don’t even know what is out there for them. We actually think that women are key to accessing a large part of the male market, by introducing male toys to their partners.
We’ve only just started to really spend time developing male toys because until recently, the demand was not there from our customers. We have been working steadily on building the male category since 2013 – we launched the Tracey Cox Edge range in April 2014, which focused purely on male performance.
Our focus is moving increasingly towards male pleasure products – educating the audience about what is available and how much fun they can be.
Will the male sex toy segment develop along the same lines as the female sex toy category? Will we see quality products in all price ranges? Will there be real brands that set themselves apart from more generic products?
We will be looking to develop products across multiple brands and price points over the coming months and years. Unfortunately, we can’t just repeat what we do for the female sex toy category in terms of branding as the customer is so very different. We have done, and will continue to do, a lot of research into our male customers to find out exactly what it is they are looking for.
Can interested retailers order Sqweel XT from your distribution partners, and how much does this product cost?
Sqweel XT was launched at AMNE in January and all major distributors will be stocking it from early March. Sqweel XT will retail at €69.99.
Are there also POS materials to accompany the launch of your new product?
There is a counter unit display available which holds six units and one demonstration sample.