When we launched our first vibrators in 2004, a well-designed, well-made vibrator was pretty much unheard of. Instead, the majority of products were cheaply made, frightening to look at, and likely to die after only a few months – or hours – of use. They often promised more than they could deliver, and instead delivered much that was undesirable – noisy operation, toxic materials and the unnerving disclaimer that they were “for novelty use only.”

As you’ve likely noticed, the market has changed dramatically in the intervening years. The good news is that many vibrators have become more powerful, more durable, and more effective. They’ve evolved from battery-devouring appliances into innovative, efficient companions that are easier on our planet and your wallet. They’re made with safe, hygienic materials, appropriate for intimate contact with your body. Along the way, the appearance of vibrators has also evolved, moving away from the resemblance of severed anatomy, toward the more simplified, abstracted language of “design objects.” The not-so-great news is that choosing a vibrator by appearance may get you only that – the appearance of innovation and quality. Just because a vibrator has had an aesthetic update to fit in with a new generation of quality products, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s well made or effective. The single most important outcome of the shift in the vibrator market is the shift in the conversation around it. With increasing mainstream awareness and acceptance, shoppers finally have access to better information and are able to make smarter buying decisions. The press and the public alike are starting to look deeper to discover what’s beneath the surface. They’re learning that when it comes to pleasure, it’s what’s inside that counts. To be continued next week...