A sex toy on the living room shelf? Yes, but design!


“Your citrus press is too classy! Where did you buy it ? » In her kitchen, Aurélie smiles with all her teeth: “I bought it from You Sir. » ” Where ? » asks her friend. “You Sir, a concept store of naughty luxury products. Because you see, this lemon squeezer is also an anal plug! » Shocking?

Aurélie, did not buy this accessory for sexual purposes. “I found this blown glass object very beautiful, very designer. Me, I use it as a lemon squeezer but this trompe-l’oeil effect makes me laugh, just like the idea of ​​knowing that it can provide a whole other pleasure » eshe explains mischievously.

The sequel after the ad

The butt plug and citrus squeezer in hand-blown glass, signed Tipii Atelier (You Sir)

This is the whole point of erotic objects in 2022. From now on, we appreciate their diverted function and their aesthetics. A move upmarket started a little over ten years ago when they left the world of sex shops, considered socially vulgar, to integrate luxury and lifestyle concept stores.

This social and artistic repositioning of the erotic toy is even the subject of university research. In 2010, Claire Azéma, lecturer in applied arts at the University of Bordeaux 3 devoted to him, with Stéphanie Cardoso and Marc Monjou, a long study, “Emergences of design and semantic complexity of sex-toys”, where one can read that “the phallus, which has become a hypertechnological artefact or an object dressed in an iconography from a bestiary, ousts the pornographic register and benefits from a playful and refined appearance”.

This paradigm shift, the American Ti Chang, designer graduated from the Royal College of Art and co-founder of the Crave brand, assumes it, as an activist:

“No woman has ever wanted the kind of sex toy in the shape of a huge, realistic cock. The industry has long been dominated by a male vision of female pleasure, today it is over. »

And this all-out democratization naturally leads to a new positioning. Exit the grotesque giant penis but also the rabbit-eared nook… In a revaluation effect that encompasses both its function, its appearance and its intellectual dimension, the erotic toy has migrated from the closed drawer of the bedroom to the exposed shelf in the living room.

The sequel after the ad

Obii clitoral stimulator in the shape of a luminous bird for bedside lamp signed by the Biird brand
Obii clitoral stimulator in the shape of a luminous bird for bedside lamp signed by the Biird brand

“The sex toy is the last unexplored frontier in terms of design, the only sector where you can create products as sharp as in the luxury sector. The challenge is very exciting because each body is different”says London designer Duncan Turner, whose creations combine artificial intelligence, soft shapes and materials reproducing the sensation of the skin.

French know-how

Products that have become “decorative objects in the same way as a beautiful vase, a beautiful sculpture or a piece of jewelry”, says photographer Gabrielle, co-founder with her husband of the concept store Vous Monsieur, offering luxurious erotic objects, all made by handpicked designers. “There are passionate craftsmen in our country who have developed a real know-how to reinvent the world of pleasure by creating pieces that reflect French excellence and passion”, she adds.

Lamp by Mattei Cibic that hides a sex toy inside
Lamp by Mattei Cibic that hides a sex toy inside

In addition to the famous “Citrus squeezer-anal plug”, mentioned above, in solid glass hand-sculpted by Tipii Atelier (€145), including “the conical shape facilitates an easy and smooth insertion, and which can be immersed in hot water for a few minutes for a fiery effect, or placed in the freezer for a bit more sensation”, reads on the website, we will appreciate the aesthetics of the Dildo vase, placed on its concrete base.

In hand-blown glass by Thomas Ségaud in his Parisian art studio, the object is sold in a luxurious black box (€280), and separates from its base to become a dildo in no time at all. The shop also offers beautiful books, toys with gold flakes, #pornfood plates in Limoges porcelain, or the punishment and sweet words notebooks from a small stationery store in Rouen…

The sequel after the ad

The Apple of sex toys

The discreet Dildo vase on sale at Vous Monsieur.  It separates from its base to become a dildo..
The discreet Dildo vase on sale at Vous Monsieur. It separates from its base to become a dildo..

These high-end erotic accessories are far from being exceptions. Competition has become fierce in the sector. Considered as the “Apple of sex toys”, the Lelo brand also has an impressive catalog of beautifully crafted items with small colorful and fun high-tech objects, but also real works of art – to practice or not. – for collectors. Tel Inez, a phallus sculpted to target the G-spot in a 24-carat gold version that costs a whopping €15,000. But design and style aren’t everything.

Robotics is also gaining ground. In 2019, the Lora DiCarlo brand won a Robotics Innovation Award at the prestigious CES technology fair with its sex toy featuring microrobotic technology that imitates human movements. Visually, these inventions can be confused with pens or lipstick and are recharged via a simple USB port.

The 3 D family from the Japanese brand Tenga, male
The 3 D family from the Japanese brand Tenga, male “masturbators” presented in the form of minimalist and geometric sculptures.

Guess what I’m for?

Going upmarket, high-tech and degenerated objects. Now is the time to eliminate any sexual reference so that the object is both beautiful and functional. In the wake of big names in design like Tom Dixon or Matali Crasset who already imagined the “8th heaven” in 2008, a “LoveToy” with rounded shapes, colourful, feminine and contemporary. In 2022, it’s the race to “guess, little rascal, what I am and what I’m for”.

Thus this lamp signed Matteo Cibic, which hides a sex-toy in its foot, or the brand Biird which mixes a clitoral stimulator with a lamp to put it on its bedside table. The Spanish design studio Discoh has for its part imagined the Aloe sex toy with graceful shapes inspired by the Aloe Vera plant. Impossible, at first glance, to guess its function. Not surprising either the success on social networks of the famous “jewel” Vesper, an elegant vibrator-pendant, available in silver, rose gold or 24 carat gold.

The sequel after the ad

The American brand Crave has reached record popularity with its jewelry line and its famous Vesper, a vibrator-pendant designed by designer Ti Chang
The American brand Crave has reached record popularity with its jewelry line and its famous Vesper, a vibrator-pendant designed by designer Ti Chang

Among the slightly crazy “toys”, we can also mention the “Grandfathers Clock”, which is wound with a small key and which recalls the visible mechanism of Swiss clocks, signed by designer Bastiaan Buijs. With its aesthetically pleasing effect, it is meant to be displayed proudly and not stashed behind the pillow, a way for its creator to eradicate any sense of shame and “normalize through beauty”.

And then, the sex toy is not just a women’s affair, let’s point out the 3D family, from the Japanese brand Tenga with its male “masturbators” presented in the form of minimalist geometric sculptures that can be placed or seen nor experienced beside the TV. Very effective given the hundreds of thousands of copies already sold.



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