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The rise of luxury sex toys

Lelo Sex Toys

New wave pleasure products look as good as they feel

If you bought a dildo in the 00s, chances are it was neon, penis-shaped and lived deep in the bottom of your bedside drawer. Not only did it scream ‘sex toy’, but it probably didn’t offer a whole load of explosive pleasure either (unless you orgasm from penetration, which isn’t many of us, tbh).

Fast forward twenty years and sex-tech has evolved. Women are dominating the industry, creating vibes, suckers and massagers that actually work – and as a result, there’s a whole new wave of orgasmic creations that are sensual, innovative and so darn stylish they could live in plain sight.

So to get the downlow on how they’ve progressed – and what’s to come in the future – we spoke to Cameron Long-Tel, Sales Manager at Stockholm-based sex-tech company LELO, who filled us in on the new generation of toys mixing substance and style.

How have sex toys evolved over the years?

Nowadays, they are MUCH better in terms of design. Higher grade silicone is used rather than tons of rubber, latex and plastic. There are also no more batteries – most run on USB and apps these days. LELO began leading the way 18 years ago.

How did LELO begin its sex-tech journey?

LELO blossomed from the idea that its founders wanted to gift a woman a toy that looked and felt like a piece of jewellery. No more veiny dildos, haha! Instead, something that a woman would love opening – from the box to the pure luxury inside. The company also wanted to create toys that couples play with together during sexual exploration. LELO has its own manufacturing house and each piece is put together by hand in a very safe, clean and ethical environment. Our designers and engineers are forward-thinking.

Do you think the sex toy stigma has been smashed?

I think the attitude has always been the same, but due to social media, more awareness and positive conversations are happening around bedroom play. The taboo has been lifted as more women enter the industry as engineers, designers and CEOs of sex and femme-tech companies. From Lora Di Carlo to Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman, women are arriving in a bigger and better way. They are channelling sex educators and feminists from the 60s and sending this generation a really positive message of self-love and pleasure.

Who’s doing some inspiring sex-tech stuff on social media right now?

My favourite film maker is Erika Lust (LOVE HER!) Some of my faves these days are also @comecurious @reedamberx @florencebark @lelo_official @bennierose and of course @galpaluk 😉

What do you love about the new wave of toys on the market?

They’re all about women, women, WOMEN 😉

What’s your go-to pleasure toy?

Oh wow, I would say that it’s a tie between LELO Sona Cruise and LELO Dot.

What’s the most extravagant luxury toy you’ve come across?

Well, we have our beautiful Inez that is $13,500. It is a hand-crafted 24k gold toy! Ridiculous in an oh-so FABULOUS way.

What’s different about LELO?

We don’t launch new products often as our products are real collectors’ items. We create upgraded versions; but when a new product comes out it takes a long time to get to market as we only want our customers to receive perfection. If you close your eyes in a shop and run your hand over a selection of toys, you will always know which one is LELO just by the velvety feel of our medical-grade silicone. It’s luxury through and through.

What’s next for sex-tech?

More app-powered toys, for sure. At some point I believe AI will take over the sex industry. I can’t wait to see what the next gen comes up with!

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