Sunday, 29 June 2014

#AdultSexEdMonth - The Rise of the 3D Print Out Sex Toy Industry

#AdultSexEdMonth is almost over, and here's my contribution. Be sure to check out more great articles from and Sex in Words. Head over to twitter and search the hashtag #AdultSexEdMonth for tons of informative reads. If you're an erotica or erotic romance author, this stuff is invaluable research.

The Rise of the 3D Print Out Sex Toy Industry
Anita Lawless

When Roxxy and I wrote the second volume of the Surrender Series, Surrender Ever After, we researched the 3D print out sex toy industry because one of our main characters was a 3D print out sex toy inventor. To some readers this might sound like a futuristic fantasy, but the 3D print out sex toy industry is on the verge of booming in the near future. While this industry is still in a start up phase, the advantages of having personalized sex toys could make 3D print sex toys soar as the technology improves.

The sex toy industry alone grosses about $15 billion dollars a year, and during the recession, sales of sex toys and sex related products went up (just look at how much erotica and erotic romance sells on Amazon and other online retailers). With the 3D print out sex toy industry, you get the added benefit of customizing your toys. A penis of your choice can quite literally be scanned in three dimensions. A virtual model of said penis, or your preference of genitalia, is then made. This virtual model is then printed out using a 3D printer to make an exact, three dimensional copy of said genitalia.

And now that 3D printers have become more affordable—you can pick certain consumer models up for $2000—the individual can go to an open source online forum that shares sex toy designs, like Maker Love, pick out their favorite toy, and print it out right at home. If you’re a person who doesn’t like to receive your toys in the mail, or go to an adult shop to pick them up, due to embarrassment or what not, this gives you the added advantage of complete privacy. Send the command for the dildo to your 3D printer and voila! Instant sex toy.

There are still drawbacks to this new innovation in the sex toy industry however. For instance, not too many designers and sites selling the print out toys are yet using the actual printers to make the toys themselves. This is due to the fact that the toys printed out may not be safe for insertion into the body. Not all plastics are safe for insertion. As well, these 3D printers print using a process that involves using plastic strands that construct the toy, and these strands are still noticeable in the final outcome. This can result in a rough surface that isn’t exactly comfortable to use as a sex toy, and it also means that body fluids can get trapped in the small holes between the strands, which means bacteria can grow in these areas. So many 3D print out sex toy makers use the printer to make a mold of the sex toy chosen, then they pour silicone into the mold to create the desired product.

But with more and more 3D printer sex toy brands cropping up across the internet, it’s only a matter
of time before the toys themselves are printed regularly using the actual machine. One company, Velv'Or, offers nylon sex toys for men, which they refer to as ‘gentlemen’s jewelry.’ Some companies are even printing the sex toys using ceramic, which is safe for insertion into the body.

The 3D print out sex toy industry also offers a wealth of options and diversity. For instance, small bullet vibrators can be inserted into some toys. You can scan your own penis or vagina for your partner, and with the open source file sharing you can get any size, shape, or style of penis or vagina that you choose. No longer does your dildo or pocket pussy have to be molded from just a porn star’s genitalia. A sex toy has even been made out of a bust of Freud. There’s also a Hello Pussycat vibrator and even a Justin Bieber sex toy.

As 3D printing technology improves and the toys become more and more body safe, many predict this industry will continue to grow more and more profitable. After all, it satisfies a basic need that’s never going to go away: our human want of sex and the pleasure that comes with it. And it also allows consumers to have a fully customizable toy, or use open source file sharing to get any toy they choose. Add to this the benefit of being more discreet than mail order or going into an adult sex shop, and you can see why 3D print out sex toys may be the next big thing in the sex industry.

And Surrender Ever After is FREE right now at Kobo until July 2! Click on the book cover below to grab your June free reads from the Wild & Lawless Writers. 

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