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Written by Kevin P. Posted in FEATURE COLUMN

fifithe new (clean) kid on the block

Unlike other sleeve masturbators, the Fifi is meant to be thrown away—sort of.
The product’s creator, Dave Bramo, explains what separates the Fifi from other male masturbators.

Male masturbators and germophobes don’t exactly go hand-in-hand (no pun intended). Dave Bramo examined a slew of male masturbators and always came back to the same issue: the cleanup. Bramo, who is admittedly a bit OCD himself, was struck with his a-ha moment of making a no-mess, discreet male masturbator. Enter, the Fifi. Roughly a year later, Bramo, the CEO of WhizWorx, LLC, manufacturer of the Fifi, is looking ahead to smooth sailing after navigating the start-up company waters.
Recently, STOREROTICA had a chance to speak with Bramo to learn how the Fifi separates itself from other masturbators on the market, ...


SE: It seems as if society has embraced male masturbators, more so than maybe 10 years ago. What’s your view on where male masturbators fit within the erotic retail industry?
BRAMO: I feel they’ve become more socially respectable, but have a long way to go. Men’s masturbators seem to still be somewhat taboo and frowned upon, compared to toys for women. I think this is because of the difference in design between them. Women’s toys have been designed more discreetly, whereas men’s toys look more realistic. Nobody wants to put a realistic-looking vagina out in the open, and I think most women find them unpleasant to look at. A big benefit of Fifi is that it’s very discreet and looks like a pillow or lumbar cushion.

SE: How soon did you know you had something with the Fifi?
DB: I realized we had something when people were buying extra sleeves on their first purchase. Also, we continue to see a rise in consumers coming back to repurchase sleeves. If customers weren’t purchasing multiple sleeves, the concept would be a failure.

SE: Has it been a roller coaster experience in the year you’ve been around, as you’ve brought the Fifi from conception to the marketplace?
DB: Yes. It’s very hard to bring essentially one product out to market. Most toy companies have multiple offerings. The sex toy business is a rather tight-knit community, and it’s not easy being the new kid on the block. We’re working hard to get our brand out to the masses. We’ve done a good job advertising and gaining contacts within the industry. Everything from production, shipping and warehousing has all been a learning experience. We’ve definitely had some growing pains like any start-up but are looking forward to things running smoothly in 2017.

SE: As a relatively new company, how do you attempt to stand out from established rivals who’ve been around a while and consequently have deeper pockets and more resources?
DB: By working as closely as we can with them. We want distributors to carry our product and make money. I don’t see any rivals in the industry with Fifi. We carry a unique product that’s different from all masturbators on the market. This has been part of our struggle, so education is going to be a key focus now going into 2017.

SE: Do you offer any tools to assist the brick-and-mortar retailer with promoting and selling the Fifi?
DB: We offer brochures for the consumers. Also, a retailer can request a video screen which has our “How it Works” video on it. They can place that next to our free display so the consumer can see Fifi in action. We’re also going to be giving away new displays that hold a single product and brochures. I think these are going to be great advertising pieces for brick-and-mortar stores because the consumer will be able to touch and feel the product.

SE: Yahoo! Finance reported you sent 100 of your commando camouflage male masturbators overseas; what was the impetus for that?
DB: I have friends in the military who have talked to me about how hard it is overseas being away from their loved ones. Also, they’ve told me some pretty humorous masturbation stories from the bunkers. Our camouflaged-patterned Fifi was a perfect fit to send over.

SE: FifiJapan is now open; what piqued your interest in that market?
DB: Tokyo is the largest city in the world, so I’d naturally want to have Fifi represented there. I’ve also read that cleanliness is very important in Japanese culture. Being that Fifi uses disposable sleeves, it’s a very hygienic solution I thought they would enjoy. Right now we’re in over 30 retail locations in Japan and that number will double by the end of 2016.

SE: On your website it says you’re working on textured options; what else does the future hold for Fifi?
DB: We want to cater to this demographic and come out with upgrades and new products to expand our product line. As a company, we want to establish good relationships with distributors to get our product out there. We’ll also be working hard to establish good relationships with our partners and distributors. We’re looking forward to taking a hands on approach and help them sell lots of fifi’s in the upcoming year!

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