(Note: This story appears in the December 2021 issue of SE Magazine)

CalExotics is ensuring intimacy heats up after the sun goes down with its After Dark Essentials line, complete with lubricants, oral sprays and toy cleaners made from high-quality ingredients also made in the US.

As 1980s hip-hop group Whodini so eloquently put it, “The Freaks Come Out at Night.” Although, to CalExotics, their After Dark Essentials line is far from attuned to “freaks” and more so the general populace. 

“The After Dark Essentials collection is where the magic begins,” says CalExotics CEO and founder Susan Colvin. “This collection offers premium personal lubricants, toy cleaners, and oral enhancements, allowing users to feel more, go longer and try new things. Each formula is cruelty-free, eco-friendly and proudly made in the USA with only the highest quality ingredients.”

Let your freak flag fly.

“After Dark Essentials offers a variety of different products to choose from, all with the goal of enhancing intimacy and making any sexual experience more magical,” adds Colvin. 

Within the collection, interested parties will find:

Toy Cleaner: A safe and effective intimate toy cleaner for an added touch of cleanliness. Available as a spray-on or foaming cleanser. 

Personal Lubricants: Super-slick and long-lasting, these personal lubricants are available in water-based, silicone-based and hybrid formulas. 

Hot and Cold: Chill with the cooling properties of menthol, or Sizzle with an ultra warming formula. These water-based lubricants provide heightened sensations with either a hot or cold feel. 

Flavored: 100% edible with tasty chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and fruit punch flavors to enhance your oral experience. The water-based formula is also lightly warming for even more enjoyment. 

CBD: A premium lubricant infused with the benefits of CBD. This water-based formula is enriched with pure hemp extract to enhance natural lubrication and provide increased arousal. 

“The Water-Based Lubricant Infused with CBD is also very popular with our customers,” says Colvin. “They love the super-slick, moisturizing and long-lasting properties of the water-based formula with the added benefits of pure hemp extract.”

Oral Spray: Play deeper with this fast-acting oral spray with benzocaine. Available in popular flavors; fresh cherry, juicy watermelon, cotton candy and cool mint.

“The Flavored Desensitizing Oral Sprays are one of the most popular items within the collection,” says Colvin. “The ingredients are high-quality and the flavors are delicious. Plus, the refreshing formula does not have an aftertaste, giving users a more enjoyable experience.” 

“When you add CBD into an intimate experience, you can expect increased pleasure, heightened arousal, eases of stress and enhanced natural lubrication. With our CBD-enriched formula, users can awaken their bodies with the power of CBD. ” — Susan Colvin

Self-care is the new sexy:
CBD & intimacy

Let’s talk about CBD. Let’s talk about you and prospective clients.

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, has seen a spike in demand the last few years — both as a complement to normal routines as well as a booster for intimacy — with the increased loosening of rules surrounding marijuana. (Note: CBD itself does not provide a “high” like traditional marijuana though CBD is an active ingredient in cannabis).

“CBD and intimacy go hand in hand,” says Colvin. “When you add CBD into an intimate experience, you can expect increased pleasure, heightened arousal, eases of stress and enhanced natural lubrication. With our CBD-enriched formula, users can awaken their bodies with the power of CBD. This plant-based formula combines the benefits of pure hemp extract to enhance any sexual experience.”

“CBD” may be three of the buzziest letters in adult retail these days, but they aren’t necessarily the tastiest.

“We have seen an increase in the demand for flavored lubricants,” notes Colvin. “We attribute this to the rise in new adult toy users and their openness to try new things. Flavored lubricants are ideal for foreplay and can be used to heighten any type of play. Plus, their use spans all genders, orientations and sexual preferences. The Flavored Desensitizing Oral Spays are also in high demand. Oral sprays add a sense of playfulness to any foreplay experience.”

As Colvin pointed out, a wide swath of adult toy users are new or exploratory. This coincides with a bump in demand for health and wellness products since the pandemic started. COVID-19 fatigue is certainly a thing, but it’s hard to get tired of increased demand due to a new consumer trend.

“The added stress many people have experienced, coupled with the fact that people stayed home for an extended period of time, put a spotlight on a variety of topics, including sexual health,” Colvin says.

“For sexual health products, we believe the growth in this area happened for a few reasons: many people were home alone and exploring their own bodies, couples were spending much more time together allowing for more open communication, and an overall openness to try new things,” she continues. “This heightened level of awareness has brought many more consumers to the market and has helped us expand our reach significantly.”

“After the pandemic is over, we predict self-care will continue to grow and evolve with these consumers. They have found self-care to be essential, and we don’t see this changing at all.” — Susan Colvin

Perhaps most importantly, Colvin (and, generally, the industry at large) predict sexual wellness/self-care isn’t a fad that will fade.

“We predict the self-care category will continue to be in high demand, even after the pandemic is over,” says Colvin. “The adult novelty industry has grown tremendously, especially with new consumers. Consumers have learned to prioritize self-care, and adult toys have played a crucial part in this.

“After the pandemic is over, we predict self-care will continue to grow and evolve with these consumers,” Colvin continues. “They have found self-care to be essential, and we don’t see this changing at all.”

This is a game-changer for adult retail as Colvin observes that traditionally, many adult toy users are/were repeat shoppers. New consumers, equipped with a more open mindset than their predecessors, opens up a treasure trove of opportunities for retailers.

“As consumers continue to make self-care a priority, their interest, experience level and taste will evolve,” Colvin says. “This means they will be interested in new products that will suit their ever-changing needs, and we will be there to help.”

If ever-changing needs are presenting themselves, retailers would be wise to keep in mind the old saying “Variety is the spice of life.”

CalExotics is certainly aware and has acted accordingly with its After Dark line offerings with three types of lubricants: water-based, silicone and hybrid.

“The type of lubricant someone purchases really comes down to three things:  personal preference, how they plan to use it and price,” says Colvin. “For example, a water-based lubricant is slick, has a nice glide and is ideal for individual play, partner sex or use with an adult toy. A silicone-based lubricant is generally thicker, more long-lasting and offers an extra glide making it ideal for use during shower sex or for more adventurous play. Hybrid lubricants offer the best of both worlds, combining all the benefits of water-based and silicone-based formulas.

“We see a mixture of lubricant preferences across our customers, which is just one reason we added variety to our After Dark Essentials collection,” adds Colvin. “We offer several lubricant types, flavors and sizes, all at a cost-effective price, to ensure we meet the needs of our customers.”

CalExotics has championed pleasure for nearly 30 years, constantly rolling out new products, improving existing ones and aiding the paradigm shift surrounding adult retail.

“CalExotics is a world of pleasure, with products that span every category and price range, ensuring customers can find everything they need from us,” says Colvin.

The After Dark Essentials collection is further proof in an exhibit loaded with evidence.

“CalExotics has always offered high-quality lubricants, and this new collection adds a more sophisticated collection to our assortment,” Colvin says. “We now have a complete variety of formulas and flavors, toy cleaners and oral enhancements.”

But don’t expect Colvin or CalExotics to rest on their laurels.

“The After Dark Essentials collection has quickly become a customer favorite and they are already asking for more,” Colvin declares. “We are looking to expand the line with new formulas, flavors and sizes. As always, CalExotics will continue to deliver what its customers want and need.”

Look for all new items from the After Dark Essentials collection, including accelerator and desensitizing formulas, at the January 2022 ANME show.  For more information, visit b2b.calexotics.com.