(Note: This story appears in the June issue of STOREROTICA Magazine)
An SE Special Focus on body enhancement products, including massage & body oils, enhancement lotions, delay sprays, and creams.
There is but one certainty in adult retail: Lube is life. But in this Special Focus, we are highlighting the liquids, creams and lotions that are everything but that one essential item, including massage and body oils, masturbation creams, delay sprays and enhancement lotion. Consider them lube’s second cousins, but still must-have items for any adult store — and any bedroom.
In addition to zeroing in on the best-selling intimate products, we also asked about marketing tactics and what this product sector means to erotic retail as a whole.
Our best-selling intimate product is Control, it’s our little secret weapon for all those hoping for a longer playtime! It sits within the category of delay products, however unlike most it does not contain any numbing agents like benzocaine and lidocaine. Another great thing about Control is it can be applied up to four hours before use, great if you know it’s likely playtime will be happening later on but don’t want to step away from the action. Finally, it’s non-transferable between partners — hence the secret weapon — offering the ultimate discreetness!
We would always suggest multi location where possible, our brand is heavily pitched towards the male market, so if they’re looking in that area it’s great to be sat alongside our award-winning pump selection. However, we would also recommend locating Control near your delay products, as customers looking for this type of product tend to try different ones to work out what’s best for them — offer them Control, they will not be disappointed!
For more information, visit bathmatedirect.com.
Bobbie Weiner, internationally known makeup artist and master of transformation, is the owner of Bobbie Weiner Enterprises LLC, a product development company she started 22 years ago in a garage in San Diego. After finishing the special effects makeup for the dead, frozen, floating actors in James Cameron’s film“Titanic.” In 1999 Weiner developed a line of Halloween Special Effects Makeup she named “Bloody Mary” that sells all over the world.
One of their newest products is their Wicked Hand Sanitizer 4 oz. Spray, an instant hand sanitizer antiseptic gel with moisturizers and emollients that kills 99.99% of germs without soap and water.
For more information, visit dearbloodymary.com.
Within the COOCHY Collection, one of our top-selling items is our Frosted Cake Shave Cream. We now offer a new COOCHY fragrance every year. Our latest fragrance that was launched earlier this year is Peachy Keen and sales have been through the roof and feedback has only been positive.
We design our brands specifically to be merchandised together as a brand and provide retailers with visual planograms. COOCHY is a well-loved and staple collection for so many retailers in the adult market. We encourage retailers to pull product from our main collection and present on a “feature” table at the front of the store to provide repeat consumers with a new opportunity to see the product in a new light and display and with other complementary products.
For more information, visit classic-brands.net.
The Doc Johnson line of GoodHead products are easily our most popular. The line is ever-expanding, and it has all the flavor and sensation options that consumers desire. Our most recent addition to the line is a Warming Oral Delight Gel, a vegan product which comes in three flavors and will add a little heat to whatever area it’s applied to.
We recommend retailers showcase the whole GoodHead line. We provide planograms and branded displays, because customers are more likely to stop and spend time learning about products when the display is colorful and eye-catching.
For more information, visit docjohnson.com.
It’s definitely a toss up between our Strawberry Warming Massage gel and our Arousal Lip Gloss. Strawberry Warming tastes amazing while offering a gentle warming sensation that is awesome for building intimacy through foreplay. Our Lip Gloss, with its buzzing hot/cold sensation and convenient packaging, is just basically fun with an applicator! Both are body safe and condom friendly and deliciously flavored.
At EXSENS, we definitely believe in the power of three. Why bring on just one SKU of a brand? It will just get lost on your shelves! Having a minimum three flavors of a warming massage gel, for example, gives customers the choice they desire but also catches the eye, pulling their interest to the products in question, and creating brand presence. I also highly suggest mixing things up. Put your pheromone perfumes in the lingerie section or your arousal gels in the bondage section. This promotes up-selling and offers a better shopping experience for your customers.
For more information, visit exsens-paris.com.
HighOnLove Stimulating Oil has become a cult fave and always gets rave reviews. This ultra-smooth oil blend is made with premium cannabis oil to increase blood flow and promote natural lubrication for a more intense orgasm. We’ve also recently launched our new Sensual Massage Candle. Made with cannabis seed oil and coconut oil, it’s perfect for heating up foreplay.
All our HighOnLove products come in stylish bottles that were designed to be displayed. It’s our goal to remove the stigma of both cannabis and sex in order to share their therapeutic benefits and improve intimacy for couples everywhere. We feel retailers should also keep their intimate products displayed proudly and, most importantly, provide helpful information (whether online or via sales staff) that lets clients find the right product for their needs.
For more information, visit highonlove.ca.
Intimate Earth understands that not all women are created the same. Some women need an extra boost. INTENSE Clitoral Gel has a higher concentration of natural Japanese peppermint oil than our GENTLE Clitoral Gel. These gels can be used for clitoral foreplay, clitoral stimulation during intercourse, and clitoral stimulation with a toy. We suggest initially putting a pea-size amount of gel on a finger and massaging directly onto the clitoris — more can be added if necessary. Intimate Earth products do not contain menthol.
For more information, visit intimate-earth.com.
It’s the Bomb
We’ve created our own CBD Bath Bomb — you will not find these anywhere else at the moment. Our bombs are certified. If we say there is 50mg in every single CBD Bath Bomb, there will be 50mg in every single CBD Bath Bomb. We recommend one CBD Bath Bomb per bath, but you can dose yourself — however, anything over 100mg may be a waste of the CBD product as our bodies can only absorb so much CBD at a time. If you’re craving more bath bomb, look into our Bath Bombs by the dozen to add to your bath as well. Every color has it’s own fragrance. All of them have a spa essence to remind you that you are doing something absolutely wonderful just for yourself.
All ‘It’s the Bomb’ collections come with description boards for the stores to display next to the product. We also suggest the CBD bath bombs be displayed standing up with a prop frame, which we provide. The bullet bombs can come with a canon ball crate with fill, to resemble a case of cannonball bombs.
For more information, visit itsthebomb.com.
Swiss Navy Masturbation Cream is made for masturbation. It starts thick and liquifies. Coming in sleek, high-end discreet packaging, simply apply the desired amount of Swiss Navy Masturbation Cream directly to the penis. Palm pressure and friction quickly transform this rich lubricant into a slick, viscous sheath that will intensify users’ personal sexual experience.
For more information, visit swissnavy.com.
Oh là là chéri! Juicy ripe gojo berries, frosted jasmine, gardenia petals and peach nectar make up the scents in Unforgettable.
Tuxedo is a sensual blend of Italian Bergamont, sandalwood and earthy musk. A sultry yet exotic fragrance that will add more pleasure to a romantic adventure. Both body oils is made with pure coconut oil. It is one of the beauty secrets that has been used for centuries. Coconut oil nourishes and moisturizes the skin, leaving it smooth and silky & lightly fragranced.
We present our line in jewel-colored glass that look fabulous with good lighting. Second, use the testers and shelf talkers that are available through our distributors. The more knowledgeable the customer is about the ingredients, the more likely they will select quality products.
For more information, visit oliviasboudoir.com.
SHUNGA Erotic Art has many best-selling products in the intimate category. Our range of amazing intensifiers includes our worldwide famous SHUNGA Secret Garden Clitoral Gel, our renowned SHUNGA Dragon Cream, and our classical SHUNGA Rain of Love G-spot Cream. The SHUNGA Dragon Cream is the intense “fire and ice sensation” for lovers. This exclusive formula made from natural extracts helps men unleash all the power and energy from their manhood all while sensitizing the female genital area to intensify her pleasure and help her achieve multiple orgasms.
We advise retailers to group SHUNGA products together. It gives a visual punch and allows the timid customer to find their favorite product quickly.
For more information, visit shunga.com.
Our best-selling intimate product, outside of lubricant of course, is Sliquid Splash. Part of our award-winning Balance Collection, Splash is a gentle feminine wash with a completely glycerine and paraben-free formula. There are three scent options of Splash, including Honeydew Cucumber, Grapefruit Thyme, and Mango Passion; however, “Naturally Unscented” is the top-seller. Splash is a great alternative to traditional soap and water and other harsh detergents. The formula for Splash contains essential oils, coconut derivatives, and sea salt, and is perfectly balanced to compliment a woman’s pH.
In regards to Sliquid Splash in particular, a retailer should consider merchandising this feminine wash with products such as a menstrual cup, a set of Kegel balls, or other bath and body related items.
For more information, visit sliquid.com.
Our best-selling intimate product is the All in One Massage Glide. All three varieties (Unfragranced, Cucumber, and Warming) can be used as a massage glide, a skin conditioner, and a tattoo brightener. The unfragranced variety can also be used as a lubricant. The silicone base of the product makes for a unique glide that lasts much longer than the typical oil based massage glide.
I’m a big fan of multiple exposure for intimate products. There should always be some sort of massage section in store but intimate products in general also add a great deal of value to any cross-merchandising display. Whether the featured item is lingerie, a vibe, a cock ring, etc., adding an intimate product can help tie together the narrative of an intimate experience for the customer.
For more information, visit systemjo.com.
Wicked Sensual Care
In the enhancement category, we do very well with Awaken, our water-based clitoral massaging gel, and with Crème, our stroking and massage cream. Both products are very versatile and can be used for multiple things.
Awaken is a water-based gel with herbal aphrodisiacs that increase sensations for the user. It’s great to use alone for clitoral massage, and it can also be paired with toys of all sorts — anything from a bullet vibe to a G-spot-stimulating toy, and even with a rabbit or a wand.
Crème is a coconut- and sweet almond oil-based cream that can be used for stroking sessions and also makes for an incredible massage cream for partners to indulge in. Enhanced with Vitamin E as well, the moisturizing properties of this formula do not disappoint.
Our Crème has recently been repackaged to highlight that it is non-gendered, so this really gives us options when it comes to merchandising. It can be merchandised in the DVD, massage, or lingerie sections of a store. This would be a great product to show online in the masturbation category as a great skin to skin stroking enhancement or even categorized with oil based lubricants, massage, and couples enhancement items.
Awaken works very well cross merchandised within toy areas of a store or as an add on suggestion online with toy purchases. Using this product along with vibration really enhances the experience.
For more information, visit wickedsensualcare.com..
Classic Brands’s COOCHY Peachy Keen Shave Cream has become an instant best seller at Eldorado. The thick, creamy texture works well to prevent razor burn and makes a great hair conditioner. But it’s the juicy, sweet smell that has all our customers raving.
Intimate products are ripe for cross selling. As customers shop the store and find products that meet their needs, introducing customers to exciting intimate products like massage and body oils, delay sprays, or masturbation creams not only increases average order size, but helps customers to better utilize and enjoy their pleasure product purchases.
For more information, visit eldorado.net.
There are so many to choose from — our customers love clitoral enhancement products. My go-tos are Sensuva’s ON Arousal Oil, Classic Brands’s Nympho’s Desire, and Body Action’s High Climax. They all work a little differently, and allow for a mix-and-match scenario if you are looking to really take things up a notch.
While it’s best to find out what the clientele responds to first, I advise featuring these types of products in multiple locations. Either in their own section or by brand/ collection, and then focus on the top-sellers by having them with a complementary toy section such as a bullet vibes or wearable vibes, or just have them at the cash wrap for an easy upsell.
For more information, visit holidayproducts.com.
What kind of imprint do you feel intimate products have on the adult retail landscape?
Renee Morrison, HighOnLove
“With an increased focus on self-care and sexual wellness in our society, they play a vital role. Much like a great skin care routine or pampering stress-relief ritual, intimate products can truly enhance your overall well-being.”
Guyane Audet, Shunga
“Intimate products allow for a fulfilling sex life for lovers and solo-players. The adult retail landscape of today must offer to these customers products with high quality ingredients and great performance. So many products with false claims are still sold too often today in many stores. Adult retail customers have evolved. They know what they want and are not afraid to ask for it. At SHUNGA Erotic Art, we are proud to back all our products with a warranty of quality ingredients and great performance for more than 20 years!”
Janette Bilodeaux, Classic Brands
“Intimate cosmetics should never be underestimated. They play a critical role in creating a welcoming environment within a retail setting as well as bridge consumers to purchase other pleasure products within a retail setting. There is no question that creating a positive experience for consumers is built on the layering of products. For example: COOCHY Shave Cream is a perfect sale to add to lingerie. The pairing promotes self care and beauty — feeling good about yourself inside and out. When you feel great about yourself, you’re more likely to be more adventurous and try new things.”
Kerri Middleton, Bathmate
“Huge! There’s a lot of pressure on people these days to outperform and we’re only human, so it doesn’t always work like that. So, understandably, everyone is tempted to try a little helping hand from time to time. If it helps you to deliver the experience you are looking for then great! These products may not be big in size, but for most they create a massive difference to their playtime!”
Megan Adams, Doc Johnson
“Intimate products are a huge driving force in the retail landscape, because so many are at a price point low enough where consumers to feel comfortable trying new things without worry.”
Gerald Martin, System JO
“The adult business is not the sex business, it’s the business of intimate wellness. Products that are not overtly sexual by nature empower consumers to embrace every facet of what intimacy is allowing them to better embrace and enjoy their sexual desires. Many adult retail customers are unfamiliar with all of the options available to them and some may have apprehension or feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety in an adult store. Intimate products provide both an easy transition into the adult landscape for the customer as well as a foundation upon which they can expand their intimate experiences.”
Molly Romeo, Holiday Products
“Enhancement creams, gels, and serums are a great option for those consumers not quite ready to step into the toy realm but want to add something extra to their playtime. Because these products are consumable, they are also a great way to gain repeat business.”
Dianna Stratton, Eldorado
“Intimate products benefit from an individualized merchandising approach. Certain product lines like Classic Brands’s new CG line looks upscale, like you might find at the cosmetic department in the mall. This line does better when it is merchandised as a complete set. Whereas other lines like Exsens Perfume Mist does better when merchandised near sexy lingerie instead of lost amongst other perfumes and colognes.”
How do you attempt to educate customers and/or store staff on intimate products?
Guyane Audet, Shunga
“Training, training, training. We try to find different opportunities and creative ways to train our customers each year. For instance, we have produced nice explanatory videos with an artistic touch to easily train the in-store staff, as well as the end-users about our products. This is a great tool that is very much appreciated by our customers. We also have a SHUNGA Erotic Art in-store Tester Program that comes with a complete Product Information Guide to help train new employees at store level. Keeping in contact with our customers and sharing new information as it comes available is also essential for us at SHUNGA.”
Cassie Pendleton, Wicked Sensual Care
“We normally have a team that travels the country and world, training our retail and distribution partners on our product line, but in light of the currently situation, we’ve taken these product knowledge seminars virtual, offering webinars each week to educate on Wicked Sensual Care products, and our new line of lubricants. Beyond these seminars, we are happy to accommodate retailers with specific times/days that work best for their team.”
Kerri Middleton, Bathmate
“We definitely try to offer as much training as possible to stockists of Bathmate. We offer face-to-face (where possible) Skype/Zoom trainings and pre-recorded YouTube videos on all our products. Feel free to email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange these for your staff.”
Megan Adams, Doc Johnson
“Our salespeople like to focus on highlighting the benefits and helping folx relate to the item. It’s key to discuss ingredients and how they affect the body. For example, edibles are a non-threatening, easy introduction to sexual enhancers that are being brought into playtime. The packaging is light and colorful. The flavors are fun and can be applied to different parts of the body. Glycerin can create a warming sensation that feels nice and can also help folx relax. And for those of us that might get dry in the mouth during playtime, it can help keep you salivating. It helps in tying in different senses, and it’s important to Doc Johnson to ensure that the salespeople in store know how to explain this all.”
Gerald Martin, System JO
“I, by nature, am very clinical when explaining products particularly with store staff. Store staff are inundated with so much information about so many different products that when you inject too much fluff, I feel like it’s easy to lose track of the essential messaging for the product. I provide them with what makes these products unique in the marketplace and then proceed with what they can add to the overall customer experience. With customers I am more indulgent with the description. I still explain the function clinically and help the customer envision an actual romantic scenario where they feel a particular intimate product is exactly what they need to accentuate their experience.”
Molly Romeo, Holiday Products
“The elevator pitch is the best way. Short, sweet, and right to the point. There are too many products available to distract the consumer away from your presentation, so a quick yet memorable info bite will make the best lasting impression.”
Dianna Stratton, Eldorado
“Digital education is where it’s at, especially during a pandemic. Whether we are creating sexual health and wellness education content like Elevate U, hosting an Eldorado Presents livestream or sharing short #VirtualAltitude videos on social media, Eldorado has always been at the forefront of adult retail digital education.”
Rebecca Pinette-Dorin, Exsens
“At EXSENS our motto is, ‘Trying is buying!’ If your staff can get customers to try our product, they will buy it. So encourage customers to taste, touch, rub it on their arm, put it on their lips and kiss their partner, etc.
We make sure to cover sales strategy like this in our training films which are available on our YouTube channel, “Exsens Paris.”
When I do trainings in person, I also add in some information about ingredients and best manufacturing practices to help staff respond to a growing number of questions from customers about body safety. We have a number of articles and blogs about this on our website as well for both B2C and B2B customers.”