Sex certainly sells, but not necessarily in the banking and investing world. In fact, companies that make products like sex toys often struggle to get support from squeamish banks, investors and venture capitalists. So what's an enterprising inventor of a new-fangled sex toy to do? One option that's become increasingly popular - and successful - is to seek out "crowdfunding" via online fundraising platforms, most notably, Indiegogo. In essence, crowdfunding allows fledgling toy manufacturers to appeal to consumers - the people who will actually use the product - for startup funding. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Check out these eight innovative toys and read about the highly successful Indiegogo campaigns that gave them their start.
Revel Body Sonic Vibrator
Raised: $162, 140
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $112,140
There's an old wive's tale that says that Sonicare toothbrushes make the best vibrators. Wait. That isn't an old wive's tale at all. That inspired Revel Body to make a vibrator based on sonic vibration - one without prickly bristles. It also became one of the pioneers of successful sex toy product launches on the Indiegogo platform when it launched the Revel Body ONE on Indiegogo in 2013. The toy's unique, ergonomic design went over well with consumers - and the press. Guy Kawasaki said that "If Apple made a vibrator, this would be it." Supporters responded in droves, and Revel Body raked in $162,140, more than three times its initial funding goal. The company has since launched the second version of its product, the Revel Body SOL Sonic vibrator, which includes the company's patented sonic vibration, along with the ability to provide vibration and suction underwater. (Check out our review of the Revel Body SOL.)
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $235,034
What do men want in a sex toy? If you take the Autoblow 2's Indiegogo campaign as an indication, they want something that does all the work for them. This automatic masturbator, or "stroker," billed itself as "a massage chair for your penis" when it launched on Indiegogo in 2014. The pitch came complete with a significantly corny video about how the product worked and how to use it. The story of this unique sex toy went viral, and its inventor, Brian Sloan, raked in $280,034 over the course of the campaign, surpassing his funding goal by $235,034 and ensuring that men all over the world could enjoy "unlimited blow jobs on demand."
Launched: March 2015
Surpassed Funding Goal By: Ongoing
There are several couple's vibrators on the market that are designed to be worn during intercourse, but Eva's creators, Alexandra Fine and Jane Lieberman of Dame Products, set out to create something that was a cut above. They billed their unique vibrator, Eva, as the first hands-free, strap-free, non-intrusive clitoral vibrator, and launched the product on Indiegogo in March 2015. Eva's "wings" hold the vibrator in place between the labia, allowing the wearer a totally hands-free experience. Sound cool? A lot of other people though so too, and more than 7,500 of them stepped forward to support Eva's production, allowing the company to raise an Indiegogo record-breaking $752,723 at time of writing - and the campaign continues!
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $115,425
Think just about everything is controlled via the Internet these days? The innovative group behind Vibease wanted to throw your vibrator into the mix too. In 2013, they launched this "smart vibrator" on Indiegogo. Vibease is designed slip inside a pair of underwear and sync up with an audio fantasy via Bluetooth connection. Just imagine listening to your favorite erotic story on your smartphone while your vibrator amps up its speed as the fantasy progresses. Supporters loved the idea, allowing Vibease to raise $130,425, surpassing its funding goal by a whopping $$115,425.
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $35,420
Strap-on dildos can be a bit of a one-sided experience; the wearer delivers pleasure, but doesn't receive at lot of pleasurable feedback. So, the people at Orgasmatronics set out to create something a little better - a bionic dildo that would allow its wearer to experience the motions and touch on the dildo itself. The Abrosia Vibe, as it's called, launched on Indiegogo in 2014, billing itself as the "world's first bionic strap-on that vibrates when touched." The unique product received tons of positive press, allowing Orgasmatronics to raise $67,420, surpassing its funding goal by $35,420.
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $17,535
Our smartphones allow is us to connect with more people, more often and in new ways. In 2014, OhMiBod set out to add physical intimacy to the list when it launched OhMiBod Remote on Indiegogo. This little wearable clitoral vibe is designed to be controlled via a playful partner's smartphone, allowing couples to enjoy pleasure and intimacy even when they're physically far apart. If you've ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know just what a great idea this really is. OhMiBod's supporters certainly thought so; they came through with $37,535, allowing OhMiBod to surpass its funding goal by $17,535.
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $23,777
Some vibrators have a lot of buttons and doo-dads that can detract from the fun - especially when you're playing with a partner. Not Minna Limon, a cute, lemon-shaped vibrator, that launched on Indiegogo in 2013. This handy vibe amps up its vibration intensity based on how hard the user squeezes it, making it easy to control, and its ergonomic shape makes it easy to hold. Cosmo called it "the brilliant new vibe we've got to have." The campaign raise $83,777 and exceeded its funding goal by $23,777.
Master Beta Kit
Launched: April 2015
Surpassed Funding Goal By: $6,199
Maybe reading about all these innovative sex toys is making you feel a little inspired. You may never design your own sex toy, but Orgasmatronics recently launched the Master Beta Kit on Indiegogo, which is designed to make it possible for you to hack one according to your own designs. The Master Beta Kit is "a collection of bits and pieces" designed to allow anyone to hack their sex toy simply and easily, creating their own custom vibration patterns. It's a pretty neat trick, and earned the company $11,199, more than $6,000 over the company's funding goal.