Sex toys and products

4 Things You Learn When You Attend a Sex Toy Conference

Published: AUGUST 1, 2019 | Updated: APRIL 27, 2022
There really is a toy for EVERYONE. Here's a roundup of what we saw and learned at a recent sex toy trade show called ANME.

Just over a week ago, the Kinkly team took a trip to Burbank, California, for a very special conference: the Adult Novelty Manufacturer’s Expo (ANME).


In plainspeak, we got to go to a sex toy conference.

And, guys, we’re not gonna lie: it’s as awesome as it sounds. We had a great time walking the (huge!) expo floor and checking out the latest and greatest orgasm-inducing gadgets. The best part, though, was speaking to the people behind the brands. There’s so much innovation in the sex toy industry these days, and there are so many great stories behind it!

We wish y’all could have been there with us. So, here’s a little peek into our three days of sexy toy bliss.


Sign: Play with my butt, not with my heart
Sign spotted at the Doc Johnson booth at ANME.

Read: Behind the Scenes at a Sex Toy Trade Show


It’s Like Any Trade Show … Only … Not

Those who’ve never been to a sex toy trade show often make the assumption that it must be very, well, sexy. While there are definitely sexual products everywhere, it’s actually all very professional. Sex toys are these people’s business (and ours!), and they take the business of delivering orgasms to the world pretty seriously.

So, yeah, you might be handling a thrusting dildo while getting a fascinating earful about its materials and the technology behind it but, as with all conferences, everyone's talking business, making new connections and establishing new agreements. This is THE place where sex toy manufacturers show off their new goods and secure agreements with retailers and distributors to get their products to the public. Sex toys might be all about fun but selling them is serious business.

The latest from Femme Funn.


There Are a Lot of Sex Toys Out There. Like, a Lot

Unless you’re in the business, you probably aren’t aware of the breadth, depth and sheer volume of products in the pleasure products industry. When you walk into the hall at ANME, that fact will hit you square in the face.

Who knew there were so many iterations, colors, shapes, sizes textures of dildos and vibrators?

weighted clitoral vibrators by Le Wand
Super-cool, weighted clitoral vibes from Le Wand.


That lube came in soooo many flavors?

Or even that there were so many companies devoted to filling just about every sexual niche under the sun?

If you can imagine it – and even if you can’t – chances are there’s a company making a product to tickle just about everyone's unique fancy.


Even a brief power outtage couldn't keep up from playing with this little guy at Zalo.

The People Are Super Cool – and Passionate

A lot of trade shows are pretty, well, boring. Not ANME. Not only do you get to see all the sex toys you could possible imagine, but you also get passionate, interesting people, y’all. We were floored by the story behind the Zumio – a fan-favorite toy for pinpoint clitoral stimulation. The idea for this toy came from a busy single mom who had tried lots of toys but wanted something different, something unique and discreet (she had curious little children!) that could arouse her quickly and deliver a deep orgasm. (And, um, what mom doesn't need that?!)

Zumio clitoral stimulator

We heard from Ducky Doolittle at Blush, and learned about all the careful and passionate design ideas behind their thoughtful lines. We stopped by Lora DiCarlo and heard more about the amazing conversation their brand – and its struggles - have opened up in the industry. We heard from Dame, and were inspired by their campaign to make the marketing of female pleasure mainstream. We stuck our fingers in a “Masturball” at CalExotics, tasted oral sex lube at Classic Brands and heard about the self-made chemist behind the cult-favorite Uberlube. We also felt the power of thrusting vibrators at FemmeFunn, got introduced to an ultra-powerful wand vibrator adorably shaped like a lightbulb at GVibe and fingered THE most powerful bullet vibe we’ve ever seen at Screaming O (stay tuned!) and got the lowdown on some very kinky collections c/o XR Brands. We even got a taste of electro-stimulation at both the Stockroom and ElectraStim (because we are suckers for punishment).

Cal Exotics Masturball masturbator
The "Masturball" at Cal Exotics.

Last but not least, we enjoyed cocktail hour with the folks at WowTech, the company behind We-Vibe, Womanizer and Pjur.

We had a BLAST and are so grateful to all the people who demonstrated their products and shared their stories. We're totally inspired to to bring some of those stories - and some pretty awesome product recommendations – back to our readers in the coming months!

There WILL Be Things That Stretch Your Orgasmic Imagination

We wouldn’t go as far as to say that there are as many ways to get off as there are people on the planet, but what we can say for sure is that people get pretty creative when it comes to orgasms.

Thanks, ANME, for giving us a peek at all the possibilities. Goals, right?

Kinkly Staff

Sex is a bit like a secret society; everyone's doing it, it's just that no one talks about it. Kinkly's mission is to start that conversation, answer your questions and help you discover new and exciting things about sex, love and your body. We guarantee it'll be illuminating, enlightening, fun ... and a little kinky. And that's OK with us.No innuendos, no judgments and no apologies, just fearless, straight-up talk about sex.

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