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SEX INDUSTRY

Behind the Scenes at a Sex Toy Trade Show

Published: AUGUST 3, 2023 | Updated: AUGUST 3, 2023 03:03:05
The Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo (ANME) is THE trade show for sex toys and related products - and a world most people will never get to see. It's also full of all the new innovations designed for your pleasure. 

Earlier this month, I attended the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo (ANME) in Burbank, California. If you're wondering what that is, well, it isn't a place most people get to visit - it's for sex toy manufacturers, retailers and a few key members of related press (like Kinkly!). In other words, most people will never get the chance to attend this wonderland of pleasure products. It had been a few years since I participated in the tradeshow myself (hello, pandemic!), so I was excited to catch up with friends and familiar faces and see the latest and greatest on the sex toy market.

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Attending such an event requires careful packing planning - Band-Aids, breath mints, business cards, a notebook, lightweight clothes, phone chargers, throat lozenges, comfortable shoes, a recording device, and a water bottle.

The week before the event, I lined up as many meetings as possible, got lots of rest, and took every immunity supplement I could get. I went in with a solid plan and was all about pacing -ANME is a three-day marathon, not a sprint.

To get an idea of how big the event is, this year’s show featured 78 exhibitors. Think row after row of creatively displayed sex toys and adult novelty products that buyers and press can touch, handle and play with. (Not actually play with, play with, but you know what I mean.) Buyers and press can set up meetings with brands in an almost speed-dating type set up. For a set time period, usually half an hour, exhibitors pitch their best-selling products and what’s new to the market. It’s a fast-paced meeting, handling toy after toy to see how it feels, run through its features, and ask any questions. I also needed to take notes and photos, so it required some next-level multitasking and organizational skills to keep the hundreds of sex toys I saw straight. My schedule was packed with back-to-back meetings with roughly a third of them. The booths span two massive exhibition spaces; much of my days were spent pinballing between the ballroom and a giant outdoor tent. (This is why it’s important to wear comfortable shoes.) Thankfully, there were cocktail receptions in the evenings for attendees and exhibitors to unwind and connect in a more relaxed way.

I imagine ANME is much like any other tradeshow where brands and companies gather to showcase their products and services - only NSFW. When I walked into the Marriott Burbank Airport on the second day and two women were talking about the texture and girth of (presumably) a dildo or vibrator, I smiled. There really is no business like the sexual wellness business. After a few unpredictable years, it felt like home among my fellow pleasure evangelists.

When I walked into the Marriott Burbank Airport on the second day and two women were talking about the texture and girth of (presumably) a dildo or vibrator, I smiled. There really is no business like the sexual wellness business.


I met with over two dozen brands and saw hundreds of brand-new sex toys. You are probably wondering about that, right? Here’s what I’m most excited about:

XR Brands Creature Cocks

A blue dildo resembling a squid from XR Brands Creature Cocks line

Tentacle dildos are loved by many folks in kink, cosplay, science-fiction, fantasy and gaming communities interested in bringing more fantastical play into the bedroom. They’re also popular with people who don’t necessarily want to use a dildo that looks like a giant penis.

A line of fantasy dildos from XR Brands Creature Cocks collection displayed at ANME

From sea monsters to extraterrestrial creatures, these non-porous, body-safe silicone phalluses from XR Brands are ready to ravage you!

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CalExotics OPAL Massagers

As usual, CalExotics had a lot of new products - 148, to be exact. I was drawn to the OPAL massagers. The metallic pastel orbs looked innocuous enough to leave out on a bedside table. Still, they packed a variety of sensations for versatile handheld stimulation all over the body.

CalExotics OPAL Massagers displayed at ANME


OhMiBod Sphinx

Sex tech innovator OhMiBod is releasing a sleek pair of nipple clamps that use music-driven vibration similar to their wearable panty vibe, Club Vibe 2.Oh. The elegant clamps prove that nipple stimulation can be pleasurable and not all about pain.

Wet by Trigg's Rebrand

If you're a lube lover, you’ve most likely heard of Wet by Trigg's Wet Platinum. This silky-smooth silicone product has been a bedside staple for couples for decades. The company just underwent a total rebrand, and the packaging looks incredible. I love that their gender-neutral language and illustrations makes their vast inventory more accessible to all users.

Wet by Trigg lubricants displayed at ANME

Fun Factory's Laya III

Fun Factory's new toy, Laya III, is an update on the previous bean-shaped model, and it features the powerful vibrations Fun Factory is known for. For people with hand mobility concerns, the vibe can rest in the palm of your hand, be used as a lay-on clitoral vibe, or be used to cup the balls. The company also announced an exclusive partnership with Canadian, family-run lube brand Sutil, which is known for its organic, plant-sourced lubes.

Fun Factory Laya III in Purple

Je Joue's New Butt Plugs

Je Joue is launching three new butt plugs - Vesta, Egon and Onyx. Earlier this year, Lovehoney released its annual sex map, a deep dive into the sex lives of couples worldwide. Given that the survey recognizes the United States as the country that purchases the most butt plugs, I am happy to see Je Joue expand its anal play toys.

Je Joue Vesta, Egon and Nyx vibrating butt plugs

The Kiiroo KEON

There was a lot of buzz about Kiiroo’s KEON, an interactive two-way masturbator. The super powerful device pairs with skin-like sleeves in butt and vulva orifices and can stroke up to 230 strokes per minute. It can even pair with a dildo to create a sex machine for people with vulvas. (Check out Kinkly's Review of the KEON to learn more.)

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Bswish's New Infinite Line

Known for its affordable body-safe products, Bswish is launching a new line - Infinite. Packaged in bold colors with whimsical designs, the four new rechargeable products will be priced between $40 and $70.

Bswish Bcute Curve Classic Vibrator in yellow

The Stockroom's Stockroom Essential Line

The Stockroom launched a new line, Stockroom Essentials. I'd call it middle-of-the-road kinky, making it a solid line for experienced BDSM enthusiasts. I’m still swooning over the pale pink leather bow wrist cuffs and the buttery soft flogger. Oh, and the new labeling with leather detailing is incredibly classy.

Stockroom Pink Leather Bow Wrist Cuffs Displayed at ANME

Sportsheets Pivot

On the topic of kinky fun, Sportsheets launched Pivot, a new line of positioning products that cater to all body types and physical needs. The collection has everything from a supportive wedge with restraint capabilities and a positioning bar with cuffs to the Positioning Partner, a new take on the sex sling that cradles your head and neck.


Blush's Oh My Gem Line

Who doesn’t like a little bling in the bedroom? Blush added six new sparkly vibrators to its wildly popular Oh My Gem line. Each tip features a different shape, so whether you want something to tease your G-spot or a feeling of fullness, there’s a bedazzled vibe for you.

Blush Oh My Gem Vibrators displayed at ANME


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SVAKOM Pulse Lite NEO

If you’re into clitoral suction toys, you know this magical technology can be expensive. SVAKOM showcased the Pulse Lite Neo, a reasonably priced ($49), yet powerful product that can sync with the SVAKOM app for long-distance play or pair with video content.

SVAKOM Pulse Lite NEO suction vibrator in three colors

Womanizer Wave

Lastly, I’m intrigued to see how the Womanizer Wave lands with consumers. The first ever 2-in-1 handheld showerhead designed for clitoral stimulation offers three water jet settings and an ergonomic shape for one-handed use. Like many women, I first started masturbating with a showerhead, so the product intrigues me. That said, I don’t know how many people will walk into a sex toy shop and leave with a showerhead - even if it has a patent-pending water jet that targets the clit. Check it out for yourself!



Stay tune - all of these products will be launched by the end of 2023.

Want to check out coverage from some of our previous visits to ANME? Check out content from earlier this year, 2021 and 2019.

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Photo for Ryn Pfeuffer
Ryn Pfeuffer

Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. Over the past two decades, her work has appeared in more than 100 media outlets including Marie Claire, Playboy, Refinery29, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, WIRED, and Thrillist.

She adopted a pseudonym and was AVN’s (Adult Video Network) first female porn reviewer – while penning children’s books at the same time. More recently, she is the author of 101 Ways to Rock Online Dating (2019). She lives in Seattle with her rescue dog, Mimi. You can find her on Twitter @rynpfeuffer or IG @ryn_says

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