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Pleasure for Design: iF Design Special on Erotic Toys

Over the years, the entry numbers of "Erotic Toys" for the iF DESIGN AWARD have grown rapidly. A mirror to current trends and shifts in society: The casual and open consumption of these rather delicate products is no longer a taboo nobody talks about. They are, in fact, considered self-care and lifestyle products.

Time to look closer at this trend: For the new design special "Erotic Toys", we talked to jurors that actually selected the  winners this year, visited one of Europe`s biggest manufacturers of Erotic Toys - Fun Factory - and show selected winners of the past three years!

Interview: Friederike Faller explains judging Erotic Design

Pleasure for Design: iF Design Special on Erotic Toys

In the iF DESIGN AWARD 2020, she was part of the jury group that evaluated all products in the category Beauty / Care, Erotic Toys - Friedrike Faller, Partner & Senior Project Manager at Holscher Design in Copenhagen. Together with Henrik Jeppesen and Mauricio Noronha, they judged and awarded erotic toys. We asked her, what true innovation in erotic toy design actually is and if there are certain difficulties, when judging rather "delicate" products.

Go to Friederike's Profile

What did you pay attention to when evaluating the design of the so-called "Pleasure Toys"? What is innovative design in this sector?

In general, the evaluation of the design of erotic toys was based on the same criteria that apply to product design in all other categories. The interesting thing about being a juror is to learn that as an experienced designer you can analyse and ultimately evaluate any product, regardless of whether you have personal experience or a relationship with the product.

There are also very well and poorly designed erotic toys, good and bad workmanship, material composition, etc. In addition, the focus is on ergonomics and the choice of materials for this very intimate and body-hugging product. Hygiene, i.e. ease of cleaning, and the risk of injury also play an important role.

Another innovation, or perhaps more of a trend, is that erotic toys are now normal and a widely recognised product group, so the focus has broadened from pure functionality to a graceful design.

It was positive to see that erotic toys today are no longer a taboo, or have become "socially acceptable", and that there is indeed a wide range of products and designs. They have become design products. Of course, there were also very metaphorical products that were not very subtle. Occasionally you couldn't help but laugh heartily.

What did you think of the general assessment of this type of products?

The challenge was, of course - which in principle can also apply to many other product groups - to judge the products with a certain distance, because you can't try them out, or because some jurors simply have no experience with the application of this product group. The entire group of judges was rather nervous and astonished after the first round, because we had not expected the large number of erotic toys. They have to meet very high standards in terms of ergonomics and hygiene. One can examine, discuss and also judge the products on many criteria, but one can only estimate the actual functionality to a limited extent.

It was positive to see that erotic toys today are no longer a taboo, or have become "socially acceptable", and that there is indeed a wide range of products and designs. Erotic toys have become design products. Of course, there were also very metaphorical products that were not very subtle. Occasionally you couldn't help but laugh heartily.

What do you think, are there any gender differences in the evaluation?

We attached great importance to a sober approach to the evaluation. Of course, men evaluate sex toys developed for men differently than women do - and vice versa. But otherwise there are no gender differences - these toys are used by both sexes and many products were designed for couples.

Selection of Winners in the iF DESIGN AWARD: Product Design | Erotic Toys

Soraya™ 2 is the world’s most luxurious rabbit vibrator that offers optimized dual-stimulation for both clitoral and G-spot orgasm on a whole new level. With its luxurious design and iconic shape, Soraya™ 2 is the perfect combination of power and precision with sonographic Design.
Soraya 2, design by LELO AB, Sweden

Soraya™ 2 is the world’s most luxurious rabbit vibrator that offers optimized dual-stimulation for both clitoral and G-spot orgasm on a whole new level. With its luxurious design and iconic shape, Soraya™ 2 is the perfect combination of power and precision with sonographic Design.

The Satisfyer Vibro-Ring 2 is impressive for its modern, fresh and seamless silicone design. The masculine elegant dark night blue design makes the ring a discreet playmate. The toy is equipped with a super-strong power motor, capable of generating 10 different vibration patterns. The ring is stretchable and fits all sizes.
Satisfyer Vibro-Ring 2, design by EIS GmbH, Germany

The Satisfyer Vibro-Ring 2 is impressive for its modern, fresh and seamless silicone design. The masculine elegant dark night blue design makes the ring a discreet playmate. The toy is equipped with a super-strong power motor, capable of generating 10 different vibration patterns. The ring is stretchable and fits all sizes.

OVibe, the world’s 1st patented bionic structure design, can swell wild with an elegant appearance: the head of the vibrator can grow 37% larger than its original size. The company invented the bionic machinery to solve the risk of the inflatable structure, whose leaking air could lead to thrombosis.
OVibe, design by Oivita Creative Co., Ltd., USA

OVibe, the world’s 1st patented bionic structure design, can swell wild with an elegant appearance: the head of the vibrator can grow 37% larger than its original size. The company invented the bionic machinery to solve the risk of the inflatable structure, whose leaking air could lead to thrombosis.

The medical silicone ensures easy and safe insertion of the Satisfyer Balls. The return loop, which is also made entirely of silicone, is used to easily remove the balls. The colorful material is supple and feels pleasant on the skin.
Satisfyer Balls 60-92 Gramm, Vibration, design by EIS GmbH, Germany

The medical silicone ensures easy and safe insertion of the Satisfyer Balls. The return loop, which is also made entirely of silicone, is used to easily remove the balls. The colorful material is supple and feels pleasant on the skin.

Siren's design features two different ends, both with a super powerful built-in motor, which elicits multiple orgasms in various ways. On the unique double-tongued side, the device offers a strong tapping-like stimulation with 3 levels of intensity.
Siren, design by SHENZHEN SVAKOM SCI-TECH CO., Ltd.

Siren's design features two different ends, both with a super powerful built-in motor, which elicits multiple orgasms in various ways. On the unique double-tongued side, the device offers a strong tapping-like stimulation with 3 levels of intensity.

MysteryVibe is an award-winning British brand which designs and builds luxury pleasure products. Founded in 2014, their flagship product, Crescendo, is the world's first body-adapting smart 6-motor vibrator, which can bend to fit the user’s body form and offers countless vibration options through an app, for a truly personalized pleasure experience.
MysteryVibe Crescendo, design by MysteryVibe

MysteryVibe is an award-winning British brand which designs and builds luxury pleasure products. Founded in 2014, their flagship product, Crescendo, is the world's first body-adapting smart 6-motor vibrator, which can bend to fit the user’s body form and offers countless vibration options through an app, for a truly personalized pleasure experience.

The new 'partner whale' has a cute, fresh design and provides mutual benefits in lovemaking. It is designed to target first-time love toy users, as well as younger couples who are looking for a fun toy to spice up their sex lives. With its two strong motors the partner whale stimulates both partners at the same time.
Partner Whale, design by EIS GmbH | Brand Satisfyer

The new 'partner whale' has a cute, fresh design and provides mutual benefits in lovemaking. It is designed to target first-time love toy users, as well as younger couples who are looking for a fun toy to spice up their sex lives. With its two strong motors the partner whale stimulates both partners at the same time.

Nymph is a powerful and attractive vibrator with a unique appearance. It has two different sides with a soft rounded head and soft moving fingers that were designed to produce maximum pleasure. The fingers are designed to vibrate, circulate and stimulate the most sensitive parts of a woman’s body.
Nymph, design by SHENZHEN SVAKOM SCI-TECH CO., Ltd.

Nymph is a powerful and attractive vibrator with a unique appearance. It has two different sides with a soft rounded head and soft moving fingers that were designed to produce maximum pleasure. The fingers are designed to vibrate, circulate and stimulate the most sensitive parts of a woman’s body.

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Pleasure for Design: iF Design Special on Erotic Toys

"Intimate moments are essential for mental, emotional and physical health. For both men and women, the more you learn about yourself and understand about the subject, the better for your own wellbeing. Pleasure toys are without a doubt self care products and should be seen, thought of and designed as such. There is a need of extreme attention regarding non-toxic materials, quality, shape and assembly of these objects. First and foremost, it needs to be as safe and hygienic as possible, to use, clean and store. Pleasure can be achieved in a variety of ways and differently for each person and moment. Versatility of use is important in this matter, but creativity is also in the hands of the user."

Pleasure toys are without a doubt self care products and should be seen, thought of and designed as such.
Mauricio Noronha iF Juror, Furf Design Studio, Curitiba, Brazil

Fun Factory Visit: Hollistic Design and Tradition from Germany

Visiting winner designers, manufacturers and companies is a crucial and important part of the work iF does to maintain a relationship with all participants and winners. iF Design's Anja Martina Kirschning and Carmen Wille visited one of Europe's biggest manufacturers of Erotic Toys - Fun Factory - and were delighted by the dedication to design and lifestyle of the company.

In the mid-1990s, university graduates Dirk Bauer and Michael Pahl designed the world's first non-phallic, all-round body-friendly dildo made of flexible, colorful silicone. The prototype of the smiling PADDY PINGUIN was created at the kitchen table - from a handful of plasticine.

Alexander Schlobohm, Marketing Coordinator, Anja-Martina Kirschning (iF), Kristy Stahlberg, Head of Corporate Communication, and Carmen Wille (iF), during their visit at Fun Factory headquarter. Fun Factory has an inhouse development department. There is one mainly responsible designer and some engineers, mechanical engineers and electronic specialists, who alltogether work on the design.

Alexander Schlobohm, Marketing Coordinator, Anja-Martina Kirschning (iF), Kristy Stahlberg, Head of Corporate Communication, and Carmen Wille (iF), during their visit at Fun Factory headquarter. Fun Factory has an inhouse development department. There is one mainly responsible designer and some engineers, mechanical engineers and electronic specialists, who alltogether work on the design.

80 percent of Fun Factory's business is B2B - the rest is online direct-sales and three stores in Bremen, Berlin and Munich, Germany. Individual design and quality materials are a main driver for Fun Factory. Skin-friendly materials like medical silicone and a clean processing and a neat integration of control elements is what the customer love about the products.

80 percent of Fun Factory's business is B2B - the rest is online direct-sales and three stores in Bremen, Berlin and Munich, Germany. Individual design and quality materials are a main driver for Fun Factory. Skin-friendly materials like medical silicone and a clean processing and a neat integration of control elements is what the customer love about the products.

  • 01/02