Have you ever wondered what working in the Sex Toy industry entails? Imagine being surrounded by phallic objects designed to give the ultimate in pleasurable experiences all day long. Going to work on a Monday morning to be greeted by a pulsating rabbit or the plastic moulded vagina of a popular porn star. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Does the office banter consist of sexual innuendos and do they ever get tedious?
We caught up with Amanda Brobyn, Operations Manager at SeGzi and popped a few questions her way about the highs and lows of working with sex toys:
Does everyone assume you’re a nympho / expert because you sell sex toys?
Probably! But that’s not the case. It’s very easy to become desensitized to the products and images and after a while it all just becomes second nature. People’s personal assumptions are quite comical though. I have a friend who simply won’t believe that I’m not into all this kinky stuff myself. I’m still working on convincing her!!! At the end of the day, it’s a job – a challenging one – and people are wrong to assume that both business and pleasure always go together. They don’t.
Have you ever used your job role as an ‘opener’ or chat up line.
Boring as it sounds, I tend to do the opposite. I tend to keep my role very private, especially around the area I live, but when I’m away from home then, yes, it’s a fantastic conversation starter – one which can go on all night…the conversation, that is!
What’s the most unusual toy you have come across?
Well, the one that stands out isn’t particularly unusual, more so, it’s just so BIG! It’s the Titanmen Ass Master but it’s that huge I swear it could wipe out the USSR if it was dropped from a great height! It makes my eyes water every time I look at it.
What toy should everyone have in their bedside drawer and why?
I guess that depends on personal taste and how big the bedroom draw is doesn’t it! To generalise though, any Rabbit Vibe for ladies and a Fleshlight for the blokes. You can’t go wrong with any of these and it’s no surprise they’re amongst the world’s bestselling sex toys.
Have you ever had items returned because they have been worn out?
We have had toys returned for every reason including ‘the dog ate it!’ It’s hilarious the lengths people will go to in order to get a free replacement. Seriously, could you live with the shame?
What impact has the whole 50 Shades effect had on your business?
I’m not a big fan of Fifty Shades to be honest, not the book nor the collection. As an author, I’m pretty fussy about what I read and while I managed to read the first of the trilogy, that was as far as I could manage. In addition, and from an online retailers point of view, the margins are very tight disallowing further reductions in favour of the consumer. I know that some of the UK’s top sex toy reviewers, like Cara Sutra, have reviewed a number of FSOG pieces and scored them as low as 4/10. There are better products out there that will give you more of a ‘bang’ for your buck, I believe.
Do you think it’s becoming more ‘acceptable’, even fashionable perhaps to admit you have a collection of well used sex toys?
Well, I guess that depends on the age, outlook and gender of the individual. Today’s youth have grown up with the FSOG phenomena, so hearing about Bondage and Fetish won’t cause them to blush. Add thirty years on to a person and a generational gap, then you may just have a set of opinions that are derogatory to both the sex industry and the toys which accompany it. For me though, it’s all about having respect for people’s views and also understanding that there’s a time and a place to discuss such a subject matter. To be honest, I rarely talk about work when I’m away from it, so the SeGzi challenge is a professional one. It’s about driving the brand, attracting and engaging new audiences and making sure the figures stack up at the end of the day. If that makes me dull, then so be it!
What do you think of wearable sex toys and what future developments do you predict for the sex toy industry?
I may be square but I think wearing toys explicitly is a little crass. Surely the fun should be in hiding them? It should be in sharing dirty little secrets and being privy to something no one else knows. I don’t believe there’s a massive market for these toys but I could possibly predict a trend, followed by a decline as the market falls back to the known and loved brands.
What is the most popular product and brand?
The Fleshlight is our most popular brand. We sell a lot of essential productstoo: lubricant, condoms and cheaper products which we have hand-picked for those not especially rich cash. We’re really pushing hard to break into the student market right now with some of our products starting from as little as 69p – yes, it’s deliberate! I’m taking the full credit for that marketing initiative!
Apart from the staff discount (obvs) what is the best thing about working in the industry.
It’s a quid pro quo to be honest. Sometimes, particularly on Twitter, you see some images you just don’t want to see. Having said that, if you park the ‘cheap and tacky’ side of the industry, the rest of it is an absolute blast! We laugh all day long in the office and the double en tendres just keep coming. The entire SeGzi team is amazing and I couldn’t wish to work with a nicer group of people. Love is always in the air in our office
|Amanda Brobyn||Liverpool born, Amanda Brobyn, gave up a lucrative career in commercial banking after landing a 3 book publishing contract in 2010, releasing the titles of Crystal Balls and Some Like It Hot. But after earning a minimal income and working in isolation with long days, Amanda decided to re-enter the corporate world, combining both business and creativity by joining the SeGzi workforce as Digital Marketing Manager in March 2014, before accepting the post of Operations Manager in September 2014. Still in touch with her literary side, Brobyn comments, ‘I still want to be a bestselling author but, for now, this is definitely the second best job in the world! In fact, I’d say it’s a close call!’|