Tranny Desires Materialize
Fans of the shemale niche are not limited to a single gender. And being a fan of transsexuals, aka a “tranny chaser,” does not necessarily define one’s sexual preference. Any transsexual adult performer that’s proud of her feminine attributes and below-the-belt surprise will tell you that the bulk of her fans are straight men and women.
“I have worked in the gay circuit performing in clubs for years and, trust me, my gay friends don’t want my titties on their backs,” TS performer Wendy Williams said. “I know it is hard to understand but sexuality is a complex issue anyhow.”
Some of the current trends, such as pegging and the emerging popularity of P-spot stimulation, are pushing men’s sexual boundaries to new limits, and now a new wave of transsexual-inspired toys are easing curious men into putting hidden fantasies into motion.
CalExotics first ventured into the niche in 2003 with Gia Darling’s doll and lifelike penis toys.
“We have had successful transsexuals featured in our catalogs for years, so this isn’t a ‘new’ area for California Exotic Novelties,” said Al Bloom, CalExotics’ director of sales and marketing.
Pipedream Products also broke new ground with the introduction of the first-ever full collection of transsexualinspired products. Mia Isabella’s Big Secret Collection and the eponymous transsexual adult star traveled to Germany last October for the eroFame and Venus adult festivals to meet potential customers.
From lifelike replicas molded after Isabella to oneof-a-kind masturbators to novelty items, the racy range encompasses 11 items that can be a welcome addition to specialty and niche sections of adult retail shops, the company said. “Since it showcased at eroFame and Venus in Berlin last October, we’ve been getting emails almost every day asking when the line will be available,” Pipedream CEO Nick Orlandino said. “Emails from customers have only increased in frequency since we unveiled the Big Secret Collection here in the states at the ANME Founders show in January.”
Pipedream’s Mia Isabella collection, which began shipping to retailers in February, was awarded Best Alternative Product at the 2011 XBIZ Awards.
At January’s ANME Founders Show, CalExotics rolled out the Transsexual Jesse lineup, which will be available in late May.
“We will be releasing a life-like dong, doll and masturbator,” Bloom said. “Jesse has been recognized as one of a select number of well-know transsexual stars in adult films, and we became aware of her through her many award nominations for her work. We have been focusing on ‘collections’ of products for ease of display and promotion, so there is definitely room in the Jesse collection for more items.”
Transsexual Jesse is Jesse Flores, a well-known and respected transsexual adult film star that has garnered awards and nominations for her work in the film and video business, as well as within the transsexual community.
“We chose her after seeing her nominations for awards in the video industry, and her great look,” Bloom said. “The fantasy of being with someone like Jesse is easy to convey when we stated looking at promotional stills she sent us.”
In addition to the line winning Best Alternative Product at the 2011 XBIZ Awards, Isabella herself was awarded the coveted title of Transsexual Performer of the Year — further strengthening the collection’s star power.
Williams, meanwhile, is also a former XBIZ Transsexual Performer of the Year winner. Last year Doc Johnson began developing a line based on the performer; four of the items begin shipping over the next few months, said Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson’s director of product development.
“She really stood out,” Doc Johnson’s Rebecca Weinberg said. “Her experience, longevity, popularity and willingness to move forward and market her brand all contribute to a personality we want to represent.
“We really strive to go after the cream of the crop — the ‘it’ girl, and Wendy is definitely the ‘it’ girl of her genre. She has a following that really shows she’s on top of her game.”
For Doc Johnson’s line, Williams had her whole face, hands, penis and ass (in doggy style position) molded for a signature line, however what sets the collection apart are the non-molded, toys and accessories.
“Wendy’s collection is unique in the sense that they are all products that Wendy would use either in her personal life or on screen,” Braverman said. “The saladtossing spray was made to be universal in its appeal while the doggy-style ass was made for the Wendy Williams lover. It’s the first life-sized ass and balls mold of a transsexual to date.”
For some of the items in the Wendy Williams collection, the target customer is ambiguous.
“The sprays are for anyone who wants to add a touch of flavor and glitter to rimming, sucking and licking in the bedroom,” Braverman said. “Wendy’s Doggy-style Ass is for the person who enjoys watching Wendy on screen and wants to bring her home for a little one-on-one action. The Anal Trainer Kit is for beginners wanting to expand their sexual horizons in the anal department. Response so far has been fantastic. Many stores are eager for the release and Wendy herself is eager to promote the line.”
“The tranny porn niche has been steadily growing in popularity for years now,” Orlandino said. “More men are embracing their fetish for trannies, even if in secret. We decided it was time to give people more than a random novelty tranny blow-up doll like you see in other manufacturers’ catalogs. Mia Isabella’s Big Secret Collection is the world’s first complete transsexual toy line with products at all price points from low to high end.
“The packaging makes a big impact on retailers’ walls and is a perfect blend of glossy meets filthy. The collection includes novelties, cosmetics, love dolls and lifelike masturbators giving tranny fans a chance to truly live out those secret fantasies they’re too afraid to engage in real life.”
Bloom said that it’s difficult to pinpoint whom exactly will purchase CalExotics’ Transsexual Jesse line, but when there is a demand, it is the manufacturer’s duty to meet it.
“I would guess, and that’s all I can really do, that the novelty of an experience outside of someone’s normal comfort zone would prompt purchasing this line of products,” Bloom said. “Our job has always been to fulfill people’s fantasies as well as pleasure, so making these items available are all part of a well-rounded line of product selections.”
Orlandino said that consumers of transsexual porn may also be shopping for similar pleasure products to complement their entertainment.
“Contrary to popular opinion, this is usually a male who identifies as heterosexual, but has a secret freaky side,” Orlandino said. “The collection should be placed near and crossmarketed with tranny-niche DVDs. Mia Isabella’s Big Secret Collection is the perfect complement to DVDs starring transsexuals. It gives people 11 ways to live out their tranny fantasies.”
Transsexual performers would agree that the niche is growing in popularity and up until this point there was a deficit of pleasure products to act on this fantasy.
“It’s not unusual for them [the fans] to grab a tranny DVD and then grab a Belladonna or Jessica Drake toy,” Williams said. “When I announced the release of my toys on my forum HotWendyForums.com I had a lot of fans excited about the products like my life-size doggie ass, dildo, lickable body sprays, etc. I have a great group of fans that are happy with my success and I’m very grateful to them for that.
“There was a demand because as of this year there were only five total pieces of two TS porn stars (Gia Darling and Allanah Starr) on the market. Transsexual erotica is one of the largest selling specialty niches so of course it was time for this market to be represented better.”
Jesse, who says her fan base has been expanding to include couples, women and cross-dressers, said that the response to the introduction of her CalExotics line has been tremendous.
“The response has been overwhelming as I hear from fans all the time asking when my toys come out — especially my dildo, which is molded directly from me so they are very excited to experience me in a new way,” Jesse said.
In addition to satiating the hidden desires of male clientele, Bloom said that offering these niche products strengthens an adult retailer’s First Amendment rights.
“The modern ‘adult shop’ is all about choice, and specialty items like a transsexual doll, penis or masturbator is just an extension of a right to free choice,” Bloom said. “I don’t see these products in the boutique style lingerie/toy stores that are so popular today, but in the established full-on adult stores, these are perfect fit.”