Making Fun - Sex Toys Get in on Parodies
Lampooning mainstream isn’t limited to on-screen performances. Adult novelty manufacturers have gotten in on the parody craze as well, with products that poke fun at pop cultural icons.
According to Ken Herz, brand manager for adult distributor ECN, the shelf life of parody adult novelty products varies.
“It really depends on the product and its cultural inspiration,” Herz said. “Sometimes there will be a news item that has a buzz that lasts for months, and sometimes not. Most of our vendors have gotten very good at observing trends, so we find there is typically an excellent balance between supply and demand.
“Simply put, parody novelties are an awesome draw,” Herz said. “The items will frequently get mainstream attention due to the current event tie-in, and this exposure drives traffic. Now, you’ve got a new group of open-minded consumers visiting stores and sites, and they’re often willing to explore the rest of the selection.”
Pipedream Products has been a worldwide top manufacturer of adult gag gifts for decades. The company’s Celebrity Series of blow-up dolls features Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and most recently Charlie Sheen.
With names like “Crackhead Charlie,” Pipedream has received some backlash from the celebrities it mocks, including Kim Kardashian whose attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to Pipedream for using her likeness on its Kinky Kim doll. Similarly, Tiger Woods took legal action against Pipedream Products, demanding the company stop selling its line of Tiger sex toys, which included an inflatable Tiger love doll and giant condoms, among otheritems.
Nevertheless, Pipedream CEO Nick Orlandino maintains that the company does its best to stay within legal parameters.
“We try to get as close to [crossing] that line as possible and yes, now and then we do cross it,” Orlandino said in a previous interview. “When we do, we have to deal with it accordingly.
“The amount of publicity we get on a gag item like our Super Star Series of celebrity parody love dolls is amazing. We can never afford to get that type of PR without controversial products like this.”
Practice Safe Policy has been using condom packaging to lampoon political figures. The company most recently introduced the extra-large Wiener Condom. The addition of the “Protect Your Weiner,” Weiner Condoms joins the company’s “full line of bipartisan prophylactics,” that includes Palin Condoms that read “As Thin As Her Resume,” Obama Condoms that read “Hope Is Not A Form of Protection,” and “The Ultimate Stimulus Package.”
The company has seen its share of legal trouble, with an ongoing battle as to whether the condoms’ political message qualifies it for 1st Amendment treatment, thereby allowing for their untaxed street vending. On July 30, 2010, criminal court Judge Michael Gerstein rejected that argument, maintaining that the novelty prophylactics constituted commercial speech, not constitutionally protected persuasive speech.
According to ECN’s Ken Herz the most successful parody novelty toys cater to political aficionados.
“Political topics tend to invoke more passionate responses than other pop culture news,” he said. “While the occasional celebrity-focused novelty will be a huge hit, political themes draw big interest.”
Adult novelties also are playing a role in adult parody titles themselves.
Following the release of Hustler’s “This Ain’t Avatar XXX,” Fleshlight unleashed a model inspired by the ambitious sci-fi epic. The bluecolored Fleshlight Alien features the new Alien texture, which combines the feel of three of the company’s most popular textures.
Additionally, last year, The Screaming O partnered with DreamZone Entertainment for the release of “Sex and the City the XXX Parody: In Search of the Screaming O,” which was packaged with a Screaming O vibrating cock ring.
The film starred Monique Alexander as Carrie, Sunny Lane as Samantha, Jewels Jade as Charlotte, and Audrey Lords as Miranda. In the movie, the four sexually unsatisfied friends have sex for the sake of “research” until a sex toy is designed.
“A Wet Dream on Elm Street” is the latest of such video-novelty partnerships, tapping Doc Johnson to provide the five vibrators that make up fingers of Freddy Finger’s antagonizing glove, as well as in other scenes in the movie.
The movie’s plot is described as follows: “When patrons of the local sex shop receive defective sex toys they decide to retaliate by burning the shop to the ground and killing the late-night clerk, Freddy. But the charred and bizarre clerk comes back, and he’s horny, while he haunts the dreams of his murderers.”
“A Wet Dream on Elm Street” is a collaboration between Tom Byron Pictures and Lee Roy Meyers. It stars Sophie Dee, Gracie Glam, Charley Chase, Mishka, Chad Alva, Chris Johnson and Anthony Rosano as Freddy Fingers.