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More to Love: Products Made for Larger Consumers, BBW Fans

More to Love: Products Made for Larger Consumers, BBW Fans

October 18, 2014
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" The statistics tell the story. The plus-sized consumer represents the majority of the population here in the U.S. and many other countries are close to those numbers as well. Australia, the U.K., other countries in Europe and the Middle East have increasing plus-sized populations. –Julie Stewart "

It used to be that plus-sized items were made for larger women and, in the adult lingerie industry, for many a cross dresser as well. But the demand for adult products catering to larger women continues to grow both within the lingerie world as well as in the adult novelty sector. A simple search of the term BBW, which stands for Big Beautiful Woman, turns up countless pages with images, shopping sites, Pinterest pages, YouTube channels, dating programs and many other avenues for large women to feel proud and sexy. Facebook’s BBW page has almost 350,000 likes and the go-to site for booking models, Model Mayhem, lists more than 150 voluptuous women who are confidently showing off their curves for photographers to embrace their larger sizes to profile their products and wares.

Bigger is better, so they say and the recent increase in plus-sized offerings in the adult world finally recognizes it and is keeping up with the growing demand. According to MarketingCharts.com, more than 55 percent of women purchase clothing sized 16 or larger and 62 percent identify as being overweight. Adult manufacturers are offering larger women more options with size and fit and are going well beyond the traditional scope of flimsy lingerie.

Sportsheets, the well-known manufacturer of harnesses, sexual positioning tools, and soft bondage equipment, recently rolled out its Sportsheets Plus line of harnesses and positioning straps geared for women of size.

Sportsheets President Julie Stewart commented that “’Big Beautiful Women’ is one of the top searches on search engines, and more women not only identify themselves as plus-size, but also embrace it with open minds and hearts.” Julie continued, “While society still maintains a negative attitude toward larger women – with fat-shaming and other negative stereotypes – there’s a resurgence of sex-positive celebrations of body image among women of all sizes and shapes. And these are the confident and curious consumers that Sportsheets Plus speaks to.”

When asked about how the line came about, Stewart relayed “Sportsheets Plus was the result of customer feedback regarding the underserved plus community when it comes to sex toys. At ANME, people really got what we were doing. Everyone loved the new brand, the products, and the packaging. The statistics tell the story. The plus-sized consumer represents the majority of the population here in the U.S. and many other countries are close to those numbers as well. Australia, the U.K., other countries in Europe and the Middle East have increasing plus-sized populations. We are glad to be the first to market with this comprehensive brand and we are excited about expanding on that brand!”

But it’s not just adding extra fabric or strapping that makes this line adaptable for larger waistlines. Stewart continued, “The plus size body is unique and Sportsheets has responded to the challenges plus-sized people can face during sex. We modified products to plus-sized bodies so that the products and the consumers perform better. We educated ourselves and our team on the plus market and what consumers want but haven’t had access to until now. It’s been very rewarding to get the feedback from consumers and from within the industry, that we were successful in accomplishing what we set out to do with Sportsheets Plus.”

With wider straps and wider velvety panels, the Sportsheets Plus line fits more comfortably than trying to adapt smaller sizes made for smaller bodies.

“The straps don’t cut into the women’s rolling curves as much as they lie comfortably against their skin,” Stewart said. “Our customers’ comfort and pleasure is what comes first for us at Sportsheets!”

In the sex toy world, perhaps the most stunning acknowledgement of larger women and the men who love them, is the realistically molded April Flores masturbator made by Topco and part of the Wildfire Celebrity Series. When it came out several years ago, people chuckled thinking there was no market for a product that was molded after a popular BBW adult performer who shamelessly promotes her unique toy with the line “It jiggles just like me!” The almost eight-pound masturbator, complete with realistic belly rolls and solid thighs enveloping the tight, recreated vagina of April herself, appeals to men who want to replicate their desires for women of size. And why not? There are plenty of male BBW fans out there.

Pipedream Products has recently upgraded its offerings in its Extreme Dollz Collection as well. Pipedream continues to market their “Fatty Patty” basic blow-up doll (available both in regular and the compact “travel size”) but began researching what men were looking for in blow-up dolls and a BBW doll was definitely within their scope.

To more seriously cater to the men who prefer adding a few more life-giving breaths to their oversized, vinyl pleasure dolls, Pipedream gave its BBW doll a more realistic name, crowning her “Big Beautiful Becky.” Becky comes complete with a flattering picture of a real BBW on the box (and other pictures of her in the package) and the doll herself has a rounded, smiling face framed with flowing blonde hair, blue eyes, swiveling arms, full, TPR-nippled breasts, realistic feeling Fanta Flesh vagina and anus, and an increased waistline to better portray a real, live woman of size. Rob Phaneuf, the vice president of product development at Pipedream shared, “Believe it or not, Big Beautiful Becky is our best-selling Extreme Doll. That shows you the demand men have for BBWs, which I think is great!”

Lingerie is also changing to make larger women feel sexier and seductive. The overwhelming majority of manufacturers not only have increased their offerings of plus-sized sexy clothing for women but also have come up with unique styles made just for them. One look at any catalog from Shirley of Hollywood, Baci Lingerie, Seven ‘til Midnight or Dreamgirl and you’ll see them bursting with sizes ranging from 1X on up. Shirley of Hollywood’s Intimate Attitudes features countless designs from tailored corsets to seductive babydolls for those plus sized consumers.

At the Spring 2014 International Lingerie Show, plus-size models walked the catwalk in numbers never before seen, reflecting the growing demand of sexy underthings that is increasing with every show.

At the retail level, Susan Craton, district manager of 11 CFP stores in North Carolina and Virginia, shared her take on retailing plus size lingerie.

“I order lingerie in many sizes but found that specifically, in many of the stores, plus size will outnumber the standard sizes by three to one. Years ago, we ordered the minimum amount of plus size but after talking to customers or even looking at them while shopping in the stores, I realized they couldn’t even fit in standard sizes, including the supposed ‘one size fits all’ category.”

Craton continued: “While working at my previous position over the past two years in three stores in Georgia, we had to increase the size of the plus size sections in the store. We made the standard size area in the lingerie department smaller and enlarged the Plus, Queen and Diva size areas to accommodate a bigger selection of lingerie for our customers.”

Currently, when Craton is buying lingerie for her stores, the standard size may represent 2/3 of the order while the other 1/3 is queen but in other stores, she can’t order enough queen size lingerie as it sells out much more quickly than the standard sizes do. When it comes to buying plus sizes, her advice for any lingerie buyer is to listen to both the customer and the store manager, who listens every day to what women want, especially those women of size.

Commenting on the styles now being made for larger women, Craton shared that she’s seen the variety increase tenfold in a very short time. “The distributors are noticing it’s not just the thin, pretty models at ILS that are inspiring the styles, they realize that plus size buyers may ultimately have bigger pocketbooks and they want to feel sexy, too.” Craton continued with more savvy marketing advice: “Sexiness is not just about size and it’s also not about age. It’s a feeling you get inside that goes out and lingerie is just another way to express that.”

So catering to your larger sized retail buyer not only makes good business sense but the trend will also increase your bottom line, which is good for any bottom, no matter what size.


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