LOS ANGELES — XBIZ is pleased to announce that Fleshlight founder Steve Shubin will receive the first ever XBIZ "Industry Innovator Award."
Shubin will accept the honor this Tuesday night at the 10th anniversary XBIZ Awards at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The award marks the culmination of what started with an idea in 1995 and has turned into a global phenomenon.
In less than two decades, Shubin’s male sex toy company has sold an incredible 4 million units with no signs of slowing down. Fueled by a robust marketing campaign, forward-thinking design and the willingness to embrace new technology, Fleshlight is now widely considered the gold standard of male sex toys.
“I'm thrilled to be receiving the Industry Innovator Award from XBIZ this year,” Shubin said. “It’s a real honor to be recognized in an industry chock-full of trend-setting pioneers. All of us here at Fleshlight work hard to make an incredible product for those who desire only the best and I'm proud to be recognized by a fellow leader in our industry.”
There have been numerous milestones for Shubin & Co. along the way. After receiving the Fleshlight patents in 1998, the Austin, Texas-based manufacturer made its first online retail venture in 2001. Before Fleshlight went online Shubin literally was molding the individual Fleshlight himself and hand-delivering the final products to retail stores like Good Vibrations.
By taking the Fleshlight online, the company became one of the first adult manufacturers that took their product direct to consumers. Then Shubin made the decision that propelled Fleshlight to previously unimaginable heights. In 2006, the company started molding adult stars, launching the Fleshlight Girl Division, which has evolved into a worldwide powerhouse with exclusive molds of the biggest adult film stars in the business.
As the number one selling male sex toy company, Fleshlight offers patented Real Feel Superskin texture toys. Now the company’s extensive line includes the Fleshlight Original, Ice, Stamina Training, Sex-in-a-Can, Fleshlight Vibro, FleshJack, and the Fleshlight Girls Toys.
Several industry leaders lauded Shubin’s vision.
“This really is a fitting award for Steve,” said Frank Kay, owner of the premier distribution hub East Coast News. “He and the Fleshlight brand have drawn tremendous mainstream attention to our industry, and we can all thank him for that. Congratulations to Steve on this honor, keep up the good work.”
Jeff Dillon, the director of online sales for Gamelink.com., recalled his first impressions of Shubin.
“When I first met Steve at his headquarters in Austin, Texas, I was a little bit in disbelief that the inventor of one of the greatest sex toys of all time was based out of Texas, which at the time had some of the strictest laws against sex toys of any state in the nation,” Dillon told XBIZ.
“Regardless of his location, Steve created one of, if not the greatest marketing campaign for Fleshlight that touched many untapped markets for adult products. As an e-tailer we couldn’t ask for a better than Steve, and his company that spend the time and effort to market and brand their products, which is why Fleshlight sells itself.”
“Sex Toy” Dave Levine agreed, sharing his wonderment with how far the company has advanced under Shubin’s leadership.
“When I first saw the Fleshlight, I thought ‘why would anyone want a toy that looks like a flash light?’ At that time, almost everything looked realistic and sexy with concern about discretion,” Levine recalled. “He was smart to find a niche that others in the industry were overlooking and he has been rewarded nicely by the market for his innovation.”
Lisa Ann, the 2011 XBIZ Award-winning MILF Performer of the Year, is one of Shubin’s exclusive Fleshlight Girls.
“Being a part of Fleshlight has given me the great opportunity to learn more about Steve Shubin, his ideas, the way he does business and the people he chooses to be a part of the Fleshlight Family,” Lisa Ann said. “I am astonished by his creativity, followed by his genius and his tenacity! I am so proud to be a part of his organization!”
Alec Helmy, founder and president of XBIZ, echoed their sentiments.
“Steve Shubin exemplifies a visionary innovator,” Helmy said. “The way he has transformed Fleshlight from a niche operation into a national sensation is nothing short of remarkable. We’re very pleased to recognize Steve’s outstanding achievements with this special accolade.”
For the latest XBIZ Awards news announcements, follow @xbizawards.