Q&A: Bad Dragon Makes Sensual, Insertable Art of Dragon Dicks
LOS ANGELES — So, it’s Friday night and you’re all alone. Your thirteen-hour LOTR marathon just ended, and Smaug has been decimated, but you long for more scaly action. You can almost feel the fire singing the translucent hairs on the back of your neck, when it hits you — your new bumpy, blissful dragon dildo from Bad Dragon is sitting on your mantle. In other words, the night has just begun.
Bad Dragon is not your average pleasure products company, although all of its items are made from medical-grade silicone and are highly use-able, albeit a bit intimidating. The company, which launched in 2007, offers fantasy and mythological fetishists with, quite literally, dragon dicks, along with a whole assortment of other un- and pseudo-real phalluses and other sex toys. Ever wanted to copulate with a Werewolf/ess? Shark? Sea dragon? Swamp Wrym? Well, you may be in luck!
Just visit the Bad Dragon website and do a bit of clicking about — you will quickly be drawn into tales of about majestic, amorous creatures like the Royal Dragon.
“Those who have been close with the Royal Dragon recall their encounters with great fondness,” an unnamed narrator assures. “We hear tales of his ability to read minds and feelings, and make every use of his connection to completely satisfy every need of those lucky enough to live the experience.” And, for around $100, one can experience first-hand the sensitive Royal Dragon, whose phallic likeness comes equipped with textures, bumps, curves, an angled shaft and even a tendril.
While some may find the idea of bedding down with a scaly behemoth or anthropomorphized equine awkward at best, Bad Dragon co-founder Varka insists that Bad Dragon is flourishing in a fantasy-obsessed culture, suffused with fodder like “Game of Thrones,” “Lord of the Rings” and Twilight,” that manage to put the “sex” in “sexterrestrial,” or something like that.
XBIZ caught up with Varka to satisfy our abounding curiosities surrounding dragon dicks and their dedicated legions.
What was the inspiration for Bad Dragon, or what motivated you guys to launch?
The inspiration for Bad Dragon came from discovering how eager people were to get real silicone versions of toys I sculpted for fun out of clay and posted online back in 2007. Several friends and I teamed up to turn it into a company and the rest, as they say, is history. At the time there was just a handful of fantasy-themed designs and none of them used high quality materials. We settled on 100-percent platinum-cured silicone, because it's hypoallergenic, non-toxic, body safe and lasts for a very long time. Back then I started sculpting in clay as a hobby, however I quickly discovered that the only thing I could sculpt with any degree of competency was dragon dicks. Oops.
How do you decide what shapes to use (because we don’t really know what dragon dicks would look like, right?) Are there descriptions of fantasy/mythical creatures’ sex organs in literature or fan fiction? Are your pieces based on any popular dragons/creatures from literature, movies or mythology?
Designing fantasy toys is equal parts art and science — as you’re right, nobody knows for sure what dragon dicks would look like. Lots of people have an opinion, though! We get tremendous creative license because of this. You can draw on references of all kinds, both natural and imagined, and really work out a design that’s fun to use and really gorgeous looking, which makes a huge difference. To be honest, a lot of what makes a good design is in fusing convincing character/biological traits (art) with a solid understanding of what shapes, textures and proportions work well and are manufacturable (science). In many ways it’s similar to creating sci-fi/fantasy environments or species — it’s got to look convincing, even if it’s made up!
We don’t typically draw from descriptions in literature or fan fiction, primarily because these details are rarely mentioned. However, we’ve found in recent years that fan writers and artists will actually reference our designs and incorporate them into their work. We do love to dig into the depths of myth and legend though, as there’s a wealth of resources out there for the traits and physical attributes of all manner of mythical creatures. Personally, I really enjoy taking something from mythology like a Chimera, putting our own unique spin on the creature, and making a toy that reflects their nature and background while at the same time producing an attractive, fun toy you simply can’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to more modern things, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t pay attention to popular culture. A lot of our staff are big movie and game fans, and when a big creature movie comes out everyone usually gets all fired up and excited, and we all work to put together a new toy design or a sale that builds on it. That said, when we come up with a design and put a character behind it, we typically give it just enough life of its own for people to identify with it but intentionally leave plenty of room for people to develop their own characters, fantasies or situations to enjoy. It's about imagination, and taking your fantasies to a place of your choosing.
Why do you think people are attracted to Bad Dragon products? It seems like there is a difference between just being into fantasy and wanting to bring it into the bedroom. Is there a specific type of person your toys appeal to?
From talking with customers, we know that people really love the quality and the gorgeous color combinations that we offer. We also accept certain color requests to add a bit of the customer's own personal flair and fantasy to their toy. They also love the fact that they’re very interesting designs that go far beyond a typical ‘human penis with veins’ shape. A surprising number of people consider our toys to be art, and put them on display when they’re not using them.
Our toys appeal to people from all walks of life and of all sexes and genders, but what seems to be the common factor between all of them is people who really like fantasy characters and who want to make their fantasies real. We started out with just dildos but have an entire range of penetrable toys including a dragoness, a werewolf, a dragon butt and various anthropomorphic characters. We see a lot of variety in the kinds of customers that buy and use our toys, and easily as much variation in how people choose to use them. We hear people like to hit each other with dragon dildos too, but that seems to come with the territory regardless of type.
What are your top sellers? What types of toys do you see releasing in the near future?
Lots and lots of people really love the werewolf toys, both male and female. I like to think it’s because werewolves are a common fantasy, accessible while at the same time scary and exciting. We just released a redesigned Anthropomorphic Stallion toy, as well as a lot of sales of our Anthropomorphic Mare toy in pastel colors, which seems to have really made them more desirable then they were in the past.
In terms of new releases, we have a couple of designs that have gone through our ‘Kickstarter-style’ voting project, Bad Dragon Labs, which are due to be produced soon. We tend to keep new release plans on the down-low, but we average one or two new designs a month which helps keeps things fresh.
What materials do you use for your products?
We use 100-percent platinum-cured silicone, which is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, body-safe and paraben free. Working in silicone gives us so much more room for coming up with creative colors, patterns and finishes, and makes the toys durable enough to last a very long time. Everything is made in-house, by hand, in our facility in the U.S. — and people in the production department produce some really amazing colors. Keeping everything in-house has meant that we can keep the quality standard very high, and also do a level of customization you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve made rainbow dicks, spectacular four-color metallic marbles and carefully referenced colors to match a character a customer wanted. If you can think of it, we can — and probably have — made it.
What has the reception been like? Have you experienced a lot of raised eyebrows?
In terms of what people think when they first encounter our products, most people are amazed that they exist and often don’t believe we’re for real with the level of detail and dedication we put into our products. After a while they realize it is for real, and they’ll show us to their friends, and usually someone ends up surreptitiously buying one … just to see what it’s like, of course.
The reaction from people on social media (we’re popular on Twitter and Tumblr) is something that never gets old, especially if they never imagined a toy company like us existed, it seems to blow their minds. People are sometimes incredulous — and then so immediately fascinated with us. Lots of sci-fi/fantasy communities get ‘infected’ with us. For example, in online gaming circles it seems everyone knows who we are or has heard of us, usually from links or photos getting passed around. For people more familiar with the adult toy industry, we often get praise for the customization options, variety of shapes and attractiveness of our color variations.
In terms of raised eyebrows from people we do business with, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many people and businesses choose to look at and consider the way we conduct ourselves and how we approach things as opposed to the ‘nature’ of our business. We still occasionally get the cold shoulder (the recent XBIZ article on banks ‘slamming the door’ on porn stars mirrors our experience of certain institutions), but for the most part everyone is fascinated by our success, and very happy to do business with us.
I feel that mainstream institutions need to grow up and acknowledge that the adult industry is becoming more and more socially acceptable and legitimate. The cowboy days of the early 2000’s are going away and, as younger people move into business, attitudes are becoming more liberal. This is leading to a lot more solid, legitimate businesses entering the adult industry — and I’d like to think we’re doing our part to help that change.
Are there any other companies that cater to the dragon and fantasy niche or are you guys the main players?
There are a couple of other players in the fantasy adult toy space, but we seem to be the largest out there. We’ve seen a couple of fantasy-themed products from other more mainstream manufacturers, but when people think dragon dicks, they seem to immediately think ‘Bad Dragon!’ — which I guess is kind of fitting. We’ve had a great response from customers for standing behind our designs, particularly the fantasies that go along with them, and we attribute a lot of our success to embracing the nature of our toys as much as the materials and craftsmanship that go into them. It’s been a hell of a ride getting to this point, and it’s only been possible through the support of customers who like what we do, so we’re very grateful for that.
To shop or just see some pretty dragon dicks, visit Bad-Dragon.com