BATH, U.K. — Lovehoney has announced a sex toy design competition in which participants can win a $1,500 prize in three categories: best sex toy for women, men and couples.
The company says another $3,000 will go to the overall winning design. If the toy goes into production, the designer will have the chance to earn up to $250K in royalties, like artist Trevor Murphy — who invented the Sqweel oral sex simulator after winning a previous Lovehoney design contest.
The Sqweel, which features a rotating wheel of 10 teasing tongues, has been featured in movies and TV. According to the company, Hundreds and thousands of Sqweels have been sold and Murphy cashes in every time one is sold.
Murphy, who designs collectible card sets for movies like “Star Wars” and TV shows like “Doctor Who,” said, "I've been squealing with delight ever since my sex toy went into production. I am so happy that I have brought so much sexual happiness to so many people."
Lovehoney has made three versions of the Sqweel for women and recently releasd Sqweel XT, which is aimed at men. It was launched with the jokey tagline: “Now men don’t have to wait till their birthday for great oral sex.”
Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James and sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox have judged previous editions of Lovehoney’s contest, the company said. Lovehoney produces the official collections of Fifty Shades sex toys and soft bondage gear, all developed with E L James.
Lovehoney co-founder Neal Slateford said, "If we get a design which brings something completely new to the market there is no reason why the designer cannot enjoy the same kind of pay day as Trevor.
"You don't need to be an engineer or a designer to enter — all we need is a great idea and a rough sketch so that our designers can make your sex toy become a reality."
The company says Murphy came up with the Sqweel when he was sleeping one night.
He said, “The idea for the Sqweel came to me fully formed as I was drifting off to sleep one night.
“I'd been thinking of small, compact designs all evening, especially circular shapes. I snapped awake and told my partner Veronica: ‘I’ve just come up with the winning sex toy design!’ Using my rough sketch I drew multiple angles of the toy design on my computer. It wasn't difficult, as I've used computer design software for years in animation. I had my Lovehoney competition entry in the post after two days of sitting hunched over my PC, tinkering away!”
The Sqweel won the competition and went into production.
“I didn't build a prototype myself before entering the competition but later on when the factory sent preliminary models we got great feedback from testers,” Murphy said. “That's when we all breathed a sigh of relief as there wasn't anything like the Sqweel out there and although it looked great on paper we needed that real world seal of approval.
“I'm thrilled about the success of the Sqweel. Every once in a while I'll Google the Sqweel and marvel at how it's on sale in China, Russia and Australia! It was even on the ‘Tonight Show,’ licking Jay Leno's chin! It's so surreal! Now and then I'll get a message on Twitter from a happy lady telling me how she loves her Sqweel!"
To enter the competition, click here or send entries to D.A.S.T., LH Trading, 100 Locksbrook Road, Bath, U.K., BA1 3EN.