Dallas Novelty is the only online store that specializes in pleasure products for people with physical disabilities. Launched in 2003 by entrepreneur Nick Mahler, the store has grown into a mega site for pleasure products with the tagline “Sex is for Everybody.”
Mahler says, “‘Sex is for Everybody’ means exactly that, we want to help anyone that wants to have sex to do so safely, and help them to achieve the pleasure they desire. It doesn’t matter if they have a rare muscular skeletal disease like I have, or a veteran with an injury from being deployed, or if they are simply experiencing the sands of time catching up to them and need a little extra help.”
We aren’t just some site that puts up a data feed and has someone drop-ship for us. Every product that we offer is handpicked. –Nick Mahler, DallasNovelty.com
DallasNovelty.com’s selection of sex toys is expansive, offering some 16,000 items. “Our selection of disabled-oriented toys grows daily as new toys from manufacturers are released. We are using some of our relationships in the toy business to let manufacturers and craftsmen know what customers with a disability or permanent injury could use more easily,” Mahler says.
Mahler himself often selects the items in the disabled sex toy category. “We also get input from customers who’ve told me what worked for them. A lot of the toys are tested by me or our review team to see if it will work as advertised or as an adapted-use toy.”
Customer feedback helps a great deal in determining the toys selected for DallasNovelty.com.
“We get calls from customers to say thanks for helping them finally have an orgasm again, or at least give their partner an orgasm. Some of our customers who have a spinal cord injury or some other sensation-disorder might not be able to feel their genitals, but still want to have the experience of intercourse for their partners, and have a connection that you can only get being intimate,” he relates. “We have customers who might have low stamina or muscle weakness and have issues performing, but for a short time they might use a strap-on harness with a realistic dildo, or maybe even use a thrusting-style vibrator on their partners. Each situation is different, so we just have to help them to adapt to the situation as I’ve had to do my entire life.”
He adds that his store takes great care and pride in their selection. “We aren’t just some site that puts up a data feed and has someone drop-ship for us. Every product that we offer is handpicked, and we enter all the information and descriptions ourselves. We also offer a lot of smaller specialty items that do not sell through distributors so our customers can find that special item that may not be available on other sites.”
Mahler says he’s had customers with different disabilities speak to him comfortably about sex toys due to his own disability — he has a very rare muscular skeletal disorder called FOP which causes his muscles, ligaments and tendons to turn into solid bone, limiting mobility and reach.
Some of the online store’s bestsellers in the category of toys for disabled users include the Adrien Lastic Mr Hook, wand massagers such as the classic Magic Wand or the Doxy massager. “We also sell the NU Sensuelle Remote Eggs, Hot Octopuss Pulse III Solo & Duo, and the We-Vibe line,” Mahler states. “Some of the sex machines are catching fire because buyers can sit on the toy and let it do all of the work, like the new LoveBotz Deluxe Saddle sex machine. Sex slings are another popular item. They feature ankle cuffs that allow you to take the weight off your partner for longer sex sessions.”
When it comes to education regarding sex and disability, Mahler sees a lack of information when it comes to the disabled sex life versus the able bodied. “There is definitely a gap because most people don’t think that disabled people want to have sex just as much as anyone else. A lot of the toy stores do not know how to handle someone with a disability when they come into their store, or even call about a product.” Mahler points out that the lack of information unduly complicates a store’s responsiveness to customers. “Usually these customers have sex in much the same way as able bodied customers would, but they might need positioning pillows, or extended foreplay, or stronger vibrations to achieve pleasure, but get embarrassed to talk about it.”
Mahler has had personal experience as a disabled customer with employees who avoid him. “They might not know what to say and don’t want to offend me with questions. I think what could help improve the divide would just be education into some of the different physical and mental disabilities so you can give suggestions on what might work for a situation.”
There are some available resources along this line, he asserts. “There are more resources available than there ever has been. Cory Silverberg has written quite a few great articles on sex and disability, as well as several books that can help people figure things out in their personal life, which makes sex better.” Mahler is also striving to provide more information. “We are working on writing up some of our experiences with customers, and their unique adaptations to how they use their toys, either solo or with partners.”