LOS ANGELES — The winter edition of the XBIZ Retreat in Los Angeles brought together more than 100 participating pleasure products vendors and retail buyers from around the world for daily back-to-back business meetings and endless networking at the Andaz hotel on Sunset Boulevard.
The latest edition of the ultra-exclusive four-day retail event was ripe with debuts of innovative new products and companies that are set to make their mark on 2018. Several established brands returned to the XBIZ Retreat with exciting new developments and improvements to their signature items.
XBIZ caught up with several vendors throughout the event’s four-day run as they showcased their latest offerings inside the Andaz’s luxurious suites — some of which were decked out in branding, product displays and other furnishings to showcase their goods and brand messaging.
A notable trend among exhibiters was an increased focus on gender-neutral products and marketing. Most manufacturers also discussed their company’s dedication to supporting retailers with education, marketing and merchandising.
E-Stim Systems, a prominent brand of electro-play products from the U.K., showcased a wide selection of electrodes and power boxes, all of which were “relatively new,” Mick Clarke of E-Stim Systems said.
“I’m here to get more distributors on-board,” he said, noting that part of his plan of appealing to buyers — and end users alike — includes personally providing education and customer support.
“It’s all about community,” he said. “We make sure to provide retailers with demo units because the staff needs to be able to understand the product in order to sell it.”
Shibari showcased its expansive selection of pleasure products, including the Beso Sensual Suction Massager, which was nominated for Innovative Sex Toy of Year — at the XBIZ Awards.
Danielle Seerly from Shibari said that what makes Beso stand out is its range of functions that includes pulsation and more. “It also fits all body parts,” she said.
Barcelona-based Adrien Lastic showcased its new line of Femintimate sexual wellness products. Xavier Aliguer told XBIZ that the company is working with doctors and pharmacies in Europe to offer its items to their clients. The Femintimate line includes kegel balls with interchangeable weights called Pelvix — all items in the line also come in a discreet case.
Other innovative designs included a finger vibe with the battery encased in a wristwatch to add vibration to the wearer’s touch without getting in the way.
The Warm, Inc. suite was decked out in purple with a stylish promo video played in the background while company founder Janine served champagne and cupcakes.
“We want retailers to see what it’s like to hot a Warm event in their stores,” Janine said.
Warm debuted its newest product, Touch, an automated, hands-free lube/massage oil dispenser.
Featuring Warm’s “Tender Technology,” liquids heat within two minutes to “a silky, temperature that easily integrates into the intimacy.”
“People love its simple operation,” Janine said. “We don’t want to tell you how to play — we just heat it up for you and let you do your thing.”
SenseMax showcased the latest developments on its interactive pleasure products. The company introduced buyers to its new app available for Apple and Google mobile devices that offers interactive adult videos that can be used with the company’s masturbator and the innovative SenseBand.
“It’s really easy to get content now and it’s a lot more stable and secure,” said Tiffany Haynes. “The videos are live-action point-of-view videos from a male perspective, however we plan to continue to grow out variety.”
Rock Candy Toys created buzz at the XBIZ Retreat with a colorful, candy shop-themed suite where the new collection of confection-themed vibes made its debut.
“No matter at what age, candy is always exciting,” Keith Caggiano said, noting that in most non-adult retailers it’s very common for candy to be sold by the cash register.
“We want to help retailer make money off of impulse items,” Caggiano said.
Featuring fun, vibrant packaging, Rock Candy Toys come to retailers in boxes that easily convert into displays and tube dispensers — just like real candy. Items in the collection include the Lala Pop, which delivers Hitachi-like vibration through its round head. The Swirl vibe’s tip concentrates the power for pinpointed stimulation.
Svakom introduced its lastest innovative toys — Cookie and Candy. Cookie features three massaging tentacles with unique movement beyond vibration. Described as a “kissing fish mouth,” Candy’s tip opens and closes. The vibes are designed for foreplay, the company says and can be used to massage nipples as well as the clitoris.
According to Alexandro Feynerol, Svakom also recently released new limited-edition boxes with items in new, limited-edition colors.
This year marks the 10th anniversary for Los Angeles-based B Swish and Jessica Tarr says that although the company has evolved with modernized designs and packaging, B Swish is staying true to its original philosophy of offering quality at affordable prices.
“This year we’re aiming to be more inclusive and gender-neutral with our packaging,” she said.
B Swish’s offerings are categorized into three groupings — Classic, Deluxe and Premium. According to Tarr, the three varieties cater to different demographics, including beginners, intermediate and experts.
Bijoux Indiscrets showed off its Maze collection of sexy, fashion-forward harnesses, suspenders and garters. The PETA-approved collection is made of vegan leather. Among the unique styles, Bijoux Indiscrets’ Lisa Sananes showcased in her suite was a harness that offers two-in-one functionality as a harness and unique restraint system with a few snaps of the belt.
Marc Toretzky of Be Wicked! said that he was pleased with his first-time XBIZ Retreat experience.
“It’s been a great event for establishing relationships with buyers,” he said. “The format is perfect for networking.”
Toretzky said that the company has been in business for about nine years and offers a selection of hanging lingerie, as well as packaged body stockings and other hosiery styles.
Day one of the XBIZ Retreat wrapped up with dinner and drinks at the famed Saddle Ranch on the Sunset Strip, which was sponsored by Satisfyer, where attendees enjoyed each other’s company, along with mechanical bull rides and karaoke.
Kim Faubel from Clandestine Devices and Megan Swartz from the Deja Vu Love Boutique surprised the organizing team behind the XBIZ Retreat with a special “Behind the Scenes” award acknowledging their efforts to support and acknowledge the pleasure products industry. The accolades continued the following night with the retail edition of the annual XBIZ Exec Awards.
Vendor-buyer meetings went on through the week, introducing international buyers to a wide selection of pleasure products for women, men and couples.
Satisfyer showcased its three newest releases: the Satisfyer Pro G-Spot Rabbit, Satisfyer Pro 4 Couples and Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration.
The Satisfyer Pro 4 Couples is a couples vibrator that can be enjoyed by both partners during sex. It increases sensations, creates a tightening experience for him, while providing clitoral and G-Spot stimulation for her.
The Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration combines stimulating pressure waves with sensual vibrations. The soft silicone attachment surrounds the clitoris and sends waves of pressure for heightened pleasure while vibrations stimulate the vagina.
The Satisfyer Pro G-Spot Rabbit expands pressure waves of stimulation to the clitoris and massages the the G-spot. The ergonomic shape and soft silicone cover allows it to fit “comfortably in your hand.”
Jerome Bensimon was on hand to discuss the new items, as well as discuss Satisfyer’s ad campaign in Elle magazine.
“We’re opening up the door to mainstream,” he said. “It’s a statement.”
According to Bensimon, the company is already getting a response from the mainstream publicity from consumers.
Jeff Hawkins from Carrashield Labs showcased Divine 9 lubricant with a new informational video featuring Dean Fresonke, CEO of CarraShield Labs. Hawkins told XBIZ that the five-year study that McGill University is conducting using Divine 9 to block the transmission of HPV is coming to an end.
“Even without the medical stuff, people love Divine 9 to play with,” Hawkins said.
Premium pleasure products manufacturer COTR, Inc. showcased its three brands inside its Andaz hotel suite.
“We just started shipping The Cowgirl [premium sex machine] and everybody is already loving it,” said Alicia Sinclair, the founder and CEO of COTR, noting that many social media influencers — including cam performers, have begun sharing their praise of The Cowgirl online.
COTR also showcased a new Shiatsu attachment for the Le Wand rechargeable wand massager.
“One product, multiple experiences,” Sinclair said about the wand’s selection of attachments.
For COTR’s b-Vibe lineup, the company introduced anal beads in a larger size — the Cinco, which features five insertable beads. b-Vibe also offers the Triplet vibrating anal beads.
O-Wand made its debut at the XBIZ Retreat. Essex, England-based Mr and Mrs Toy manufacture the powerful wand. One of the company’s founders Sanjay Lad was on hand to discuss the creation of the O-Wand.
“In 2015, we drew up the sketch of the O-Wand,” Lad said. “Our mission was to offer power without it having to be a plug-in.”
According to Lad, the O-Wand has already won a Red Dot Award for its design and was featured as a top vibrator in Allure magazine. “All without an official launch,” he said.
Sex enhancement pill manufacturer Up 24-7 showcased its selection of supplements for men, along with large tubs of single-dosage pills. Company owner Bruno Scandelari said that the company has maintained its selection of products relatively small.
“We’re mostly just focused on the pills because they sell well — even women buy them for themselves,” he said. “A lot of people are interested.”
System Jo showcased its lubricants at the XBIZ Retreat for the first time ever.
“We’ve met so many people — even people that we thought we’d met before but hadn’t,” said Carrie Ernest.
The company showcased new enhancement products for men and women, including 12 Volt — a clitoral stimulant for women, and Prolonger Spray for him — a topical desensitizing spray. According to Ernest, the company’s Dona collection also is selling well. The line has been expanded to offer bath bombs that contain essential oils. Ernest said the line promotes holistic well-being.
XBIZ Retreat enjoyed one (major) last hurrah the evening of the adult industry’s biggest night, the star-studded 2018 XBIZ Awards. With an exclusive dinner for Retreat attendees leading up to the lavish affair, and farewell mimosas to send them off the following morning, the XBIZ Retreat catered to its guests from beginning to end, and left several attendees eagerly anticipating the next one.
The XBIZ Retreat returns on May 29 to June 2 to its tropical summer location in Miami.