The EDGE Blog

Secrets Behind Award-Winning Sex Toys


Recently, Melbourne’s RMIT University hit the headlines with a pretty unique new course, which aimed to teach students how to design sex toys. Coming up with a great concept for a sex toy might sound easy, but when you look at what’s available on the market it can be hard to know where to start. So we thought we’d give you a peek behind some award-winning sex toys on the market.

What separates your common-or-garden vibrator and a sex toy that wins awards? The key is usually innovation – a unique twist on a familiar idea which provides a brand-new sexual sensation. Sometimes it’s about the way a toy can be used – for example, advances in waterproof technology would give any sex toy a head start on the competition. Often it’s in the aesthetics – a toy which is beautiful as well as functional, and which you can display in pride of place on your nightstand.

Award-winning sex toys: The Doxy

The Doxy Massager launched in 2013, and since then has become one of the top toys recommended by sex bloggers. It’s also won numerous awards, including ETO (Erotic Trade Organization) awards in 2014 and 2015.

The key to the Doxy’s success – and what differentiates it from other wand toys – is in its power. While many wand toys promise a strong vibration, the Doxy holds the crown for the most powerful vibration on the market. The mechanism inside the head revolves at up to 9,000 rpm, giving deep, rumbling sensations rather than the higher-frequency ‘buzz’ that can often be numbing in smaller sex toys.

Award-winning sex toys: The Womanizer

The Womanizer is a very odd toy. It’s worth saying that up-front, because the most common initial reaction to this product is a cry of ‘WTF?!’ It’s a small, hand-held clitoral stimulator, but that’s as close as it gets to any product you might already have come across.

It has a silicon ‘nub’ on the end of the toy, which looks like a small suction cup. You place it over your clitoris, and the Womanizer uses air flow and suction to ‘massage’ you to orgasm. Perhaps it was the sheer novelty of this that helped it win ‘Innovative Sex Toy of the Year’ at the XBIZ awards last year. There’s surely more to it than that, though, as even sex toy reviewers who were geared up to hate it for its dodgy name and strange appearance ended up adoring it.

Joan Price, who writes brilliantly on sex toys and sexuality for older people, described the Womanizer as:

“the ugliest, tackiest looking sex toy that has ever graced my nightstand.”

Yet despite it’s sheer ugliness, Joan still urges people to try it because of the unique sensations it can provide.

Award-winning sex toys: PULSE

The key innovation with PULSE comes in the form of the PulsePlate™ – a patented system that offers targeted oscillations (rather than vibrations) to the penis. Medical research has shown that oscillations can give more effective stimulation, offering direct and powerful orgasms. Very different to the standard masturbators and strokers on the male sex toy market, which is why both PULSE II SOLO and PULSE II DUO have received awards – including Male Sex Toy of the Year at the Xbiz awards in 2015.

Award-winning sex toys: The D1 stone dildo

In case you’re worried that old school sex toys might get swept aside by innovation, rest assured that some of the top award-winning sex toys are simply perfections on traditional classics. Here the thing that matters is the beautiful design.

The D1 stone dildo, made by a Norwegian company called Laid, won the award for its sheer beauty and simplicity of design. It’s hand-carved from Black Norwegian Moonstone, and is designed for perfect g-spot stimulation. Definitely an old classic. Cara Sutra – another fantastic sex toy reviewer – put it through its paces back in 2012, and it clearly made an impression:

“My stone dildo is beautiful and shimmering, and also cool and smooth. It’s refreshing coldness is both a relief and pleasure against hot, aroused and especially lubricated flesh.”

Are you cut out for a career in sex toy design?

If you think you can do better, there are plenty of places to start. Melbourne RMIT’s course might be one place to start – or you could check out LoveHoney’s annual sex toy design competition. The first winner of the annual competition, back in 2009, came up with the ‘Squeel’ – an oral sex simulator that looked like a tantalisingly sexy wheel of tongues. What it lacked in beauty it made up for in effectiveness and sheer novelty – the Squeel went on to become a hit product and the designer has made over £100,000 in royalties for his nifty idea.

Making award-winning sex toys is certainly not easy – it takes a lot of research to come up with something innovative that will catch people’s eye. But at PULSE we’re overwhelmed by the great reviews and feedback we get from customers, whether it’s people tweeting to say ‘thanks’ or emailing to tell us how their new toy has given them a whole new experience of sexual pleasure. So all that hard work? Definitely worth it.

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