Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House member

Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House

Not all vibrators were created equal – just ask member and Coco de Mer CEO Lucy Litwack, whose high-tech products prioritise pleasure and taste

Tuesday 1 November 2022   By Megan Wallace

For some, the process of purchasing a luxury bag from Gucci or Prada has the potential to provide as much titillation as a session in the sack. It stands to reason, then, that luxury sex toys are now a thing. But what makes a sex toy luxurious? And why would you want one?   

According to Soho House member Lucy Litwack, CEO and owner of Coco de Mer, opulent sex toys shouldn’t be solely goal-orientated, nor should they be defined by their price tag. In reality, it’s about designing a decadent ride. ‘A luxury sex toy goes far beyond a price point. It’s all about experience and evoking an emotive connection, a sensory joy,’ she explains. ‘Every aspect of the experience has to be considered. The colour and texture, the strength and performance, the details and finishing touches, the packaging – they all play key factors.’

And while Coco de Mer is best known for its lingerie, the company is now a port of call for discerning sex toy fans following the release of its Pleasure Collection in 2021. As well as being excellently engineered, this capsule of ergonomically designed vibrators also has an unexpected selling point: packaging that looks and feels like a work of art.

‘Each toy is presented in its own luxury vegan leather carry case in our sumptuous shade of chocolate, embossed with rose gold detailing and featuring an inner drawstring bag, with a Coco de Mer charging cable in matching chocolate brown,’ says Litwack. The same goes for the brand’s take on lube, with the scent-infused elixirs in its Intimate Play collection housed in illustrated, copper-toned bottles that would seamlessly blend in with the perfumes on your dressing table.

If you’ve got a design kink, Coco de Mer isn’t the only player shaking up the sex toy scene. Launched in 2013, vibrator brand Smile Makers was envisioned as an antidote to the stereotypical and often garish products in the category. As their brand director Cécile Gasnault puts it, it’s a case of form follows function. ‘There are many more expressions of sex, and we wanted to expand and refresh what sex toys can look like to better embrace how people want to explore pleasure,’ she says.

Rejecting a one-size-fits all approach, Smile Makers toys look to unsettle long-held assumptions about how they should look with in-depth research into women and non-binary people’s bodies. ‘We put efforts in the research phase to create anatomically relevant shapes by diving into scientific studies and consulting with medical experts,’ adds Gasnault.

Case in point is suction toy The Artist. Described as ‘clitorally inclusive’ by the brand, the clit sucker (a type of toy that simulates oral sex via pressure waves) comes with different attachment heads to accommodate different sizes and shapes of clitoris. For reference, most similar products have a single, non-customisable mouth. 

And what’s sensual pleasure without embracing the intimate powers of touch? Using quality materials is an essential part of creating a luxury sex toy experience – but it’s also vital for consumer safety. You might not have known, but up until 2021 there were no official safety standards for sex toys and some are still being made with non-body safe materials. 

LELO, a Swedish sex tech company that describes itself as a ‘self-care movement that transcends gender, orientation, race, and age’ knows that pleasure begins with how toys feel on the skin. ‘If a product feels nice to the touch, people will want to be in contact with it and will be more likely to abandon themselves to pleasure,’ says Justine Pescher, LELO’s marketing and communications manager for the UK. ‘That’s why our toys are made of high-quality silicone that’s extra soft to the touch.’ 

So, there you have it. Design, customisation and feel: the holy trinity of sex toy luxury. Now you know what to shop for, don’t scare someone off with a fluorescent purple dildo…

Here are our picks of sumptuous sex toys:

Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House
Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House

Pleasure No 4 – The Remote Egg, £145, Coco de Mer
This hands-free egg is ergonomically designed for delicious internal vibes. Operated by a remote, it’s the ideal toy to use with a partner for a bit of power play. The best bit? The remote doubles up as a body vibrator.

The Poet, £119.95, Smile Makers 
A ‘clitorally inclusive’ suction toy that lavishes the clitoris with pressure waves, The Poet also comes with a range of attachment heads to fit different sizes and shapes.

Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House
Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House

Sona 2, £99, LELO 
One of LELO’s best-sellers, the sonic waves created by the Sona 2 go deeper than vibrations and stimulate the entire network of nerves in the clitoris.

Etoile Bullet Vibrator, £140, Kiki de Montparnasse
Compact, discreet and made from stainless steel, this bullet-shaped vibrator is ultra-sleek and has a satisfying weight to it.

Luxury sex toys are big business for this Soho House Member | Soho House

Spot, £70, Maude 
Available in a muted palette of grey, green or charcoal, Maude’s handheld, curved vibrator has a sculptural, tasteful quality that you may not want to hide away.

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