After graduating from Penn State Law, Brian Sloan never worked a day as a lawyer. Instead, following a stint as an antiques dealer, he found himself in the adult sex toy industry. Thousands of latex fetish suits and cockrings later, Sloan quickly became one of the biggest names in the business. Now, he’s launched an IndieGoGo campaign for the Autoblow 2, a machine that will give you a automatic blowjob.
The “realistic robotic oral sex simulator for men” proved to be a viral success that’s raised over $138,490 of it’s $45,000 goal. According to the website, this is what your shaft can expect: “The feeling of having your penis inside of the sleeve while the spring-loaded beads stroke up and down can best be described in 2 words: surprisingly good.” Kudos to the copy writers.
So, we hit up Sloan in China where he’s currently running the business. Peek below to find out what happens when you tell someone you make sex toys for a living and which country they most likely ship the most dildos and penis pumps to. Canada, we aren’t so different after all.
We heard you’re a former lawyer. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur in the adult toy industry?
Yeah, I graduated from Penn State’s law school in 2005 but never worked as a lawyer afterwards. I decided about a year before I graduated that there was no way I was going to reach my full potential in that line of work. As soon as I graduated, I started a business buying and selling antiques and anything from bankruptcy auctions. Buying and selling stuff was profitable and interesting but not scalable. To make a long story short, I got into the adult industry because I found that the owners of most brands of adult toys were not doing online direct B2C sales. Even now, 95% of adult toy companies focus solely on large volume sales to resellers and distributors but don’t sell online themselves. I saw a lot of room in the space to create brands that were only available online on our websites and could be sold for lower prices by cutting out resellers. So I moved to China and that’s what I did.
As a US expat living in China, how would you compare the sex culture there vs the sex culture here in the US?
Well, first of all, my view of sex culture in China is colored by the fact that most of my experience is the big cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen. Let me put it like this: generally speaking, people in China don’t maintain religious beliefs that tend to put moral judgments on sexual activity. As a result, I think there is a sizeable part of the population that is surprisingly open to new sexual experiences. In big cities in China, the sex culture, at least as it pertains to foreigners is more open than in much of the west. One other difference is that in China it is fairly common for wealthy married men to have mistresses. That wouldn’t really fly in most of the west.
What happens when you tell someone you make adult sex toys for a living.
Most Chinese people are particularly pragmatic about this topic and understand that business is business. Foreigners who live in China tend to not be conservative. Plus I found that telling people I make sex toys when I first meet them is a great way to weed out people I wouldn’t want to know anyways. Telling people what I do opens far more doors than it closes.
How the “disposal system” works.
There are 3 sizes of sleeves that work in conjunction with the machine. You install the sleeve into the machine, and then insert your penis into sleeve. Cleaning is simple because no uh, liquid, escapes from the sleeve. It is self-contained. You just remove the sleeve, dump out what you left inside, turn the sleeve inside out, and clean it with soap and water. Easy.
Apparently, it’s not OK to masturbate at work.
It’s not exactly discreet because of the sound it makes. This is a motorized product and sounds like a motorized product, although we have engineered it to be as quiet as possible. If you took this into the bathroom at work and someone else came in, they would wonder if you were operating a set of windshield wipers while on the toilet. Explaining that sound to your co-workers would be difficult. More importantly though, I’m pretty sure its not ok to masturbate at work.
You can buy a vibrator at Walgreens, but you won’t find a machine that will jerk you off.
In the US market, you can now buy small vibrators for women in the condom aisle at major retailers like Wagreens and Target. Those same stores tend to also stock vibrating cock rings, which are designed for couples. But you cannot find a single male masturbator available in any of the mainstream chain stores. Why? I think its because the chain stores don’t think the public is ready to imagine some guy jerkin’ it to bukkake on his laptop as they walk down the aisle. Eventually the drive for profits will lead mainstream retailers to reconsider what the public may or may not accept.
Thanks to a lot of awkward testing, the Autoblow 2 comes with 3 different sizes.
There are other stroking-type male sex toys on the market but none is as powerful, robust, or realistic feeling as the Autoblow 2. The Autoblow 2 is the first portable stroking machine that is so powerful it requires the user to plug it into an electrical outlet. It is not battery powered. Because it is electric, we were able to use a high quality industrial strength motor normally found in products like remote control curtains and kitchen appliances. As a result, when a man inserts his penis into the Autoblow 2 – it won’t constantly stop like battery operated “novelty” strokers do. In fact the Autoblow 2 will continue stroking, even when there is considerable strain on the motor.
The Autoblow 2 also differs from all current male masturbators because it uses 3 different sizes of interchangeable sleeves. Virtually every other male sex toy is built in a single size, but, as we all know, penises come in a variety of sizes. After a lot of awkward testing, we came up with 3 sizes of sleeves that optimize the sensation for all men. The best part is that cleaning the sleeve is easy. No liquid ever enters the machine.
All of this adds up to a surprisingly realistic hands-free experience. Since the machine is powerful enough to get the job done, easy to clean, and best of all is actually doing all of the stroking – guys can properly focus on enjoying themselves.
Autoblow’s domain name used to be owned by a “gay self-sucking website.”
Frankly I forgot, it was a long time ago! Unfortunately the domain was already owned by a gay self-sucking website and I had to buy it from them. It just made sense – the machine is automatic and it replicates a blowjob so…frankly I was surprised that no one else thought of it first.
Brian was the first man on Earth to use the Autoblow 2.
I was the guinea pig who tried the first prototype of the product. It’s really not a very romantic or interesting story. It involved masturbating in a shabby hotel room in an industrial area of southern China and then talking to engineers about it afterwards. I found my Mandarin vocabulary stretched to its limits and had to learn a few new words to have that conversation. It was all somewhat awkward but the machine felt exactly how I hoped it would feel – realistic and great! I’d even call the speed of that particular masturbation event faster than normal.
The real-life feedback:
Most of the feedback has been awesome! On the positive side, we heard that guys liked that they could position their bodies in such a way that the machine could be used completely hands-free (on their stomachs). Most of the other comments centered on how realistic or even weird it felt that they were being jerked off without doing anything. On the negative side, we heard that the product was large and a bit loud. In fact from an engineering and cost standpoint – we have made the product as absolutely small as possible, and as quiet as possible. In the end, it is a motorized machine set to retail for about $150. If guys were willing to pay $500 for such a machine, my engineers could make it much quieter! But as it is, I think it strikes a good balance between cost, size, and sound level.
TIL: Houston buys more sex toys than San Francisco.
We’ve been selling male and female sex toys for the last 6 years or so under the Mangasm and Ladygasm brands. Our main market is the USA, followed by Canada, UK, Germany, and Australia. Within the USA, here are a few fun facts from 6 years of our sales data: Houston buys more sex toys than San Francisco, visitors from Alaska spend the longest browsing our sites while visitors from New Jersey spend the shortest time browsing, and visitors from North Dakota view the most pages per visit.
There’s a Autoblow 2 version for ladies in the works.
In fact, we are investigating some attachments for the Autoblow 2 that would turn it into a fucking machine for women on demand. But our first projects that we will start this upcoming week are for different sleeves, a table mount, and a usability accessory that looks like a big coffee mug handle. I plan to make few other mounting accessories specifically for men who have mobility issues.