10 Weird Things About Working In The Sex Trade

I work at a company that sells sex toys. It’s one of the largest wholesalers in the United States. If you’ve ever bought a sex toy online or in a store, you’ve probably bought one indirectly through my company. Isn’t that comforting?

People like sex toys, but they don’t talk about them and they definitely don’t want to think about where they come from. There is a whole mini-civilization built around getting you off. There are trade shows, award shows, and magazines devoted to the adult industry. There are people whose job is to envision the next great trend in vibrators and people who assemble them in factories. Even sex toy companies have customer service representatives, accountants, and human resources.

I’m a graphic designer. I don’t design sex toys, but I design the marketing, ads, and catalogs that sell them to you. These are some things that are commonplace to me that the rest of you would probably find very unusual in a workplace.

Someone has to measure them

I work in a regular office building with regular office stuff. From the outside, you’d never know what goes on in there. Still, here and there, there are signs that this is no ordinary office. In the lobby, instead of the latest issue of People magazine, we have sex toy catalogs. There’s lingerie displayed on one wall and a vibrator point of purchase display on another.

I walked over to a coworker’s desk the other day. In one hand, he held a huge dildo, and in the other, a ruler. He was measuring it to input the data into our system. Not only do I use that information in the ads, but we need to know what size it is for shipping and display purposes. He also has to weigh them.

My internet search history is ridiculous

If you looked at my internet history, you would find that I visited mostly sites that other people would get fired for visiting at work.

My company has all the toys online, but they stupidly put a watermark over everything. They don’t give me the originals, because bureaucracy and those are stored on some hard drive on the east coast. So, if I want to use a version without a watermark, which I always do, and it’s too difficult to remove it digitally, I have to find the picture somewhere else or take it myself.

The worst is when I’m cruising Amazon for sex toys without realizing I’m logged into my own account. For a few weeks, Amazon will recommend giant butt plugs to me. Now, every time I go to Amazon for work, I make sure to log out first.

My phone is also full of sex toys

I’m a terrible photographer, so I usually try to find the images I need online before I resort to photo shoots. If I can’t find an image online, I have to go back in the warehouse, find the toy in question, and photograph it myself. Unfortunately, I just cleaned out my photos the other day, so I don’t have any examples, but I deleted at least a dozen pictures I took of sex toys on a background of white paper.

People sometimes walk around the office without clothes

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 3.34.47 PM

We don’t do photo shoots in the office, but every once in a while, we’ll do model searches. There are people who are hired to stand there half-naked holding a sex toy or model our lingerie. The casting calls are held in the office. You’ll be going about your Tuesday, when suddenly you’ll see many extremely tall, good-looking people walking around in their skivvies.

You can always tell a performer because they look strange wearing clothes

I can always tell the performers, as we call them, from regular people, because they actually look awkward wearing clothing. Any clothing. It doesn’t matter what they’re wearing, they somehow always look as though they’d be more comfortable wearing nothing, and the strange part is, that’s entirely true.

Naked people don’t mean much after a while

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 3.27.34 PM

I don’t deal directly with naked people, but I deal with their images all day, every day. After a while, you don’t see boobs or rippling abs; you just see pixels and what you’ll need to fix. I really hate women with curly hair since theirs is the hardest to remove from the background. If you have a good photographer, they’ll take pictures against a white screen, making it considerably easier to do my job, but we don’t always have good photographers. Sometimes, we have photographers who don’t give two craps about how easy they make my job and take pictures against a complicated background. Thanks a lot, jerk.

I literally cannot do my job without swearing

Someone has to write that copy on the back of the box or the website and that someone is me. Copywriting becomes second nature. When I started in this industry over ten years ago, copywriting was embarrassing. I would blush when writing it. Nowadays, I can multi-task it. I can write copy in my sleep.

I have meetings about sex toys

Screen shot 2016-01-30 at 11.56.27 AM

Yesterday, I had a meeting with one of our sister companies trying to push vibrating German cock rings on me. We ended up ordering a thousand of them.

We get free sex toys

Around Christmas time, the security guy came around with gift bags. He said, “I don’t know what’s in them, but take one!” Oh cool, I thought. Free sex toys! Until I looked in the bag and found this:


For those of you who aren’t perverts, that’s a male masturbator. I am a girl, and therefore, have no use for such things. But the real winner was this:


Yup. My company gave me a thug hood for Christmas. I could now rob a liquor store with impunity.

I took my bag of useless sex toys to my best friend’s house on Christmas as a white elephant gift. One of my friends got the thug mask and there’s a picture of him on social media saying that he’s now prepared to become a Mexican pro wrestler.

On Bra Appreciation Day, we got free bras that we even got to pick ourselves, so that was nice.

We get used sex toys in the mail

And fan letters, and request letters, and letters from people who want to audition, and letters from people who tell us, in detail, about all the things they did with our sex toys. There are a lot of crazy people out there and most of them are our customers.

Sadly, I’m not kidding about getting used sex toys in the mail. The people who open the mail wear rubber gloves. People return toys to us when they’re done even though we specifically state not to. The saddest was when we got a blowup love doll in the mail that had a hole in it. The guy who returned it asked us to give her a proper burial and requested we send another.