The Future Of Adult By Darren Roberts
The place where sex and technology blend together perfectly.

Category: Companies

Photo of lelo

Launched in 2003 by the industrial design and engineering team of Eric Kalen, Carl Magnuson, and Filip Sedic, intimate lifestyle company LELO has since expanded from a single office in Stockholm to a worldwide brand with over 200 employees in the U.S., Australia, Asia, and Europe.  Now selling in over 40 international markets, LELO has more than doubled its sales volume annually since its inception.

At an average retail price of $100 per vibrator, LELO’s luxury products range from the diminutive “lipstick” model, MIA, and the motion-controlled, waterproof TIANI, to the ultra-high end, 24-karat gold-plated INEZ, priced at $15,000.  In 2010, LELO expanded its offerings to include cuffs, ties, and blindfolds, as well as massage oils, candles, and a water-based personal moisturizer.  In 2011, LELO debuted its SUSSURRA line of silk lingerie and loungewear, as well as PicoBong, a lower-priced brand designed to appeal to a younger clientele.  Every one of LELO’s products is certified as body-safe before being brought to market.

LELO’s products have been featured in Forbes,Cosmopolitan, Elle, Women’s Health, Maxim, GQ, Wired, and the New York Times, among others.  LELO recently appeared at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, and has signed partnerships to sell its products through Walgreens, Apoteket, and Wynn Las Vegas, as well as luxury boutiques in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, and its native Stockholm.


Joanna Angel






Joanna Angel, the five foot tall tattooed queen of alternative porn didn’t always have her eye on conquering the world of adult.  Born on Christmas Day, this New Jersey native pierced her belly-button in ninth grade, got her first tattoo at a very acceptable 18 years of age, and attended Rutgers University where she received her Bachelors in English Literature in 2003.

But the degree was not what would launch her into the world she inhabits today.  While at Rutgers, Angel roomed with Psychology student, Mitch Fontaine.  Sick of the breast implants and the seemingly constant blonde porn stars, Angel and Fontaine collaborated to create a new look for porn, one that would involve funky colored hair, piercings, and tattoos—girls that they would want to see in their adult movies.

Thus BurningAngel was launched in April, 2002 featuring not only erotic pictures of Angel and her friends, but adult stories, blogs, and music reviews of indie and punk bands.  As the site quickly grew, Angel moved to Brooklyn to work as a stripper before finally realizing that BurningAngel was going to require her full time focus.

Soon, she was ready for her film debut.  Shot in the summer of 2004, The Movie was shot on a Brooklyn rooftop with an audience of fifty people.  The movie was interspersed with interviews of indie bands, Dillinger Escape Plan and My Chemical Romance while the soundtrack featured music by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Turing Machine, bringing an entirely new angle to porn—one that wasn’t just about sex, but an entire alternative culture.

Over the years, Joanna Angel’s network of websites grew to include the award winning,,,, as well as several others.  She also continued to expand her film library, breaking into mainstream adult with alt-porn classics like Joanna’s Angels, Cum On My Tattoo, and Re-Penetrator.

As she continues to recruit other like-minded inked beauties and bring life to new ideas, Joanna Angel remains successful in an industry dominated by men and the stereotypical porn star, tattoos and all. You can read more about Joanna Angel and her business in the book The Unsexpected Story.

Susan Colvin










When Susan Colvin began working for an adult toy company in the early eighties, she was one of only two women in management positions industry-wide. Today her company, California Exotic Novelties, is one of the top novelty companies in the world. While working at CPLC, a full-service adult products distributor, Colvin found herself rapidly facing unemployment when it was announced that the company would be shutting down do to a costly legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department.  As CPLC’s general manager, Colvin was held personally liable and convicted of interstate distribution of obscene materials. It was at that time that Colvin and the management team decided to disband the company and break off the novelty arm of the business. In 1994 Colvin purchased the line Swedish Erotic from CPLC and began building her novelty empire.

The problem she quickly discovered was that the packaging was intended for a primarily male audience, something that would severely limit the sales of adult toys.  In a male dominated industry, Colvin decided to redesign the entire process, from packaging, to product design, to shipping.  She insisted that the packaging needed to be more tasteful and discreet, while the toys needed to have wider spectrum of shapes, colors, and functions—things pleasing to her target female audience.  Under her guidance and leadership, California Exotic Novelties (CEN) was born.

Credited with the creation of the original Rabbit Vibrator, CEN now carries products for both men and women, running the spectrum from the standard vibrators and dildos to masturbators, pumps, love dolls, fetish toys, and manuals and instructional DVDs.  CEN has also partnered with sex educators like Sue Johanson, who designed the “Talk Sex Royal” line (tagline: “Innovation, Luxury, and Passion”) and Dr. Laura Berman, as well as adult stars such as Alexis Amore, Tyler Knight, Julian and rock star Phil Varone, whose line introduced the first ever rock star mold and pierced dildo.

Susan Colvin was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2011 for her work in the adult toy industry and California Exotic Novelties continues to create new, well-built, and tasteful novelty products.

You can read more about Susan Colvin and California Exotic Novelties in the book The Unsexpected Story.

Allison Vivas









Even though she majored in linguistics, businesswoman Allison Vivas was more attracted to tackling the field of internet marketing, taking occasional side jobs in marketing as she worked on her degree.  When she graduated from the University of Arizona in 2001, Vivas began to search for a marketing-related job that would let her engage in the work she enjoyed so much.

At the age of 21, Vivas became the seventh employee of TopBucks, an adult webmaster company.  In charge of their marketing and webmaster relationships, Vivas rose quickly through the ranks, landing the position of Marketing Director.  In 2004, TopBucks began producing its own content and created the PinkVisual brand to manage it, placing Vivas on the project as Marketing Coordinator.  Within two years, Vivas the President of PinkVisuals, becoming the driving force behind the innovative film company.

Over the years, Vivas has led PinkVisual to increasing success, bringing attention to both herself and the company.  In 2010, Vivas was named one of the Top 10 Women in Male Dominated fields by online knowledge forum, was featured as one of the “World’s Best Persons” on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and has participated in education panels at various events and internet-themed enclaves as the Adult Entertainment Expo, the XBIZ Conference, InterNext Expo, CybernetExpo, and South by Southwest Interactive.  She also was awarded the XBIZ Woman of the Year award twice, in 2010 and 2011, and more recently received their Free Speech Coalition Award in 2012.

You can read more about Allison Vivas and Pink Visual in the book The Unsexpected Story.

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