Sex: One of the few things that everyone can relate to. Naturally, entire industries have sprung around it. Whether we're talking about porn, sex work, or contraception, sex sells — literally and figuratively.
The thing is, despite being an activity everyone enjoys, transgender folk are often left out of the conversation. While a dildo or vibrator may satisfy the average homosexual/heterosexual man or woman, what if you're trans, gender nonbinary or don't feel comfortable using toys that fall under a strict binary code?
Trans folk already face enough discrimination in the sex industry. Nearly all porn produced with trans-actors/actresses fall into the fetish category, and many trans folk are unable to have healthy relationships because of public perception.
Initiating laws like allowing a trans-person to choose which bathroom they want to use in public is great. But let's not ignore some other aspects of life that cis- folk take for granted. In this case, sex toys. Here are four sex toy manufacturers selling products that all people can enjoy, regardless of what's inside your pants.
London-based sex toy company hicurious gained International recognition when they sold sex toys that weren't designed around gender.
"At hicurious we believe sexual pleasure should be accessible to everyone," their site states. "Based in South-West London, we select (and test!) only the best and most innovative toys and accessories. In keeping with our mission to open up and cater for all types of play, we don't gender any of our products — everyone can use anything with just a bit of ingenuity."
When asked about how hicurious came into being, founder George Jeffrey told HuffPost UK:
"Firstly, when I tried to shop for some toys myself, I realized that the way toys and, by extension, sexual pleasure are presented is actually more of a turn-off than it should be. It either felt really sleazy or impersonal, which doesn't reflect how I, and I hope most people, feel about sexual pleasure."
The second was the realization that the practice of selling and labeling sex toys by gender was self-defeating.
"I'd like to think that getting off can be a creative experience and by saying to people 'this isn't for you' the industry is really stifling some of that creativity," said George, who identifies as cisgender and prefers not to label sexuality. "Plus it doesn't take into account the experiences of trans and non-binary people, who have as much of a right to pleasure as the rest of us."
With toys ranging from vibrators to various plug-ring-wand looking contraptions, you almost feel like you're shopping for contemporary art pieces. And while prices aren't exactly cheap, you'll know that your money is going towards a business that actually cares about its customers.
Chakrubs sells crystal sex toys that are supposed to help heal your energies. Whether you're looking for amethyst, Indian jade, or rose quartz, this site is more focused on the stone in question rather than your genitals.
Of course their yoni egg line is more female-centered, but who are we tell you what you can't put inside yourself?
And for those who enjoy living life on the wild side, they have The Shadow Line. With plugs, wands, dildos and even a ball gag, gender neutral BDSM was never more spiritual. Of course somebody could argue that having a dildo is gendered, but ultimately it falls on the consumer's interpretation of the design.
Maybe somebody who is trans enjoys crystal dildos! To each their own.
Designed by porn legend Buck Angel, the Buck-Off specifically caters to transmen. Being female-to-male himself, Angel sought to make a toy that could facilitate a transman's need to stroke.
The Buck-Off claims to be "the first product designed specifically for transmen to engage in stroking fun. Every man loves to stroke, but not every man is the same. We engineered this using Buck's vision for how the product should feel and fit. Buck has a mission to help transmen become comfortable with their bodies, and the Buck-Off is an exceptional product for achieving this."
Ever wish you had a sex toy that does everything? LELO's sister-brand PicoBong tries to tackle this with their Transformer toy. Marketed as a "rabbit vibe, a clitoral massager, a cock-ring, a G-spot stimulator, a prostate massager and more," the transformer wants to be seen as a simple sex toy by all genders. If you have an extra $129.00 laying around, here's a premium toy that seems to guarantee a great time.
While the market at large is slowly beginning to cater to consumers outside of the gender binary, it's good to see that early adopters are being conscious in their efforts, as well. Because as Buck Angel told HuffPost, "When you transition, sex is a big part of that. And if you are missing out of exploring your newfound body, I think this could be harmful and does not teach self love."