Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals
It’s after midnight, you’ve met someone special, and you’re heading back to her place. Not so long ago, you might have bought a condom and a popper of lube from one of those mechanical dispensers in the bar restroom. But today, your options have gotten a little more diverse.
PinkBox Vending promises to do for sex toys what Redbox kiosks did for DVDs—except with PinkBox you don’t rent, you buy.
PinkBoxes, the first of which is coming soon to an undisclosed location in Philadelphia, are essentially sex toy vending machines. You can get relatively high-end products immediately—things like Lelo vibrators, Prism glass dildos, FetishFantasy gear, and Kimono condoms. Prices range from $4 to $99, and the machines will accept both cash and credit cards.
I’ve been known to purchase a thing or two with change from the floor of my car, but sex toys?
I spoke to Timaree Schmit, Pink Box’s Chief Communications Officer, about all the consumer holes PinkBoxes were planning to fill.
According to Schmidt, some people don’t like to be seen walking into brick-and-mortar sex stores. Others don’t like waiting for shipping.
PinkBoxes work in the here and now to meet these consumers’ needs. Further, the contents of each machine will vary depending on where it’s actually located—could be a bar, could be a strip club—and what’s selling.
“We track what products are doing well by location, as well as whicharen’t as appealing,” Schmidt said.
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But certainly some people aren’t going to like such easy access to cock rings and under-the-bed restraint kits—think of the children!
“The pushback has only been theoretical,” Schmidt said. “People who object on the basis that kids might see [the machines]—well, they won’t since the venues are mostly nightclubs and places where no minors will be in the building.”
What about sex toy stores? Could this be their death knell? Or is there such a thing as too much automation?
“I believe this venture could have both negative and positive implications for the brick-and-mortar side of the business,” said Lynn Raridon, the co-owner of Forbidden Fruit, an iconic 34-year-old sex toy shop located in Austin, TX.
“It has the potential to take a small slice out of adult boutiques’ sales, sure,” she said. “But it also has an obvious appeal for the impulse, toy-curious buyer.”
According to Raridon, more people might end up going into actual sex toy shops for greater selection and—most importantly—information after “interacting” with an item they got from a PinkBox.
So, the choice is yours. At the end of your night out, do you rely on your natural charm and prowess? Or, do you invest in a little insurance?