Twitter Facebook Instagram Google+ Tumblr YouTube E-Mail WhatsApp Sign In Check Close snapchat
Search
Exit Clear

Custom Wooden Sex Toys: Going Green With Pleasure

Custom Wooden Sex Toys: Going Green With Pleasure:

Imagine if you could save the planet by masturbating. What if you could do your part, as you do yourself? What if we told you that you and your partner can make a better tomorrow for all humanity by using a wooden sex toy? That’d feel pretty good wouldn’t it? And don’t worry, we promise … no splinters.

Welcome to the wonderful world of green sex toys.

In 2012, the industry sold $15 Billion dollars worth of sex toys and kinky products. With a market that large and growing, smart sex toy-makers and environmentally-conscious kinky product-makers, ones with an eye to the future and who are driven by a desire to save the environment, they’re working together to create a fast-growing market for all-natural, totally green, sex toys. It’s becoming quite trendy – it’s kinda like if a vagina could go vegan.

As you may quickly surmise, all the silicone and plastics, toxic glues, dyes, and batteries that comprise the sex toys that make you feel so good, well, they’re just as bad for the environment as a broken toaster. When sex toys eventually break and need to be replaced, what do you think happens to that old vibrator, or that double-ended dildo? That’s right! It gets added to mountains of solid waste we bury in the Earth each year. Not only are some of the materials toxic, the costly-to-create materials rarely get recycled. Most people would die of embarrassment if they had to take their broken vibrator down to their local e-waste recycler. Not many dudes want to leave their broken Fleshlight out in the recyclable plastics bin for weekly pickup. (In fact, that may be illegal in some states.) The environmental problem posed by old sex toys is far larger than you might imagine.

As part of Playboy’s focus on the leading edges of the sex industry, we interviewed D Towns, sculptor of handmade custom wooden sex toys. He runs the independent sex toy shop, ShouldaWooda. After being let go from a secure job, and spending his life savings to support his father who was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure, Towns decided to strike out on his own and open an Etsy store, selling custom wooden sex toys. Little did he know his handcrafted creations would become highly desired one-of-a-kind sex toys … and now Towns couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Playboy: First things first: what about splinters? Do you use a protective finish?

D Towns: It makes me laugh when I tell people I make wooden dildos and they tell me, “…but splinters!” If they felt how smooth these things are, the thought wouldn’t come to mind. Each toy gets at least 5 coats of a non-toxic food grade oil-based finish which seals the wood against any penetrating moisture. You can seal wood with oils and waxes, but I find them insufficient for the intended use of my products. All someone needs to do with my toys is clean them up with antibacterial soap and warm water. Although the finish I’m using now does everything I need it to do, I’m still looking for alternatives.

Playboy: How did you get into woodworking? Was it a family tradition? Personal interest?

D Towns: To be honest, I didn’t have that much experience with woodworking when I started making sex toys. I had only started working with wood a few months before. I originally planned on making walking sticks and maybe handles for knives and hatchets. I’d never heard of wooden sex toys until a dear friend of mine rather randomly brought it up in a conversation. She sent me some links – I did my own digging and thought it was something I could do, so I gave it a try and for whatever reason, it just stuck with me! So she’s the reason I always have wood in my hand! She told me never to introduce her that way. She’s going to kill me.

The Feel of Wood

Playboy: What’s your least expensive product?

D Towns: Currently, the least expensive pieces I’ve made were 6" long and 1" in diameter for $25.

Playboy: And what’s your most expensive model?

D Towns: The most expensive one I’ve made so far has been Pinot Noir. It’s made of exotic Purple Heart wood and its 8" long and 1.75" in diameter at the widest point, complete with veins and all. It’s $230.

The Pinot Noir

The Pinot Noir

Playboy: What do you recommend for someone looking to buy their first wooden sex toy?

D Towns: Obviously, I sell more of the $25 ones. Most of those go to people who are curious about wooden sex toys but don’t want to make a bigger investment until they are sure they will like it – which is actually why I made them.

The Six-Incher

For the first-timer … the Six-Incher

Playboy: What’s the market like for wooden sex toys?

D Towns: One thing I know about people who collect sex toys is that they tend to like some variety in their stash. Just because someone really likes toys made of glass doesn’t mean they won’t shop for a wooden toy next time. So, it’s a competitive market to the degree that you really need to make sure your product has its own unique identity, no matter what it’s made of it.

Playboy: What’s the strangest custom sex toy you were asked to make that you couldn’t make or chose not to make?

D Towns: I haven’t had any requests like that just yet. Although, I have had a lot of interest in a piece I made called Primitive. I didn’t want anyone trying to use it like a toy because its massive and I only intended for it to be a non-functional art piece. I purposely didn’t finish it the way I do my sex toys so it wouldn’t even be safe to use on principles of hygiene alone, nevermind it’s a bit rough to the touch. I’ve posted photos of it on another site where I thought people would be interested in buying it. I swear…all they keep asking is, “What are the dimensions?” and, “But what if I just had to have it in my ass? Could I?”

This Is Not A Sex Toy

This is not a sex toy

Playboy: How many hours does it take to make a custom wooden dildo?

D Towns: From start to finish, it varies depending on the size, wood, and complexity of the design. For example, the First Love dildo on my store took me about 4 hours to complete, while Pinot Noir took me about 9 hours.

First Love

They call it “First Love”

Playboy: How do you select your wood?

D Towns: I’ll usually draw something out on paper first; but sometimes I just start carving and see what happens. Depends on my mood. I usually pick my wood based on imperfections such as knots and and holes. Those things can just be hard to work around. The other thing I look for is a rich color, contrast, as well as just trying to get a variety of different woods in my store.

Playboy: There’s no way to say this, without innuendo – how do you shape a wooden dildo by hand?

D Towns: After I’ve got my design and my wood (insert all erection jokes here), I start working out the basic shape which means removing some of the wood. Again, I haven’t been working with wood for too long which means I also don’t have many of the tools most other woodworkers use … and that’s fine. I believe in working with what you have and what I have is a big-ass chopping knife called an e-nep. It’s a style of blade from Thailand they use in farming, clearing thick brush, and chopping wood. It helps me remove most of the bigger chunks of wood before I move to a smaller blade to further refine the shape. Once the shape is roughed out, I use a belt sander clean things up and a rotary tool to do more detailed work. After that, I break out the sandpaper and do the rest of the sanding by hand. By the time I’m done, the wood is smooth to the point where I’ve actually dropped a few of them because they were so smooth.

Playboy: Are your clients mainly: gay or straight, partnered/married or single?

D Towns: Most of my customers seem to be single females. But I’ve had quite a few males buy from me as well, and more are showing an interest in my work. Some of them are heterosexual, others are homosexual. I seem to draw a pretty diverse crowd, which I enjoy. I’ve had a few married folks buy from me too. The most notable couple I can think of is this couple in Ohio. They are engaged and have a Dom/sub dynamic in their relationship. The guy contacted me and asked if I could make a vaginal plug for his fiance to wear daily. It was something she really wanted and they had tried other plugs made of various materials that just didn’t make the cut. He had a detailed drawing of what he wanted and I made some changes as I was making the plug that I thought might work better for her anatomy. From what they told me, it fit like a glove! They were both very happy to receive it and she wears it when she goes to work now. It’s a very intimate way she is reminded of her loving man and I felt really honored to be a part of their expression of love and dedication to each other. It’s one of my most rewarding custom orders to date.

Playboy: What do your customers say about the appeal of a wooden dildo? What do they like about the feel or curve of wood?

D Towns: There seem to be a few things that people really enjoy about wooden dildos. One is that even if you make the same design twice, the two toys won’t be the same because each cut of wood is different. They also like that it’s made from something real and natural. Wood tends to always have a warmth about it as if some of the life of the tree is still locked inside. For others, the aesthetics of the wood really appeals to them and that natural beauty pulls them in. There are many reasons for liking wooden sex toys …. and they are all correct!

The Sedusa

Try Not to Stare at The Sedusa

Playboy: Do you ever use one of your creations?

D Towns: I have used a couple of wooden dildos on myself, yes. If you’re the chef, you have to taste the food! I’m currently working on one just for me. I only just got around to it because it’s a bit difficult figuring out what you want to make for yourself when you can make anything, haha! What I personally enjoy about what I do is the opportunity to offer people a truly individualized experience in creating their own pleasure. People can go buy a mass-produced toy and many of them are really superb, but none of them were made in such a hands-on way. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction I get from being able to deliver that.

Playboy: Sex toys are becoming more common in bedrooms of America, what do you see as the future for custom wood?

D Towns: I’m glad we’re not being as prudish as we once were, and we’re admitting we like having orgasms in this country! ‘Murica! I would also argue that sex toys are becoming more common in bedrooms abroad as well. I’m a low volume shop, but I’ve sent toys to Canada, Iceland, and Australia so far! I’m not totally sure what the next step for wooden sex toys is, but I will tell you that I’m working on doing some things with wood that I haven’t seen anyone else do. I feel like there is a lot of untapped potential in wood that other woodworkers just haven’t explored yet.

[this interview has been condensed for length and clarity]

Playboy Social

Never miss an issue. Subscribe and save today!

Loading...