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Um, No: Teddy Love

This is not cute. This is not adorable. This is not acceptable.

Teddy Love vibrating teddy bear... kill me now

A teddy bear with a vibrating muzzle? Really? This is condescending, infantilizing, and damaging. This is not how we get over the stigma around sex toys. This product is WHY THERE IS A STIGMA AROUND SEX TOYS. [Edit: my friend tried this atrocity and the experience was just as ridiculous as you’d expect.]

Completely overlooking logistical issues such as how the fuck do you clean vag juice off it (the muzzle is made of thermoplastic elastomer, which is porous, and the body is covered in FUR), I am deeply offended that these people are expecting me, as a woman, to coo over this. It’s “inspired by every girl’s first fuzzy love,” because all women are the same, right, Todd? We’re all perpetual children… who now want to stick pointy bear tongues inside ourselves.

Marketed differently, this toy would not warrant any rage from me. Plushies, ageplayers, and other kinksters could love this, but the inventors blatantly ignore those markets. I bet they’d be astounded at the existence of those markets. Why cater to a niche when you can use the classic angle that always works: shame. The campaign (because of course they’re trying to crowdfund it) reads, in part:

Teddy Love is a paradigm shifter in the adult toy industry . . . Teddy Love is not intimidating to buy online or in a brick and mortar store. There is no stigma attached to purchasing a Teddy Bear that happens to provide pleasure, unlike bulky and obvious sexual devices, that may be embarrassing to purchase . . . Teddy is so cute and lovable you can cuddle and fall asleep with him after he is done pleasuring you with his powerful 10 speed vibrations.

Yes, stop buying those BULKY, ostentatious sex toys and get yourself an enormous stuffed bear instead!

Like, good luck getting people to crowdfund a vibrator when your target market is deathly afraid of vibrators.

Screenshot from the now-defunct Teddy Love crowdfunding video, of a woman touching a teddy bear's nose.

Update: The video from the crowdfunding campaign has disappeared, but we can remember it forever with this screenshot and my original run-down of some of the horrifying statements it included. Word for word.

  • “Have you ever seen someone walking through an airport, in a restaurant, or though a place of business with a large adult toy visibly protruding from a handbag or briefcase? Well, our novel and discreet product Teddy Love can be placed anywhere, inconspicuously, without fear or embarrassment.” Or you could just tuck your sex toy into a pouch or bag? No? Your schlong must be hanging out all over the place?
  • “The nose touches the clitoris and the tongue goes into the vagina. The controls are in Teddy’s ears, making him the ultimate listener.” Oh fuck RIGHT off. I don’t need a listener. I want to fuck my own brains out.
  • “Our manufacturer in Hong Kong is Disney certified.” I… I don’t know what this means, and I’m not sure I want to know. Nor do I think Disney wants to know.
  • “Our vision is to have Teddy Love placed in every sexually active adult bedroom in America.”
  • “Join us in this exciting opportunity to liberate women’s sexual expression and freedom.”

This product truly makes every other “discreet” (i.e. “let’s make it look like a household object that women love because all women are the same, right, Todd?) sex toy seem ergonomic as fuck. Teddy Love just can’t compete with vibrating lipstick, cupcakes, mascara, duckscandy barscompacts, pens, and lint rollers.

And oh my god, this company must have spent thousands on stock images of generic ladies over which they lay slogans such as “A Night Alone? No. A Night With Teddy.” “Guilty Pleasure? Teddy Won’t Tell.” “Hop. Skip. Jump for Joy. Teddy Love. Your New Toy.” And the most confounding: “Beach Bum. Beach Bear.” (Did they have a sale on girl-on-the-beach images?)

They also appear to have bought their Twitter followers — look at all those unhatched eggs.

The fundraising goal is $50,000 (two idiots have pledged so far) and perks include tank tops, tote bags, an ominous “Toys for Better Sex DVD” that I kind of really want to see1, and a $450 Party Pack for “bachelorette parties, wedding parties, or that special girls night out.”

SLUMBER PARTY! LET’S HUMP ALL OUR TEDDY BEARS!

Also:

The bear is suspected to retail at $79.95.

Fuck you.

  1. Will it acknowledge that other sex toys exist? How will it advise me to use them?

Similarly-salacious material

Comments

  1. The fact that this exists isn’t what bothers me. The context in which it exists is infuriating. Instead of trying to break that stigma, lets just give you this bear so you can continue to feel like you need to hide the fact that you get yourself off?? No thanks. If this existed in the context of a niche age player retailer, I’d be totally on board.

  2. Ewww. What the actual fuck is wrong with this company? There are plenty of other directions they could have gone with their marketing. There was no need to make this about how masturbating is somehow shameful and should be hidden.

    ALSO: If you walked through an airport with one of those fucking things I bet my ass the security would think it was a bomb.

  3. Aside from the fact that Teddy Love looks utterly terrified/traumatized, could someone please explain to me how infantilizing women and shaming normal sex toy use is liberating “women’s sexual expression and freedom”.

    Also, how the hell is telling me a kids toy manufacturer produces this product supposed to encourage me purchasing it? These companies don’t know shit about making sex toys (let alone body safe ones at that) but they do produce the toys your children love!

  4. Flex funding. Called it. If you are not a fucking charity or if you are not 100% making a product and just soliciting to enhance it, there is never, never, never, never a reason to do flex funding.

  5. To put it simply….this isn’t sex toy selling; this is BESTIALITY. And, at $80 a pop, highway robbery.

    Now, for adults who might be into such play, it’s not nearly as objectionable…but to sell this BS as an alternative to traditional sex toys, and to play the “Isn’t Teddy cute, like the teddy bear you had as a kid??” card?? Ahhhh…..really?

    Save your pennies and invest in a Pocket Rocket. Half the cost, none of the shame, and you don’t feel like a criminal. Teddy Ruxpin eating you out is not as sexy as it seems.

  6. No, actually, I have never seen anyone walking around in public with a sex toy sticking out of their bag…

  7. While I like age play, even the concept of this kind of freaks me out. That’s without looking at its face. Who thought THIS was a good idea?

  8. Who needs quality sex toys that are designed specifically to give you amazing orgasms when you can have a huge creepy ass bear that’s impossible to clean that will listen to your problems!

    UM, NO. As others have said, if this were in the context of age play/furries it’d be acceptable, but marketing this as a discreet & non-stigmatized sex toy is just fucking wrong. And even if they were going to market it for age play, it would need to be updated to be machine washable.

  9. Holy fuck balls – I didn’t even realize it had its tongue sticking out when I saw this yesterday and gagged. Absolutely not. Ever.

  10. Someone contact Disney for using their name… they’ll probably be on their case faster than you can say “I don’t want this disgrace of a toy”.

  11. This is repulsing, I just don’t get the people who are into this. I have seen this guy while camming who is into girls doing stuff with teddy bears and I just get turned off.

  12. I can’t say that I have ever seen anyone walking through an airport, restaurant or place of business with a large sex toy protruding from a bag (Where does she LIVE!?!?)…Mind you, nor have I seen an adult walking through a restaurant or place of business with an oversized teddy bear (with protruding tongue) stuck out their business handbags either. IMO THAT would be weirder. How on earth is that even a selling point?

  13. “Join us in this exciting opportunity to liberate women’s sexual expression and freedom.” wow yes, shaming people from buying actual sex toys is very liberating….

  14. The “Have you ever seen someone walking through an airport, in a restaurant,
    or though a place of business with a large adult toy visibly protruding
    from a handbag or briefcase?” question is impressive. I just…dunno. Manufacturing excuses for it’s own existence? Yeah.

    Much more normal for a grown ass woman to roll through the airport with her creepy teddy bear. Quite incredibly infantilizing.

  15. Personaly, I do like teddy bears… but I absolutely don’t want to fuck them. And this one is so creepy !

  16. I mean…. Of course it’s common for early masturbatory practices to come about as frotteurism with stuffed animals. And of course some people prefer to continue with that kind of sensation as adults. Totally okay. But the video is creepy, shame-y, talking to me like I’m stupid. I can’t.

  17. Wow, you people are extremely negative and judgmental. Obviously, it’s not for everybody, but geez. Wow. That’s all I can say.

  18. I’m getting real tired of the whole shame as a marketing tactic thing. And it kind of shows how little faith they put in their product by propping it up with shame and sigma promoting tactics repackaged as an “exciting opportunity to liberate women’s sexual expression and freedom” as though women wouldn’t notice that this thing is far from that claim. This thing isn’t a paradigm shifter or a liberator, it’s a promoter of a crummy status quo where everything has to be “discreet” because god forbid a sex toy actually look like it’s made for it’s intended purpose – especially if it’s a sex toy aimed at women.

    I’m also really not surprised that this thing is also made of porous, impossible to clean materials either. Trust a crummy company to produce a crummy (potentially health-hazardous) product that they then prop up with crummy advertising tactics.

  19. Not only does the marketing make me sick, but the bear’s face creeps me out. It’s like one of those stuffed animals that comes to life in horror movies.

  20. This is very disturbing. The fact that they would use a teddy bear is sickening. I think teddy bear ,I’m usually thinking child. I’m not judging anyones likes or dislikes. This to me has to much of a pedophile correlation to it.

  21. I just read a thing on Cracked about unusual fetishes. Teddy Bears are one of them, apparently. I have no problem with people who are into that, but why cause a public health hazard for them by making a toy that can’t be sterilized or shared? Someone should report this campaign to the CDC. And to try to use shame marketing on everyone else? Someone slap this woman and give her a Mona 2!

  22. Sadly, telling the CDC would be of no help to anyone. The sex toy industry is largely unregulated by any government agency which is why porous and even toxic toys are sold by some companies. Unfortunately with society’s inability to handle or speak about sex in a mature manner befitting a proper adult – especially within the government – this lack of regulation will go on for awhile (and maybe that’s for the best).

    This basically leaves the consumers to be the “regulatory body”, and many reviewers and sex toy retailers have really stepped up to the plate with it. They spread the word to others – especially first time buyers – about
    the issue and share info on unsafe toys and lists of companies you can trust to
    use safe materials and encourage others to spread the word too. There’s a group called Dildology.org that gets dildos and sends them off to be chemically reverse engineered in a lab so people can see what exactly is in these dildos. There’s even a few people who have put a bunch of toxic toys in a jar, left them to melt and took progress photos and posted them online to show visually just how bad those toys are.

  23. So obviously this teddy bear is hella fucked up and creepy as hell, but I just need to talk about this lint roller sex toy for a minute. I feel like they’re onto something, since the hallmark flaw of nearly all sex toys is that they fucking LOVE lint and pet hair….

    Back to the pedo bear: the “he’ll cuddle with you after” and “he’s a good listener” stuff is just gross and offensive to men *and* women. And don’t get me started on the liberating women’s sexual expression and freedom bullshit.. (watch out for Teddy bell hooks, y’all)

  24. Okay, so the materials leave something to be desired, and it needs a way to be cleaned. BUT.

    And I know what your response is going to be but I’m gonna say it anyway.

    There are people in daddy dom/little relationships. These teddy bears would be right up their alley with some tweaks to the manufacturing process.

    Come on, Piph! We’re supposed to be more sex positive by thinking of how others might enjoy toys! I know you got the memo. You forwarded it to me! 😛 (Cuz I accidentally deleted mine.)

  25. Bleh. It’s not about perpetuating the idea that sex toys should be hidden. It’s about giving those who WANT to hide their sex toys the option. Bad execution in either case because materials.

  26. My god, this thing is ugly! Compared to the proper teddy/soft toy next to it in the video, it has dirty yellow messy fur, a bow-tie (why?), a horrible pinkish pointy muzzle, and soulless black eyes. Considering it’s possible to buy a decent-looking teddy-bear for 10 or 20 £/$, why couldn’t they have just started from a well-made thing. At least the cupcake (which needs to DIAF) and the rubber-duck and lipsticky things look like proper novelty items or really look like what they’re trying to imitate.

    Combined with the practical issues with cleaning it, and the bizarre insistence that carrying an ugly soft toy is more discreet than having a proper toy in your bag (presumably clean and in a pouch, because that’s how people typically carry them), all I can say is it’s certainly not worth £50!

  27. I was extremely disappointed to read this blog post and some comments below it. We should be sex positive. We should not be judgmental; we should not shame people for whatever fetishes they have. We should not claim that “every woman is the same, therefore all women will hate this sex toy, maybe except for ‘furries, ageplayers, and desperate 12-year-old girls’”. Hello?! All women are not the same and therefore some might like this toy. Why is it ok to have a bondage
    fetish but it’s wrong to have a teddy bear fetish? Why?

    I understand that this toy made you disgusted. Let’s face it – every person gets
    disgusted by at least some sexual practices liked by others. You might get disgusted by fisting, whipping, anal sex, urophilia, teddy bear vibrators or whatever else you don’t like. But you have no rights to criticize others for liking it. People are different and we have different tastes.

    As for the “a toy you can hide” problem… Yes, I would be happy to live in a world where everybody can openly own a vibrator. And I hope that after few more decades we will be living in such a world. But sadly nowadays some (especially young) people still are forced to hide their sex toys from parents, pastors etc. So for many people it’s useful to have toys they can hide.

    BTW, I really like these photos http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/106/2/8/bearbackin___by_mjranum-d3d8tyk.jpg
    and http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/295/5/c/the_adventures_of_mr_teddy_iii_by_mjranum-d4dnvly.jpg

  28. I understand your concerns, and my aim was certainly not to shame anyone for liking the concept of this toy. Let me reiterate that: I am not “disgusted” by the toy of the idea of it as a fetish item, and I never claimed that everyone should hate this toy — but this is my blog, and this post is about how much I loathe the marketing of Teddy Love.

    To me the marketing is unacceptable, and the marketing is what spurred me to write this post. I refuse to overlook the use of shame as a marketing tactic, and I am puzzled by how you could see that and consider that to be sex-positive? Creating something that is easily hidden away and then claiming that that liberates women’s sexual expression? How? Saying that this toy is a “great listener” as a way to get women to want it? There is so much wrong with this, and it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s a bear.

    I’m going to make a few edits to my post to clarify this.

  29. Okay, materials and the question of cleaning aside, I don’t hate the concept of this toy. It’s definitely not for me – I’ll admit I’m a grown woman who keeps a few plush toys around, but they’re absolutely NOT for fucking! – but I can see the potential in this. There is a market for inconspicuous toys (though really, there are dozens and dozens of existing designs that work out better than a big bulky teddy would), and while I don’t know much about age play and most furries I know would be just as creeped out by this as many of the commentators here, the fact is that this is right up SOMEONE’S alley. Plushophilia is a thing, after all.

    But… the marketing. Ow. Just ow. There are so many companies that are WAY more sex-positive than this, and they don’t feel the need to make videos of this nature.

  30. I would LOVE a vibrating teddy bear. But not for the reasons they suppose. I’ve got some kinks for which this would be perfect, although I think the tongue is dumb. But the advertising kills it. I want a vibrating bear because it’s naughty and hot, not because sex toys are scary and embarrassing. Ugh.

    And no, no one has ever seen someone walking through an airport with dildos hanging out, because that is not a thing.

  31. can we talk about the picture of the bear next to roses sprinkled on a bare mattress? they really didn’t think that picture through.

  32. As someone who loves age play. I have to say that I find this extremely disturbing. The unsafe construction, the Horrific and shamless self promotion on Fetlife. The horrific manor in which it is constructed and many other issues I have with this. I in no way shape or form would ever consider this as a viable toy. Many other age players feel the same way. Teddys are for comforting not to cream on.

  33. So uh, I’ve regularly said I wish someone could make a sex toy that wants to cuddle and hold you after (because oxytocin and I’m kind of a hopeless romantic) but um nope, this was not even remotely what I meant. *shudders* I want to feel like a badass powerful woman during and after coming. There’s nothing remotely empowering about this. Also I totally have stuffed animals as an adult and I adore them and name them so no shame in that but still there’s something so bizarrely infantilizing about this and how its being presented/ marketed.

  34. Haha I know this post is old but I love that everyone here is going on about ‘marketing it for furries’ while there are complaints that ‘no all women are the same!’ and googling what things are. Because furries aren’t plushophiles. Even if they were furries so rarely like bears. But great job to some of the ageplayers kink shaming any random person with a Teddy Bear kink who may be wandering through just by googling Teddy Bears and sex.

    Also people here are saying people shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact they get themselves off while acting intolerant of the fact there are people who may feel ashamed or just not want to broadcast it at the same time. Yes anyone who wasn’t to be discreet is deathly afraid of vibrators and all the other stupid shit that’s been said in the comments.

    The marketing for this thing is dumb, especially since I’ve seen the box for it and it basically screams ‘I’m a sex toy’ real discreet but some of the attitudes here are just as dumb as the ones by the people who made it.

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