Jul 302017
 

“Everything’s temporary if you give it enough time.” —Jewel

Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon glass dildo (large)Last week, I learned that Fucking Sculptures is closing up shop. It seems like just yesterday they popped into existence, delighting me with their jaw-dropping, hand-blown glass dildos and unabashedly straightforward company name. Their G-Spoon was lauded as a serious A-spotter, the beastly Double Trouble revered by size queens. They donated dildos to my giveaways. My girlfriend visited their studio.

Now… they’re gone. After four and half years producing gorgeous toys, their website has been reduced to a vague goodbye message, and we’re left to scramble to scoop up the last of their inventory at retail shops.

It all seems creepily familiar.

As a lifer in the adult industry, I watch companies come and go on a regular basis. Many are no great loss, but some of them are, and those are the ones that get me. There’s no funeral for a dead sex toy company. No procession of people paying their respects. A few stray tweets here and there, maybe, but nobody heaping praise on their work. One day they’re here, and the next they just aren’t. Without blogs, without the few sex toy aficionados out there, these companies and their toys would be lost to the ether.

Usually, I imagine, the reason is money. Artisans can’t compete with giant companies churning out toys in factories. To stay afloat, their prices must reflect the process of hand-crafting each and every toy… and consumers don’t want to spend $180 on a dildo. Without undercutting someone somewhere, the sex toy manufacturing business is probably not particularly lucrative.

Ophoria Beyond 3 dildoPart of my sadness is knowing I can never point folks to the wonderful toys these companies made. I still mourn the death of Ophoria, manufacturers of forgettable vibrators and one unbelievably good G-spot dildo, the Beyond 3. No hyperbole: this dildo makes me squirt all over the floor in 30 seconds flat. It also made my girlfriend squirt for the first time. Something about that shape, the way you can grasp the handle and thrust with all your might. It’s just perfect. But the company bit the dust in 2012, with nary a peep except a tweet inviting folks to a “NSFW garage sale” at their location. (Dude, if I could’ve gone to that… I would’ve bought like five Beyond 3s.)

I routinely wish Jollies was still in business, because they made several toys that to this day have not been rivaled. For stationary G-spot stimulation, their rainbow polka dot Jollet is hard to beat. I also love the Jack, which aside from containing FLAKES OF GOLD GLITTER features the surprisingly stimulating combo of a smooth shaft and a textured, off-kilter head. Then there’s the revolutionary Mr. Man, which for the first time allowed someone with a clitoris to receive a phallic blowjob. (The BJ is similar, but not as effortless to use.)

For a while, you could collaborate with Jollies and embed virtually anything you wanted in a custom dildo. I have many #regrets that I never did that, although I still have a funny memento from the company: a silicone ashtray they sent me.

Sex toys from defunct manufacturers Jollies, Whipspider Rubberworks, Eros & Isis, Fucking Sculptures, Papaya Toys, and Ophoria

Jollies Jollet and Jack; Whipspider Jellyfish, Ghost, and Tentacle; Eros & Isis Chunkee Munkey.
Fucking Sculptures G-SpoonJollies Mr. Man,  Papaya Toys Ice, Ophoria Beyond 3.

2014 marked the demise of Whipspider Rubberworks, who made 100% silicone toys in fantastical, incredibly detailed shapes, such as unicorn horns and tentacles. My texture-loving vag was really into the Jellyfish, so before they disappeared, I grabbed myself a Ghost — a glow-in-the-dark skeleton dildo with hauntingly realistic eye sockets, perfect for Halloween play parties and actually just an excellent dildo.

There have been other, short-lived companies. Eros & Isis, who made silicone toys that resembled bronze sculptures, sent me their “Chunkee Munkey,” an intricate dildo featuring the three wise monkeysPenetralia made wooden toys, one which I still pull out when I want a no-nonsense vag-filler. Papaya Toys’ vibrators came in a vibrant neon green that I loved. Once, on an excursion to a megastore sex shop, I found a Papaya Toys Ice dildo in their clearance bin for $8. It has, perplexingly, a removable jewel in the tip.

Fucking Sculptures mini Corkscrew glass dildoThese days, there are newer silicone options — Hole Punch Toys, Split Peaches, and Etsy sellers make playful toys in unique shapes, while others offer generic shapes in fun colors. But where will we go for our artisan glass? Now that Fucking Sculptures, Phallix, and Luxotiq are gone, there are but a few companies left: Crystal Delights, Simply Blown, Standard Glass. Pickings are slim.

It is strange to think, looking at the landscape now, that some of these companies will survive, and some will not. Some will endure, much as we wish they wouldn’t, and others will quietly dissolve. A few years will pass, and most people will forget.

I’m a sap. I know. But when we lose companies we love, it feels alarmingly out of my hands. I’m not a glass-blower, sculptor, silicone pourer. I can’t design or produce sex toys myself. I can’t fill the void left by Fucking Sculptures, but I can do my part to immortalize them and other bygone companies. They existed, once. They made beautiful toys, toys that brought many people great pleasure. They mattered, and we miss them.

Which now-defunct sex toy companies do you miss most? Which toys do you wish you owned?

  • Cobalt Kitten

    I was pretty sad to hear about Fucking Sculptures. They were on my wishlist, but I can’t seem to find any of the colors I drooled over anymore. Also apparently Vamp Silicone is gone? The only confirmation I saw though was a tweet from Metis Black lamenting their loss along with Fucking Sculptures. Phallix was also the first high end pyrex dildos I ever saw. Fuck that was TEN years ago. I feel old.

    I would love to learn to make my own silicone or glass pieces, but especially on the glass side that is no easy task and I’m not even sure where to begin.

  • Rin

    I’m more bummed about the loss of Fucking Sculptures than I thought I’d be. I’m not a huge fan of super-firm materials like glass or steel (though I do own at least one toy in each of those), but now I kind of want to see what I can snap up if there’s anything left. Alas, it probably won’t come to pass, and I’d hate to grab a toy I might never use when somebody who’s actually a glass-lover could have it instead.

    I’m also retroactively sad about Whipspider. I was bummed back when they closed down just because I thought their stuff looked so neat, but the fact that my texture tolerance has gone up somewhat in the past year made me bummed about it all over again after reading this.

  • HeadlessLegoMom

    I want a jollet so freakin’ badly. I wish they would magically reappear.

  • Vamp isn’t gone. we don’t really understand what did happen, but they claim to be back.

  • Crissy K

    I’d always meant to purchase something from Fucking Sculptures someday, it’s such a shame they’re closing up shop before I had the chance. Unfortunately, current financial situations make snagging some of the left-over stock impossible right now. I’d like to hold out hope that maybe in the future FS will make a comeback, their products are just too gorgeous to vanish forever. D:

  • et

    I’d been waiting for Fucking Sculptures to go on sale for 6 months, after hearing so much praise about the Double Trouble from Girly Juice. Then when I saw they were going put of business, I realized it was now or never and shelled out $170 for one of the last Dubtrubz on Shevibe. So expensive but I think it was worth it. The Corkscrew also looked nice but it’s probably too late to swipe up even of the last ones by now.

    Jollies and Whipspider Rubberworks went out of business were gone before I even got into toys, but I mourn their loss. I really wish I got to try the Jollet, Jellyfish, and the Ghost. That sparkly gold one looks gorgeous too. The Chunkee Munkey also looks interesting.

    This all makes me worry about other small companies closing up, I think what we can take from this is if you like a toy, get it before its gone, and financially support companies you like, especially small ones, to keep them from going out of business.

    Also it’s worth mentioning Glass by Woozy on Etsy makes large glass wands that could be similar to some of Fucking Sculptures toys.

  • marsh

    I still want a Whipspider Horn, a Jollies Jollie (the one with the lil arm), Bubbles, and their Mr Man has still yet to be beat as far as gender dysphora goes. The new BJ just looks offputtingly veiny imo.

    Tails and Portholes seems to be mostly done as a company as well, with only making small inventory drops very recently.

    Indie companies worth supporting in the meantime, from personal experience or from what I’ve heard:
    Damn Average
    A Krow’s Nest
    Vixen Creations
    Tantus
    Holepunch
    Kudu Voodoo
    New Folklore Silicone
    Primal Hardwere
    Exotic Erotics
    Glass by Woozy
    Ttamage
    Monster Maxim
    Necronomicox
    Phoenixflame Forge
    BS Atelier (BS is Nice)
    Nobessence
    ShouldaWooda

  • starcrossedsky

    It’s worth looking around etsy for glass as well. glassbywoozy is a personal favorite but there’s a good variety of sellers out there.

  • I still covet my Whipspider Jellyfish and Tentacle – great toys. Extremely sad about FS – they not only made great artisan pieces, they were super nice. We’ll continue to bring on as many artisan companies as is viable – your support means everything.

  • I was getting ready to get a double trouble off of she vibe. They’re out of stock. the smaller G spoon is all they have left. Nooooo!

  • I’ve lived vicariously through you’re posts. Trying to image the lost treasures you describe in your past reviews. Some of the defunct toys you’ve had the chance to enjoy seem almost like legends or myths to the those unfortunate ones, like myself, who weren’t able to experience them first hand. It’s like hearing your parents or grandparents talk about the good ol’ days, but way, way better. =)

  • MissX

    As an independent retailer it makes me sad to see some of these brands disappear. A lot of the independent manufactures are either in the US or Europe, with little to no distribution in other countries.

    We’ve looked into stocking a range of products from smaller manufactures but the costs to import and the dollar conversion makes it really difficult from a financial point of view. Specially when the mainstream, best seller brands are already so expensive with little profit margin and selling direct to the public for a lower price point. Last time we looked into getting an indie brand at MissX, the minimum order was over 2k. It seems many of these brands don’t have a B2B pricing strategy in place…

    Either way, it is really sad and we’ll make part of our mission to try our best to support the indie brands still in the market.

  • That’s the one that breaks my heart knowing I missed.

  • The company-that-was that still gives me feels knowing that they are gone: Orgasmatronics. The X2 was a loud, clunky, heavy, orgasmic marvel.

  • Cobalt Kitten

    That is some good news I needed today! It was rather odd to not see anything in their social media or site about going under. There are several comments directed at them though about months old unfilled orders and no response from attempts to contact them. I hope they communicate with people and let us know what’s going on.

  • sailor_P00N

    i’ve been outta the sex toy game for years now but that neon green papaya toys one is still the star of my collection.

  • T Byrd

    … I was saving up for a Double Trouble…

    *sobs quietly*

  • longhorse

    Etsy has some INCREDIBLE glass artisans. Chief among them is GlassbyWoozy. The stuff they can do with colours, my goodness.

  • Allie

    I was sad that I learned about Whipspider after they closed. I would have bought up Tentacle and Jellyfish in a heartbeat. As for Fucking Sculptures, the pictures looked to pretty. I am still not all that well versed when it comes to insertables, so the idea of glass kinda freaks me out, which is what stopped me from buying from them. I probably would have gotten something from them if I weren’t afraid. I left it on my bookshelf cause it’s so pretty.

  • Storm

    Not a toy, but I really miss Flower Balm and Rocket Balms.

  • vintage.android

    Excuse the off-topic post, but my gf just saw the new Zumio on Shevibe, cracked up, and then wanted to know if you’re reviewing it.

  • I am forever crushed that I will never own, and may possibly never even try, the Jollet. It breaks my heart that a toy that was so resoundingly a cult favourite is now permanently gone.

  • Tzipora

    I’m so sad that I’m in the process of a major move to another state so just can’t really afford to shell out for a Fucking sculpture. I’m sure I would’ve adored them as well. Glass was my first intro to dildos and I still tend to prefer the weight and coolness of them. Like while I have some great silicone dildos sometimes I use them and there’s just something missing that glass offers. (Not mention how much easier it is to clean cat hairs off glass). Sure there’s still other glass options as you said but nothing like FS. Owning one would’ve been the crowning jewel for any glass lover. Maybe if I’m really lucky I’ll manage to stumble on one somewhere after my move.

    My other biggest sadness that I’m going to list here even though the company itself is very much alive and thriving is I still mourn Vixen Creations largely doing away the “fun” color options for their dual density offerings. I know we can still get tye bright Mustang and there’s that pink completely nonrepresentational option (that I think would be too small and bland to really be satisfying) but eh I still think there’s a legitimate part of the market out there that wants amazing silicone dildos that don’t look like the real thing. As it is I have some mixed feelings about the fact my tye bright Mustang looks far more realistic than anything else I own. I’m honestly kind of intrigued by it but don’t think I would be if I didn’t also adore the way it feels. It was the first silicone dildo I was ever truly happy with. I’m also still hoping that their saddle base will one day be available for the tye bright Mustang. I don’t know if it will work for me and know that reviews are pretty mixed but I definitely know there are other people like me who just aren’t into penises but really enjoy strap on play with partners. And I totally get Vixen is meeting the need for trans and NB folks and anyone who likes to experiment or play with gender (personally I enjoy doing so as well but I’m just not comfortable with anything too realistic). I know we’ve talked on this before and I’ve talked about it on other people’s blogs a bit too but darn it, I would give anything for a few more non representational dual density dildos from Vixen or at least the return of the other colors for the options they have. I’d probably be willing to pay a slight premium for it because I love their toys but I realize many would not want to and this does come down to costs and demand. Such a shame though…

    I also am so sad about Jollies. The shape and colors and everything of their jollets always thrilled me. I remember ogling them years ago and longing to own one. Didn’t get a chance. And even given all I said above about Vixen, I’m incredibly intrigued by the Mr. Man (just know I would need some fun colors or something. It’d be triggering to me otherwise honestly). Sure do enjoy some good suction and some gender play. It’s probably the number one toy you own that I envy.

  • Tzipora

    Aw. They’re gone? I was pretty darn fascinated by their creations. Never wasable to find many reviews though. But I spent so many hours pouring over their site!

  • Shellie Martin

    We are happy to work with a reasonable B2B strategy at CrystalDelights and often do things like include special customer requests in store orders to save on costs where possible. We truly want to work for our customers in ways the big Guys won’t!

  • Same here, plus I mourn the lost opportunity to add little fuzzy balls to custom toys. Wish they’d make a come back!

  • April Mei

    Nooo this is one of my fave companies :'( We still have a few Fucking Sculptures in stock at Babeland’s stores in NYC, if anyone is searching. Wish I’d gotten a chance to upgrade to a larger g-spoon 🙁

  • Sara Testarossa

    Great piece! Beautiful bittersweet homage.

    Re: the glass void… You referenced Etsy and other folks have mentioned etsy seller Glass By Woozy. I can definitely recommend them. I looked at their store/Twitter feed have been developing increasingly creative and beautiful designs since my order from them earlier this year. My interactions with them when ordering were excellent, and I love the dildo I got from them, both functionally and aesthetically. And I trust that they’re annealing their pieces (which is something I was looking into when buying glass thanks to Dangerous Lilly’s big post on glass).

    I’ve handled a few Simply Blown pieces (at work) that are beautiful and seem well made, but haven’t heard feedback or read reviews on them.

    Nobody’s going to be another Fucking Sculptures, but hopefully between your beloved Crystal Delights and the other existing companies/etsy sellers, people will be able to continue to get glass pieces that make them happy… Just sadly no Double Trouble, G-Spoon, etc. I understand the sense of loss especially given how beloved they have been for years.

/* ]]> */