Gender labeling can be a hot topic. When it comes to sex and sexuality even more so. Still, the pleasure industry persists in gender labeling sex toys, all while other industries are working their way out of it, often to the chime of media headlines.
We decided not to gender label our dildo. Have a peek into our crystal ball where we share our insight. Divided into two parts, 1. 'thoughts', and 2. 'research', we argue why you should consider doing the same.
This article is part of our story as we learn and share our insights about the adult toy industry. We are a brand and sex toy manufacturer with the intent of doing good, wherever we go.
Part 1: Thoughts
Who, what now? 🙎♂️🙎♀️🍆?
To label adult toys by gender is commonplace in the pleasure product industry. Either labeled directly from the manufacturer on the product packaging, or in the shops categorized as ‘for her' or 'for him' and similar descriptions.
Can it be, that this modern and thriving industry still is one of the last stands of old patriarchal stereotypes?
Is it not a big misconception to think in the year of 2018 that this is how people want such products presented?
I don't have the answers to stories from the past. But I do have a prediction of days to come.
Starting off, let me share some personal thoughts and insights.
Any of you who have, as I, been raising kids the past years, cannot possibly have missed the ongoing discussion regarding gender-neutrality in clothing, toys, school activities and so forth.
No matter if you have kids or not, you surely realize it is our future we are talking about. Ultimately this discussion is a movement aimed to improve equality in society. Boys will not be boys as boys were boys when I grew up.
Maybe you disagree or maybe you don’t give a damn. But no matter whether you agree, disagree or give a damn, it is still a movement which is happening right now. And with movement comes change, and from the change we eventually get implementation.
But, this takes time, you might think.
"Cause the times they are a-changing"
Whatever holistic changes Dylan had in mind when he composed this song in the 60's, it's when we look back at that era we can fathom how long time actual change can struggle for implementation.
Back then, a movement stirred from studies, discussions and thought, and we in our part of the world first saw the concepts of gender and sex separate. Since then we have been making a sixty years slow progress in terms of gender-neutrality and equality.
Or are they now maybe?
Now, in our time, when the societal walls of gender-labeling are dissolving around us we even get laws and regulations passed in order to implement a society in which everyone feels included.
Ultimately gender wears a coat of many colors, as it is a diverse and lived experience for numerous people, who cannot or will not be labeled as either male or female. And in comparison to the 60’s, the internet is now ubiquitous. Suddenly movements get a quicker and wider spread and change can happen a lot faster.
It doesn't end here
To sum up this thought, let me tell you already who in the next decade won’t be buying sex toys stuffed into packages plastered with pink-ribboned half-nude images labeled as “female sex toy”. That is my daughter and all her friends. Just as pretty much everyone else born on this side of the millennia. As they are raised in a society when the times actually are a-changing, their entire core values, as well as consumer behavior, will be affected by that evolving change.
As we say, our kids are the future. And I’m telling you that now is the time to embrace that future. Soon comes the day when those kids are your target customers.
Change takes time, but in 2018, does it really have to? Especially not when you take our findings below in Part 2 into consideration.
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Part 2: Research
Keyword targeting for sex toy pushers
If you by any chance are selling sex toys and are worried about your keywords I advise you to start reading up on the past years of search optimization (SEO) development.
Because, the ones that are trying to target for “sex toys for men/women” or alike, are simply barking up the tallest tree of failed marketing actions.
Those keywords are for the ones with the big guns.
Read this article about long-tailed keywords instead and start acting upon it. It will improve your traffic, trust me. It is, for us.
But, what is funny is that keywords including gender are only around 20% of the total search volume of anything related to sex/adult toys. Meaning +80% of the total… are searches NOT targeting any gender.
And what is even more interesting is that the gendered keywords are highly sought for, leading to more competition.
Below is an image of how that spread looks.
The dots encircled in red are a bunch of short to longword search queries like "sex toys for women/female/girls/men/male etc" and different combinations. I even included some specific ones. Altogether they have a keyword search volume of around 65-70,000 monthly searches.
What is remarkable is that the largest gendered searches are for the ones including "men" or "male" (the two separated). An interesting thought, for later.
On the other hand, in the blue circle is where we find the rest. The keywords that do not consist of any gender tags. A total of just over 300,000 searches.
Note: I only used "sex toys" as the overhead topic, but using "adult toys" will give the same spread (not the same volume though).
Anyway, this tells us two things.
- Everyone paying for ads for gender category keywords, especially targeted as "women/female" are spending money for something people are less prone to search for.
- The consumers know what a vibrator or a dildo is and will do a more specific, or even local, search for it.
"I don't have no time for no monkey business"
If you ever had the idea of categorizing, labeling or describing your sex toys with a gender, thinking this characterization holds keyword strength, you are better off selling banana-dildos targeting internet searches done by monkeys.
Indulge in keyword queries without any gender label to it, for less competition. These are the low-hanging fruits.
After all, lateral thinking, or thinking outside the (naughty) box, is the human race’s largest asset.
If you have any thoughts on this article, please comment below. We are listening. Or meet us on Twitter.
Author: Richard "Excel" Almgren
Richard is a m.sc in Materials and Construction Engineering, an apprentice in gender science studies and the inventor of the Dodil-dildo. For long, Richard worked with international environmental projects. Now living in Orebro, Sweden, he is a co-founder of the Dodil as well as the chief of operations.
Editor: Peter "Word" Gustavsson
Peter is a marketing and business communications expert with a vast experience in sales and international trade. Originally from Sweden, he now lives in Cologne, Germany. Peter is a co-founder of the Dodil as well as head of communications.