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The Joy of Sex Toys

The Joy of Sex Toys is a cheeky peek into the lives of staff at the UK’s biggest sex toy retailer.

Warm, funny and frank, this observational series goes behind-the-scenes at successful business Lovehoney, which sells one out of every three sex toys bought online in the UK. The six-part series follows the colourful ups and downs of working life at the company’s HQ, a warehouse on a trading estate in the genteel city of Bath.

It's like a regular office but full of stuff YOUR office internet would block.

The Story

Fourteen years ago Lovehoney was being run from a bedroom where all the stock fitted under the bed. Now, it’s a multi million selling international sex toy powerhouse where 228 staff send out more than 40,000 parcels a week worldwide. They’re the only company selling the “Fifty Shades of Grey” brand. They’ve been busy since the controversial Hollywood movie premiered in February 2015.

On the high street, their products are in branches of Boots nationwide, and in London, they own the high end boutique Coco de Mer. The bosses, Richard and Neal, have a deliberate policy of employing down to earth, fun and enthusiastic people who must be proud of what they do.

Whether it’s Laura on the phone to a first timer or Andrea responding to another tragi-comic returns letter, these are the self-styled “sexual happiness people”.

In London, Coco De Mer is in total contrast to the “sex toys for the everyman and woman” ethos. There, they are now selling a gold plated vibrator for £12,000 ($18,736)!

But from their bases in England they are now spreading the love worldwide. They have a call centre in Brisbane, Australia and they’re making a big impact on stores in America too. This humourous observational series will follow the ups and downs of life in the warehouse in Bath, down under in Oz and in the USA. 

New Zealand stamp

By buying all that rude stuff online in the comfort of your own home and pajamas, it is never entirely necessary to actually go into a sex shop. Lifetime writer Nell Frizzell has managed nearly three decades on this earth and never been in one, not even drunkenly on the way back from the pub for some reason. And now she’s in New Zealand. What are the sex shops like over there? Is everything a Lord of the Rings (sorry) parody? We sent her in to find out.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys THE 5 WORST TIMES THAT SEX TOYS RUINED MY LIFE BY ISSY SAMPSON

I’ve been alive for thirty whole years now, and I like to think of myself as a fairly confident, open-minded person. After all, I speak as someone who’s interviewed upwards of 100 people about their sex lives, heard intimate details of one night stands and put my hand up at an actual F1 press conference and asked Lewis Hamilton what his favourite Pussycat Dolls song was. I’d like to say that I’m pretty much made of steel. But every now and again, something so embarrassing happens that I consider leaving London, finding a lovely dark cave somewhere, and living off roadkill and the occasional Ocado delivery until all of mankind has died off in some kind of nuclear accident and I can re-emerge without the risk of meeting anyone’s eye. Yes. That bad. And weirdly, all of those moments included a sex toy. What I’m saying is: the Lovehoney warehouse. I’d probably die of blushing.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys I Have No Fetish: What's Wrong With Me? By Dale Shaw

Let me start off by saying: I don’t care. By which I mean, I don’t care what two, or more (up to around five, then I do care) human beings do to each other in private (or in Cul-De-Sacs if that’s your thing). As long as it’s not hurting anyone and not scuffing up my hardwood floors, go for it. You have my blessing or at least my complete disinterest. The problem isn’t you. Yes you, in the erotically designed stallion costume. It’s me.

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Features

FRISKY BUSINESS The Sex Shops of New Zealand Have Only Just Got Round To Stocking Those Twilight Parodies By Nell Frizzell

By buying all that rude stuff online in the comfort of your own home and pajamas, it is never entirely necessary to actually go into a sex shop. Lifetime writer Nell Frizzell has managed nearly three decades on this earth and never been in one, not even drunkenly on the way back from the pub for some reason. And now she’s in New Zealand. What are the sex shops like over there? Is everything a Lord of the Rings (sorry) parody? We sent her in to find out.

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Cast

The Joy of Sex Toys cast list

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Features

FRISKY BUSINESS Dil-dos and Dil-don’ts: sex toys through history By Sarah Morgan

Lovehoney may have made ordering a 12-speed Squirting Exorcet less anxiety-inducing than your average Starbucks order (Venti? Grande? Pumpkin? Bwargh!) but it didn’t always used to be this way, sisters. Here’s a look back at great moments from dildonic history…

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys MEET THE TEAM: Laura & Chelsea VIDEO

Laura and Chelsea man the phones at Lovehoney and answer all manner of not-fit-to-print customer questions. Possibly the most unshockable people in the world, we reckon.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys MEET THE TEAM: Richard & Neal VIDEO

Sex-toy-wise, there are some things that work in Japan that don't go over that well in the UK. Lovehoney owners Richard and Neal used one rejected idea as a doorstop.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys MEET THE TEAM: Bonny VIDEO

Bonny is Lovehoney's head buyer which means she gets to go around the world and find brand new sex toys to stock. Given the stuff they do end up stocking, we were wondering about the stuff she rejected. THE THINGS THIS LADY HAS SEEN.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys MEET THE TEAM: Cazz & Jess VIDEO

It's Monday morning which means Cazz is busy sorting through all your weekend nude selfies and you're maybe regretting that slightly acrobatic pose you pulled in the last one.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys MEET THE TEAM: Alice VIDEO

Meet Alice, sex toy category manager. What does that mean? We have no idea. So we asked.

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Features

The Joy of Sex Toys Meet the team: Matt Video

We went to Lovehoney and distracted Matt from his work for about half an hour to make this video. What's the hardest part about his job? Click play to find out why, although you can probably guess if you've seen Manhunter.

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Features

FRISKY BUSINESS MEET THE TEAM: Annabelle VIDEO

Annabelle is Lovehoney's presenter which means that she gets to do the videos that go on the website explaining the toys. It also means that customers can see the giant dildo they're thinking of buying stood next to a real life human, for scale. Which, judging from the returns letters, they immediately ignore.

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Shows

HELP! How Do I Get Lifetime?
SKY 156 / VIRGIN 208/209

Right, so: now that we’ve convinced you Lifetime is a thing you need to have in your life – what now? How do you get this on your telly? Here’s what you have to do.

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