When he conceived of the idea for a new pleasure-product company in 2005, says njoy creator Greg DeLong, there were no quality in the anal toy market. With an extensive career in mechanical engineering and design in his back pocket, DeLong decided to bring a quality product and brand to the sex-toy world: specifically, an anal catalogue.
Now, half a decade later, njoy is a leader in the market. The company toted away five nominations at the AVN “O” Awards, including a win for “Outstanding Non-Powered Product.”
Determined to bring class to the industry, DeLong, along with business partner Chris Clement, decided to embark on a mission to create a product that combined ergonomics, functionality and good looks. Earning its tagline “pure/fun,” njoy would market a line of high-end sex toys sculpted from stainless steel, all flawlessly designed by DeLong himself.
“Our big focus right from the start was to create a brand,” DeLong explained. “The njoy brand. And to this day there are only a handful of recognizable brands in the sex market. If you look at the consumer market, people identify with brands. They buy a Rolex watch or a Coach handbag. You’re not just buying a watch; you’re buying into that brand, that image. And no one ever thought about that in this industry.”
Njoy’s motivation didn’t just come from a desire to gain a business advantage in an industry lacking in quality merchandise. It also came from his own personal quest. DeLong’s likes and dislikes guided the design process and became the blueprint for the look and shapes of the line.
Seeking an erotic tool that stimulated far better than its flaccid rubber competition, DeLong used an intuitive process to create the perfect product: a sex toy designed specifically to pleasure the G-spot and prostate, and that was also geared for anal play.
“We designed our products specifically for anal pleasure because it hadn’t been done before,” says DeLong. “Very rarely do you find an anal plug that is designed properly. You stick it in and it won’t stay in place, or it’s in place and it’s already uncomfortable. It’s also rare to find one in an upscale material like glass or steel or aluminum. As of 2005, I couldn’t find any that were really thought out right. And I’m a good designer intuitively, so I thought about what my body liked. I knew there was opportunity to bring a well-thought-out, high quality, well-designed butt plug to the market.”
DeLong decided to use steel to bring his vision to fruition. While he entertained using other materials, it was obvious steel had the most advantages. First, steel had a great look. The glint off the steel gave the toy a touch of class. Steel is easy to clean and sterilize, which is invaluable when sharing a toy. The material is effective for temperature play: Hold it under warm water or ice water for the desired feel. And steel has weight, which translates into longevity, and can benefit stimulation while inserted through gravity.
“Look is also very important. Especially in a sex product. Sex, in theory, is beautiful,” concludes DeLong. “Why would you want to interact with an ugly product? I feel the same way about sex products that are low quality or poorly designed. Why would you want to bring a product like that in to the part of your life that can be very beautiful and sensual, and aesthetically pleasing in general? If I can help it, we’ll never make an ugly sex toy.”
This article originally ran in the December 2009 issue of AVN.