Nibbling nipple cream. Playing Pass the Dong. Shelling out $60 for the four-speed vibrator his wife’s been eyeing all night. It’s amazing what some guys will do in a roomful of buddies once they’ve knocked back a few drinks.

Party Favors (Emphasis on Favor)

That’s good news for Marlana Camacho. As an executive director of Passion Parties, she makes her living — and a pretty good living at that — hawking sex toys at in-home parties. Camacho recalls how one male partygoer informed a group of friends and acquaintances that before using Gigi, a masturbation sleeve that looks like a pink silicone water snake, it’s important to first turn off the ceiling fan. “When that sucker is all lubed up, you’re liable to launch her across the room,” the man warned. “If you lose your grip while that fan is on, you’re gonna see some hibachi-style choppin’.” As his wife shot him a disapproving look, he told the other guests, “It had her giggling for three days straight.”

It’s guys like these, and just about every other kind of guy and girl you can imagine; who have made the adult-toy party a booming business. Representatives from several companies specializing in such events say business just keeps getting better.

“Some of our distributors do parties full-time, scheduling three or four a week and making incomes of more than $50,000, while others do one party a month to bring in $100 to $500,” says Bobbi Nolan-Hill, the president of Pajama Parties LLC (

Donna Lee, founder of Playful Delights (, says salespeople for her company can easily earn as much having a few parties a week as they would working a nine-to-five job. “Several of our reps have even quit full-time jobs and do this because it affords them much more time with their children and families. Most parties have average sales of $500 to $1,000, meaning the reps make anywhere from $250 to $500 in just a few hours.”

Not too shabby, considering a day at the “office” consists of packing up a carload of dildos, edible underwear, and other assorted toys; coercing partygoers to play X-rated games; and sitting back and racking up the orders. It isn’t exactly a tough sell, either. Everybody needs sex toys, or so it would seem from a quick overview of party guests, who range from young couples to senior citizens, housewives to construction workers. There are bachelorette parties, “get your groove on again” divorce parties, gay /lesbian parties, couples parties, even guys-night-out parties.

“Our customers are mostly women from ages 18 to 80,” Camacho says. “But I personally love doing couples parties because I get the opportunity to tell men about things many of us like, and even dislike, that their wives and especially girlfriends may not be able to communicate. It’s the coolest feeling in the world for someone to call you and say thanks for opening up that communication. There are people out there who think this business is just terrible, but we probably save more marriages in a year than the church could in a decade. Incidentally, many of our consultants are wives and daughters of deacons and even clergymen.”

What kind of people sell sex toys for a living? Mainly women, although some recruit their male partners as assistants. They’re all ages, shapes, and sizes. (Reps for many sex-toy companies say female customers feel more comfortable buying products from “real women” with whom they can identify.) Obviously, an outgoing nature is a big help — as is a lot of personal experience with sex toys. Most companies train aspiring dildo dealers by having them shadow a veteran consultant. Some, like Pajama Parties, have a pretty intense training program that newbies must endure before they can get paid for waving The Great King around in public. “Selling adult products requires a degree of knowledge and professionalism that is just not necessary with other home-party sales,” Nolan-Hill says. “Explaining to someone how to achieve an orgasm with a toy requires a much higher degree of product understanding than candle sales. In 2003 we introduced the Certified Adult Products Distributor program, which sets high standards for our distributors and establishes minimum continuing-education credits.”

Jodi Stuck, a suburban mom and veteran distributor for several “party plan” companies, started Spice It Up Parties ( in 2002. She’s already added 130 distributors to her stable, and boasts that she offers the “best hostess program in the industry.” Interested salespeople can get started as a Spice It Up distributor by purchasing one of four kits that range in price from $150 to $1,000. After that, “they earn a 50 percent commission from day one,” Stuck says.

So what exactly happens at an adult-toy party? Well, first of all, many of the more timid guests come through the door scanning the room with the same “Is anyone I know going to catch me here?” look you see at the porn section of your local video store. Guests tend to mingle by the snacks or drinks. Alcohol is frequently served, which is a smart business tactic; as guests’ blood-alcohol levels increase, their inhibitions loosen considerably. (Party hosts are reminded to ensure that all guests have a designated driver.)

Linzee Ryder, Britney Amber, Eva Long and  LaSirena69
INTERMISSION (L-R): Linzee Ryder, Britney Amber, Eva Long and LaSirena69

During this time, as the sales rep is setting up a display of sex toys, the bolder guests often offer their personal reviews. As a consultant at a recent Playful Delights party arranged her display of Dick Dew, a flavored stimulant, one partygoer advised her friend, “Try the pina colada. It’s great!” Hands-on browsing is encouraged, so guests are welcome to manhandle the dildos, rev up the vibrators, and sample the sex creams.

The host or hostess (the person at whose home the party is held) doesn’t actually do the sales pitch; the company consultant (also called a rep or distributor) handles that. While the agenda varies depending on the company and the individual consultant, generally there’s at least an hour of informational presentation, during which time the consultant will tout the pleasure-promising features of a long lineup of such products as stud rings, furry handcuffs, blindfolds, and porn videos. This is no boring sales pitch, though — most consultants consider themselves a kind of sex therapist, so they’ll pepper their presentation with sex tips (which are usually aimed at the guys), interesting sex facts, and helpful hints on using the toys. At one recent party, the consultant waved an eight-inch bright-blue faux penis while giving an impromptu lesson on female anatomy, emphasizing the specific angle at which the toy could best stimulate sensitive areas.

“What you do is put a whole lot…. Tell him, ‘Honey, go for it. I’m ready, I’m wanting it, come on.’ Girl, he won’t get another erection for at least two days!”

These presentations are heavy on audience interaction, and consultants try to pull even the most reserved guests out of their shell. Many reps will recruit volunteers to try out the products firsthand, so to speak. Camacho usually sends a few female guests to the bathroom to apply some Pure Satisfaction Unisex Enhancement Gel, used to promote clitoral erections. Other guests can’t help but notice the squirms and squeals emitted by the gelled-up girls throughout the rest of the party. “The first five minutes feels like you have a party going on in your pants,” Camacho says. “That’s just the stuff getting into your system. You won’t know its true effects until you actually get to business. The tingle alone makes it worth its weight in gold.”

I recently attended a For Your Pleasure party hosted by my friends Joan and Greg, who were about to get married. A cynic might point out that by hosting the party they could grab a bunch of discounted items to help spice up their honeymoon, but I preferred to believe they were enlightening their friends as to the wonders of Nympho Cream and the Pearl Butterfly out of the goodness of their hearts. Anyway, midway through her presentation, the consultant produced a pair of leopard-print panties and instructed Joan to put them on in the bathroom. While Joan was out of earshot, the consultant handed Greg a remote control. Joan came out of the bathroom sporting the panties under her skirt, and just as she was about to ask the consultant for further instruction … zap! Greg hit the remote and Joan got the shock of her life from the vibrating panties. They allow a woman’s partner to control exactly when to buzz her with vibrating pleasure, even from across the room. (And you thought you loved the TV remote!) By party’s end, just about every male guest had convinced his female partner to try on the panties so he could take his turn as the “zap master.”

Once the guests are relaxed, it’s time for party games. A staple is Pass the Dong, in which guests gather in a circle and pass around a huge rubber dildo without using their hands or letting it touch the floor. (Jennifer Pritchard, a regional director with For Your Pleasure, recalls one particularly funny Pass the Dong anecdote. Two elderly women were standing next to each other, with the 79-year-old trying to pass it to her 83-year-old friend. Suddenly the older woman had to run to the ladies’ room, so the 79-year-old stood there dangling the phallus between her knees until her friend returned.) Camacho likes to have guests play a game in which they must come up with 20 slang terms for penis. Her favorite? Mandingo. “You’ll never hear such dirty talk from Girl Scout leaders and PTA members unless you play this one.”

Sweet Sinsations ( features creams and lotions, videos, vibrators, leather items, and more. To get the party rolling, the Sweet Sinsations consultant breaks out the ice-breaker game Dirty Minds. The guests are soon giggling as they try to figure out the very clean answers to clues that sound dirty. Male partygoers really perked up, though, when the consultant mentioned the Cyberskin Mouth and Cyberskin Pussy, which can apparently be lifesavers for guys who aren’t getting as much action as they’d like.

Jeanne Wokurka, a manager with Rocco’s Toy Chest (www., gets her guests into party mode with a rousing game of Pass the Penis. Every time the group hears the consultant say “penis,” they must pass a little stuffed animal to the next person. Whoever ends up with it at the end of the presentation wins a door prize, which may be handcuffs, nude playing cards, a penis lipstick, or other erotic loot.

While working one recent party, Camacho was discussing cherry-flavored Numbit (designed to numb the sphincter for anal sex). One veteran party guest chimed in, “What you do is put on a whole lot of this stuff. Don’t wait the ten minutes for it to absorb. Just tell him, ‘Honey, go for it. I’m ready, I’m wanting it, come on.’ Girl, he won’t get another erection for at least two days!” Camacho notes that she practically gets booed when she mentions anal sex — You hear butt cheeks clenching all the way around the room!” — but Numbit is her third-highest-selling product.

After all the fun and games, the consultant gets down to business. In a private area she takes each guest’s order. Most items are reasonably priced, many at $40 or less, but Pajama Parties’ Decadent Indulgence vibe, which features three independent functions of shaft rotation and clitoral vibration with eight levels of intensity, will set you back 130 bucks. Camacho’s largest single order by one person: $434.50.

Wokurka says most people worry when an item needs to be shipped. “I tell them we do not have a van with a big ol’ dildo on top that delivers to your door,” she says. But what about those horny guests who can’t wait for their sex toys to arrive in the mail? Nolan-Hill says many of her customers take their goodies home immediately. “Our distributors carry extensive product with them to a show and make every effort to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible. Our opinion is that these are sex products, and our customers want them the night of the show or as soon as possible. Prompt orders means repeat customers.”

And here’s one use for a sex toy that even the most imaginative guest may never have thought of: Nolan-Hill says her company’s small personal vibrator works better than a radar detector in avoiding speeding tickets. “Keep it in the glove compartment of your car, and if you ever get pulled over for speeding, pull it out. When the officer asks if you know what you did, hand it to him and tell him you were distracted. He may ask you out on a date or just want to get away; either way a ticket is avoided.”

Okay, but if you’re a guy, you’ll have to want to get out of the ticket pretty damn bad to try the old “I was busy with my vibrator” maneuver.

Come to find out, Passion Parties even has a LinkedIn page, although it seems like their main site may be down now. Too bad. … And if you’re curious about our “intermission” photo, it does in fact come from a Penthouse movie. We did not run the title because while the whole streaming/vod market may require a certain “type” of title, we find them inelegant and unsophisticated. Roughly translated we would have had to use, “My Friends and Female Extended Family has a Very Friendly Party,” or something like that. That may not be entirely helpful should you decide to see if you local provider provides this movie, but the cast should. That’s mainly how people pick what they want to watch anyway, right?

Have Something to Add?