Saturday, August 6, 2011
Sex & Marketing
I went to a sex-toy party last night, one of those events in which a representative of a sex-toy company demonstrates and sells said toys…but before you get excited and start skimming ahead to see what toys I purchased and when am I planning to use them…not so fast. The best part of the party was the hostess’ decision to have the talented chefs at “Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken” cater the event. What is wrong with this world when I’m more interested in fried chicken than sex?!
So, I was thinking about the presenter, let’s call her “Trini,” in honor of her heritage, and I was brooding on all the mistakes she made, and I thought I’d share some ideas on how an enterprising person could host these sex-toy parties and really make it rain, as the kids say. I mean, a sex-toy party is, in some ways, really just a stand-in for the act itself, right, so when people are yawning, and checking their phones and whining for a cigarette break…hmm, kinda means they’re not going to be calling you in the morning.
First of all, as the presenter, you are on-stage. You are an actor from the moment you enter the premises where the party is to be held. So, no matter what, you must, absolutely must, be on! No talented actor gets to phone-in her lines during a play, for example, and then say, “Well, my boyfriend broke up with me and I’m in a bad mood.” Not if they don’t want to be asking, "How did your want your steak?," for the rest of their life. You must be fun, sexy, charming and happy. People are simply not going to buy anything, never mind something as intimate and potentially embarrassing as a sexual enhancer, from someone who will not stop complaining. Or, from someone, who when alluding to anything but vanilla, Tea-Party-approved sex, made her audience feel weird and dirty. Not dirty in the good way. Dirty in the is-there-anymore-fried-chicken-I-need-get-out-of-here way.
Listen, frequently my clients need to kvetch, they need to unwind and tell me about something stupid that happened. That’s fine, part of my job as a coach is to help them through the rough spots. But it’s not a two-way street; they’re not paying to hear me bitch. “Trini” didn’t seem to get that memo about listening to your clients, since they’re paying you.
She missed a very important memo because she has a job which theoretically could be a great money-maker for any smart man or woman. You’re selling sex: does it get any more biological than that? You’re selling raw emotion: people’s desire to be desired, to be loved, to perform, to not end up alone.
So, with that in mind, here’s just a few ideas on how anyone could do a sex-toy party correctly and make bank. You could, for example, craft a presentation aimed at your audience’s emotional hot buttons: bachelor and bachelorette parties; couples; all-male groups; all-female groups; lesbian and gay groups, with toys and patter aimed at said groups. That means, when you bring out a toy, leave your squeamish hang-ups in the bag because...you’re here to entertain. Entertaining=selling. Selling=good. Write that down, Trini, because next time you roll your eyes at me and say something moronic, in response to my comment that I prefer dating younger men, your jaw and my fist are going to become friends.
You could give away samples, you could have gift-bags for the participants. I offer free consultations; my dentist gives me a goody-bag of free tooth-brush, and tooth-paste…but you have no samples whatsoever? Okay, genius. You realize, Trini, this is New York City, right and not Murmansk? We have sex toy shops here…and they give away samples?! Grrrr.
For bachelor parties, you could have theme nights (dominatrix, school-girl…you get the picture) and hire some strippers and let them” demonstrate” how the toys work. Don’t give me that look: do you want to make money and get referrals and more clients, or is this some kind of hobby for you as you wait for your real life to begin?
Also, the strippers are having sex with themselves so relax. It’s educational. And you know that those girls will sell! Depending on how much money you have, you could hire a small space, and have a bar (boy bartender for bachelorettes, and gay men, for example; girl for bachelor parties, lesbians) and appetizers. Lead the group in fun, sexy games during breaks in the presentation to keep people’s energy up. If done right, you could even start charging for these events. If done right, you could realize what every other successful human has realized: sex sells.
Listen, as a creativity yenta, it’s my job to help my clients market themselves so they can sell. They sell so they can achieve their potential. If that’s wrong, then I don’t wanna be right…I’m just putting these ideas out there, if some smart girl or guy wants to run with them and start making cash…*fist bump.* Keep me posted. If nothing else, maybe the next time I attend a party like this, my attention will be focused on something other than the fried chicken.