The Sex Detective charts the growing interest in sex furniture, which allows you to experiment with positions and locations without having to worry that you’ll get your angles all wrong or that you’ll wake up with a stiff neck in the morning.
A few weeks ago, Ikea began airing a commercial in which a young couple are cleaning up in their new kitchen when the guy starts feeling frisky. He suggests going upstairs but she’s so enamoured with her spiffy new appliances, she wants to do it right then and there on the countertop.
The advert ends at that point, but I like to imagine what happens after the fade to black. My guess is, about five minutes later, they’ll notice that the counter is a few crucial inches higher than the guy’s crotch. Then, they’ll either call it off and head to the bedroom or go find him a box to stand on.
I can’t find any scientific studies to prove this, but my theory is that the department of our brains that generates sexual fantasies works different shifts from the one that understands logistics. (It’s the only way I can account for a mistake I once made involving a coarse seagrass carpet that will stay with me forever.) And that’s perhaps why there is growing interest in sex furniture, which allows you to experiment with positions and locations without having to worry that you’ll get your angles all wrong or that you’ll wake up with a stiff neck in the morning.
The biggest name in sex furniture is Liberator, an American company. But in the past three years, Love Bumper, a small Vancouver-based firm, has made inroads into the market. Both offer the sexually adventurous a number of position-aid options that range from small pillow-like items through to chaise longue–type furniture. While Liberator is relatively inexpensive and not averse to covering its wares in fake animal fur, Love Bumper targets the higher end where it’s all sleek angles, cool colours and leopard-print is verboten.
Most people find their gateway product into the world of sex furniture is a smallish cushion-type affair. The Good for Her sex shop (175 Harbord St., 416-588-0900) carries two of these creations: Liberator’s small “wedge” ($99) and the larger “ramp” ($199). They are made from a sturdy foam that’s covered in a washable velvety material—Good for Her sells them with only sober black or blue coverings—and are about two feet wide, sloping up to a height of about 12 inches. The uninitiated wouldn’t immediately spot them as being a sex aid—actually, they look like they might have escaped from a yoga studio. Luckily, the staff at Good for Her have taken a ramp out of its packaging upstairs and will gladly show you how its used. You can lie on it, bend over it, have him on top, her on top, or you can even stack the ramp and wedge together (the combo pack sells for $285) to create a kind of undulating mattress. They are said to make sensations more intense and the Liberator website suggests they can give you a “superior doggie-style position.”
“A lot of people look at sex furniture and they’re like, ‘Can’t you just do that with cushions?’” says Lorraine Hewitt, who has worked at Good for Her for six years. “Cushions tend to shift around and compress underneath you, so you don’t get the kind of support you were hoping for.”
Christopher Darcy, owner of Love Bumper says a huge amount of effort goes into figuring out the ergonomics of his furniture. “Sex is exercise, sex is movement of the body,” he says. “The body doesn’t care what it’s doing, it just wants to be supported in a way that works for it.” He also designs medical equipment, so he should know.
The design of these pieces allows the adventurous and the flexible to try literally dozens of new positions that promise better stimulation of all the right places. And, as your body won’t get so tired, they also give you a fighting chance of figuring out tantra. But, at Love Bumper at least, they are also carefully designed to help people with disability or mobility issues get it on: they’re the right height for wheelchair users to get on them easily; they’re thin enough to be straddled.
Products like the wedge and ramp are just small enough to put under the bed when not in use, but the larger stuff, like Love Bumper’s four-foot-long Love Lounge chair are tougher to hide. But it wasn’t designed to be hidden. As Darcy points out, “There’s no feathers, there’s no fur, it doesn’t look like something a stripper would use. It’s just a piece of furniture. You can sit on it, use it, you can enjoy it.” So feel free to use your sex furniture as emergency chairs the next time your relatives drop in.
Love Bumper furniture is available in Toronto from Come as You Are (493 Queen St. W., 416-504-7934. #QNW) or online at lovebumper.com.