Why Netflix's Grace And Frankie's Sex Toy Business Would Fail

sex toy netflix grace and frankie
Self, Sex

The long awaited season 3 of the hit show on Netflix, Grace and Frankie, which stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin is getting a lot of buzz and not just from their new sex toy business featured on this wonderful show. From comedic moments to sentimental ones the show takes viewers into areas of life that affect not just seniors but all adults with a unique look into how people handle life changes and events as we age. It is a brilliant show with topics that are unique, funny, heartwarming and always leaves viewers wanting more.

Season 2 ended with the announcement that characters Grace and Frankie were going to start a sex toy company that catered to elderly women who struggle with such issues as arthritis, sensitive vaginal tissue, and mobility. Many viewers were excited to see such a topic brought up as it is a neglected market in the adult novelty industry and season 3 certainly delivered when it comes to some of the sexual issues that are in dire need of being addressed for seniors.

So, how did the fictional Ménage à Moi vibrator do in comparison to real life sexual health products for elderly women today? Not so great and here is why-

The show opens with Grace and Frankie launching their sex toy brand called Vybrant which is certainly a clever name and one that would realistically work well in the sex toy industry so kudos to the clever branding, especially when viewers see their first product which they comedically call the Ménage à Moi. The crafty name is, of course, a reference to solo masturbation and a play on words on the French phrase Ménage à trois (threesome).

Yet, how well does the sex toy hold up to scrutiny in today's real sex toy market? Like the show, the actual sex toy is a bit comedic for several reasons. The Ménage à Moi is really nothing special in real life and actually, falls short with today’s many sex toys that offer many more features than the fictional Ménage à Moi.

Short of purple being a top selling color in the adult novelty industry, the Ménage à Moi vibrator would fail in today’s real sex toy market and here is why-

Not Really Cutting Edge

The fictional Ménage à Moi vibrator is quite unrealistic as being a great sex toy in that there are many ergonomic vibrators already on the market in real life that are light-weight, powerful, have adjustable motors and far surpass the features that were mentioned with the Ménage à Moi.

No Real Special Features

There was no mention of it being waterproof, having multiple vibration settings such as pulsing, escalating and adjustable power. There was also no mention of things like customizable vibration settings you can create with your smartphone which is a new cutting edge feature in sex toys provided through special apps that allow vibrator users to not just create their own settings but also allows someone to remote control the vibrator for interesting nights out on the town as well as from across the world.

Battery Hog

Most new vibrators are now are being made with USB rechargeable charging options so you do not have to trash the environment with batteries and waste money on them; something that would have been a great eco-friendly focus which is in line with Frankie’s causes.

Most Sex Toy Controls Light-Up

The light-up (glow-in-the-dark) controls have been around for many years and are a standard feature on most vibrators these days. The fact that it was discussed as a creative revelation was somewhat amusing.

Made with A Jelly Handle

Even more telling that the writers of the show missed the mark on the sex toy is that it was not made with silicone. Using a porous elastomer jelly handle as they indicated in the show is a breeding ground for bacteria and very hard to keep clean which can easily lead to urinary tract infections (UTS’s). High-end sex toys these days are made with medical-grade silicone which is nonporous and very easy to keep germ free and disinfect for that very reason.

Made with Toxic Materials?

Considering the focus on sexual health and empowerment in the show they failed to address whether the jelly material was phthalate free which is an important health concern in the sex toy industry these days. Phthalates are chemicals found in some sex toys that are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to a slew of health issues such as diabetes, breast cancer, insulin resistance, asthma and much more. It is why there is a strong phthalate-free marketing focus now.

Was It Also A Dildo?

The handle was made to look like an enormous dildo but had the controls on it so it could not be safely inserted. If the handle was intended to be used as a dildo (because it is shaped like a phallus – penis) it would be much too large for many women especially those with sensitive or dry vaginal tissue which often occurs after menopause. The handle was explained as something easy to hold but in all honesty, it looked like an overly large dildo which seemed odd.

Marketing Not Realistic

The show was completely unrealistic in that a sex toy distributor would pitch marketing ideas to someone with a new sex toy, in fact quite the opposite. Those with new sex toys have to work hard convincing sex toy distributors that their product is going to be worth picking up and they have to have their marketing plan already in place. If it were a sex toy manufacturer they typically would have to have a cutting edge product for it to be considered and this was no wonder of sex toys to be certain. They clearly need to learn more about how to start a sex toy business.

Knock-Off Issue Right On The Mark

It is, however, very realistic that a larger, more established company would do a cheaper knock-off and send Grace and Frankie’s company Vybrant down the drain as this happens all the time in the adult novelty industry. In fact, many foreign companies that manufacturer sex toys in China, Taiwan, and other countries are now selling directly to consumers through large company sites and putting many sex toy retailers, manufacturers and distributors in jeopardy of going out of business. Furthermore, they often make the products using cheaper parts and even in some cases toxic materials and consumers have no idea what they are buying so the show missed a big opportunity to educate consumers about the importance of health concerns in choosing quality, nontoxic sex toys.

So is the fictional Ménage à Moi vibrator on Grace and Frankie something that would dazzle customers in real life? Not likely.

Is the Netflix show Grace and Frankie amazing, funny and worth watching? Absolutely!

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Author Lisa S. Lawless. Ph.D. is the founder and C.E.O. of Holistic Wisdom, Inc. which provides sexual health and wellness education, resources and products. To learn more about what are the latest developments in vibrators as well as which ones are nontoxic and phthalate-free visit – HolisticWisdom.com