As a professional sex toy buyer for Betty’s Toy Box, I take my job very seriously but when given the chance to fly from chilly Toronto to tropical South Beach, Miami and spend 3 solid days looking at, playing with, and talking about sex toys … well, a girl’s gonna have a little fun.
Twice a year, the XBIZ Retreat hooks up qualified buyers with manufacturers where we can all mingle, buy, sell, and see what’s new. As a newer store, I got my first chance to attend and I was thrilled.
For 3 days, I rotated between half hour meetings, each with a different adult industry manufacturer or distributor. Lubes, lotions, enhancement creams, vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, and bdsm gear. I saw it all and it was SO MUCH FUN.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I got to stay at a lovely boutique hotel right in South Beach, complete with a pool and lovely views of the water. Lunches on the rooftop patio were a great time to mingle, and dinners were as much about fun and laughter as they are about industry news and gossip. I’m sure it’s much like so many other conferences – except with dildos.
After a whirlwind 3 days I started the journey home, my suitcase overflowing with samples and catalogues, and my head spinning with all of the new ideas and products that I can introduce to you – our wonderful customers.
It was an amazing time and I am going to be introducing you to many new products over the coming couple of months that just blew me away. But aside from all of that, here are some important lessons I learned that I want to pass on to you…
- Folks who work in the sex toy industry are just like you. They have families, kids, and pets. They’re all ages and come from all over the place. They’re all races, genders, and orientations. And they’re some of the nicest people you could care to meet.
- People in this industry love their jobs. They care passionately about their products and genuinely want to pass on something great to the consumer.
- Never pass up a chance to visit Miami, particularly South Beach. It is magical and fun and everybody I met from there was so kind and welcoming.
- Don’t walk from one side of Miami Beach to the other (west to east) in 90 degree heat (that feels like over 100 with humidity). It may only take 20 minutes but even on a hazy day you will overheat, big time.
- Paying $11 for a refreshing juice concoction at Whole Foods seems like a good idea when you’re about to experience heat stroke
- A glass of wine and sushi roll will cost over $40 at a hotel restaurant – welcome to Miami Beach.
- Be persistent when opening the cabinets in your hotel kitchenette. Behind that stuck door could be lurking the Keurig machine and fancy coffee pods that help you get through the day
- A suitcase full of vibrators apparently doesn’t raise an eyebrow at customs much to my immense relief
- I really do love my job.