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You may already have an idea in your mind of what a conventional sex shop looks like: a seedy storefront with red lighting and dusty shelves stocked with expensive, garishly-named products.
While there’s nothing wrong with these businesses or the people who frequent them, many traditional sex shops can feel intimidating for those new to the world of sex toys.
Mitch Orkis, co-founder of the queer-owned sex company Cake, created his brand to offer a more accessible shopping experience for sex-related products.
“The amount of content and education we put forward, the tone of voice we use and the shame-free aspect paired with the affordable price point really helps to make Cake accessible,” Orkis said. “We don’t think pleasure should be discriminatory or based on your income.”
It’s so accessible that Cake’s products can be purchased on the next aisle over from your household paper towels and laundry soap at mainstream big-box retailers like Amazon, CVS, Target and Walmart.
“We want to put sexual pleasure within arms reach, anywhere you are in America. After launching in both Target and Walmart, we’ve managed to fill a niche in the aisles of big-box stores that had previously been so out of touch.” Orkis said.
Scroll through the cheery and brightly-hued pages of the Cake website and you’ll see the direct opposite of antiquated, florid sex toy marketing. Orkis explained that everything from the product names to their design is meant to be simple and clear to understand. (Cake’s best-selling lubricant formulated with 100% premium silicone is simply called Sex Lube.)
The brand features easy-to-grasp color-coded packaging that coincides with your specific anatomy: orange for penis-havers, blue for those with vaginas and hot pink for anything butt-related.
This simplicity is part of the reason Cake’s products are so affordable –– another departure from traditional pricey sex toys.
Orkis said that the market is oversaturated with complex gizmos that vibrate and whir or claim to do it all. Cake took an opposite approach by way of specificity. “We focus on one piece of the anatomy or function rather than an all-encompassing product,” he said.
It’s similar to how skin care brands like The Ordinary or The Inky List specialize in products that have been distilled down to one essential ingredient as a way to keep costs low and allow shoppers to buy based on their specific needs. “We [actually] use the term ‘treating sex care like skin care’ a lot internally,” Orkis said.
“We don’t think pleasure should be discriminatory or based on your income...We want to put sexual pleasure within arms reach, anywhere you are in America.”
- Mitch Orkis
When asked why the mission to ensure sexual wellness for all was so important to him, Orkis said he began to notice a societal increase in anxiety and depression caused by a number of modern-day factors like pandemic-induced stress and the current political climate.
“There’s very few times where you can reconnect with yourself and your body and only enjoy yourself. Sex is one of those things,” he said. “We wanted Cake to help people do that without shame or feeling bad about it. I think that’s important when you’re battling the scariness of the world.”
Sex, Orkis says, is like cake: something that should be indulged in. Keep scrolling to find some of the brand’s most scrumptious goods that can help you do just that.
A moisturizing play cream
So-Low Lotion was Cake's first product and continues to be a bestseller for the brand. A moisturizing masturbation cream for penis-havers, this transformative lotion promises to leave skin hydrated and nourished, never chafed.
"It's coconut oil and it starts as this very thick, almost like a paste. And then as you use it and it heats up to you, by temperature, it starts to melt and it turns into this like gliding lotion, kind of like a lubricant," Orkis said.
A powerful mini massager
Small yet mighty, this compact massager can be used for clitoral stimulation or zipped along erogenous zones using the 10 unique vibrational modes. The rounded tip design makes it easier to target areas, and users can enjoy up to 60 minutes of playtime per charge.
An air suction toy
The aptly named Little Sucker offers 360-degree clitoral stimulation and 10 vibration modes that vary in suction and air pulse patterns and intensities. This increasingly popular type of toy usually retails between $60 and $150 from other retailers. As one reviewer put it: "Cake is bringing clitoral stimulation to the masses, and it's about time!!"
A long-lasting silicone lubricant
Silicone in lubricant is a favorite ingredient of Orkis'. He explained that its molecules are larger than the molecules in your skin, so it won't absorb or dry out and will remain on top of your skin for longer-lasting play, even in water.
"Silicone is extremely expensive and a lot of other brands will only put a little bit of it into their products because of that," Orkis said. "We, on the other hand, use 100% of silicone into our Sex Lube."
This premium silicone-based formula offers super-gliding comfort without the need for consistent reapplication and without any unpleasant sticky texture.
A natural aloe- and water-based lubricant
Intended for partner intimacy or solo enjoyment for vagina-havers, this is a non-silicone and water-based version of Cake's best-selling Sex Lube. It's packed with all-natural, good-for-you ingredients like hydrating aloe and is pH balanced so it won't disrupt vaginal health.
A ribbed vibrating massager
This waterproof and vibrating stroking toy for penises fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and its ergonomic design can help make it easier to control the pressure and speed of your stroke. The interior features a thick, ribbed texture that warms to the body's temperature and has 10 different vibration modes for customized pleasure. Plus, the vibrating bullet inside the toy can easily be removed to stimulate other areas on the body, either on you or a partner.
A cushiony hybrid lubricant
Tush Cush was born partly out of Orkis' realization that there were no current products in the store that acknowledged backdoor play. This anal-focused, hybrid lubricant has a jelly-like texture and is formulated to create an air-cushion-like effect, preventing any chance of micro-tears and easing any potential discomfort.
A beginner-friendly backside play trio
Tush Pops are Cake's way of acknowledging that backdoor play can be intimidating, especially for beginners. This set features three anal toys in ascending sizes, each one outfitted with comfortable tapered tips and flared bases for safe and easy insertion. Like all of Cake's toys, these are made free from latex and recommended for use with lubricant.
A double-sided stroker
Prior to his work with Cake, Orkis said that there were little to no products in stores that acknowledged male masturbation. Meet Cake's double-sided stroker made just for this reason.
Delightfully squidgy, open-ended and easy to use, the Stroker is Cake's best-selling penis toy that's made for solo or partnered masturbation. The interior features two different plush textures, beaded and ribbed, and the skin-safe rubber warms to the body's temperature. Cake recommends pairing this with its Toy Wonder
lubricant or So-Low Lotion
A non-drip lubricant for toys
Toy Wonder is Cake's water-based lubricant specially created to use with nearly any kind of sex toy or condom, no matter the material. It boasts a no-drip and hydrating formula and is also pH balanced, so it's safe for people with vaginas. And when clean-up time comes around, Cake has a gentle foaming toy cleanser
that can help extend the life of your toy.
Stimulating pleasure balms
These anatomy-specific and water-based pleasure balms are the perfect companions to solo toy or partner play and can be used alongside lubricants and condoms. One to two pumps of either of these arousal gels creates a sensation that's both cooling and warming.
A vibrating ring for solo or partner play
Endless stimulation opportunities abound when this orange vibrating ring takes up residence on your nightstand. Made from body-safe silicone, the stretchy ring can be comfortably slipped over a penis and testicles for increased pleasure and stamina and features 10 different intense vibration modes. Like all of Cake's vibrating toys, this runs on a rechargeable battery.