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I'm the COO/Creative Director and co-owner of a sex toy manufacturing company called Doc Johnson.

To clarify, we don’t just make dildos—we also make butt plugs, vibrators, “pocket pals” and anything else you can imagine (from high-end silicone massagers to tropical-flavored ‘faux pee’ lube).

We’re the largest sex toy manufacturer in the country, and we make over 75% of our products in America at our North Hollywood campus-- it's basically Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but for sex toys. Not many people know we exist, but we do.


Ask me anything about the industry, how sex toys are made, etc.

Comments: 199 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

doorbellguy31 karma

What do you think is the next 'big thing' in the dildo business?

chadbraverman51 karma

I think it is going to be the way we connect with each other and other users. Being able to control your partners product. Or having them control yours. Or even sites where other users can control or be controlled by other users on the site. The ability to bring partners together from anywhere in the world. Bring the idea of sexting to the next levels!

theSecondAgent6 karma

I'm sure we could make a Black Mirror episode out of this.

chadbraverman9 karma

Just started watching that last night.

theSecondAgent1 karma

What's the episode you like the most? Or the one that's being playing around in your mind?

chadbraverman6 karma

I just started last night so I only made it through the first two of Season 1. The first episode was insane though, with the pig. Once I realized they weren't joking about the storyline I knew I was going to love this show.

zoidboob28 karma

Has anyone who manufactures sex toys ever trademarked the slogan "Go fuck yourself"? If not why not?

chadbraverman26 karma

haha...not that I am aware of. I know there was a line of product called "FUCKED" once. It did not do well though.

AustinUSC25 karma

Do you ever take your work home with you?

chadbraverman51 karma

Yes all the time. Could be different products that I need to try out to make sure that they work the way we were hoping. A lot of our team takes different products they are comfortable home with them. We are our own worst critics.

fitterhappier122 karma

What's the weirdest complaint you've had from a customer and what did you do about it?

chadbraverman88 karma

Needless to say we have a lot of very interesting questions come through customer service, but the one I remember the most is someone complained that our iVibe Rabbit was not realistic enough. Normally in our industry, "realistic" refers to anatomy. But they clarified that they thought it would look more like a bunny. They also included a picture of their bunny to illustrate the difference. That one always made me laugh.

Buscemi_D_Sanji18 karma

I have a few of your products, good work at making them affordable to the point that a snap decision off Amazon isn't regrettable because the quality is there too! My question is : if you're at a party and someone asks what you do, do you say "I make a shit load of sex toys!" Or do you say something like "I run a factory that outputs quite a bit of rubber and mechanical devices"? Since both are true, just wanted to know how you go about it

chadbraverman45 karma

Great question. I grew up at a very interesting time. I did not really know what my family did when I was a kid because there was no google or anything like that, so I couldn't just find out. My dad/family always said that our business was "health devices" because they didn't want anyone to judge me, or for other parents to not allow their kids to hang out with me. This industry was still taboo and there were a lot of misconceptions. But once I learned what my dad did, I told everyone. At that point I figured that if you didn't like me because of what my dad did for a living then we shouldn't be friend anyways. These days most people know what I do for a living before they even ask, but they just want to hear it for themselves and then ask me a million questions. My favorite is when I come back to the country from overseas and the custom agents ask me what my business is. I say "I make sex toys," and they always reply, "Thats cool."

AceOf8617 karma

What's it like being the dildo kingpin?

chadbraverman34 karma

Honestly it is a lot of fun. Our business is not unlike most business out there. There is a lot of competition, a lot of struggles...all the same issues that other companies face, but at the end of the day we are making a very fun product that is hopefully bringing immense pleasure into someone's life. You can also say dick, cock or pussy as much as you want.

mattreyu16 karma

Are there any products that you've made that were more popular than you expected them to be?

chadbraverman23 karma

YES! We have made so many products that I didn't think would do great, or I thought would only serve a niche market. But as usual, if I don't think it will do great, it ends up being one of our best products. One that just pops to mind is our pissing cock complete with faux pee I can't believe how many we sell.

oladipo15 karma

Was Adam Brody's character in House of Lies based off of you?

chadbraverman21 karma

Yes he was, albeit very loosely. They wrote the episode around our company and even took into account some of the difficulties facing our business (Continuing to manufacturer in the USA) and wrote them into the script. Adam came by the office and took a tour and did a very good job recreating that feeling on the show. Also I think he went to Brown University in the show and I definitely did not.

livingthepuglife10 karma

Despite competition from companies producing overseas, it's good to hear you're at least trying to keep the manufacture in the US. Good on you!

It's sad though that "Made in the USA" doesn't hold nearly at much weight as the number on the price tags.

chadbraverman11 karma

We agree. Doc Johnson was founded on the principle of American manufacturing and to this day we still produce 70% of our product here in the US. It is something that we are committed to, but it is getting increasingly difficult and we need our customers to be committed to it as well.

Gsnowlam11 karma

Are there any tours that go on, like do people visit the factory?

chadbraverman27 karma

Right now tours are only done on a private basis, but I can tell you that it is the best and most interesting tour in Los Angeles. Way better than Universal Studios. We have thrown around the idea of a sort of "golden ticket" type thing where we have a winner come to the factory.

thetoastmonster10 karma

And they get to keep all the dildos, trying out various dongs as they progress along the tour?

chadbraverman23 karma

They get ALL the dildos!

hiphopsavedmylife99910 karma

Is there any particular toy or design that you are most proud of?

chadbraverman14 karma

For me personally it is our Lucid Dreams #14 It was a shape that we almost cut from the development of that line, but I felt very strongly about it and basically forced it into the brand. About six months after it was released in won Best Maxi Vibe in Women's Health magazine.

RainbowTuba9 karma

I cant imagine how you'd even start a business in the sex toy industry. Kudos to you for your success, you're a Braverman than I.

You use your job as a pickup line at bars? Alternatively, if you're married, how did your wife react when she first found out your occupation. Alternatively, if she knew before hand/helped you start it up, what's your perfect Sunday like?

chadbraverman10 karma

Thank you, but I can not take the credit for starting this business. Although I am very proud of my time here at Doc, the credit really lies with my dad and the different people who worked here throughout the last 40 years. I don't really talk about my job with people unless they ask or our curious. I don't know if it is the way I was raised, but I don't just use it as a way to open conversation. I first met my wife in college so she knew what I did before I even told her. I found out that word spreads pretty quickly. She was always very cool about it.

Askmeaboutmy_Beergut9 karma


chadbraverman11 karma

Unfortunately we don't. Something to do with Fedex and UPS, but any item you purchase through our site is shipped in discrete packaging. No company name anywhere.

cvkxhz9 karma

How'd you get into the business of making dildos, etc?

chadbraverman25 karma

My dad started the business 40 years ago back in 1976. He built the company, and much of the industry from the ground up. I started working at Doc Johnson back in high school during summer breaks. Just getting a feel for the business. Over the years I have worked in every single department here, finally joining the company full time in 2004.

Griffity3 karma

Interesting. Did your friends/peers know about the business? How did they react? And what about partners what did they think about it?

chadbraverman11 karma

All of my friends love it. I have to say that I can count on one hand the times I felt shamed by someone for what my business was. Most people love it and want care packages ASAP.

Runs_N_Goses8 karma

The way girls in porn suck dildos and seem to turn themselves on is LOL to me. It gave me a thought though, do you make flavored dildos? If not, why not?

chadbraverman14 karma

We don't make any flavored dildos, but that is a very good idea. We make a lot of flavored lubricants and oral sex gels like GoodHead, but usually customers are turned off by flavored or scented products when it comes to the actual toys.

tommycanyahearme8 karma

Do people really buy those comically large phalluses for pleasure , or are they mostly a gag gift ?

chadbraverman30 karma

While I believe that some of these are definitely bought as gag gifts, we sell way too many of them for it to be mostly that. When it comes to sex and pleasure derived from sex, we all experience something different. So what is comically large to one person might be just the right size for another.

WubbaLubbaDubStep8 karma

Is it sometimes hard to take your work seriously? Is there an underlying humorous vibe to your business?

I just have a hard time picturing a meeting with the graphic designer of your R&D team proposing a new, ultra veiny wobbly sausage and no one at least having a chuckle...

chadbraverman11 karma

We have a lot of fun here. I think personally I am a little jaded to it at this point, I just don't know any different. But sure we laugh a lot, we have a lot of fun in development meetings and coming up with product names is always hilarious. But everyone here takes their job and the company very seriously too. Going back to being an American manufacturer, we employ over 300 people and I don't think anyone here takes that lightly. I think there is a pride we all share in taking part in something that is bigger than ourselves.

burritobandido5 karma

Who is the Dildo Sword Fighting Champion? Please tell me that is a company picnic event.

chadbraverman30 karma

No sword fighting champion yet, but I am the undisputed Dildo Baseball Champion!

OmarGuard5 karma

Do you have a stylist or designer who tries to keep your products fashionable and relevant?

Also how do you go about testing your products to make sure they're 100% safe before you send them out?

chadbraverman12 karma

We have a complete R&D team, art director and graphic designers, as well as product development team that keeps our products, art and ideas relevant. Obviously it is important to us that our products meet the function first. Form is very important, but these products need to function above all else. In regards to testing our products, all of our materials are tested and all documentation, MSDS's etc, are given to us before anything is produced in our facility. We also maintain QC checkpoints at every stage in the process.

Rebsy_Reviews5 karma

Do you plan on making more silicone toys in the future? Do you plan on making more performer molds out of silicone?

chadbraverman3 karma

Absolutely. Silicone is the material of the future for sure. Cost is still an issue though, so we don't move anywhere near the same volume as our other materials. In regards to the performers, female performers are usually produce in our TPE UltraSkyn because we are replicating the vagina and creating a stroker from that. As for males, we have created some product out of silicone but because male performers have the tendency to be quite large, their products recreated in silicone can be very expensive.

chadbraverman4 karma

Just letting everyone know that unfortunately I have to stop at 3:30pm because we are celebrating all the October birthdays here at Doc. This has been a lot of fun, get any questions you have in soon so I can answer them. Thanks!

cheluche3 karma

How do you test your products?

chadbraverman9 karma

It really depends on the product, but always the best way to test something is to really use it. We have a full team here that is willing and open to trying products and reporting back. I test the products I can test. We have a network of friends that also help us. Again, with sex being so personal, we only rely on testing for certain issues. One gets one person off is not always the same for another.

fullbeard93 karma

Where do you see technology taking the industry in the next decade? More of the same old same or venturing into uncharted territory?

chadbraverman9 karma

I always refer to our industry as a piggyback industry, because while we are not going to necessarily going to invent a new technology, we are very good at utilizing different tech that works for our products. In the last couple of years that has mostly been through bluetooth enabled products that users can connect to an app or even to another user. I think connectivity is going to be the future. Whether it is to your partner, or a group of partners, or even VR options which I think we are just beginning to see the future of.

ShuggaCheez2 karma

Do you have to contract manufacturing to anyone else? If so, is it difficult to find someone who will actually do the work considering the nature of the product?

Also, was it difficult to get insurance? I can imagine some carriers not wanting to have their name associated with a product like this.

chadbraverman3 karma

We contract certain aspects of our manufacturing, for instance our copper molds. It can be very difficult for us to find partners willing to work with us. It has become a lot easier as our industry as become more mainstream and also a few years ago when the economy shit then bed, we were still doing well and companies needed the work so they were willing to take on business they normally wouldn't. Insurance is the same thing. Banks won't take our money, etc. I'm a weird way I prefer it though. I don't want to give you our money if you don't want it.

arcosapphire2 karma

How do new shapes get designed? Computer modeling, sculpting? Is there a sort of engineering simulation to help figure out what shape would work well for certain stimulation, or is it basically knowledge and guesswork?

chadbraverman3 karma

We design a lot of our products in CAD programs and then 3D print them in house to get an idea of size and scale. But we also do a lot of clay sculpting as well because of how many realistic products we make that can not be created in a CAD system. With a lot of products basic knowledge is enough to create the product, but some products do require a better understanding of anatomy to insure the product will function as desired.

warhawk18562 karma

Is "Maria the dildo dipper" a real job in your company?

Edit: clarity

chadbraverman5 karma

It is a real job in our company. It is also our company in that picture. But I always hated that meme. Not only because it was posted without her consent, which is the biggest issue, but also because of the notion that her job is shit. I never understood that.

CowFartsKillPlanet2 karma

Which dildo is made of the softest, squishiest material? Asking for a friend...

chadbraverman3 karma

Our UltraSkyn is the softest material you can find. It is an elastomer based material. The dildos are made with dual density so they are harder on the inside. Our strikers/masturbators are single density and very soft.

majik89d1 karma

Who shot your video?

chadbraverman1 karma

The amazing team at herman-scheer.

blarghusmaximus1 karma

Why are you not manufacturing in china?

chadbraverman11 karma

We do manufacture some of our product in china. There are products, like vibrators for instance, that we can't afford to produce in the US. But our stance has always been if we can make it in America then that is what we want to do. We prefer to control the product and the quality every step of the way.

Iocronik1 karma

How often do you get told "You're a Braverman then I"?

chadbraverman13 karma

In my life, maybe once. In this thread, 5 times.

Tucooo1 karma

You mentioned in another comment about how your father started the business. Uh, the whole passing it on to you, what approach did your father take? Or was it more initiated by you and your passion for the industry? Just, can't picture a conversation about this over a dinner table, lol

chadbraverman4 karma

It was pretty natural. When I started working at the company over the summer his approach was that he didn't care if I worked at Doc or no, but I had to work. So I figured why not work for the company. I thought it would be a lot of fun. I never committed to joining the company until I was about half way through college. I was interested in business in general and always felt that unless there was something really calling my name, I would join the company. I started full time 12 years ago and worked myself up from the purchasing department through different departments in the organization. Creative and product development really lead me to where I am today which is CCO/COO.

gayret1 karma

I discovered silicon and never went back. But it can melt in contact with certain substances. Tell us about the science behind dildo material, any exciting breakthroughs?

chadbraverman6 karma

So if your product is 100% platinum grade silicone then it should not melt. The only thing that silicone toys do not like is silicone lubricant. That will have an adverse reaction and could mess your product up. So we always recommend using silicone product with water based lubricant. Dildo material is at the best place it's ever been. We are able to mimic human flesh, as seen in our ultraskyn, TPE materials. We just had a huge breakthrough in silicone dual density as well. Last year we released a line of product called TruSkyn which creates a soft silicone with a firm core, minus the tackiness found in all the other dual density silicones on the market.

yololoi1 karma

How important is R&D to a dildo company? I kind of always wanted to know.

chadbraverman2 karma

R&D is crucial to our business. Not only for new, unique and exciting items but as a manufacturer they are influential in our processes and increasing our efficiencies. I don't know that we could be a leader in our industry or even survive without their ideas.

MesMeMe1 karma

Have you ever dipped into using your own product or are you strictly a dealer?

chadbraverman10 karma

I get high on my own supply.

kneo241 karma

Are the people who work in your factory pretty down to earth people? What I mean by that is, working with sex toys all day, there has to be comments that are not only getting stale, but toe the line, or even cross it, in terms of what is deemed "acceptable".

Furthermore, how do you guys deal with sexual harassment in these cases?

chadbraverman6 karma

Like in any company people come and go, but right now we have an amazing team. Everyone here is down to earth and very invested in the companies goals. Being in this business we have to be very careful that nobody ever feels uncomfortable. We are in a sexual business by nature, but the conversation can never be directed at any one person. We are very aware that the line here is a lot more invisible then it is in other companies. When we are in meetings we are talking about sex, sex products, how something will function or be used, but we do not ask that anyone must talk about themselves or their sexual preferences with relation to the product or the conversation in general. I think we are more aware and on top of this than other businesses are just given the nature of our industry.

Ryot450 karma

Thanks for sharing, What state are you based in?

chadbraverman1 karma

North Hollywood, California.

StoviesAreYummy-2 karma

A lot of your toys are made from pretty shitty materials that aren't very nice and are definitely not body safe. Why is that and will you ever ditch them?

chadbraverman7 karma

This is a good question, because unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions out there in regards to materials and whether or not they are "safe." I imagine the material you are referring to would be PVC. I can only speak for Doc Johnson, but I will also refer to the industry as a whole. We only use body safe materials. Our PVC is completely phthalate free and safe to use. But it is a porous material, so we always recommend cleaning it and storing it properly, which you will find on or inside our packaging. Our elastomer is the same, but in general elastomer is a better all around material than PVC is. And we specifically started our silicone department 5 years ago so that we could offer our customers the best material on the market. One of the major reasons we continue to fight every day to keep our manufacturing in the US is specifically for control over our materials. But I can tell you that this has been a hot topic and something that is important to a lot of companies in our industry. We are spending a lot of money every year in independent testing just to make sure that nothing has changed without us being aware of it. As I mentioned in one of my earlier answers, silicone is still very expensive, from a cost perspective, and therefore it does not move the same type of volume. We strongly believe in silicone as the future, but until cost can come down some more I do not see other materials being ditched.