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Grace And Frankie
Vybrant Sex Toys: The Ménage à Moi

Season 3 of Grace and Frankie on Netflix is now available starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. In the finale of Season 2 Grace and Frankie announced that they were about to embark on starting their own sex toy business which would focus on giving elderly women sex toys that would be easier to use. This well-loved show has found its way into the hearts of many with its poignant story line and thoughtful yet comedic approach to a variety of topics from aging, LGBT+ issues, death and even environmental and health topics.

So how does the new sex toy adventure go in season 3 for Grace and Frankie? Not as well as one would hope.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.


Spoiler Alert

Fantastic Season With Amazing Focus On Important Topics

In season 3 Grace and Frankie create a brand called Vybrant that is going bring to market such things such as vibrators, condoms and perhaps even butt plugs. The first product they focus on is the fictional Ménage à Moi vibrator that is supposed to be easy to hold for those elderly women with arthritis and features a large, bumpy phallic shaped jelly handle that has a glow-in-the-dark control. Throughout the season they find challenges in marketing it in an underserved market and find themselves facing competition from a company that is knocking off their product. Marketing sex toys in mainstream media are no small task and marketing them to elderly women is something that is an uphill battle.

Vibrator In Show Not That Revolutionary

The Ménage à Moi vibrator is actually nothing revolutionary in the real world of sex toys as there are already products that far surpass the features of this fictional product from ergonomic handles, controls that light up that are lightweight and powerful. Beyond that, their product does not achieve additional features that many of the real life sex toys offer these days with nontoxic, phthalate-free materials, USB rechargeable charging, waterproof submersible features, remote control, Bluetooth app compatibility and special functions that allow users to create their own vibration patterns. While it is a wonderful attempt to bring awareness to the sexuality of elderly women, it falls short in the reality of what advancements the sex toy industry is really doing these days.

Marketing Sex Toys To The Elderly

In the show, Grace and Frankie approach a sex toy distributor/manufacturer called Purple Orchid in hopes of becoming the "Ben and Jerry's of vaginal stimulation." What they find is that even as progressive as Purple Orchid seems they want to market the Ménage à Moi vibrator with Grace and Frankie pictured on the packaging in hyper-sexualized airbrushed photos making them appear as Grace says as looking "twelve-years-old". They walk away from the possible deal to as they put it "focus on running their old lady business" on their own terms and work on appealing and sexually empowering women they feel they can identify with in regard to age and sexual health issues.

Social Taboos With Sex Toys

A rather interesting episode is when the girls have a friend who offers to bring a woman's group over to provide feedback on their new product no knowing that the product is a sex toy. As it turns out the friend brings her bible study group or as they are called in the show the "bible thumpers" which makes for a rather uncomfortable sales pitch. In private after the Christian group acts disgusted, they secretly reveal they are interested in the product. In this day and age of Tupperware style sex toy parties with over 80% of American women actually already owning a vibrator it shows that there are still circles of people that are embarrassed to discuss sexuality in an open manner and it was certainly addressed in a positive way. And yet it seemed like with such two strong women in Grace and Frankie that more could have been said about sexual empowerment and the need to embrace sexuality in a healthy way during that particular episode.

Vibrator Jealousy

In another episode, Frankie's son Bud's girlfriend uses the Ménage à Moi vibrator and he seems a bit jealous initially of the pleasure she receives from it. Bringing up vibrator jealousy was an excellent point to bring up as often users of sex toys worry that using one will make their partner feel jealous. Certainly, vibrators are effective tools, but women who use them are not fantasizing about vibrators when they use them they are fantasizing about their partners. Sex toys do not replace sexual partners they simply can make things more fun just like icing on a cake. Bud is later encouraged to have it used on him and from the sound of it, he rather enjoys it as well showing that sex toys are also fun for men and couples together.

The Rip-off (Hydrox vs. Oreo) By Omni

In the show, the girls run into some problems of a competitor called Omni who knocks off their Ménage à Moi vibrator and legal issues pursue. This is actually a very real issue in the adult novelty industry and something sex toy manufacturers face not just from other manufacturers but from the companies that produce them in countries like China, Malaysia, and Taiwan who are using 3rd party selling sites to reach customers directly. Knockoff products are pretty common and the problem for consumers is sometimes they are made with cheaper parts and even toxic materials and while they think they are getting a good price they are actually in some cases paying for something that may break in a short time or even be bad for their health.

A Novice Mistake

One novice mistake Grace and Frankie make when packaging the Ménage à Moi vibrators is putting their brand name Vybrant on the labels. If you are in the sex toy business you know that sending sex toys DISCREETLY in the mail is one of the most important things in keeping customers happy.

 



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