XXX in Tech

Boink Box is Birchbox for Sex Stuff, Natch

A box for your box!
 Boink Box is Birchbox for Sex Stuff, Natch

(Photo: Boink Box)

With so many monthly subscription goodies available for everyone from women to men to dogs, it was only a matter of time before the XXX Internet purveyors issued their own version of the subscription model. Say bonjour, mon amour to Boink Box, a new take on subscription ecommerce that’s a little sexier than the traditional lipgloss and eyeshadow fare.

Boink Box, which officially launched about two weeks ago, curates highly-rated, high-quality sex toys from wholesale suppliers and ships them to you monthly in a pretty little box. You can choose to receive products for men, women or both, and every month a box of vibrators, massage oils, glow in the dark body paint or whatever else the Boink Box team finds acceptable will arrive on your door step, ready to be used for sexy time.

The whole model curbs a lot of the embarrassment of actually physically shopping for things at a sex shop, which–yes–still makes some of us with Catholic upbringings flush a rosy red. Boink Box also promises “discreet packaging and billing,” which is a relief, because no one wants “Recurring Monthly Dildo Fee” to show up on their bank statement.

While perusing the Boink Box site for information to write this post, an IM box popped up purporting to be from Chris Dumas, the founder of Boink Box. “My name is Chris and I am the Founder of BoinkBox! I am real and not a Robot! Can I help you?” it read. Skeptical, we shot back, “Really?”

“Yes!” he assured us. When we told him we’re a reporter, he gave us his phone number–we dialed hesitantly, praying to not get a pay-per-minute phone sex line. But within 60 seconds we were on the phone with him. Welcome to The Future

Do you chat with people on the site a lot or was that just a freak coincidence, we wondered?

“I always leave it open and try and chat with people,” Mr. Dumas told us. Only at a startup!

So how did he get into the business of curating and shipping sex toys?

“A month and a half ago, I went adult shopping and I thought it was a really awful experience,” he admitted. “The stores have some very educated and informed people, but online it’s just ad words and price hunting for the best price on some toy. But what I really wanted was a fun shopping experience which has a surprise element, so that me and my wife could totally have a date and here’s our box.”

“I compare it to the CSA where you get the locally grown vegetables,” he added. (We tried not to picture cucumbers.)

The San Francisco-based Boink Box seems to strike a good balance of appealing to adventurous buyers, while also giving the kink-averse among us a chance to experiment.

Still, we admit that we spent the majority of time researching this post slumped down in our chair attempting not to break out into embarrassed hives. Furry fetish toys do tend to have that effect on some people.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com