Those of you of a nervous disposition may wish to turn away now.
During yet another bout of insomnia, I was doing some early morning channel surfing, and came across a documentary about a company based in Bath that is a major distributor of sex aids.
One of the charms of the programme was that the female staff were a bit mumsy (I mean that as a compliment). Another was the broad west country accents. And there was an awful lot of laughing in the offices and on the shop floor of the massive warehouse.
By ‘massive,’ I mean mahoosive. This is big business. I’m not sure when the show was made, but in the year previous they’d turned over £170M. That’s quite a lot of money, isn’t it? But here’s the best bit. They have a tame statistician to check out who’s doing what to whom where so they can grow the business.
Most statisticians are a humourless lot, a bit like accountants but without the charisma, but this guy was eccentric to the point of odd, and he really loved his job. He reckons that if you’re into gimp masks, ball gags, and handcuffs you could do worse than relocate to Wilmslow, which is the UK’s Bondage Central. The place you may want to not live if you like a bit of playtime in the bedroom is Doncaster, where they seem to take things very seriously and don’t go for the aids/toys thing in a big way. Targeted marketing coming up.
This is where we can start to fool the What’s My Line? panellists, and where it gets a bit unsavoury, which may be a bad term to use now I think about it. The company has a no-quibble returns policy if you send things back within a year. I bet you’re all fidgeting a bit uneasily now, but it does get worse. The returns staff all wear rubber gloves (of course they do), but one of the male members has a job that partially consists of smelling returned underwear. That’s going to break the ice at parties when someone asks you your job, isn’t it?
One thing did puzzle me. What happens to returns that they reject? There must be a very interesting landfill site near Bath.
Next up for WML? A woman who worked in quality control whose job partly consisted of measuring the depth of various orifices on dolls (of both sexes) using a custom-made depth gauge. Amusingly this was made from a riding crop.
Last up, product development. Most of the world’s sex aids are made in China apparently, but the yokels in Bath were trying to beat them at their own game. However, the fully waterproof rechargeable vibrator was presenting them with some real difficulties. As was finding a market for a mains powered device based on the motor from a leaf blower.
By the way, the market in the US is about 1 billion smackers. But not in Texas, since that idiot Senator Ted Cruz has said you don’t have a ‘constitutional right’ to touch your own genitals. I didn’t make either of those things up.
PS Yes I know there’s a lot of innuendo, but that’s pretty much inevitable given the subject matter.