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We-Vibe, Vibrator For Couples, May Be Coming To Your Local Drugstore

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NEW YORK -- From electric toothbrushes to razors, there's no shortage of rechargeable devices for sale in drugstores these days. Soon you may be able to add vibrators to the list.

The Canadian company behind the We-Vibe, a newfangled sex toy for couples, says it's currently negotiating with a major U.S. drugstore chain to distribute the $139 device.

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be looked at in the same wholesome category” as other upscale drugstore consumer electronics, said Danny Osadca, CEO of Standard Innovation, the Ottawa-based company that makes the We-Vibe.

“We are not trying to portray a Victoria’s Secret image,” Osadca added. He spent 30 years in the tech industry before joining Standard Innovation in 2010.

The company first launched the We-Vibe, the first high-end vibrator to be designed specially for use by two people, in 2008. It's since gone from startup to $40 million in sales, powered by the new take on the sex toy.

Currently available for sale in sex-toy shops and online, the We-Vibe is a pliable, C-shaped clip. A woman can wear it snuggly around her pubic bone during sex for a little extra buzz in all the right places, and it leaves her partner plenty of space for his or her part in the missionary, and other, activity.

So far the product has hit a happy nerve with consumers.

“This toy in particular was the answer to a question that so many sex toy shoppers had,” said Anne Semans, director of marketing for Toys In Babeland, a high-end sex-toy boutique with locations in New York and Seattle. The We-Vibe has been the store's best-selling device since 2011. "Many women came of age and thought penetration would be enough, but they found they needed a little help," Semans added.

Now, Standard Innovation is expanding into new international markets, such as Russia and South America, where a growing middle class has an increasingly liberal attitude about sex.

Osadca attributes the company's rapid success not just to its innovative design, but also the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. The erotica book has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and has not only lifted sales for the We-Vibe, but has boosted the adult-toy industry overall.

Other factors -- improvements in small motor technology, batteries, and materials such as high-grade silicone -- have led to a boom for the sex-toy industry, estimated to be worth around $5 billion globally, Osadca said.

Already mainstream brands like Trojan are getting in on sales, marketing disposable one-time use toys; the condom company's Vibrating Ring sells for a fraction of the cost of the We-Vibe. And Standard Innovation has plenty of competition from startup companies like Crave and Jimmy Jane, both of which make high-end sex toys.

But the key difference between the We-Vibe and the rest is that its image is not very sexy at all -- one reason it may actually find a place among other banal appliances on the drugstore shelf. The packaging, the marketing, even the CEO himself -- who prefers to use phrase “making love” -- are about as sexy as a blender.

"People are coming to associate it with sexual health," Osadca said.

Check out photos of the We-Vibe and other Standard Innovation products below:

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