Sex Toy Piracy Is a Huge Problem, Says Porn Guardian

Sean Gallup/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Okay, so yes, the headline for this post sounds a little bit hilarious, especially if you personify Porn Guardian instead of thinking of it like the organization it actually is. Setting aside the unintentional humor for a moment, though, sex toy piracy is no laughing matter—and it’s so bad that measures are finally being taken against it. According to an XBiz report, anti-piracy group Porn Guardian is launching a new Product Piracy Pilot Program this weekend aimed at curtailing counterfeit sex toys. Since 2009, Porn Guardian been working towards stopping piracy in the content side of the adult industry, hunting down and removing bootleg DVDs from sites like eBay and Amazon; they discovered during the course of this work, however, that bootleg sex toys are getting to be a major issue, leading to the creation of their new program.

Porn Guardian co-founder Peter Phinney told XBiz, “Through that endeavor of policing the online sales and online auction sites for counterfeit goods, we began to see more and more instances of what looked like patent and trademark infringement of pleasure products — specifically toys whose brands we knew that appeared to be knocked off and offered as genuine brand name merchandise but at drastically reduced price points.” A number of examples, Phinney said, used brand names to sell products “made offshore with inferior components and packaging, but sold as first quality.”

The money consumers and actual brands are getting scammed out of, though, isn’t the biggest problem; it’s the fact that the bootleg toys are far more likely to be unsafe. According to the Daily Dot, sex toy counterfeiting takes place mostly in China, where manufacturers aren’t held to the same productions standards as their U.S. counterparts. As a result, counterfeiters often substitute materials that may be cheaper, but which also contain chemicals that aren’t safe for human consumption; they may also use substandard components. I probably don’t have to tell you that putting stuff like that in and around your nethers is a really, really bad idea. As Phinney put it an email to the Daily Dot, “Forgive me for being blunt, but would you be interested in sticking electroshock cables up your ass or onto your privates if you knew they were made in China from substandard components and not UL listed for safety?” Uh… not so much.

For the record, eBay has been a lot better about removing counterfeit items — Phinney told XBiz that the online auction site usually takes them down within a few hours of reporting them. Amazon, however, is a little less good about it, mostly because they’re a retail platform, rather than an auction site. “They don’t want to get involved in disputes between manufacturers and sellers, even if it revolves around copyright issues,” Phinney said. “I think they’re still trying to find their way through that mine field. Once we find the right lever to pull I think we’ll solve that problem. I don’t think Amazon wants to get a reputation as the place to go buy knockoffs.” So, y’know… just bear all that in mind if you’re in the market for a cheap sex toy.

Images: WiffleGif