Picture this: a tree stump, a pine cone, a mason jar vase... and a dildo? It's a landscape you never realized could be so stunning. If you love trying out new sex toys — or you're just enthusiastically sex-positive — it's time to check out the Hardware Los Angeles Instagram — stat. This photographer is taking gorgeous pictures of sex toys inserted into every day life around LA. Think dildos against beachy backgrounds, among a collection of books, and on a table next to wild flowers. The idea is to celebrate and normalize sex toys — which is so important. The more we can see sex toys as part of our every day experience, the less stigma attached to them — and the more people who can enjoy them.
"The original inspiration for @hardwarelosangeles came from my frustration when shopping for sex toys online and at brick and mortars," the photographer tells Bustle. "These objects, which are a part of my sex life, would be sold alongside things that people gave to friends as gag gifts. Crazy colors and thick plastic packaging were a turn-off for me — who wants their relationship with themselves or their partner(s) to feel cheapened or like a novelty? There are some rad female founders who are providing some great alternatives i.e. Dame Products and Shop Spectrum Boutique, but my search left me with ambitions of my own. The Hardware Instagram was started as a way to position sex toys as tools — objects that can be celebrated sex toys for their utility and functional design."
And, the photographer is even considering creating toys, too. "I'm exploring creating a line of sex toys that are rebranded as tools," the photographer says. "Simple design, minimal aesthetic, and a price point that keeps them accessible."
"I think conversations about sex toys typically have high barriers of entry — people are nervous to talk about it, but the Instagram has been a casual way to get the conversation going."
But until then, Hardware Los Angeles' is focused on getting an important discussion around sexuality going. "So far the response has been great," the photographer says. "I think conversations about sex toys typically have high barriers of entry — people are nervous to talk about it, but the Instagram has been a casual way to get the conversation going. It's fun and low key, but for me, the bigger mission of getting more people comfortable talking about sex and sexuality is what really gets me excited."
We'll have to wait and see what the company turns into, but any LA dwellers or vacationers out there should be sure to keep an eye out. From Venice to Echo Park to Downtown — there may be a dildo lurking where you least expect it.
Here are some of the beautiful pictures of sex toys in the wild. You should check out the Instagram page as well, but these are my favorites.