Mahler said: »I’ve been in the sex toy business for 14 years. I’ve seen lots of stuff come and go. Adapting to the disabled market came along in the last two years because that market is growing, and people are looking for toys that they can use to their advantage.«
The company’s website claims: »Since Dallas Novelty’s inception, it has grown into a mega site for pleasure products offering over 17,000 items and has a strong following that rivals some of the largest online adult retailers.«
Dallas Novelty knows that their customers are all unique and have different needs and desires. They say: »Our customers might be a 70-year-old grandmother who finally wore her old school “back massager” out or it could be a 32-year-old Military Veteran who was injured while in the sandbox looking for a way to please their lover.«
One might think that to cater to people with disabilities might be a niche market, but the opposite is true. In one way or the other, nearly 22% of adults in the United States have some kind of disability. 13% have to live with severe mobility restrictions.
Vibrating toys might be exciting for many people and the way to go for most but some people can’t feel vibrations. So Dallas Novelty is also looking for alternative and creative sex toys off the »normal« track. Mahler said: »We suggest our disabled customers use already existing toys in a different way. Disabled sex toys are the same sex toys we sell for to able-bodied customers. What makes them for disabled customers is knowing how to use them in a different way than an able-bodied customer would or even think about.«
He often recommends the Fleshlight mainly because they are effective and easy to use. Another toy he frequently recommends the entrepreneur is the Hot Octopuss Pulse III. He said: »You can just set it on [your penis] and attach it to a cock ring so it doesn’t fall off.«
He also has a soft spot for the successful Womanizer which initially was targeted to women. Some of his male customers use the versatile toy to stimulate other areas of their body though and seem very satisfied with the results.
For people like him unable to penetrate their partner with their penis, Mahler is talking highly of harnesses and strap-ons. He said: »These help an able-bodied person have sex with someone with my disease. There are doggy style straps or strap systems that hold the ankles up with ankle straps that are padded for comfort. This is a way that people can still continue to have face-to-face intercourse. We have handles with super strong suction cups that will attach to the shower walls so that people have something to hold onto.«
Mahler’s disease can’t be cured or stopped. His condition will worsen continually and eventually kill him. While it is an extremely rare condition, it is expected that 3,300 people worldwide are suffering from it. Mahler tries to stay upbeat anyhow and has a pragmatic approach to everything he does: »I see so many people that feel like they can’t do something because they think it’s too hard. But every day I wake up is a good day, so even though I’m unable to do things by myself. I don’t take any of it for granted.«
He cares deeply about all his customers but he definitely knows what people with mobility restrictions might be looking for. He is trying to reach out to them with everything he does and encourages disabled people to be inquisitive and demanding about sex. More and more shops have discovered that the niche is really a mass market. And many of them train their staff to the special needs of people with disabilities. He says: »There really is a toy for everyone. We are just working on helping customers know how to find them.«4
Dallas Novelty’s website has been nominated many times for industry awards and the company is very successful in growing continually. Mahler said: »I am so humbled that XBIZ and AVN, the 2 top adult business publications, have recognized us for our hard work and dedication to offering the best pleasure products available and the best service. We aren’t just some site that puts up a data feed and has someone drop ship for us. Every product that we offer is handpicked and we enter all the info and descriptions ourselves. In addition, we offer a lot of smaller specialty items that do not sell through distributors so our customers can find that special item that may not be available on other sites.«
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