How are Sex Toys Made? with Kenton from FunkItToys

Aug 21, 2019

Dr. Liz is joined by Kenton from to talk about how he got into manufacturing and designing sex toys. This was first seen on

You can find Kenton on all social media @FunkItToys


Dr. Liz Powell: What should we know about sex toys and how they’re designed? I’m Dr. Liz from Sex-Positive Psych.

Kenton: And I’m Kenton from Funkit Toys.

Dr. Liz Powell: I’m so excited to have Kenton on. So Kenton runs his own sex toy company. And do you want to talk to us about like what Funkit does and how you got started?

Kenton: Yeah. I got started – I kind of just fell first face first into sex toy design like I was pursuing like I got the Plan Parenthood Sexuality Education certificate and I was just going to all the conferences and learning about sex stuff. And then I had this partner, I like had opened up my relationship and I had this play partner who is into butt stuff, be it like spanking or renal or whatever. And I didn’t have any toys for that. So I did some research and I found one and I was like, “Stripping time, 7 days.” And I went, “I don’t want to wait that long.”

Dr. Liz Powell: [Laughter]

Kenton: So I made – I cut a lot of wood and then I got an idea and I made another one, figured out how to like make them with less material waste and put the handle on the side like how you hold kitchen knives as like this or you’re pinching the blade here.

Dr. Liz Powell: Right. Right.

Kenton: And the handle falls into your hand like that.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: And so I started making the handle on the side because that felt good and [0:01:08] [Indiscernible] to me and how I hold things. And that partner since left because I was new to poly and very interested in like how we were going to define what this relationship was and they just didn’t really want to be a part of that and very rookie mistake.

And so, I kept that paddle thing and for a while I did wooden paddles and I really wanted to work with silicon. So I started messing with silicon in November of that year and then my main partner broke up with me and I suddenly had all sorts of free time. [Laughter] And was like let’s …

Dr. Liz Powell: The breakup project.

Kenton: It was not a good relationship like it was kind of emotionally abusive so I suddenly like had all this energy from not maintaining a whole another person’s mental health on top of my own.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: And I threw that at Funkit Toys and design stuff and got that started that April.

Dr. Liz Powell: Amazing.

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: And I have – I don’t own yet a Funkit toy and I have looked at the website with lust in my eyes many a time.

Kenton: We should get a custom one to match your hair.

Dr. Liz Powell: Oh my God! A custom – well, but which hair though?

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Because I had all the different hairs, right?

Kenton: So you just keep coming back.

Dr. Liz Powell: Just keep coming back. [Laughter] There would be lots of new ones.

Kenton: You tend to keep like kind of a blue and purple and some green …

Dr. Liz Powell: That’s true. Yeah, blue and purple, some pink, like that’s – yeah, I’m a cool person, definitely a cool poly. Yeah. Yeah. And so, Funkit does high quality silicone toys.

Kenton: Yeah. It’s FDA certified through Grade Platinum Silicone so that’s tested in ethyl alcohol, acetone oil, and water. If anything leeches out then it wouldn’t be good for your digestive system so you can’t make like food grade molds out of it. All the silicones that you encounter, there’s not like a special blend that I know of any way that’s for sex toys. They’re blended and tested for specific purposes, be it – a lot of the softer silicones that people use in sex toys are tested to be skin safe because they are for special effects, makeup, and prop making. Like the same stuff that you’ll see like DamnAverage or like Xenocat Artifacts, those kind of companies making their toys out of. That’s the same thing like if you saw the Harry Potter movie where he breaks his arm and it’s all fluffy, same material.

Dr. Liz Powell: Oh my gosh! I have no idea.

Kenton: Yeah, probably the exact same company.

Dr. Liz Powell: I have no idea.

Kenton: Does a whole lot of that stuff.

Dr. Liz Powell: Wow!

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Wow! That’s so cool. So something that I don’t know that I don’t know that I’ve talked about in my channel is the importance of body safe toys. And I think that’s such a scary phrase in some ways because it implies that there are like body unsafe toys.

Kenton: And there are.

Dr. Liz Powell: And there are, right.

Kenton: And it’s not great.

Dr. Liz Powell: So, why are there sex toys that are not actually safe for your body? Like how does this come to be?

Kenton: Sex toys are not regulated by any government and industry which on the one hand means that people can make them out of whatever they want. But on the other hand means companies like mine can produce products without paying like 5 to 100 to $300,000 for testing. So there are some benefits and drawbacks of that. Regulation comes with other issues. But for a long time, we haven’t known about the safety of materials. And a lot of people who make toys out of unsafe materials like at this point, they know. They’ve pretty much moved away from phthalates as a plastic softener. But plastic science is pretty new and there is still a lot of stuff that we’re figuring out.

So I’m sure a lot of it initially was like there is a new material that’s soft enough and it can replace the latex rubber dildos that were reinforced with a spring and kept stabbing people in the vagina. Like the whole – it’s …

Dr. Liz Powell: No!

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Oh God!

Kenton: No. Those were a thing.

Dr. Liz Powell: Oh God!

Kenton: For a long time. It would be like weird like PG tone [0:05:02] [Phonetic] latex with like a metal spring in it and over time, the latex would degrade and it would come apart and there’s that little point metal spring in there.

Dr. Liz Powell: So gross.

Kenton: So yeah, having crappy like PVC, soften jelly rubber was for a time an upgraded but now we have silicone and silicone is decreasing in price and I don’t see a reason why we need to continue with that.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: There are more and less safe plastic softeners. They’re even more in less safe phthalates. But in general like TPR GB thermoplastic rubber or thermoplastic elastomer, they mean the same thing. Toys are porous and can absorb moisture and can absorb like fungi and bacteria and stuff. So …

Dr. Liz Powell: Gross.

Kenton: … silicone is going to be better.

Dr. Liz Powell: I don’t want that in my body.

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: So it’s a consideration that has become more and more popular and is really, really catching on. And I’m happy to see way more companies doing fun silicone stuff because one of the cool things about silicone for me is it’s really easy to like pick up and work with. You can mix two parts together and as long as you have a scale and a spatula and a bucket basically, you can make silicone. There’s going to be like more skills and stuff to make a good toy like you have to know the anatomy and stuff and what you like and how to design for that. And that’s just like going to conferences and taking sex ed classes and all that stuff that I was doing before I started this. But it’s like – it’s relatively accessible to like start doing. Whereas …

Dr. Liz Powell: And I think the classic example of that is like to Clone-A-Willy or clone a pussycat.

Kenton: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s very …

Dr. Liz Powell: That like they gave you some dental alginates and like you just like get a mold of something and mix up some silicone and toss it in.

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: Yeah. Alginate is a really easy, smooth on, makes a good safe one that doesn’t have any like loss un-fun silica which can be not so great for your skin.

Dr. Liz Powell: That would feel not good. Yeah.

Kenton: Yeah. But yeah – no, it’s pretty doable to get into like I am – I definitely had some advantages going in. I had been messing with 3D printers and my dad was a 3D printer hobbyist before I got started with this. So I perverted that device before getting my own.

Dr. Liz Powell: I mean perverting things is what the game is all about, right?

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: It’s all about perverting different things.

Kenton: Yeah. And like I’ve been doing digital design in one form or another free stuff like I started messing around with 3D design programs when I was 13. So …

Dr. Liz Powell: Wow!

Kenton: Yeah!

Dr. Liz Powell: Awesome.

Kenton: So that’s 15 years of relative experience. But there are free programs where you can download the program online and like coders who just really love the idea of being able to code anything and just having project. Just either donate their time to making like a Photoshop analog or other like free design programs.

Dr. Liz Powell: So cool.

Kenton: And you can download them for free and like donate if you want to. And yeah, it’s relatively inexpensive to like really figure out how to do. You just have to put the time into like learning the program and stuff.

Dr. Liz Powell: And I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about like silicone toys or high quality body safe toys is that they’re all expensive. And that was true for a while. Like getting a silicone toy for a while was really expensive. But there are a ton of affordable things on the market these days like you have the NoFrillDos.

Kenton: Yeah. Yeah. When I first like really got really started designing the toys and realized how much I was going to have to charge for them to make it like reasonably profitable and make a living on it, I really wanted to figure out how to make a super low budget silicone toy because like I did the math. I knew it was possible just like the blended silicone I used. It’s clear and if things go wrong, you can tell. So there is like a failure rate problem. There is the cost of that silicone. So I found a less expensive silicone like the one I usually work with, the FDA certified food grade. The other silicone I make the NoFrillDos out of, it hasn’t gone through any of that testing. It’s just – it’s designed mold making and you don’t need to put it for expensive testing to just make a mold out of it.

But in my previous career as a chef, I learned to read eating material safety datasheets so I go through all that stuff. There’s no OSHA warnings that aren’t like don’t get it in your mouth. It’s weird. No like, “This is known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects.” There are no ingredients in it that are known to be unhealthy so it’s fine and I can get it for cheaper and it cures way faster. So using what I’ve learned about mold making and the style I do, I 3D print the molds inside of a hard plastic mold that everything comes out of, which is different from how most people do it.

Dr. Liz Powell: That is really different. Yeah.

Kenton: Yeah. Most people do a silicone mold and use a mold release to keep it from turning to each other.

Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.

Kenton: So I figured out how to design toys that would be easy to pull out of that mold. So the silicone cures on half an hour. I can pour six of them at a time and then mess around on some phone game or do my accounting and then 25 minutes later I mix up another batch, pulled the toys out while they’re in the vacuum chamber and pour more silicone in.

So like most of it is like I can keep with the demand of a lower budget thing. It doesn’t have the same failure rate. It’s a less expensive silicone. It’s just that perfect storm of like me figuring out over like two years how I was going to be able to make something that would be affordable.

Dr. Liz Powell: So cool! And what is the price on your NoFrillDos?

Kenton: $24.

Dr. Liz Powell: $24! Amazing.

Kenton: Yeah, for all three. They’re all about like roughly 5 inches long, a little bit around like 1.2 to 1.3 inches wide. And yeah, it’s like a fairly reasonable size for an intro dildo for someone who liked would go into a store and maybe buy a jelly rubber toy but then look and see instead of the safer toy being $40, $50, $70, if it’s $24, that’s less of an upsell.

Dr. Liz Powell: I mean I have a $150 dildo.

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: Because sometimes I want a Cadillac in my pussy. [Laughter] Just saying. So Kenton, where can people find more about Funkit? Where can they find more about you?

Kenton: I was covering [0:11:35] [Phonetic] all the branding research before I did the naming so I’m @FunkitToys everywhere. I have My logo is a little bit deliberately misleading. The hand is turned sideways in it. So I also have registered. It will take you the same place.

Dr. Liz Powell: Nice.

Kenton: Yeah. All those places. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Instagram. I’m @TugandPlay [0:11:55] [Phonetic] on Tumblr but I don’t go there.

Dr. Liz Powell: OK.

Kenton: Yeah.

Dr. Liz Powell: All right. Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

Kenton: Yeah, thank you for having me. This is awesome.

Dr. Liz Powell: Happy to. All right.

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