actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Per Request: I Was A Dildo Engineer AMA

Jan 30th 2013 by VibratorEnginee • 33 Questions • 1974 Points

I spent a summer building, testing, and assisting with designs on small vibrators, AMA. By testing, I mean that I performed a number of experiments on materials, motors, and variable resistors.

edit 3: I think the most important thing you can take out of this is that if you are to buy sex toys, please do some research and go to a shop where the staff is knowledgeable. This is important so that you can learn about the material the vibrator is made of, and get to hear how loud the vibrator actually is.

edit 2 After being on reddit's front page, I feel like I understand Kanye West a little more.

That was a joke

edit: Going to bed now, I will answer more questions tomorrow. I sent the mods some evidence and am awaiting a response.

Q:

Which government agencies regulate dildo safety?

A:

FDA, just as you would expect. ISO for manufacturing.


Q:

are you proud of making many women around the world happy? or is it just another job?

A:

It was great because I was 21 at the time, however my boss had his PhD in Mechanical engineering, and was particularly sad about his plot in life.


Q:

Out of curiosity, do you know how much he was making? I mean, sex sells and engineering can be incredibly lucrative. I can understand if it was more a matter of pride, being a Ph.D and making sex toys, but still.

A:

To be honest, I think he was making 75k, which is not terrible by any means, but entry level programmers (Bachelor's or not) in SF make 85k, so it is hard to compare. If you have a Mechanical Engineering degree, there are a lot of better options.


Q:

I have previously worked in a "lifestyle Product" establishment and know how important it is to be conscious of the materials used for sex toys.

Was the company you worked for scrupulous on ensuring a safe material product (100% silicone) or was it one purely concerned with the money involved in an under educated market?

A:

So we were scrupulous about this, and a number of my test involved checking the manufacturer for degrading quality. We would put every batch in a 130 degree oven to test for obvious material changes (it was amazing how often the "silicone" part would just melt). This was still a new division, so I do not know what further changes were made to ensure material compliance.


Q:

Did you ever receive samples or prototypes to take home?

A:

Yes: We had a number of cheap units that we paid to be produced, but never brought to market. These units were done by an outside engineering team and were sold to multiple companies with different branding (so no engineering secrets were lost). One of my coworkers brought a box (~20 small vibrators) home for party gifts. Apparently the women at the party were grabbing handfulls of them before leaving.


Q:

How did you get a summer job working on dildos? Was conversation with family ever awkward?

A:

Connection through my father (the other job he got me was a dishboy at an all girls' camp). When my father found out, he could not stop laughing, the same with the rest of my family.


Q:

So your dad j-hooked you up with this job? Interesting. I would've thought you would need some experience in the field before you strapped on a dildo engineer's hat. I wonder how it would have take the company to fill the opening otherwise.

A:

I had an engineering degree (summer between my Master's and Bachelor's) and was working as a junior engineer under the designers. Basically I was creating test under their supervision and providing recommendations based on my findings.


Q:

Do you put this on your resume for other employment?

A:

It was not a vibrator company, but rather a division. The company was closer to something like Proctor & Gamble, which I do put on my resume.


Q:

As a person who is very interested in this crazy industry did you have any cool stories that you can tell us ?

I'm specifically interested in watercooler tales. Like what the people who worked there had done and seen in their time.

A:

Nothing crazy like orgies or meeting testers, but this is my favorite story:

I ordered $1,000 in competitor vibrating rings on my bosses corporate credit card. American Express calls my boss, about the purchase, so he calls me in his office and puts it on speaker phone. The lady on the other hand starts off normally, asking about the purchase, until she comes to the word "cock rings". We hear her hesitate, and then stutter it out. My boss at the time, decides to ruin this person's day and says" Wait, $1,000 of what?" in which she had to repeat cock rings. He then makes her go through the list of each one to ensure that the "order was correct". As the lady from American Express reads each one off, you can hear her dying on the inside, as my boss snickers the whole time. After giving his information (mother maiden name, etc.), she then asks if he accepts the charges, in which he responds "Yes, I am having a party at my house today". The office could not stop laughing.


Q:

How has this job impact your resume/job interviews/career fairs and general response of potential employers?

A:

I tell them that I cannot talk about the products, since many of which were not released, however I will tell them that I worked on smaller motors and small consumer products doing x,y, and z.


Q:

What was the strongest motor you put in these vibrators?

A:

Hemi for them ladies in the midwest. Honestly, these were the same motors in your electric toothbrush (our findings were shared)


Q:

For one, I am very grateful that you are testing to make sure the silicon parts are actually silicon!

Was it awkward, being a (what I assume) straight male working in this kind of environment?

A:

None at all, it went from hilarious to amazing when the whole team (3 of which with PhDs) were listening to vibrators at 8 am in the morning to make sure the batch was not missing a cycle


Q:

What does missing a cycle entail?

A:

It meant that our board, which functioned as an intelligent variable resistor, had some issues.


Q:

Do you have any vibrators that can withstand the destructive power of tequila?

A:

I have a friend named Disaster Dan that I will test this on.


Q:

What was your favorite vibrator that you tested? What's the best one they made?

A:

So I liked our products, but will not tell you who that was (sorry). Beyond that, I loved the bullet. What I found with the above, is that if you remove the middle battery and bridge them, you reduce the heat in the unit, meaning that it last almost 2x as long.

I personally hated the Durex Wand because it was ridiculously loud, but apparently that is not something women care about, as opposed to engineers.

edit: I mean females who are not engineers. I really do apologize for making them sound like to separate groups


Q:

If you live in a house with roommates, having a quiet vibrator is important.

A:

THANK YOU. I was amazed by the number of vibrators that we thought were particularly poor (difficulty with constant voltage, poor battery life, overly dampened vibration, not enough dampening, etc.). Apparently a lot of girls could care less about these things, they cared more about aesthetics.


Q:

Good vibes has a volume intensity chart on the vibrators they sell, but their results seem horribly wrong after going to the store.

A:

I was pretty impressed with the Good vibes that I tested, however I was testing larger units. Do they make smaller units?


Q:

WE DO CARE! Or maybe it's because I'm majoring in mechanical engineering that I care so much... Either way, noisy vibes drive me nuts! The sound gets me out of The Zone :( Why is it so difficult to make them more quiet?

A:

It really is not, but little research is actually done in regards to vibrators. Those things are cash cows, so companies fight to get whatever they can out as soon as possible. Look for brand names, as opposed to one offs, because those will typically have on site engineering teams, vs. purchasing their vibrators from a manufacturer in China (that was how we started, and we stopped that right away).


Q:
  • Did you ever have to use a real mans junk or a picture as a reference for realistic dildos?

    • What's the biggest dildo you have designed?
A:

I only helped design small vibrators and cock rings. I tested some larger competitor's vibrators, like the Crystal Bunny, which was a lot of fun. It is always interesting how each company finds new ways to make the tip rotate


Q:

What were some of the tests you ran? Were they done on live subjects?

Edit: Also proof

A:

We did crush test on the vibrating rings to account for heavier people. Basically I built a machine to simulate two fat people fucking.

We would do lube test, trying hundreds of different types of lube on our vibrators to see what effect they will have over time.


Q:

First AMA I catch early and I can't think of a question! Damn it. Do you have a girlfriend? And if so do you mind if she tests out your products?

edit: So its not what I comment. It's when I comment.

A:

Yes, but she is not all that excited about trying out my products (or any vibrators). To be completely honest, I have never used anything I have made... sad face. She is also watching me type this.


Q:

How is it that dildo manufacturers aren't you know... out of ideas yet. I mean there are only so many different variations on the good-old garden variety phallus right?

A:

There are tons of improvements that could be made. Furthermore, certain aesthetic refinements go a long way, especially with women.


Q:

Did you get to witness any trials? That's really what everyone wants to know here.

A:

So I did not experience this, but our head of engineering was a female, so she went to the group chat for the post trials, pretending to be one of the women. She wanted to make sure that these testers were open about what they liked and what they did not, fearing that the women would be shy talking about masturbation in a group setting. She was very wrong: apparently the women said some of the raunchiest shit on earth, shoving them up their ass before picking the kids up from work kinda stuff. She left the group chat in tears apparently.

edit By head of engineering, I meant that she was Director of Engineering (all of our engineering divisions, not just vibrators), vs my boss who was head of engineering for the vibrator division.


Q:

I'm surprised that as a girl she was surprised by this, we have dirty thoughts and get ourselves off just like guys. I don't know about shoving it up the ass but there's nothing wrong with a mid-day fap.

A:

She was working with older women, and there is a tremendous difference between dirty thoughts, and expressing them in front of a number of strangers. This was a new division for them (they only started doing this 2 years before I started working there), so I don't think they fully understood who would come try out vibrators, until it happened, and everything clicked.


Q:

You need to clarify this OP: are you male or female?

It's hard to put some of your answers into context without this info.

A:

Male, and our whole team was male (6 people total, 3 head engineers, 3 junior).


Q:

How is your sex life?

A:

I can't complain.


Q:

Please explain the human trial phase. Any horror stories?

A:

So, I responded above. From my knowledge, we would give a competitors vibrator and our test unit to a group of women, who would go home and do their thing. They would then come back a week later and talk in groups about what they liked, and did not like about it. The stories I heard (I was not involved with those group talks) was pretty hilarious: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/17jmgo/per_request_i_was_a_dildo_engineer_ama/c863gkv


Q:

From any engineering perspective, what was the most valuable and most shattering feedback you ever got about one of your test units?

A:

So I did not receive feedback from the customers, except for the basic complaints like "it shocked me". This is not true by the way: Small vibrators have 3 small watch batteries at most, and typically have a voltage of 3 - 4.5 volts. If you have licked a 9v battery to see if it still has juice, that has 2x the voltage (and same amperage) as a vibrator.


Q:

Do you prefer Phil Collins-era Genesis or Peter Gabriel-era Genesis?

A:

Collins 4 lyf


Q:

do you feel like post genesis collins is as good, if not better, than genesis collins?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIVaUcE4kAM this is what i think of when i think of you.

A:

I will answer your questions with another one: Is post avengers Hawkeye better than Avengers Hawkeye


Q:

There is post Avengers Hawkeye?

A:

No, I meant the recent run....I am bad at comics, and life


Q:

Did you name your products? If so, can we please hear some of the names?

A:

We did, after baseball funny enough, but not in an obviously sexual way. I do not want to give the code names just in case.


Q:

How do you pluralize dildo? Is it dildoes? That kind of looks like dil-does. I've never had to pluralize dildo before.

A:

I don't know, I worked on vibrators, total difference :)

I would go for dildocies