Vocativ published an article celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sybian: »A family-run business in rural Illinois reflects on how its famous product has changed with the times.
Dave Lampert is a husband, father, and rural Illinois farm boy. He is also the creator of what may be the world’s most storied sex toy: the Sybian, a 22-pound, saddle-style appliance equipped with a gyrating, rotating dildo and clitoral stimulator.
Inspired by the complaints of infrequent orgasms he heard from women in the instructional dance classes he taught, Lampert launched the Sybian through a titillating cover story in Penthouse Forum magazine in December 1987. Quickly, the massive gadget would come to upend the small but growing sex toy industry.
Thirty years ago, sex toys were pretty simple and hard to find; it would even be a few more years until the Jack Rabbit vibrator came out. Given that the sex toy market is today worth $15 billion and is flooded by an endless variety of tech-enabled gizmos, what is most remarkable is how popular and unchanged the Sybian remains to this day.
The December 1987 issue of Penthouse Forum featured a cover story on the Sybian
“Plug into the ultimate joy ride,” the Penthouse Forum article enticed, featuring the first-person account of Jessica West, a writer who first saw the Sybian on display at a swinger’s convention and chronicled her experience trying it out before it went on sale.
“We launched quietly, without much advertising and not knowing exactly how the Sybian would be embraced,” Lampert, now in his eighties and recently retired, told Vocativ in an e-mail through his daughter, Bunny, who helps run the family business at its farmhouse office in rural Illinois. What would later follow could only be described as Sybian madness.
Within months, the thousand-dollar-plus machinery would gain an outsized reputation in the adult entertainment community — and later, in a more mainstream world after live Sybian demos became a regular feature on the Howard Stern Show. Lampert himself even appeared on the radio show once, coaxing a pornographic actress through what she estimated to be about 15 or 20 orgasms in less than five minutes. The Sybian received its first and only New York Times mention in an article about the radio personality. (…)
Over the decades, the cultural cachet of the Sybian has only grown, despite growing competition and innovation within the sex toy market. Today, advancements in technology have led to handheld sex toys that can thrust independently, stimulate oral sex, make “come hither” stroking motions, but still, the Sybian remains a big name. Surely viral “safe for work” videos of celebrities, porn stars, and everyday women riding the Sybian to orgasm while attempting to perform tasks like Christmas caroling and reading haven’t hurt its reputation, either.
>According to Bunny Lampert, the Sybian has been shipped to 80 countries around the world, and sales have only increased year-over-year since 1987, excepting mild downswings timed to the 2008 financial crisis (she declined Vocativ’s request for exact sales figures). Employees who make the Sybian in Monticello, Illinois, work every day that UPS ships.
The biggest change in 30 years, Bunny Lampert said, is society’s increasingly open and sex positive attitude, which has influenced how the company talks about its product — at least, in some settings. (…)
The Sybian — named for an ancient Greek city associated with luxurious living — costs over $1,300 not including its many special attachments.
While a cheaper competitor with a similar design called the MotorBunny emerged in 2015, reviewers say it’s louder and less powerful. (…)
“The Sybian allows you to really experience pleasure in sort of new and novel ways, which can help facilitate orgasms,” she said. (…) This kind of intense, highly-controlled experience may also play a role in why the Sybian has become increasingly popular in porn in recent years. On Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular porn “tube sites,” there are now over 2,200 adult videos featuring the masturbation aid. Searches for “Sybian” have also shot up since Pornhub first launched in 2012, according to the company.
As with most porn trends, it’s hard to say for sure why some things become popular. Ruby suggested Sybian’s recent rise in popularity on tube sites might reflect a growing backlash to the porn being produced today.
“Since the industry has gotten as large as it is now, the intimacy level between the performers has dropped, so you really don’t see real orgasms, not like you used to,” she said. “[People] want to see real orgasms. When you find your favorite performer’s Sybian scene you can pretty much guarantee that’s their orgasm.”
Bunny Lampert, who frequently attends events as a Sybian representative, concured.
Dave Lampert, with his daughter Bunny, received the Adult Video Network’s lifetime achievement award in 2016
“I’ve noticed that the Sybian’s really popular with camgirls, who can interact with the people watching them,” she said. “As some of the camgirls rise to the top and get a huge following, they can spend the time and have those real orgasms. It’s a different kind of connection.” (…)«