Market Overview

5 Startups (Almost) Selling Sex

A new female-founded eCommerce startup called ManServants offers an alternative to male strippers: attractive male servants to wait on customers hand and foot.

The man servant isn’t an escort, and the services offered do not include sex. But the website does allow customers to pick out the guy’s look, conduct and duties -- whether it’s being the designated driver, serving drinks at a party or carrying home the groceries.

Companies have been using sex to sell products for a long time, but ManServants is just one of a new wave of sex-themed startups relatively new to the market.  

While ManServants isn’t selling sex itself, the idea is present. Here are four more startups that swing the same way.

DOWN

Formerly known as Bang With Friends, this startup has an app called DOWN that connects to Facebook (although promises not to post anything) and allows users to swipe through their friends list. They can choose to either “get date” or “get down.”

Similar to Tinder, DOWN won’t alert the other person unless the choice is mutual between both parties. Recent updates have allowed users to also browse friends of friends.

Although this startup is based on looking solely at physical attractiveness, its founder claims that he wants it to empower women.

Related Link: 5 Companies That Are Empowering Women

Say It With A Condom

Tired of old-fashioned, washed-up marketing techniques? So is this startup. Say It With A Condom provides “an alternative marketing platform to advance strategic messages.”

Create your own custom condom wrappers out of regular, foil or matchbook-style packaging. There’s also an option to shop pre-made designs, which include “I’m kind of a big deal” and “Hey, I just met you & this is crazy…”

The startup was founded in 2008, after its founder saw huge success in putting the likenesses of Barack Obama and John McCain on condom packaging with the message, “Remember The Election With Your Next Erection.”

Ashley Madison

This is the Internet startup for having affairs. Ashley Madison bills itself as the “world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.” It was founded in 2002 and claims to have more than 11 million members in 15 countries.

Users start by selecting their interests from a dropdown list (attached male seeking female, male seeking males, etc.), and are then taken to a page where they create a profile. From there, the process is similar to a regular dating website, where users browse profiles and connect with those who strike their fancy.

Related Link: Banana Republic Creates 'Startup Guy' Look

Ashley Madison also has a blog that features articles like “Men Not Bothered by the Idea of Wives’ Infidelity” and “Neighborhood Affairs: Where in Kansas City do the Cheaters Prosper?”

MakeLoveNotPorn

Serial entrepreneur, TED speaker and U.S. branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty advertising firm founder Cindy Gallop likes to date younger men, according to Fast Company.

She launched her startup, MakeLoveNotPorn.com, as a counter to porn being used for sex education among younger generations. The website says that it is not meant to judge and not necessarily anti-porn, just that it is intended to “help inspire and stimulate open, healthy conversations about sex and pornography.”

"It used to be that maybe a kid found his dad's Playboy magazine," Gallop said in an interview with Mashable. "Now, it's 8-year-olds who don't go looking for porn; they're shown a picture on somebody's cellphone in the playground, or they Google 'penis' and they're one or two clicks away from something they never expected to find — it's really innocent." 

Posted-In: Ashley Madison DOWN MakeLoveNotPorn ManServantsMovers & Shakers Startups Tech General Best of Benzinga

 

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