'Something in your luggage is... vibrating.' The secret life of a sex-toy designer.

After Taslim Parsons sends her kids off to school for the day, she heads to work, just like a lot of other mums. But her workplace is a little different to the typical office – next to the pens and notebooks, it's not unusual to see a sleek aqua sex toy sitting on a nearby shelf!

Tas is the founder of Share Satisfaction, a luxury adult toy brand based in New Zealand, which she created in 2020.

"It’s a fascinating job and I love each day," Tas tells Mamamia.

But how exactly did a Wellington mum-of-two become the mastermind of such a business?

Watch: Men explain women's sex toys. Post continues below.

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"Before Share Satisfaction, I worked at Parents Centre New Zealand, a parenting support and antenatal education charity, where I met lots of women who had issues after pregnancy and childbirth," Tas explains. 

"Those conversations were open and very revealing to me. When I left there, it made sense to me to continue that work and help everyone who wanted to explore their sexual wellness."

Which is exactly what she did, taking a role at large-scale adult pleasure and sexual wellness distributor, Wholesale Solutions. There, she developed a passion for helping other women find pleasure. And after many conversations with retailers, consumers and her own circle of friends, she found a gap in the market for luxe products that were actually affordable.


"Many brands also talked about 'getting off' rather than sexual wellness and health," says Tas. "That’s really important to me and I believe that we’re in a privileged position to make a real difference to people's lives. So we decided to launch a range."

The entrepreneur had a head start on starting her own line: insider knowledge on what works for the people. 

"I knew what was popular with retailers. But I also had an idea of what I like and what the people I know like, so I started to talk to manufacturers around the world about their ranges," says Tas. 

Far from your average 9-5 job, running an adult toy business involves all kinds of different tasks, and as such, Tas has become a jack of all trades.

"There honestly isn’t a typical day," she says. "Depending on our manufacturing and promotion cycle, it can be talking to manufacturers about a new range or product, or completing compliance work for our lubricant and condom ranges. 

"We’re really serious about the quality of our products and so those processes take up a good chunk of my time."

As perhaps expected with this line of work, there are some *bonus perks* of the job. Testing the products is one of them, and certainly brings new meaning to the phrase "mixing business with pleasure"!

"Testing – it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!" Tas laughs. "Testing is fun, and one of the best parts of my job! We get a lot of samples sent to us from around the world, so it's not always possible to test everything myself. I have a trusty team of testers that get products to try and give feedback on.


"[The products] have to feel great to use, so we test for good vibes!"

Meanwhile, you might be wondering what Tas' kids think of all this. After all, it's not every mum who designs sexual wellness products. 

"We've always been pretty open about sex, sexual wellness, and not been overly embarrassed by those conversations," says Tas of her 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

"My children have been super supportive about what I do. They were 10 and 12 when I started doing this job, so the conversations were a bit different at first. I asked them what they knew about Mum's new job after my first week or so, and my daughter rolled her eyes and said, 'It’s adult toys Mum… I know what that is!' My son responded, a little confused, 'What, like trains?' We laughed and it's been fine since then.

"They’re proud of the work I do, but it did get a little awkward for my son once when his friends decided to google each other's parents!"

As you might imagine, being at the helm of a sex-toy brand does come with the occasional awkward moment out in the wild, too – though less so for Tas, and more people around them who don't quite know what to think when, say, a vibrator goes off in a public space...

"I travel a fair bit with a suitcase full of products, so I often get funny looks when they ask me what’s in the bag," shares Tas.

"One particular time that stands out was when I had returned from the UK, and was transiting through Auckland to get to Wellington. I had put my bag in and gone to the lounge for a wine while I waited. I received a call from check-in asking if I'd just come in from Shanghai, and had I just checked my bag in. 'Yes,' I said, 'I did.'


"They said, 'M'am, something in your bag is vibrating.' I laughed and said, 'Oh it’s a vibrator – don't worry about it, the charge will die eventually.' They were so embarrassed and said that, no, I would need to come down to check-in. So off I went, to open my bag and turned off the 'device', and I have never seen anyone look so embarrassed as the guy and girl that were waiting for me!"

Vibrator airport mishaps aside, Tas is dedicated to making the sexual wellness space accessible and enjoyable for all.

"It's been a journey, but I’ve learned so much about production, design, safety and manufacturing," she says – although the design and creation process isn't what drives Tas. Her real passion is getting out there and sharing her products with potential customers, and creating buzz (sorry, we had to!) around the range of toys.

"I just love going to expos, talking to retailers and meeting people, telling them about our range," Tas says. "I’m a salesperson at heart and my happy place is out in the market.

"I also love going to trade shows and seeing all the new developments that are happening in our industry. It's all moving so fast and is incredibly exciting."

The mum-of-two also has another agenda: encouraging an open conversation around sex, especially when it comes to helping young adults foster a positive relationship with sex.

"It's getting people to understand that this isn't something sleazy, dirty or something to be ashamed of," she says. 

"We are all entitled to a fulfilling sex life, whatever that looks like for each of us – whether that's solo or with a partner/s."

Feature image: Supplied. 

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