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Nov 19, 2009

Inside the New Fleshlight Build Your Own Module

Fleshlight has long been an innovator in the sex toy industry for product and customer satisfaction. Recently, Fleshlight added to the innovation with the first customization module for a sex toy. We sat down with the man behind the magic, Fleshlight Josh, to discuss the nerd specifics about Fleshlight's New Build Your Own.

What is different about the new Fleshlight BYO compared to the original?

The old BYO suffered from a clunky, form-y, and very boring interface. With the new BYO, we drop the user into a completely immersive and visual experience; it's easier to use, you get to actually see the product as you select different options. It’s like a car configuration, but for a sex toy. The goal was to really personalize the experience so that you feel more connected to the product. All of that while also having a really cool visual playground that showcases our technical capabilities.

How do you think the consumer will react to the changes?

We hope they will find the experience intuitive, helpful, and ultimately fun, and hopefully that will translate into more customers finding themselves customizing more and more Fleshlights to add to their collections. Personally, I also hope someone sees that it's all accomplished in JavaScript (not flash) and nods their head a little. =)

What kind of advantages are there to coding the process in JavaScript rather than flash?

It’s debatable for sure, but file size, loading times, and accessibility were big concerns when the concept moved from planning to execution. Having it in JavaScript gives me more control over cache issues, meaning I can push critical changes more quickly. The code footprint itself is miniscule, with most of the weight of the app being in assets. Had this been done in flash, I think the app would have felt a bit "heavy," and it would have likely been larger in size, had a preloader (those suck), and we'd have to work out implementation with a frontend developer, adding another layer to the stack. Keeping it all in front-end code makes it that much easier for our development process.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when creating the new BYO?

Planning the whole thing - putting together the photography shot list, getting all of the images cut out, making PSDs for each angle with all options aligned perfectly, ensuring colors were correct, dealing with creative changes and input from a few cooks. The code itself wasn't too bad - I knew it needed to be very modular, so it turned out to be a decent example of a good object-oriented JavaScript app. Even though it has a lot of moving parts visually, making big changes isn't too bad at all. It was designed with maintainability in mind from the start. Internet Explorer is a bitch as always, of course, but the tweaks needed for IE were very few, thankfully. Having launched it, now we need to go back and put a layer of polish on a few things, plus try to use pngcrush and get some of these shot file sizes down as low as possible.

At what level does this put Fleshlight against other sex toys as far as online customization ability?

Aside from never seeing another "build your own" sex toy product online, I think it reinforces our commitment to giving our customers exactly what they want. I think a large portion of our customer base likes to tinker, tweak, and even totally modify the Fleshlight with all kinds of creative modifications and improvements. The BYO experience caters to that, and hopefully we'll be rolling out even more ways to customize and tweak the Fleshlight to make it in your image.

There is also now a measuring stick shown next to Fleshlight textures. Why was this implemented?

I know a lot of guys look at the Fleshlight textures and wonder how they measure up; the lotus in particular has that breakthrough point, and, come on, not everyone is going to be sticking out of the end cap. We wanted to be sure that we gave customers the most information possible so they can make the most informed purchasing decision. Having a ruler eliminates questions and lets you focus on getting the right texture for you.

So now that all the hard programming work is done, what BYO configuration is your personal favorite?

The Black case, pink butt orifice, and the speed bump texture. It should be a staple of any refined gentlemen's collection, preferably on a fireplace mantle next to the monocle and Sherlock pipe.

Check out the New Fleshlight BYO at

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