So SoMa

Pub date April 30, 2013

SEX The tech-y, day lit factory space of high design sex toy manufacturers Crave ( is located at Folsom and Eighth Street, so of course the innovative, pronged vibrator that industrial designer Ti Chang is showing me doubles as a USB storage device.

“I can’t imagine a better city in the United States to do this,” Chang tells me, ushering me past the way-cool 3-D printer, laser engraver, and laser cutter the company uses to build its line of pricey vibrators (besides motors and batteries — difficult to source affordably from this country — the vibes are made and assembled right there in the SoMa space.)

Crave’s full line-up. Please note vibrating nipple clamp lariat necklace (top)

Assembly line. Bottom left, a contraption meant to test the vibes under water pressure

Chang launched the Crave line on Valentine’s Day with business partner Michael Topolovac after a wildly successful crowdfunding venture, accomplished without the help of Kickstarter, which eschews sex-related campaigns. They hosted a “build a vibe” workshop that allowed customers to see just how “safe and lovely it is when these [toys] come together,” she says.

The line is beautiful, made to appeal to women put off by more vulgar devices. The “Duet” vibrator features two prongs meant to surround the clitoris, and can deliver a powerful, silent range of vibrations. It’s USB rechargeable, and its base comes in stainless steel or plated with 24 karat gold, in the case of the model that also houses 16GB of data storage. (“That’s for the uber jet setter,” jokes Chang.)

I can’t remember what this machine does. Shapes metal?

Crave’s resident teddybear

Chang’s designs are so gorgeous you want to show them off — and you can. Crave’s “Foreplay” jewelry line (which is made in China) doubles as accessories. The “Droplet Necklace” is a lariat design featuring two graceful silver weights that can be affixed to your nipples, and set to vibrate.

Titillated? Crave is one of the local businesses hosting a factory tour through SFMade Week — go see how pleasure is built.


May 9, 4-5pm, free

1234 Folsom, SF


“Porn 2.0: Creating Adult Content for Online Consumption” Wed/1, 7pm, $10. Feelmore510, 1703 Telegraph, Oakl. Roxxie Cyber teaches you about the best way to convert that sex tape to rock-hard… dollars.

“I Masturbate” Through May 31. Opening reception: Fri/3, 7-10pm, free. Center for Sex and Culture, 1359 Mission, SF. Down for a gallery show of positively sexy people masturbating? Of course you are! As bonus, photographer Shilo McCabe is willing to wager more displays of this nature are key to improving society’s openness about our sexuality. Now you’re perving with a purpose!

Thong Protest Sat/4, noon-2pm, free. Jane Warner Plaza, Market and Castro, SF. Toe the line of legality at this demonstration against the recent nudity ban, where thongs, jockstraps, socks-on-your-cock are the recommended dress code.