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Chad Braverman of Doc Johnson Visits KSEX

Porn Valley- Chad Braverman of Doc Johnson, home of the pocket rocket, was a recent guest on KSEX.

Lynn Lemay and I featured him on our Wednesday afternoon show last week along with Kayla Paige who demonstrated some of the Doc Johnson toys. Paige is featured on the cover of LeMay’s new movie titled How Filthy Are You? And LeMay’s company, LeMayzing, was nominated this year as one of the best new companies in adult.

According to Braverman, one of Doc Johnson’s all-time best sellers is the pocket rocket. As if that should come as a surprise. I asked Braverman how the company came up with their ideas. By and large he says product development comes out of his own twisted mind.

“Do you have people working in laboratories developing prototypes?” he’s then asked.

“We do have a laboratory,” answers Braverman. “But that’s more for our lubricants and lotions and massage oils. We have a huge facility in North Hollywood that’s about 200,000 square feet. The one thing about Doc Johnson is that we’re one of the only true manufacturing companies.

“Everybody says that they’re a manufacturer- but it’s more what we call repackaging- but if you come to our plant the first thing you’ll see is massive manufacturing machinery. We’re making products. About 75% of our items are made in North Hollywood. It’s what Doc Johnson’s known for and it’s pretty much what’s carried us for 30 years.”

“Was there a Doc Johnson?” Braverman’s asked.

“There was not a Doc Johnson,” he laughs. “There’s a lot of rumors about that name. But really the truth is at the time- our industry was taboo and not very mainstream at all- not close to what it is today. They wanted to give the company a very familiar name.

“And at the time the names Johnson and Smith were the second most recognized names in the world behind Lee- I believe- in terms of population. So they chose Johnson- which has a little sexual connotation- over Smith. Doc Smith just didn’t ring a bell. They chose Johnson and the ‘Doc’ was to give it a familiar feel. It was to give people a security blanket and, at the same time, something they were familiar with.”

Braverman feels that the company has a name that “resonates” with consumers.

“And that’s something we really protect, and we really like to keep it that way,” he adds. “Not a lot of people have that. A lot of video companies do but the novelty industry doesn’t work that way. So it’s very important for us to have that name. If you do find somebody that doesn’t know Doc Johnson, they definitely know what the pocket rocket is.”

According to Braverman, the “Rabbit” is another well known sex toy generally associated with the company.

“In terms of movers, that’s also up there,” he says. “The Realistic Cock” with the suction base is another well known item.

“We have a saying- this is what signs our pay checks,” says Braverman.

“That item is one of the originators of the company. It’s always imitated, never duplicated. Everybody’s knocked this off in the world.”

According to Braverman, “The Realistic Cock,” came not from an actual casting but a clay mold.

“The castings came a lot later when we started signing exclusive contracts with stars from different companies.” Braverman says the company’s two biggest contracts are with ClubJenna and Vivid.

“Basically we’re exclusive with their products so every girl they sign to a contract will come in and go through three or four castings- we do castings of the mouth, the vagina, the asshole…”

“Do you do just balls?” I ask Braverman.

“One of my friends brought his girlfriend recently and all she wanted was balls,” Braverman laughs. “We have balls but they’re not sold that way.”

LeMay imagined that Braverman couldn’t be much older than the company. He said the business has been with him his entire life.

“The company’s older than me actually- I’m under Thirty,” he said.

“You probably grew up running down the aisles where they were making these vibrators,” LeMay suggested.

“I was kept away from it- for a little while,” Braverman answers. “When I was young I didn’t want people getting the wrong idea about what my family did. More so than anything- parents saying you can’t hang out with him because of what his family does. There’s probably dildos all over the place in their house. That couldn’t have been further from the truth.”

“Everyone in the industry knows we have a light that’s shined on us from the public outside,” he went on to say. “Really, when you come in we’re the same- if not more normal- than most of them out there.”

LeMay said she’d love to set up a camera in one of the Doc Johnson testing rooms.

“There must be some interesting testing going on with girl trying out the new vibrators and dildos.”

“We don’t have a testing room- sorry to disappointment you,” Braverman laughed.

“We do have a very large- about ten people- R&D department. But one of the philosophies at DJ, company-wise is that anyone can come in talk to us from anywhere in the facility: I think we can do this to make products better. Nothing’s off limits, and there’s no silly idea when it comes to adult novelties. Because what floats my boat might not float yours, or hers. Everyone has the ability to come in and really pitch something.”

Both LeMay and Paige offered their services as guinea pigs.

“Has there been anything that didn’t work?” LeMay asks.

“Good question- yeah, definitely,” said Braverman. “For any number of reasons. We only have so many capabilities at our plant.”

Braverman said even some of the “losers” were winners in terms of the press the company gets.

“Even if it’s not a long term seller we get our name out there.” Braverman says, especially, the bigger items- size wise- sell very well in Europe.

“European girls have bigger vaginas,” Paige suggested.

Braverman says there’s probably about 1,000 different items in the current DJ catalogue.

And DJ no longer offers movies although back in the day the how-tos were amazing sellers, according to Braverman.

“But we never updated them- they just sold on their own. Then, to be honest, up until DVDs, we sold them and they just died. Then we blew them out at one point and never updated them because we couldn’t compete. So many people had already done the masturbation videos and you can get them on Amazon at this point. But, no movies. We have enough to worry about.”

LeMay also mentioned the fact that Doc Johnson is the sponsor of all the films in the LeMayzing catalogue.

“Every toy I have Doc Johnson supplies.” LeMay went on to say that good, ongoing business relationships are the way companies can help one another out.

“It’s kind of come full circle where those relationships are going to come back into play,” agrees Braverman. “Too many people from the outside have just saturated it with movies and product. It’s getting crazy. We’ve had too many articles printed about how much money we were making. Other people started going wait a minute, how come I’m not involved?”

Braverman went on to mention how the company releases new items during January and July trade shows.

“We release anywhere from 100 to 150 products at those shows,” he says.

“It’s a lot of hard work and multi-tasking on different products. And packaging is a very big thing with us. We take it very seriously. We don’t design generic boxes that could be used for almost anything. We really design based on who’s our target audience, what color the item is, what shape is the item, what’s unique about it. And then we relay that to our art department. We have meetings every month about where we want the packaging to go.”

With anti-dildo laws as crazy as they are in some states, I asked Braverman if the company has experts assigned to testify in court cases should the need arise.

“We really don’t,” says Braverman. “And I would say knock on wood. At this point our biggest legal issues have been more like name registrations or trademarks.

“Things that maybe we infringed upon that we didn’t know about. A crazy one was with Lexus- a Vivid girl. Obviously we put her name on all our products then Toyota came in. They got her too and we were in line so we had to change all of our packaging as she changed her name to Lexa. A year ago we had something about batteries. They weren’t our batteries but it ended up in court.”

“Was it that porn girl named Rayovac?” I ask Braverman.

With dildos in some states being treated on the same level as dangerous weapons, Braverman felt that people who put up the biggest squawk are the ones you need to worry most about.

“They’re a little bit too repressed for me,” he comments. “It’s unfortunate. I thought culture would catch up quicker than it has. But I think everyone in this room would agree that we’ve taken a giant step backwards in the last eight years. I think sooner or later we’ll win the win. We’ve lost a lot of battles in between. But I’d like to be optimistic about it.”

“I think the main problem is that you have one side where the acceptance has gained, but at the same time the resistance has gotten stronger,” Braverman continues.

“The problem is the people who are accepting are not vocal about it. They like it. They participate in it and they don’t frown upon it. It’s the ones that resist it that are vocal. And they’re loud and they get their voice out there. They get rallies and they get this stuff that you read about on the news and see on the Internet. We’re the other side of the coin; we don’t do that. I think it’s one of those things where you just hear one side more than the other.”

Asked if he ever hears from the crazies, Braverman said luckily he doesn’t.
“I think that people are a little more interested in the movies when you’re talking about the public.

“I think when they talk about what’s obscene they go more towards the movies than towards the novelty section. But I read all the mail that comes into our website and luckily we don’t have crazies. Which is good because I get scared easily. We haven’t had that type of vocalism.”

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