PETALING JAYA, Sept 18 — When you consider going “all in” into a new business venture, probably the last thing you’d think of putting all your money into is sex toys.
That is unless you’re like Tom Thurlow who put everything he had into his new sex toy company, Ricky.
Thurlow, 29, sold his £325,000 (RM 1.69 million) home in Gloucestershire, South England, his lavish Mercedes and cashed in his Premium Bonds to launch a new range of rechargeable vibrators for women.
Despite his heavy investments, which have left him sleeping on an inflatable bed in his office, Thurlow said that it was all worth it when his hard work and sacrifice paid off last week when Ricky was officially launched.
He explained that after investing everything he had into the venture, he initially moved into his parent’s home, but they soon got fed up of him, so he decided to stay in his office instead.
Thurlow even stocks up on instant noodles from Amazon to manage his finances as money is pretty tight for him at the moment.
“I just decided, if I’m going to be in I need to be all in, I really believe in it and I’m a risk-taker, my whole life is in it,” said Thurlow as reported by British tabloid news portal Mirror Online.
“I’m happy to lose it all if that’s the way it goes, I just think that whatever happens with Brexit, people are still going to want to masturbate.”
Thurlow came up with the idea after his previous business venture, a dating website for students called “ShagAtUni”, started to dwindle.
“I enjoyed a lot of success with ShagAtUni but it started to drop off when apps like Tinder came on the market,” he said.
Instead of accepting defeat, Thurlow decided to try something else, which lead to him to the idea of sex toys.
“I thought sex toys seemed the most exciting. I don’t take myself seriously and I don’t think sex is a big deal like most people in society do,” said Thurlow.
Although he was enthralled by the idea, some people were not as accepting as he expressed that some, including his mother, thought it was a sordid project.
“My biggest critic is my mum. She just thinks it’s horrifying, but there have been a couple of people who didn’t agree and they think it’s seedy, that’s fine everyone has their opinions,” he said.
In spite of his mother’s disapproval, Thurlow spent the last three years doing research about the sex toy industry and even flew to China to learn about the production of the products.
He learnt a lot about the materials, safety and production of vibrators while he was there, as he was keen to address the stigma surrounding female masturbation.
“It’s really bizarre that a woman is judged on masturbation, I just don’t get it. Some think it’s for sexaholics,” he said.
“So many of my female friends have never tried one before, it’s just not something that they have considered for themselves.”
Though his intentions were true, Thurlow did face a particularly embarrassing moment while he was on his way back to England from China, as he was pulled in by airport security with a suitcase full of vibrators.
“It was awful, they kept asking me in broken English what it was, I was travelling on my own so it looked dodgy as hell, it doesn’t get more humiliating than it did then,” Thurlow said.
Thurlow’s Ricky range of products includes vibrators, dildos, love eggs and anal toys, as well as sex toys for men like penis rings.
He has also teamed up with other partners to offer more products, but is distinctly proud of his brand’s uniqueness because the entire range of products are rechargeable, avoiding the need to replace batteries.