This Family Started the $15 Billion Sex Toy Industry

Ron Braverman founded sex-toy maker Doc Johnson in 1976.

November 25, 2017 10:00 am
Ron and Chad Braverman, who run a sex toy industry.
Ron Braverman (L) and his son Chad Braverman, owners of Doc Johnson, a California-based sex toy company, pose for a photo in their factory showroom in Los Angeles, California, May 23, 2016. Doc Johnson is the largest maker of vibrators, massagers, strokers and other R-rated gadgets in the United States, making a staggering 75,000 sex toys a week -- many lovingly finished off by hand, to employ a phrase largely redundant in the high-tech world of "intimate pleasure." / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Ron Braverman founded Doc Johnson, the largest name in the adult novelty industry, back in 1976, when talking about sex toys was still taboo. He is currently the CEO of the company and his son, Chad Braverman, is the COO. The company has put out over 2,500 different products, reports FortuneThat’s about 100 new adult novelties per year.

About 500 people work at Doc Johnson, creating, molding, packing and shipping some 75,000 products per week, reports Fortune. The company is the largest producer in the adult novelty market. The New York Times reports that the sex toy industry makes about $15 billion globally.

According to Fortune, Doc Johnson focuses on the mainstream market and keeps a majority of its manufacturing in the U.S. The company recently launched a “Kink” line of products in order to jump on the bandwagon of 50 Shades of Grey and take advantage of the growing interest in fetishes.

For a long time though, Chad and his sister Erica had no idea what their father did. When it became known, the kids suffered through some teasing. But Chad said that when he reached college, the fact that his dad made “rubber penises” made him “the coolest person around.” The company is still a family business, but they have some employees who are not blood-related who have worked there for 20, 30 or even 40 years, reports Fortune. 

Sex toys have just gone from being a hidden object to top of the shelves at convenience stores. Private equity firms are beginning to notice, Fortune writes. But to date, no company have come close to knocking the Braverman family out of the top spot.

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