After working in the sex toy industry for over six years, there comes some monotony when encountering new sex toy designs. Oh, a purple dildo? A dime a dozen! A medium-sized butt plug? Been up my ass a million times! Another rabbit vibrator? Boring, give me something new!
The first time I stumbled across the Starsi toy by Cute Little Fuckers, I literally gasped out loud. I grinned at my computer and Starsi grinned back. Bright orange and uniquely shaped, this toy didn’t look like anything I’d ever come across. Upon further inspection, I was delighted that the Starsi was designed with multiple bodies in mind. “Transfemme vibrator seekers with genital dysphoria tend to enjoy Starsi for Starsi's ability to cover genitalia with a gently curved vulva-like feel, allowing us to map new genitalia and euphoria in our own mind.” OKAY!!!
As a trans person, I can probably count on one hand the number of times trans bodies are mentioned in sex toy descriptions—it’s refreshing to see. While many sex toys can be used by folks of multiple genders, there is something radical about stating upfront how trans bodies can use and enjoy sex toys.
Calling Cute Little Fuckers’ toys playful is an understatement. Each toy is bright and colorful, has a cute little face, and even comes with a charming backstory that makes them feel like friends. I needed to learn more about this company and got in touch with founder and creator Step (they/she/he) about their eccentric sex toys.
VICE: Cute Little Fuckers is a really, really unique company in a sea of sex toy companies! What’s the vision driving Cute Little Fuckers?
Step: Cute Little Fuckers is all about making sexual expression as accessible and inclusive as possible. On the accessibility side, I myself have chronic health issues and limited mobility in my hands, so I designed all the toys to be used in a variety of different ways with all sorts of different physical abilities in mind. Emotional accessibility is also a huge part of it. By making toys that are as fun and playful and lighthearted as possible, they help people overcome those emotional hurdles that society puts onto us [when exploring] our sexuality. Inclusivity is extremely close to my heart as well. I identify as genderfluid, pansexual, and polyamorous, [plus my] health issues, so by society's standards, I'm a pretty radical individual. I think sexual expression is a human right and especially is needed for those who haven't really felt part of the narrative so far. I really want Cute Little Fuckers to reach the hearts of as many people as possible, and help them learn about their sexual selves and feel the goodness that they want—and deserve—to feel.
Hell YES. I feel like your Jix toy is a great example of a Cute Little Fucker toy that prioritizes accessibility. One of the first things I look at when it comes to sex toys is how they’re held. As a frequent self-fucker, any toy with a handle quickly becomes top-drawer material. One of the best things about Cute Little Fuckers is the playfulness in the toy designs: the faces, the names, the story behind each character. Do you hope these designs help bring play into the bedroom and why do you feel that's important?
Absolutely. The world of sex toys, and oftentimes sex and sexuality in our culture, can feel so serious. That seriousness can sometimes be great. And sometimes I feel like it comes from the emotional weightiness of the pressures and traumas we have with sexuality in our world. So creating toys with so much fun and play in them, I think, can allow for amazing transformational experiences for people. I believe fun and joy are actually some of the most transformative feelings. Through that, we can find freedom from those pressures and challenges and actually fully experience and express ourselves.
When I made this company, one of the stories I kept playing in my mind was imagining someone going into a toy store to get their first [sex] toy and seeing toys and going like, "well, I don't know, that one looks intense, so I don't know about this one," and then seeing a Cute Little Fucker and going, "I could do this." And since we've started, I can't even count the number of people who have actually shared exactly that story.
When I first played with Zeep, I remember reading its backstory and thinking how seamlessly the narratives of each Cute Little Fucker toy blend with the descriptions for use. While we know sex toys in and of themselves are genderless and can be used with a multitude of bodies, I know too well how gendered and cisnormative this industry can be. In what ways are your toys designed with queer and trans people in mind?
So many ways! Our toys have their own names and pronouns, and the pronouns for our toys are all over the spectrum, showing all sorts of different gender experiences and even relationship structures. This, right off the bat, gives so much visibility to people with a wide variety of experiences. And having toys that actually share your gender experience can be incredibly fun and euphoric. Occasionally, people call Cute Little Fuckers a gender-neutral or gender-free sex toy company, and I just can't help but feel like that's totally missing the point. We are absolutely gender abundant, and it's that abundance and freedom that actually creates inclusion.
On the design side of things, all of our toys are explicitly designed to be used in a variety of different ways. For example, all of our insertable toys have a flare at the base that can be used in any hole, and are all easy to hold at many angles. Several of our toys have included in the design process experiences with dysphoria that are different from my experiences. I really feel like inclusivity and versatility are intertwined, and so I try to include as much variety as possible in every single toy.
Can you tell me more by what you mean by designing toys that are different from your experience?
Without a doubt, some of our toy designs can be directly drawn back to my personal experiences as a queer, trans, and disabled sexual being. But my experiences alone don’t capture the wide variety of experiences out there in the world and in my community! Which is why I’ve heavily involved people with lived experiences, needs, and desires outside my own from initial conception through design testing and beyond.
In fact, the design of many of our most popular toys, including Starsi, emerged only after and directly from conversations with people having different bodies and identities from me expressing needs that, honestly, I was previously totally unaware of. I am so grateful for the many amazing people who have had the love and trust in myself & Cute Little Fuckers to share their intimate needs, desires and (maybe most importantly) frustrations so that we can build toys that are actually serving our community.
What is your favorite Cute Little Fucker toy and why?
This is such a hard question. It's like asking a mother to choose their favorite child. and I'm totally going to answer it. Shh, don't tell all my babies. I would say Princette Puppypus has a lot of love and sentimentality for me because they're the first toy I designed and prototyped. I love the way they easily fit in my hand with my physical abilities. I just have so many memories with Princette and so I have so much deep love there.
As far as my favorite toy to use, it's actually our newest toy, Shimmer. I love the shape—it's really fun and excellent for prostate/G-spot stimulation. The size is very welcoming and accessible for beginners, and because of that, it also doesn't require as much workup as a lot of other toys while still creating a lot of fun sensations. I love the ears... or fins....it's hard to say with monsters, but they make it extraordinarily easy to grip and very satisfying to hold. I think Shimmer is extra adorable, if I do say so myself.
What is one thing you wish people knew about Cute Little Fuckers?
The first is that we are queer- and trans-owned, and I think that's an important thing to emphasize, especially in the world we live in where supporting companies within our community makes real change. I also want people to know that Cute Little Fuckers is for everybody. It's clear that my fellow queer, trans, and disabled community are at the top of my mind when designing these toys, but that doesn't mean that these are only toys for people who identify in these ways. If you are queer and trans, this is absolutely a home for you. And if you're not, this is also a home for you. We have so many amazing community members who identify in different ways—asexual, queer, cis, trans—all sorts. We've had our toys brought to senior centers and they've absolutely loved them. We've had married couples have these toys bring so much joy to their lives. When I say "inclusive," I really mean it as expansively as possible. This is for everybody.
Head over to the Cute Little Fuckers website to check out the brand’s line of smile-inducing, gender euphoric sex toys.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.