This article originally ran in the January 2017 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition.
Want to be more adventurous and athletic in bed but don’t want to end up in a neck brace? Try some sex furniture, aka “Porniture.” Sex therapists highly recommend sex chairs, couches and wedges to their patients because they make women feel more comfortable and less inhibited. The chairs tilt the pelvis and support your back and neck, so you can have sex like you’re in a porn movie without being hauled out on a stretcher. The new sex chairs are designed to look like “real” furniture, so you don’t have to frantically hide the thing in the closet right before your mother-in-law comes over.
A Brief Oral History of the Sex Chair
The history of the modern-day sex chair can be attributed to King Edward VII, who visited a Parisian brothel as a young prince in 1864 and ended up having a threesome. The pervy Prince ordered a chair for his next visit and the “Siege D’Amour,” or “Love Seat,” was born. Edward’s fun new chair was a real “shaggin’ wagon,” engineered to assist with positions previously unattainable to anyone not in the circus.
The sex throne lives on and a replica is on display at the Sex Machine Museum in Prague, a museum of “mechanical erotic appliances, the purpose of which is to bring pleasure and allow extraordinary and unusual positions during intercourse.”
It also made brief appearances at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris during an exhibit on the history of prostitution, and at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. A second reproduction of the chair can be found in the “Edwardian Room” on the Upper Floor at bondage porn studio Kink.com in San Francisco. On a recent visit to Kink’s fetish porn studios, I saw the chair during a tour of the studio’s bondage sets. The set decor was Downton Abbey meets S&M dungeon with intense torture devices, framed oil paintings of people getting tied up, “spanking benches,” and a wall of really fucking scary whips and chains. The chair, I was told, is “the best seat in the house.”
Liberator: 'The Greatest Invention Since the Bed'
The idea of the sex chair hasn’t changed much since then, and today sex chairs double as outdoor patio furniture, and become a couple’s secret porniture. Liberator has led the way for more than 12 years with their wedges, ramps and cubes made from foam rubber gone wild.
When George Clooney’s character in the Coen brothers film Burn After Reading breaks up with his girlfriend, he takes a piece of sex furniture called “The Liberator Ramp” as if it’s the only thing he wants to keep from the relationship.
The company calls their products the “greatest invention since the bed” and have inspired many knock-offs since then. One of the original Liberator products, the Cube, is a square piece used for doggie style. The idea of this thing is to lift the “dogee’s” ass up for proper rear-end penetration. An employee from Liberator’s massive flagship store in Atlanta told me that some of their employees road tested the cube, and once word got around that it worked, employees began coming into work reporting that they “got cubed last night.” He also told me I “could reach a new level of oooh.” The company now has another product, the Flip Ramp, which can be used as a square pedestal shape or can be opened up into a ramp for reclining positions. (For information, see Liberator.com.)
The 'Essence of Sex' Chair
Kevin Jensen, an architect and contractor in Northern California, thought about designing a sex chair that would look undetectable in his indoor/outdoor home. “It was a better aesthetic choice than the stripper pole my wife wouldn’t let me put in the living room,” he says. The Revel “Essence chair,” a cross between Danish and California mid-century modern, was conceived in his garage. “When I finished the prototype, my wife and I just threw a blanket on it and had sex right there in the garage. Afterwards, we knew we were on to something.”
The chair was engineered with a rolling mechanism that allows it to move up and down, which helps with the ol’ in and out. It moves and grooves thanks to a sliding rail and ball bearings. Jensen’s first customer was a neighbor, an ER doctor who appreciated the chair’s ergonomic and therapeutic design. His second customer was a prince in Dubai. (The chairs are big in Dubai now.) Jenson’s California neighbors call him “the sex chair dude.” (For more, go to RevelFurniture.com.)
The Sexy Tantric Sex Chair
The “Tantra Chair” is made to “enhance the lovemaking experience by changing the angle of the pelvis and simplifying the execution of hundreds of positions of The Kama Sutra,” say its makers, Zen by Design. They promise the chair will facilitate “various positions previously difficult to achieve.”
The wavy curvature creates “lower back support and spinal alignment.” The company started out by making meditation chairs for Deepak Chopra, the Dalai Lama, and “thousands of Buddhist Monks,” who are still meditating on whether to get a sex chair.
Their “how it works” Tantric Chair “film” shows a couple doing it super slow, tantric style, a technique used to avoid premature ejaculation and delay orgasm. They demonstrate how to use the chair by simulating sex in various positions. The sex chair tape effectively uses sex sells advertising by combining super slo-mo soft-core tantric porn with furniture shopping. The marketing concept here is to have couples watch the tape for two minutes so they will be prematurely asking where they can get one of these things. (For more, see TantraChair.com.)
AVN Novelty Expo attendees can see sex positioning products from Liberator, Vivian Tech and Love Box. For more information on the show, which runs Jan. 18-20, see NoveltyExpo.com.
Anka Radakovich is a legendary sex columnist who wrote a groundbreaking column for Details magazine. Currently she writes for British GQ and Sexpert.com. She is the author of three books, including her newest, The Wild Girls Club, Part 2. She has appeared multiple times on TV talk shows, including eight appearances with Conan O’Brien. She is also a certified sexologist. We are thrilled to have her as a contributor. Follow Anka Radakovich on Twitter: @ankarad.