Essence caught up with Kandi for some hot and juicy sex talk:
ESSENCE.COM: What inspired you to design your own pleasure products?
KANDI: Doing the Kandi Koated Night show really started the whole sex and relationships exploration and talks for me. Then I went on Dr. Laura Berman’s radio show and I saw that she had her own adult toys that her name was on and I never knew people actually had their own brand of adult toys. It caught my interest. I interviewed with her in November of last year. In January I said I wanted to do it myself, and now it’s November again and I’ve done it.
ESSENCE: Some women are intimidated by pleasure products. What would you say to them?
KANDI: I say that they need to try it at least once because it may change your whole life. A lot of people are scared of sex toys. Why would you be scared of them? They won’t hurt you. All they’ll do is make things better. A lot of women have never experienced an orgasm. You definitely need to explore your own body. In doing so, that’s going to help sex be better with your partner. It’s weird because some people don’t even know where their actual clitoris is.
When people ask me what product they should get first I tell them, well, if you’re scared of sex toys get Kandi Kisses. It’s not intimidating. It looks like a lipstick. And then if you want to explore where your clitoris is, you’ll find a lot of great things down there.
ESSENCE: What type of woman did you have in mind when you designed this?
KANDI: I was thinking about the businesswoman and the normal everyday woman who has children. I was at a friend’s house one time – another celebrity but I won’t name names – her daughter and my daughter were playing and they went in her closet and came out like, “Mama what is this?” It was this big huge pink vibrator and I’m like, uh, this is awkward. It was like the size of a microphone. It’s weird how a lot of toys and things aren’t marketed toward women -- especially with the popularity of pleasure parties now. I was thinking it would be nice to create something that women could have and not be ashamed of. The Kandi Kisses lipstick and the Make Me Over powder puff is something women can have and feel comfortable using. If you just want to try out a toy, this line is something they can use and not be intimidated by. Doing Kandi Coated Night, my web show, I learned a lot about what people want. I found out a lot of men are intimidated by sex toys.
ESSENCE: If a woman’s partner isn’t interested in toys, then what?
KANDI: Honestly I would tell them maybe they should use the toy for him, or in front of him first. Turn him on by using it in front of him and letting him see it. Maybe he’ll laugh and get into it. I definitely would say if you have a man that is intimidated by toys, do not pull out a big huge vibrator in front of him. He’s automatically going to compare himself to it in size. Get something small. It needs to be something he can feel comfortable with and use and enjoy. No man wants another penis in the bedroom.
ESSENCE: What are your future plans for the line?
Kandi: My ultimate dream would be to have Bedroom Kandi be as big as Victoria’s Secret. I want bedroom Kandi to have it’s own lingerie, lotions, body sprays, candles – just anything to do with intimacy. We would also have the actual pleasure toys and products on sale too. I want the store to be all about the woman and feeling sexy and comfortable. That would be a dream. Outside of that, right now, I want to get them into small women-driven boutiques, like hotel lobby stores and clothing shops. I want the pleasure products industry to be mainstream. I’m tired of it being so hush-hush. If you’re going in the women’s section in a store, there should be something for us. If we shouldn’t be ashamed to go into a store and buy underwear, we shouldn’t be ashamed to get our toys.