SEX TOY DAVE
Though Dave Levine, owner of SexToy.com, was born in the late sixties, a time of great social upheaval in the United States, his upbringing in a quiet suburb north of Boston was fairly typical. He was born, he grew up, he graduated high school and he set off for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor without thinking much about sex toys. His bachelor’s -- attained in 1990 -- was actually in economics.
After graduating, Dave moved to Tokyo, settling in with a Japanese family in the bustling commercial district of Shibuya, and making ends meet by teaching English. He quickly picked up Japanese and, a year later, moved on to New York City, before finally coming home again to work for his father’s vending company.
And then Dave met the internet. He’d been working in the family business for two years at that point, but even in 1994, it was obvious to Dave that there was money to be made on the web. He took a leave of absence from work and dove in, creating an online mall with little stores that specialized in selling different things. He named his company Convergence.
As the year wore on, he noticed that his sex toy store consistently did better than the others in terms of traffic and sales. Dave knew it was time to specialize, so in 1995, he bought SexToy.com from InterNIC for 70 dollars. He almost bought Sextoys.com, but he was afraid to risk an additional $70. Dave still wasn’t sure his whole business plan wasn’t a gamble: the internet was very new and new competitors were coming online daily.
But he stuck it out, working 18-hour days and learning everything there was to know about the adult novelty market. In 1996, Dave developed the first affiliate program for adult toys (see AdultShopping.com). Not long after, he added wholesale and dropshipping to the equation (see SexToyClub.com) and became a powerhouse in the business-to-business adult product space.
Almost ten years of nonstop work later, Dave decided he had earned himself an upgrade and moved clear across the country to Los Angeles. In 2005, he bought a sweet pad in the Hollywood Hills and in no time became a staple of Hollywood nightlife and -- this being L.A. -- he was soon offered a spot in a reality TV show.
Dave jumped at the chance to bring SexToy.com to a national audience. The hilarious result can be seen on the first episode of Millionaire Matchmaker, which aired on Bravo in 2008. Due to the popularity of his first appearance, Dave was asked back to find love again in a second appearance in MillionaireMatchmaker season 2, which followed in 2009. Dave was also a contestant on the ill-fated 2009 VH1 show Megan Wants a Millionaire. and appeared season 6 of Joan Rivers - How’d you get so Rich?. Dave was also a featured article in Hustler Magazine Living the High Life.
“Dave’s obviously got cute sexy girls running around him but I need him to clean up his act so that a real girlfriend will find him attractive,” matchmaker Patti Stanger decreed on the set of Millionaire Matchmaker, referring to the frequent parties Dave threw at his house. Ironically, it was one of his parties, not Stanger’s matchmaking skills, that would find him his wife. And now with 2 daughters, Dave’s house has been converted from bachelor pad to family home, and the stripper pole that made Stanger’s hair stand on end has since been replaced by a piano.