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The Net-A-Porter of Dildo Shopping Has Arrived

AHAnoir, which launched last week.
AHAnoir, which launched last week.

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The "first online-curated marketplace for upscale lingerie and sex toys," AHAnoir, has launched just in time for Valentine's Day. The new site comes from Shauna Mei, founder and CEO of the e-boutique AHAlife.

Mei opened her luxury retail domain in 2009. After noticing how successful AHAlife's Back Room tab was in selling adult products, she decided to create AHANoir—a site specifically designated for that category. In addition to its e-commerce component, AHAnoir features a network of contributors and curators who provide educational material about various sex subjects.

"I think the most important part about this industry is the education and we do that across the board. People want to learn about products before they invest and purchase," Mei, a former Goldman Sachs analyst, told Racked. "We have curators writing about the designers and products, and they explain how to participate in which areas and where to start. We've got experts on tantric sex to bondage to dominatrix. The content is there so people can Google what they are interested in, read our content and discover the products."

AHAnoir is looking to draw newcomers and connoisseurs alike. The site, which debuted last week, features high-end lingerie from designers like William Wilde, whose pieces have been worn by celebrities like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, as well as an impressive array of sophisticated sex toys from designer glass dildos by Fornicouture for $684 to vibrators from Apple-meets-sex-toy-company JimmyJane.

Faire Hommage hand cufflinks, $139.

"If women are going to buy a beautiful dress from Barneys, why can't that level of taste go for all areas in your life?" Mei said. "We're providing amazing brands for premium adult lingerie because people are looking for higher quality items. There are a lot of sex shops, especially in New York City, but many have a cheap feel, with awful neon lighting and everything is plastic and made in China. It's a very unsexy experience."

While the sex toy industry currently rings in at a whopping $15 billion, Mei said there is no website providing high quality inventory in a tasteful way. Big sites like Amazon sell sex toys, but are only helpful to the well-versed shopper.

The Simply Blown G-Glass dildo, $160.

AHAnoir will soon start featuring editor's picks for lingerie, sex toys, and jewelry, and the brand is gearing up for their New York City pop-up sale, come March.

A simple browse through the site's inventory revealed some pretty preposterous purchases, many of which left us with perplexing questions (see here, here and here). However, if you've got some extra cash, and feel like this Valentine's Day has extra sexy potential, might we suggest the $15,000 gold gentleman's ring, the $37,000 diamond-and-tulle garter, or the $500 fantasy swing.

Racked Video Archives: Behind the Scenes of a Lingerie Photoshoot