Adam & Eve Celebrates 50 Years In The Sex Positivity Industry

Adam & Eve turned 50 years old in 2021, making it the longest-running sexuality company in the world. Here’s a fond look back.
Red Bokeh Background With Adam & Eve Celebrating 50 Years Logo

If you ever needed to buy a vibrator discreetly on the internet, you’ve probably heard of Adam & Eve. 

The company turned 50 years old in 2021, making it the longest-running sexuality company in the world.

Since the beginning, Adam & Eve — and their parent company PHE, Inc. — have been committed to creating an open dialogue about sexual health and education for half a century.

In this article, we’ll talk about: 

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Everything Adam & Eve hub, an in-depth and evolving resource that comprehensively explores and reviews all aspects of sex toy retailer Adam & Eve from their discreet billing and shipping practices, to discount codes, free gifts, and products they carry.

Adam & Eve’s 50-Year History In Business

Everything began in 1969 when Adam & Eve’s late founder Phil Harvey was a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill.

For his master’s thesis, Phil theorized that people would purchase more condoms if they were able to buy them discreetly through the mail.

This might not seem like a big deal now, but once upon a time, it was illegal (and a federal offense) to sell condoms by mail, thanks to the 1873 Comstock law that defined condoms as “obscene.”

(On a similar note, even vintage vibrators weren’t openly marketed as sex toys until the late 20th century!)

Once his ads hit the college newspapers, he became so overwhelmed with orders that he started his first catalog selling condoms, sex toys, and lingerie in 1971.

Adam & Eve’s Timeline

  • 1973: Adam and Eve mailed its first catalog, becoming the first mail-order sex toy company in America.
  • 1989: Phil founded the nonprofit DKT International to provide high-risk communities with access to safe and reliable birth control. Today, Adam & Eve donates 15% of its yearly profits to charitable endeavors.
  • 1992: Adam & Eve sued the Justice Department for violating the First Amendment, allowing Americans continued access to mail-order adult products.
  • 1999: Adam & Eve opened its first franchise store, which was followed by more retail stores in the U.S. and expanding overseas.
  • 2006: Adam & Eve began to give more focus to goodwill efforts such as Habitat Houses, food drives, blood drives, community cleanup, and access to free condoms.
  • 2021: Adam & Eve continues their philanthropic efforts with donations to the Special Olympics, disaster relief, and children’s hospitals.

In 1986, armed local law enforcement agents raided Adam & Eve’s offices. Phil Harvey faced multiple indictments for obscenity, which he fought for six years.

After suing the Justice Department, he successfully won his case in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This wasn’t his first legal battle in the fight to protect our right to have access to sexual aids or contraceptives, however.

Between 1977 and 2007, he challenged courts multiple times to ensure the protection of people’s rights and privacy as it relates to sexual activity.

Although Phil Harvey passed away on December 2, 2021, at the age of 83, Adam & Eve’s core mission continues on in his stead.

Key Facts And Stats About Adam & Eve

50 years is a long time for any company to be in business and Adam & Eve has certainly stayed busy.

Over the course of 50 years’ time, Adam & Eve has fulfilled 56 million orders including: 

  • 20 million vibrators
  • Over 600k gallons of lubes and oils
  • 14.4 million condoms
  • 21.8 million dildos and stimulators
  • 3.3 million masturbators

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A Look At Adam & Eve Today

Aside from getting dildos to us ASAP whenever we need them, Adam & Eve is one of the largest local employers in its hometown. PHE’s massive three-story office is located in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

So, what does Adam & Eve look like at 50 years old?

  • Adam & Eve has been a privately held company for all the years it’s been in business
  • As of 2021, 97 franchise stores were operating across the US; with 102 projected to be open by the end of 2021
  • There are 342 employees (full, part-time, and seasonal) and the business saw record sales throughout the pandemic
  • An average employee has been with the company for around 10 years and it’s not uncommon for seasonal employees to transition to full-timers
  • 25% of Adam & Eve’s leadership is part of an underrepresented group (e.g. female or people of color)
  • 60% of the company’s employees are women
  • 30% of employees identify as people of color and some identify with more than one non-white race

We talked to Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., who told us why she accepted the role of resident Sexpert at Adam & Eve.

“We shared similar values around sex positivity and the need to offer accurate and accessible sexuality education to the masses,” she said when explaining the reason why she chose to work for Adam & Eve.

“I want people to know that Adam & Eve is committed to more than toy sales,” she continued. “They are committed towards promoting sexual health and education.”

She said that this education empowers their buyers, giving them the knowledge that enables them to enjoy their sexuality — along with the toys they purchase.

How Adam & Eve Gives Back

When you think of Adam & Eve, you might imagine scrolling through their top-rated rabbit vibes, but they provide so much more than sexual pleasure to the masses.

In addition to their history of sex positivity, Adam & Eve is committed to giving back to the world.

Adam & Eve employees raise money each year for charities such as Make-A-Wish, Habitat for Humanity, schools, shelters, and many more.

Its parent company, PHE, doubles the amount of money raised during these drives and it was named Business of the Year by the Hillsborough-Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

Phil Harvey’s charity, DKT International, is regarded as one of the top AIDS prevention and family planning organizations in the world.

Through its continued efforts, the nonprofit has helped to lower infant mortality and improve family health in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Why Shop At Adam & Eve?

When it comes to quick, easy, and discreet shopping for adult products, there’s nowhere better than Adam & Eve. They offer all kinds of discounts and give away lots of free gifts with orders.

The company ships orders in plain boxes and bubble mailers so your purchases remain totally private. They even keep your credit card and bank statement discreet in the process!

Adam & Eve is the only adult retailer to accept no-questions-asked returns on sex toys under their 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.

If you should ever experience an issue with an Adam & Eve sex toy or other product, customer service can be reached toll-free at (800) 765-2326 or [email protected].

→ Read more about Adam & Eve’s discreet shipping, packaging and billing.

In Conclusion

Although Adam & Eve is the perfect place to shop for fleshlights and every manner of sex toy, the company has been unstoppable — with no end in sight.

The company revolutionized the adult toy industry in the 70s and even went all the way to the Supreme Court to protect our First Amendment rights.

Whether Adam & Eve is promoting healthy personal pleasure and sex-positivity or goodwill efforts all across the globe, cheers to 50 years!