Founder Spotlight: Donald Hsu of LoveNuts

Disguising taboo Products in a conservative market.

By Howard Ong

Taboo products have not always been popular and well accepted in a conservative market such as the Asian market. This is because the Asian culture is not that open to talk about taboo things compared to the western culture. Taboo conversations that are about sex are not openly discussed and are rarely talked about even in private.  Discussions about the birds and the bees are not discussed by Asian parents even if their children ask about it .That is why most young Asians learn about sex through friends or doing their own research on the internet. For most Asians, talking about sex is embarrassing and improper. Because of this mentality, most children usually hide their sexual escapades from their conservative parents. Young Asians tend to have a negative reaction to this conservativeness and it prompts them to rebel and explore sex on their own.  

You would hear stories of young Asian boys of having a hidden stash of adult materials and has masturbated in secret.  You would also hear of stories about young Asian girls having tendencies of   becoming sexually active and exploring having sex with their boyfriends. This sexual exploration sometimes result with a life changing phenomenon with teenagers being pregnant at a very young age or contracting sexually transmitted diseases due to the lack of parent’s guidance and communication about sex and its possible implications or outcomes. Although there are some Asian countries that have sex education in their curriculum, it is still not enough because lessons from parents are still a very important part aspect of a child’s maturity in exploring sex. This will eventually change once the younger generation becomes parents themselves and the evolution of Asian societies leaning towards open mindedness with the help of western influences.

Taboo Products in the Asian Market

Taboo products such as sex toys have always been in the market from quite some time now despite the Asian people being conservative people. You can usually find these items being sold in sex shop that are in discreet places or in an online seller’s website. These items are not sold openly because they usually have vulgar shapes and packaging and it is embarrassing for conservative Asian people to be seen with these items, that is why there shops are discreet. Aside from Japan, sex toys are not very popular in Asian countries and only a few people actually buy these types of products. The conservative culture of most Asians serves as the biggest challenge for the sex toy industry. One man trying to change this mindset and culture is Mr. Donald Hsu, Founder of the Lovenuts product.

Hiding Taboo in a Nut

The idea LoveNuts was founded when one of Mr. Donald’s friends asked him how she would be discreet and comfortable in using a vibrator in their house because she lived with her mother in law. Donald was curious with this query and then decided to develop LoveNuts which was an acorn shaped vibrator that has a flashlight as its disguise and a vibrator being its primary function. He thought of this design because most vibrators in the market like the ones in japan, Australia and America usually have designs that are plain and you would immediately know that it was a vibrator. Having a design such as an acorn is necessary in the Asian market because it will allow women to carry a vibrator with them without the embarrassments that they usually feel when they have a normal vibrator.

Another feature that makes the product discreet is the flashlight component it has. The flashlight feature safely disguises the vibrator so that when somebody will ask the owner what the product is she can just simply answer and show that it’s a regular small flashlight. This feature plus the acorn design helps Asian women address their needs without the fear of others condemning and shaming them for using a vibrator. In the Asian culture it is not yet an openly accepted idea that women can use vibrators to help them when they have the urge. This is why the LoveNuts is now slowly gaining markets because of its distinct features and designs. Another way that LoveNuts is trying to change this mindset is by joining different technology and start up convention to disseminate information about their product. Their main goal in joining conventions aside from finding investors is to help women be aware that they could have a gadget that will satisfy their needs without being embarrassed of using it.


Never Stop Pursuing Your Dreams

Before the success of LoveNuts, Donald Hsu was already working in technology company HTC for 4 years. After 4 years of working and instability in the technological industries in Taiwan, he said to himself that he should start finding a different career that will give him satisfaction and a feeling of success. As he was thinking of this, he remembered his college days wherein there was one time where he went to Japan for a vacation. In japan he was amazed by the great technology that was surrounding the streets in japan. He saw in Japan that the technological industries where really successful that is why he dreamt that one day he would also have a technological company of his own. After remembering his dream, he left HTC and decided to take the risk and put up a technology based business of his own. At first he was reluctant and doubtful that he will be able to compete with the big technological enterprises in Taiwan, but with the help of his friends he was able to put up LoveNuts. If he did not take the risk he would probably be still working in a technological company and not pursuing his dream of having his own technological firm.

The lesson that we can learn from the story of Donald Hsu is that we need to be willing to take all the risk that is there in order for us to achieve our dreams. We should not be limiting ourselves to just dreaming, but should also try to pursue our dreams so that we can have the sense of fulfillment. Let us not be content with our current positions and must always aspire to be greater than who we are at present.