Keep clean, stay dirty with these adult-only bath products | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Keep clean, stay dirty with these adult-only bath products

click to enlarge "Hang It Anywhere" Penis On A Rope Soap by  Hip Modern Soap Co. - HIP MODERN SOAP CO.
Hip Modern Soap Co.
"Hang It Anywhere" Penis On A Rope Soap by Hip Modern Soap Co.
Hip Modern Soap Co. products are like any handmade bars or bath bombs available at craft markets or Etsy stores. Only some of them come with a naughty, or even dark sense of humor, with penis-shaped soap-on-a-rope and an electric toaster bath bomb for those who want relaxation with an edge.

Given the current COVID-19 climate and the increased need for handwashing, Hip Modern Soap Co. owner Carrie Robertson believes these products provide a little levity in these dark times.

“I think that everyone needs a laugh right about now,” says Robertson, who founded her Pittsburgh-based company with her husband, John Elliff, in 2015. “If a soap-on-a-rope shaped like a penis can cheer you up, why not?”


Robertson, who also makes non-phallic soaps and bath bombs, says she hesitated going the adult-only route. Before she recently started selling these items - which include a pegging dildo-shaped soap equipped with a suction cup so you can stick it to any surface - she was making them exclusively for attendees of Camp John Waters, a Connecticut-based getaway for fans of the outsider filmmaker. She also donated some as giveaways for online shows by local drag queen Mildred the Lunch Lady and Dixie De La Tour, a San Francisco-based folklorist and performer who runs Bawdy Storytelling.

click to enlarge "Member's Only" Bath Bomb by Hip Modern Soap Co.
"Member's Only" Bath Bomb by Hip Modern Soap Co.
“We debated for a year if having adult soaps would harm our brand because we would never want to offend our customer base who have been so supportive of us,” says Robertson. “We made them for our delightful band of 'filthy freaks' from our camp community, but then their friends would contact us and want to know where they could get the same products. We have had people from every social and economic group buy these things.”

To be safe, the adult-only items are listed as NSFW on the Hip Modern Soap Co. website. There's also the disclaimer "FOR ADULT EXTERNAL USE ONLY!!!" just in case anyone gets the wrong idea.

While the penis soaps may raise some eyebrows, or elicit a guilty chuckle, the ingredients are anything but dirty. Robertson says she uses a blend of olive oil, coconut oil, raw shea butter, sustainable palm oil, and castor oil for her bar soaps, while the novelty soaps are made from a detergent-free glycerin base. Bath bombs are “essentially just citric acid and sodium bicarbonate” mixed with other ingredients depending on the item (the bong-shaped bomb, for example, contains cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD).


For those whose tastes veer away from the ribald or scatological (yes, there's a poop-shaped bath bomb), Robertson sells a variety of G-rated products appropriate for any occasion, including bath bombs that come in cute, fun shapes like campers, mermaid tails, and popsicles.
click to enlarge The not penis-shaped Happy Camper Bath Bomb by Hip Modern Soap Co. - HIP MODERN SOAP CO.
Hip Modern Soap Co.
The not penis-shaped Happy Camper Bath Bomb by Hip Modern Soap Co.
The selection extends to body butter, bath salts, and liquid soap for maximum hand and body washing.

Robertson says that they add new products almost weekly and can easily design custom molds with the company's 3-D printer.

“The possibilities for this are endless,” says Robertson. “We always tell people to keep their eye on us because we add new stuff at lightning speed.”

As for whether or not she's worried about people clutching their pearls at Hip Modern's more adult-oriented items, Roberson says, “In the end, it's just soap.”

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