As the oldest adult retailer in the country, Adam & Eve has quite a storied history. Over the past 50 years, we fought the U.S. government to protect your privacy and free speech, pioneered sexual wellness alongside sex-positive adult products, laid the groundwork for online commerce, and donated millions of dollars to charities. Here’s how it all happened.

1971

Adam & Eve Was Born

Not many college students turn their homework into a multimillion-dollar business, but that’s exactly what Phil Harvey did.

phil college campus
condoms

It Started with Condoms
As a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, Phil came up with a radical idea for his master’s thesis – selling mail-order condoms in the US and using those funds to finance family planning programs in developing countries via a non-profit. Phil believed more people would use condoms if they could buy them easily and discreetly via the mail. Phil along with Dr. Tim Black started Adam & Eve to test this thesis.

did you knowcondom balloon

Adam & Eve once made a hot air balloon shaped like a condom. We’ve flown the balloon around the United States, Canada, and Europe, so keep an eye out for it!

1973

First Catalog Mailed

Phil placed condom ads in college newspapers nationwide and quickly became swamped with orders. To meet the growing demand, he created a catalog offering sex toys, lingerie, and condoms.

America’s 1st Mail-Order
Sex Toy Company

adam eve catalogs

Adam & Eve catalogs started appearing in mailboxes all over the country. It was the first time many people had ever seen sex toys. And now they could buy them from their couch!

56 million

We’ve shipped over 56 million orders… and counting! That’s an order for every other household in America!

did you knowtub image we have sold 632812 gallons of lube

That’s enough lube to fill 21,094 bathtubs

1989

Philanthropy & Education Take Center Stage

Philanthropy has been a major part of Adam & Eve since the very beginning. As sex toy and condom sales grew, Phil wanted to give back even more by expanding donations and creating educational programs.

He founded nonprofit DKT International to help provide access to safe and reliable birth control in high-need communities around the world.

philanthropy

On top of his charity work, Phil also launched several educational programs about condoms and sex. He emphasized that sex was perfectly natural, normal, and healthy. His sex-positive message helped jumpstart today’s sexual wellness movement.

did you know

15%

of our profits are donated every year.

That adds up to millions and millions of dollars over 50 years, supporting everything from local animal shelters, cancer research and other causes to make the world a better place… one condom at a time.

did you knowpink vibrator image

If you turn them all on at once, you'd get a 4.2 earthquake!

1992

Supreme Court Settlement

court house

Adam & Eve vs. The U.S. Government

Phil’s success attracted some critical eyes at the U.S. Justice Department. Politically focused prosecutors launched cases against adult companies nationwide, including Adam & Eve.

While others gave up in the face of mounting legal bills and bureaucratic red tape, Phil fought back. He sued the Justice Department in the U.S. Supreme Court for violating the First Amendment and the right to marital privacy.

In the end, it was the Justice Department who backed down. By standing his ground in the face of overwhelming odds, Phil successfully defended your rights to free speech and privacy. His battle allowed you to continue buying adult products as well as condoms through the mail – helping pave the way for online commerce as well as AdamEve.com just a few years later.

did you know

It was once illegal to sell condoms by mail.

The 1873 Comstock law defined condoms as obscene and made mailing them a federal offense. Other states passed similar laws. It was illegal to even use contraceptives in Connecticut until 1965.

1999

First Franchise Store

The explosive growth of the Internet and more open attitudes toward sex made adult toys and condoms more popular than ever. Adam & Eve started expanding overseas and opening retail stores across the country.

first franchise store
did you knowteal dildo image

If all those toys were laid out end to end, it would take 48,445 football fields to hold them all!

2006

Growing Community Roots & Giving Back Even More

Phil increasingly turned his attention to goodwill efforts and community outreach. Adam & Eve routinely donates to animal shelters, cancer research, community groups and social causes. We sponsor blood drives, deliver food to the needy, build Habitat houses, pick up trash by the road and give away condoms by the truckload.

community and charity

All that hard work led to Phil as well as Adam & Eve winning numerous awards. In 2006, Phil won the prestigious Humanitarian Award from American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) for his “outstanding contributions to the promotion of civil, sexual and human rights.”


did you knowbuisness of the year

Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year


Adam & Eve is the first adult business in the country to win a Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. And we’ve done it three times!

2021

The Future Looks Bright

adam eve 50 years

Adam & Eve Today


With a rapidly growing mobile site and our very own line of sex toys, Adam & Eve today looks a lot different than 50 years ago.


But our core mission – helping people have happier & healthier sex lives – remains the same. We still provide our customers with sex-positive products, discreet shipping and passionate service along with information about sexual health and wellness. We donate to a wide variety of charities, including the Special Olympics, children’s hospitals, disaster relief, and others. And we continue fighting for your rights to free speech and privacy.


We’re working hard to bring that same dedication and energy abroad with rapidly growing business ventures in China, a sister company in Australia, and a retail store in Peru to name a few. Some of our most popular products overseas aren’t vibes or lingerie but – you guessed it – condoms.