For too long, sex toys and other products in the adult industry have been largely designed by men–even certain products that are primarily designed for use by a woman. But that, thankfully, is all changing. Women are now raising venture capital and bringing innovative new erotic products to the multi-billion dollar sex industry. Below are five examples of women who are stimulating the economy … and life in the bedroom.
Co-founders Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman shattered the record for the “most funded adult product in online crowdfunding history” with Eva, the world’s “first hands-free, strap-free and non-intrusive couples vibrator.” Eva was born from the founders’ frustrations at not being able to find a toy that could stimulate the clitoris without creating fumbling, awkward hands. What better way to get what you want than by creating it yourself?
Credit: Dame Products
Lovability president Tiffany Gaines is making it her mission to de-stigmatize condoms, the bane of nearly every man’s existence. With boxes that are either warrior-stamped or stodgy, it’s not exactly something a woman would be thrilled to buy. Enter Lovability, condoms that are crafted from latex sourced from an “environmentally conscious rubber plantation.” The protection is protected by easy-open foil wrappers, then nestled inside beautiful but sturdy tins, making them a quick grab when you’re getting randy. Gaines also wants the product to encourage honest, safe-sex discussions. Although available online, Lovability hopes to get them into beauty supply stores, lingerie stores, and boutiques near you soon.
Credit: (Left) Josephine Wai Lin/LinkedIn (Right) Dalal Khajah/LinkedIn
Thanks to Manservants founders Dalal Khajah and Josephine Wai Lin, the stuff of Cleopatra’s dreams can now be yours! This service allows women to hire some hot dude to cater to their whims. Khajah and Lin were also filling a need that they had when they couldn’t find a way to hire a pre-Manservant man servant for their friend’s birthday. (They were left to select from a pool of strippers after receiving “dick pics galore
” from Craigslist.) They’re careful to emphasize that Manservants are not strippers or escorts, and that this isn’t about objectifying men. It’s about you “getting the royal treatment” and feeling like Queen Bey for a day (or three).
Some say that movies like Shame
Jon, and Nymphomaniac
reflect our culture’s growing obsession with hardcore pornography, but Cindy Gallop came up with a solution. She addressed this fixation in her much-talked about 2009 TED talk
, in which she shared how her personal experiences with dating younger men exposed her to pornography’s effect on them. Their distorted sexual expectations inspired her to launch Make Love Not Porn, which distinguishes between “Porn World vs. Real World,” acts as a platform for users to talk openly about sex, and now, with MakeLoveNotPorn.tv
in beta, it allows users to share “#realworldsex” videos.
Credit: Make Love Not Porn
Upset by the dearth of women-friendly sex shops in Seattle, Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning
opened Babeland in 1993. Today it remains a premiere hot spot for women on both coasts; the retailers now have a store in New York. (They have a clean, user-friendly online store, too!) Babeland offers toys, lingerie, books, movies, and other trinkets for everyone. Babeland even offers classes with sex educators, further promoting its mission “to promote and celebrate sexual vitality by providing an honest, open and fun environment.
” The fluorescent-lit sex stores from the days of yore, with their flesh-filled posters and magazine racks displaying racks, are now a thing of the past.
Babeland locations in Seattle and New York. Credit: Babeland