Australian female-owned sexual wellness brands you need to know
General public sextoys still have a fairly predictable aesthetic in 2021, which borrows heavily from the “sticky hella” school. At one point, someone (we suspect someone cis, het and white) sent an edict from above that our only options would be either pieces of giant neon purple plastic named after animals in the firm or pink, industrially loud balls – and it continues to this day. Plus, the model names sound more like high-speed lawn mowers than anything you’d like to, you know, inside you (the Powermate 3000? No).
But now the sex toy status quo is changing a bit. Here, to inject a touch of freshness into the garish online warehouses and pop-ups Australians have to browse to shop for pleasure, are three pioneering female-owned sexual wellness brands.
Normal prioritizes sexual empowerment and education above all else. Lucy wark, the CEO and co-owner of Normal, strives to make sexual wellness more accessible to people around the world with a range of affordable and stylish toys that you can have shipped right to your door (in discreet packaging, well sure). The brand is part of the portfolio of Eucalyptus, the same company behind the Kin Women’s Fertility Health Service (the one that sends the pill to your door) and the Pilot men’s health platform.
Flogging the sex toys you’d be happy to have on your nightstand may be Normal’s raison d’être, but in an industry where shame is rife and masturbation is only part of the chat. in dark mode – especially among women and people of diverse genders – Wark had to make education central to the business.
Over normal to place, you’ll also find a plethora of sexual wellness guides and articles on intimacy and partnership, designed in consultation with certified sex coach Georgia Grace. What about the ultimate millennial catnip? A quiz, of course. Click on a series of questions designed to help you better understand yourself or find your favorite sex toy. What is your arousal style: “arousal” or “inhibition”?
“Despite a lot of progress, as a society we still don’t make it easy to explore sexuality – whether it’s sex education in school that mainly covers ‘plumbing’ and ‘condom on a banana’, or the fact that a lot of people learn sex from a distorted medium like pornography, “Wark explains.” Even buying something as simple as a sex toy can seem really confusing, embarrassing, and stressful if you don’t. you’re not a sex addict.
“Sexual well-being is more than having no sexual health problem or having a certain number of orgasms per week! It is a state of comfort and empowerment.
Besides the Instagrammable colourways and clean lines, what else do millennials find sexy? Durability. Normal offers a “100 night” policy, which means you’ll be able to return a product you buy after 100 nights (and days, we’re guessing) if it doesn’t work for you. “A lot of people don’t realize it, but you basically can’t recycle sex toys as a civilian,” says Wark. “They end up in landfills because of the silicone, the electronic waste and the way they are used on the body. So at Normal, when we receive returned toys, we work with a specialist recycling company to make sure that every device is permanently disposed of. ”
“Sexual well-being is more than not having a sexual health problem or having a certain number of orgasms per week! It is a state of comfort and empowerment.”
Wark and Grace are also passionate about destigmatizing male sex tools. “The same stereotypes that were applied to women or people with vulvas (ie that using sex toys is a sign of romantic failure, or a little ‘freaky’, rather than empowerment and just fun! ) enforce the norms of masculinity, ”says Wark. “Which sucks! We absolutely want to work on this. Guys, we’ve come for you!
Like Normal, relying on the often precarious levels of sexual literacy of their clients was important to Rosewell, a brand that also manufactures long-lasting and aesthetic pleasure devices. With his stylized photography and his dreamy earth palette, Rosewell is essentially the Aesop of the sex toy world. Banish the mouth-watering colors and unsubtle packaging – here a luxurious “Midnight Hour” scented candle comes packaged with a sleek white toy and a deck of thinking cards, for an exploratory new take on self-esteem. .
“Ultimately, Rosewell was born out of each of our own bad experiences in today’s sexual wellness market,” says Alisha Williams of Rosewell. “For too long, [it] was dominated by this hypersexualized, graphic, confrontational and often masculine view of what sex is and what it feels like.
“The generally accepted and outdated narratives… are questioned, challenged and, ultimately, improved upon by young people. It’s now easier to talk more openly about solo sex and pleasure due to more acceptance and less taboos around these topics… But there is still work to be done, and a lot of questions and thoughts. that we have are still the same – especially when many are still not receiving comprehensive sex education.
“Add to that the new challenges of living in this ever-active digital world. It’s really hard to disconnect and take time for privacy with yourself and others.
“[Rosewell] launched to make sexual wellness more accessible to everyone… to make conversations about sexual wellness as easy and straightforward as other everyday human rituals, like skin care, ”says Williams.
“Add to that the new challenges of living in this ever-active digital world. It’s really hard to disconnect and take time for privacy with yourself and others.”
It’s hard to argue. Despite all the strides the younger generations have made in talking more openly about sex and sexual wellness, sexual wellness devices are something you buy in the dead of night with a torch under your doona, all the books Harry-studying-his-midnight-style-spelling. We’re throwing recommendations for everything else left, right, and center. Face oil? Try Go-To. Vitamin C moisturizer? Origins, of course. A sleek and cute vibrator that gets the job done without alerting the whole building? * Crickets *.
But Williams thinks it’s important to share our thoughts. “Gender influences relationships, self-esteem and, ultimately, overall well-being. It’s a fundamental part of being human, and whatever sexuality is for you, I think we should all be able to talk about it – if we want to, ”she says.
Enter Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough, two young people in their twenties, did find themselves talking about sex during the Melbourne lockdown in 2020. During their conversations, they found that they agreed that the lubricant available on the market just doesn’t do it for them.
So they launched Figr on Instagram, a natural sex lubricant created from all-Australian native extracts. Figr is compatible with latex (protection first), pH balanced (see never, UTI), non-sticky (in both senses of the word) and compatible with toys. Plus, it comes in the kind of bottle that would look right at home on a shelf next to your overpriced skin care stash. You may need to push this Lab to the side.
Like Normal and Rosewell, Figr is a product that suits the aesthetic of the modern person, as well as their approach to sex. “A lot of women’s sexual wellness brands are run by men, so we found these companies had completely missed the point when it came to creating a brand that resonated with us,” O’Sullivan says. and McCullough. “You should be able to go to a store to buy your favorite cleanser, your brow gel. and lubricant. He [should also] look stunningly beautiful on your dresser or in your bathroom, blending in with whatever cosmetics or scent you present.
But like the others, Figr isn’t limited to the beauty of the surface. “Sexual well-being is a part of life and can have tremendous effects on your mental and physical well-being,” say O’Sullivan and McCullough. “[Making sexual wellness more approachable] only bridges the shame gap that surrounds sexual well-being and pleasure (especially for women). Sex products need to be more accessible and, more importantly, representative of the contemporary person, so that a healthy conversation around sex can open among friends. Amen.