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Valentine's Day: Flowers, Chocolates, and Sexual Wellness

Roses are red, violets are blue 32% of Americans are having sex today and you could be too!

According to Statistica’s 2017 study, 32% of Americans said they would likely have sex on Valentines Day and 23% of those surveyed preferred not to answer *flushed cheek emoji.*

Although the thought of talking about, exploring, and improving sexual wellness is still stigmatized (as demonstrated by the former 23%) our attitudes towards sex are changing and there are even a few brands and entrepreneurs helping us reshape the way we think about knocking boots.

But don’t be SAD if you’re single, February 14th is also Singles Awareness Day and there are plenty of sexual wellness products to help you celebrate. We did the research for you and have picked the top five sexual wellness brands you should know about in 2019.

UNBOUND

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtUAxy8lBZU/

Slogan: An Online Shop for Rebellious Women

Best at: Changing the sexual wellness industry for women

Polly Rodriguez, co-founder of the sexual-wellness startup Unbound and guest on the Unladylike podcast, is first on our list of entrepreneurs changing the conversation about sexual wellness. Rodriguez identified the need to redefine the sexual wellness shopping experience, when her friend recommended she try using a vibrator after chemotherapy left her with a diminished sex drive. In addition to helping found a company that empowered women, Rodriguez helped start the organization Women of Sex Tech. The organization is "a tech-savvy and female-led women’s sexuality movement” where female leaders in the industry congregate to discuss “updating sex toys and related products with their own needs in mind, and leading the companies that sell them." Unbound’s Instagram mostly consists of meme content with the occasional incorporation of a vibrator, which kind of leaves it feeling like a NSFW Where’s Waldo.

MYLAB BOX

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeTbS-tARDk/

Slogan: At-Home STD Test

Best at: Making sexual wellness accessible and affordable

Meet the 23andMe of sexual wellness: MyLAB Box. The product offers an easy at home STD test for the most common STDs from the comfort of your home. Not only that, but the results are private and are not reported to your health record and can be accessed from a personal computer. The company reports on your results in 3-5 days and offers free consulting and prescription subscriptions in the event of any positive test results. The company knows trust is a key factor when dealing with the sensitive subject of STDs. To ensure accuracy and credibility, MyLAB Box partners with CLIA High Complexity lab known for their advanced infectious disease testing methodologies as well as physician affiliates that are classified as STD experts. MyLab Box’s Instagram primarily consists of meme content and graphics with facts about STDs. Although their social presence leaves room for improvement, they get points in our book for the innovative product idea and accessibility.

LOLA

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btw0EAVDVME/

Slogan: Reproductive Care for Women, by Women

Best at: Revolutionizing the way we look at sexual wellness ingredients

You’ve seen their ads in your Insta feed, but it's time to meet Lola formally. They’re a women’s reproductive care brand–think tampons, pads and beyond made with ingredients you can pronounce. Believe it or not, tampon companies aren’t legally required to disclose what’s in their products. Lola recently introduced their sexual wellness products made with women in mind. Lola’s Instagram feed is a mix of testimonials, clean lifestyle content, and tells the story of many women’s first period experiences.

UBERLUBE

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtlWyTeh_7g/

Slogan: For sex and so much more

Best at: Making sexual wellness inclusive

Uberlube is the lube for the areas in your life you didn’t know you needed it. Chafing gym clothes? There’s a lube for that! Pesky flyaways and frizz that never quits? You guessed it, lube for that too. What’s special about this brand is its inclusivity and wide breadth of use cases–depending on the lube. In terms of inclusivity, the company wants to make sex better for “Male and female, gay and straight, young and old.” The one bad thing we can say about this Uberlube is it’s a slippery slope (pun intended) when you try to be everything to everyone. Uberlube’s Instagram primarily consists of product shots, regrams and unboxing content.

MAUDE

https://www.instagram.com/p/BttsHZlg35Y/

Slogan: Sex made simple

Best at: Minimalistic and modest design and customized user experience

Maude aims to be genderless, inclusive and easy to use. Their design is sleek and minimalistic and devoid of any cliche sex buzzwords or loud abrasive colors. The simplicity and modesty of their site mitigate the need to check over your shoulder while browsing if you know what I mean ;). In addition to their clean aesthetic, Maude lives the inclusive mission by allowing individuals to build their own sexual wellness kits based on a series of personalized questions about their sexual habits, age, gender, etc. Think Care/of, but for sexual wellness. Maude’s Instagram mimics their website’s clean aspirational aesthetic with primarily muted colors.

We know we still have a long way to come as a culture with destigmatizing sexual wellness, especially as it pertains to women. Before you disagree, remember that just a month ago CES awarded a female sex-tech company for product innovation in the robotics and drones category and then revoked it, while regularly awarding men’s sex-tech at the convention.

And while women account for 59% of the workforce, they represent only 31% of the tech industry overall. Without a doubt, this disparity in the tech industry and more specifically in the sex-tech industry leads to underrepresentation of female needs and opinions.

We expect sexual wellness products and companies will become more mainstream, and, yes, we acknowledge there is still legislation that aims to monitor the sexual wellness industry especially as it pertains to female pleasure. As Polly Rodriguez, co-founder of Unbound put it on the Unladylike podcast, "female pleasure is more regulated than guns in this country." As a culture, we still have work to do, but we’ve come a long way thanks to individuals and brands getting vocal on the issue. 

All of this is to say, Happy Valentine’s Day, we’re wishing you nothing but good vibes (*winky face*).

Vanessa Kahn

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