As attitudes to sex have changed and become more progressive, the sexual wellness industry has undergone huge growth – there are now lots of sex-positive and inclusive products out there that focus on sex and pleasure in relation to health, wellbeing and self-care rather than the traditional adult angle associated with porn. The pandemic has made intimacy with another person trickier but it’s also opened up a lot more space for alone time, so now’s the perfect time to dive into the world of sexual wellness.
Femtech brand Smile Makers was launched back in 2012 with the aim of making vibrators and lubricants available in everyday shops because sexual wellness is a key part in our overall wellbeing and pleasure should be normalised. The brand makes a range of products for vulva owners and is inclusive of all sexual life phases, so they really do have a vibrator for everyone. Smile Makers also champions sex education through its Vulva Talks platform, where you can ask questions and get insights from doctors, gynecologists, therapists and sexologists.
Ferly is an audio-based app designed to help women have more mindful sex. Founded by Billie Quinlan and Anna Hushlak, Ferly is all about empowering women to understand their pleasure, overcome issues like anxiety and pain during sex, and establish a more confident and positive relationship to sex. Ferly works with a range of practitioners to create content, which ranges from body-mapping to guided meditation to erotica stories.
Founded by Emma Brown after she got fed up with disappointing experiences of buying sex toys, Knude Society is a women-led sexual wellness company that aims to help everybody reclaim real pleasure. The toys they make are designed to be enjoyed by all bodies; they encourage open and honest conversations about sex with a range of articles and how to guides; and they’re committed to sustainability too by doing small runs of products, working with local producers and using recyclable packaging.
With its range of gender-neutral and LGTBQ+ friendly sex toys, Kandid is on a mission to make sexual pleasure more inclusive and less judgemental. The products, as well as the branding and packaging, have been designed in a way to make people feel comfortable buying sex toys and empowered about exploring sexual wellness. There’s even an in-house sexual wellbeing expert, Dr. Elesha Vooght, to open up and encourage conversations around sex, health and relationships.
After finding the experience of buying condoms embarrassing, friends Farah Kabir and Dr Sarah Welsh decided there must be a better way to do it and so they created HANX. Not only does the branding and packaging look good, the products themselves are sex-positive and gynaecologist-backed. As well as the biodegradable condoms and water-based lubricant, HANX also sells vaginal health products and has a blog that covers pleasure, sexual wellness and intimate health.
Kama is another mindful sex app (aimed at all genders and sexualities) that offers a range of practices and guides that are designed to optimise pleasure. Founder Chloe Macintosh spent over a decade researching sexual wellness before founding the app and raising over $3 million in seed funding, so she’s clearly got big plans with this. Intended for daily practice, the video and audio exercises on Kama span everything from breathwork to connect different areas of your body to meditation to physical sessions to work on your bedroom moves.
Founded by Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman in 2014, with a mission to close the pleasure gap (men are significantly more likely to get satisfaction from sex than women in heterosexual partnerships), Dame is one of the OG sexual wellness brands. Eva, their first product, was the most crowdfunded sex toy in history and now Dame sells a whole range of vibrators and accessories. Each product is tested by the Dame Labs community, meaning they get real feedback from real people. Dame also runs digital platform Swell, which has articles on sex advice, intimacy, relationships and sexual health.