Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
Meet two brands making sex high design and inclusive.
Published May 13, 2018 5:05 AM
You’ve probably started to simplify your daily routines. And maybe even make sure the other aspects of your drugstore routine, like skincare and tampons, are simpler and organic. But what about your sex life?
Condoms that smell and taste like cotton candy, lube that will “last all night long,” rabbit-themed vibrators in every color of the rainbow—the sex industry hasn’t exactly been eco-friendly, design-focused, made of toxin-free materials, or, heck, even focused on what women actually want. But that’s beginning to change, thanks to a few badass, female-founded and -led brands making your sex life safer, cleaner, and actually more chic.
Maude, which features inclusive and unisex lubes, condoms, and a vibrator, was created by two women, one a former head of product development and design at Kiki De Montparnasse, and the other the former head of social media, culture, and hiring at Everlane. Together they partnered to make “pared-down products delivered in a friendly way,” says co-founder Eva Goicochea.
Let’s analyze their condoms, for example. The packaging alone is changing the game—each condom is in an easy-to-open “buttercup” package, with the tip always facing up so you know how to put it on—making the experience incredibly simple and foolproof. (Why has no one thought of that before?!) But once open, the condoms are extraordinary: free from harmful chemicals, spermicide, and fragrance—as to prevent any irritation for all persons involved. And of course, safety is first and foremost, but don’t worry because each condom is electronically triple-tested for safety.
On top of incredibly safe products, they also happen to be supremely attractive—who knew we’d ever call condom packaging “attractive”? “You can leave out any one of our products and not be embarrassed,” says Goicochea.
And truly at the core of the brand is the principles of simplicity, quality, and inclusivity. “Simplicity in the packaging, as well as the product ingredients, was super important to us,” says Goicochea. “We made sure that none of our products are scented. The vibrator is made with 100 percent premium silicone. Both our lubricants are gentle, and made with non-GMO ingredients, are glycerin- and paraben-free, and are vegan. Our condoms are 100 percent latex and sourced from manufacturers who source local rubber in Malaysia.”
The condoms are $12 for a 10-pack; the gorgeous packaged lubes are $25 each; and the silicone vibrator is $45. They also have kits that are conveniently package according to your preferences. They are available only in the US right now, but Maude tells us their working on making all their products available to everyone outside the US soon, too.
Sex by LOLA
A brand you’ll surely be already familiar with thanks to their organic, high-quality tampons and pads, LOLA has now branched out into sex, with condoms, a water-based lubricant, and natural cleansing wipes.
LOLA was also invented by two women: Jordana Kier and Alex Friedman, both of whom felt inspired to create Sex by LOLA, which launched on May 1, as a way for women to make empowered, informed decisions about their reproductive health and sex lives.
“We’ve built a brand that is committed to creating transparent and trustworthy products, and encouraging candid conversations about the experiences we as women have throughout our entire reproductive lives,” says Kier and Friedman. “Sex by LOLA is the next step in our mission to become the first lifelong brand for women’s bodies. Our grand vision is to address every life stage, from puberty, to menopause, and beyond, with a commitment to product transparency, and a community built on candid dialogue about all of the things we don’t openly talk about.”
The sex industry has always catered aggressively to men and their desires, which is what fueled both Kier and Friedman to create their line. Once they began to look into products and their ingredients already on the market, they found an incredible lack of both information and thoughtfulness: The ingredients in the lubricant that comes on a lubricated condom are never listed; the personal lubricants that exist aren’t tested for vaginal pH or skin sensitivities; and similarly, feminine wipes are filled with fragrances and other irritating substances that throw off vaginal pH.
LOLA wanted to do better. And that translates to products that are safe for your body and, ultimately, are easy to use. The condoms are made out of natural latex and lubricated with 100 percent locally sourced, medical-grade silicone oil. The 95 percent organic lube is comprised of organic aloe leaf juice and is made to maintain the pH balance, all while in a one-click pump, easy-to-use package—and is formulated to mimic a woman’s natural moisture. And the first all-natural bamboo cleansing wipes, which is soaked in a purified water solution for optimal vaginal pH balance. (All three products are gynecologist approved, too, which is pretty incredible.)
Safety was always first, but design and packaging were also incredibly intentional, as well. “Our goal from the start was to make our packaging sleek, sophisticated, and modern—a stark contrast to the overly loud, cliche, and colorful packaging women are used to seeing at the drugstore.”
Both brands want to make sex simple, less stigmatized, safer, and more empowering. And that’s a belief system we can definitely get behind and support.