I read something once about masturbation back in my Tumblr days about how there are two types of people; people who masturbate and people who lie about it. Ain’t that the truth.
Often seen as a shameful practice, women in particular have been taught that masturbation is something to be shameful of and that it’s not ladylike. As public perception and conversations change more than ever sexual health is a topic people are having more openly.
I recently attended a Zoom meeting with Alexandra Fine, founder and CEO of Dame Products, sex toy brand that aims to educate their users that sex (with partner(s) or with yourself) is about connecting and not necessarily about being sexy. Here are some of my takeaways from the Zoom call:
“Engineering for intimacy,” Dame Products is a women-founded company that is passionate about passion. Dame was born when Alexandra started to evaluate women’s space in the sexual wellness space. While vibrators are mainstream, they somehow remain taboo in a primarily male dominated industry. Due to the male gaze, sexual wellness is often associated with porn, an industry that is often attached to the sexual exploitation of women.
Designed for vulva-havers and couples, Dame is relentlessly mission driven and became the most crowdfunded sex toy ever. Due to the nature of crowdfunding, Dame prides itself on being more democratic and based off of consumer feedback, making the brand more feminist and human-centric vs capitalistic.
Not sure if sexual health is a feminist issue? Ask yourself why male-centric and female-objectifying ads are okay but not female empowering ones aren’t? In the States ads will run for erectile disfunction and even threesome sheets, but never ads for female-centric sex toys. Sexual wellbeing has turned into a boys club based on the cis-hetro male experience.
Their ads are feature real people that look like the couples you would encounter in real life, a variety of body types, genders and ethnicities. Beyond sex toys, Dame also continues to apply pressure for equality in sexual wellness, for example Dame has sued the MTA and protested in front of Facebook HQ for denying their right to advertise (read: this brand is doing some cool shit all in the name of women reclaiming pleasure.)
Be sure to follow them on IG to follow along with their activist efforts, community events and educational content.
Images provided by Dame Products.