How Sex Toys Can Help Remedy Double Standards For Women
Dame Products co-founder and CEO Alexandra Fine, a speaker at PSFK’s upcoming CXI 2018 conference, discusses her company’s mission to empower women to take charge of their own sexual experience
To say that the past year has brought the persistent, and often mis-recognized, issues of women’s inequality into the spotlight would be an understatement. One area in particular where women have remained disadvantaged is that of sexual health and pleasure, with women often experiencing less-than-satisfactory sex and lacking resources to help them meet their needs.
Dame Products aims to remedy the double standards surrounding sexual pleasure for women by offering products and resources specific to female pleasure that empower women and heighten their experience of intimacy. Before she joins us at PSFK’s CXI 2018 conference on May 18, we caught up with Dame co-founder and CEO Alexandra Fine about how the realm of women’s sexual pleasure has been evolving.
PSFK: Since we last spoke, Dame launched the Eva II sex toy. How has it been received so far? What’s been happening in the world of Dame since you took the stage last May?
Alexandra Fine: Dame has been growing. Since May, we have been featured in The New York Times and W Magazine, helping us continue to break into the “mainstream” market. We launched Eva II and have officially phased out Eva I. Eva II is smaller, lighter and stronger, making it an overall superior product.
You’ve spoken about how social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow advertising of sex-themed products that promote “family planning” and “contraception,” but not “sexual pleasure,” implying that it’s OK for men to orgasm, but not women. How have you combatted this double standard in Dame’s advertising?
Wow, you just stated it so simply. Focusing on sexual safety over sexual pleasure does implicitly validate male orgasm while ignoring women’s pleasure. We combat it by putting our face first. I’ve been using my personal platform to spread the mention about my entrepreneurial work. Yes, this does include Dame Products’ message but it is a lot more challenging for Facebook to block a female entrepreneur from spreading her empowering message and life’s work.
What are some of the big trends and consumer attitudes that you’ve observed in the sex toy product innovation space in the past year?
I would say that there is a huge shift in attitudes towards female-first products and in general products that talk about sex. The acknowledgement that sexual harassment has been tacitly allowed for all of history and the pressure we are finally putting on ourselves to demand a better experience has also impacted the way consumers think of us. Some feel further pushed away while others are more accepting. We are also continuing to see a push away from complicated products and appreciation for simple tools that put the human experience first.
Adweek reporter Kristina Monllos commented that Eva appeals to millennial consumers who want ethically and socially-minded products developed for their generation. What are your thoughts on this?
I think she is mostly right on the money. Millennial consumers want products that are not only good for their material experience but also for their conscious one. They want products that address real needs ethically. Furthermore, as a millennial business owner, I want to create a valuable product in a non-harmful way while also creating a healthy and life-celebrating work environment for my employees. I guess we millennials are just trying to be the best human beings we can be. I’m kind of over being made fun of for it. I think it is pretty cool!
What else is in the pipeline for Dame Products in 2018 and beyond?
We are expanding our competency to make a bigger impact on erotic pleasure. We are making more vibrators for better self-exploration but have also been asking our consumers about the biggest stressors in their sex lives and, no surprise, it is so much more holistic and complicated then a simple product. We are hoping to create more content, conversations and products to evolve humanity’s sexual practices.