Feb. 7, 2023
Dan Forbes

Sponsored by Queen V

October 2022

The Sexual Wellness Awards

Bustle’s first-ever sexual wellness awards highlights the best toys, serums, oils, and personal care products of 2022.

Photograph by Dan Forbes

For months, my desk at Bustle has been absolutely covered in sex toys. It’s been a little awkward, sure — especially when my boss decides to stop by for a chat. But it’s not as embarrassing as you might expect. Frankly, sexual wellness products are chic now: I’ve got vibrators that could pass for modern art and lube that looks like some kind of luxe skin care item. Many of these products are even sold at high-end places like Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, and Sephora. (Early on in this project, a PR rep for one of the winning brands proudly told me theirs was the “first butt plug to be sold on Nordstrom.com.”) At last, the wellness industry is acknowledging sexual wellness.

That’s why we’re introducing Bustle’s first-ever Sexual Wellness Awards, sponsored by Queen V, in which our editors and a few hand-selected experts will help you find the best of the best products on the market. Inspired by the way sexual wellness products have recently hit more mainstream store shelves, we’re giving a slight edge to “entry-level” products that are good for beginners. We’ve also geared our awards mostly toward people with vulvas, as a nod toward the so-called “orgasm gap” — an important discrepancy, considering that decades of scientific studies have consistently shown a link between orgasm frequency and sexual satisfaction. More recently, a team of researchers in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet made the case that sexual wellbeing “is imperative to public health as a marker of health equity, [and as] a meaningful population indicator of wellbeing.” Sexual wellness, in other words, is — and has always been — an integral part of wellness.

- Melissa Dahl, executive health director for BDG