In the last few years we've seen a major surge in women-led sex toy companies. And it's about time.
"This industry has been run by men (or those with penises) for dozens and dozens of years, which inherently means that the design and marketing of the products that they've created is male-centric," CEO and Co-founder of Unbound, Polly Rodriguez, tells Bustle. "Whether that leads to phallic shapes or packaging that depicts women through a male gaze, there's been a dearth of innovation from a female perspective. It's important to have sexual wellness products that are created by those with vulvas, because it's very difficult to invent effective toys for a body part that you don't have. As more vulva-owners enter the industry, we're seeing new technologies emerge that address issues that have been brushed under the rug for centuries. It's a very exciting time for sex tech, and it's only going to get better from here."
From crystal dildos to a vibrator that doubles as a necklace, these toys created by women are sleek, innovative, and non-intimidating. Here are nine amazing sex toys by nine equally amazing women-led companies, whether you're completely new to sex toys or a seasoned vet looking for the a brand new vibe to add to your collection.
1. Dame: Eva II
To say that Dame's Co-founder and CEO, Alex Fine, and Co-founder and CTO, Janet Lieberman, improved my sex life for the better would be an understatement. I have been shamelessly promoting their products since my introduction to the creation of the original Eva and will continue to do so until the end of time.
Because of this deep love for their products, trying to choose the most amazing out of Eva, Fin, and Eva II wasn't easy. But, when push comes to shove, my pick is Dame's Eva II. An upgraded version of Eva, with even more research behind it and the ability to fit a "wider range of vulvas," Eva II sealed the deal for me.
2. Chakrubs: The Rose Wand
Chakrubs, a line of crystal of sex toys created by Vanessa Cuccia, was something that came to be when Cuccia decided it was time to take control of her life, as well as her sexuality. While at first I was skeptical about Chakrubs, as I have about as much spirituality in me as this desk I'm writing on, it was Cuccia's explanation of Chakrubs that won me over — and winning me over is no easy task.
“Crystals are formed with the earth, their perfect molecular structures allow them to present themselves in beautiful, awe-inspiring ways," Cuccia tells Bustle. "When we do not feel at peace with ourselves, it is because we are tapped into an underlying anxiety that we all face as human beings. Spirituality is the awareness that we existed before we were born, and that we exist after we've died. For our time on earth, we are given bodies that have the innate ability to feel pleasure. Sexuality is a small portion of sensuality. Being sensual is appreciating the senses and showing gratitude for having a body by feeling pleasure within it.”
And with that in mind, I let go and embraced The Rose Wand as it stimulated my G-spot. What's amazing about this product is that it puts you in a mindset that you don't usually find yourself in, but it's in that space that your body and your brain intertwine, really bringing you to a different place.
3. Unbound: Squish
Although Unbound Co-founder and CEO Polly Rodriguez initially joined the sex tech world as a subscription service of sex toys by other companies, Unbound has since started creating their own toys. Of those toys, Squish is the one that gets put in the amazing category.
What makes Squish so damn amazing isn't just the five modes from which to choose or even the fact that it has a Smart Memory function that remembers what you're into — although these are both very exciting aspects. What I find so amazing about Squish is that with each squeeze, you get stronger vibrations (also the texture is wonderful).
So if you're someone like me, who finds herself sort of squeezing anything in sight as she gets closer to climax, then Squish is the ideal toy for you. If you're going to be naturally squeezing with pleasure, you might as well be squeezing your vibrator.
4. Mystery Vibe: Crescendo
Understanding that not every body or every sexual desire is the same, Co-founder and Chief Pleasure Officer of Mystery Vibe, Stephanie Alys, stepped up to the plate with the creation of Crescendo. Not only is Crescendo a sex toy that can be controlled by your phone, but it has six motors and can be twisted, turned, bent, folded — you name it — to fit whatever gets you off. It definitely brings a lot of creative options to the table whether you use it solo or with a partner.
5. b-Vibe: Triple Anal Beads
Already a professional in the industry of Sexual Intimacy, b-Vibe’s Founder and CEO, Alicia Sinclair, really brought something to the table when she launched b-Vibe. While she may not have invented anal play — that fun has been going on forever — she certainly played a major role in normalizing it and making people understand there’s no shame in it.
Of the b-Vibe products I have, my heart belongs to the Triple Anal Beads. I’ve enjoyed them solo, with my partner, and my partner has thoroughly enjoyed his own Triple Anal Beads.
"One of the great things about anal play is that folks of any gender and orientation can enjoy it, not just gay men (obviously)," Alicia Sinclair, Founder and CEO of b-Vibe, tells Bustle. Yep; she definitely hit the nail on the head with that statement.
6. Maude: Vibe
Although relatively new to the sex tech scene, Maude wants to make sex both simple and pleasurable. It’s with this in mind that Maude’s CEO Eva Goicochea and CPO Dina Epstein created Vibe. See? So simple that it doesn’t even need a fancy name. With it’s three speeds — and intense ones at that — and a runtime of up to 2.5 hours, Vibe is beautiful to look at, fantastic to use, and amazing all around. Personally, I’m a sucker for any sex toy that looks like a work of art and Vibe definitely does. Maude also lets you build your very own sex kit with their products, so that's really cool, too.
7. Lioness: Lioness
In 2016, Lioness' CEO, Liz Klinger, took to Indiegogo to get funding for her idea. Her idea was for a vibrator that had sensors that measured the vagina in which it was being used, took the temperature of it, and registered the motion of the user. Her thinking was with this information and the app that recorded all it, the user could actually learn about their body; from their likes and dislikes, to even what time of the month sex and/or masturbation is most fun for them. The idea wasn't just amazing, but practically genius.
Klinger got the money she needed for her product and Lioness came to fruition along with the help of the Anna Lee, Lioness' VP of Engineering.
"Vibrators and other sexual wellness products out there are not really tailored towards [people learning about their bodies], even though a lot of people were looking for something to explore and add variety to their lives," Klinger tells Bustle.
So she did what one has to do sometimes: created the product she had always wanted for herself and the results are amazing.
8. Babeland: Silver Bullet
While we tend to think of Babeland as sex toy stores, it's also a business founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning, and a business that has its very own line of products on its store's shelves. It's also a business that shelves one of the sex toys that changed my life: Babeland Silver Bullet. For that reason alone, this toy is amazing. No one ever forgets their first bullet vibe.
9. Crave: Vesper
Although Ti Chang, Co-founder of Crave and its industrial designer, is responsible for a variety of beautifully made and fantastic toys over at Crave, it's Vesper that will always be the most amazing — at least in this writer's humble opinion. It's not just amazing because it's a vibrator that doubles as a necklace, but because it's a testament to just how important it is that people embrace their sexuality. It's a battle cry of feminism!
While all of these sex toys by these women-led companies are amazing, I do encourage you to check out the other wonderful toys these companies make. Each one is amazing in their own right — just like the women behind them.