If you've ever wished that someone would design the absolute perfect sex toy for you, then you might be one step closer to that dream. Dame Products, the sexual wellness company, just launched Dame Labs, a new research division of the company which will allow customers' input to help shape the design process.
If you're not familiar with Dame's products, its first toy, Eva — a hands-free clitoral vibrator that can be worn during penetrative sex — was the number one crowdfunded sex toy. Its next toy, Fin — a fingertip vibrator — was the first sex toy to be allowed on Kickstarter. With an aim of enhancing intimacy and closing the pleasure gap, Dame's ethos is one that many of us can relate to.
"We've always done a ton of research when it comes to our products, but by making Dame Labs more public-facing, we're going to be able to get a wider diversity of respondents — which will of course help us create even better products in the coming years," Alexandra Fine, CEO of Dame Products, tells Bustle. "I'm also really looking forward to creating spaces that allow for people to share intimate narratives and preferences — really having more conversations with more humans. The topic has been taboo for so long, so creating welcoming, safe and trusting places to discuss is essential and exciting."
The idea is to involve customer input in every part of the process, from aesthetic aspects like helping choose a color for a new toy to more practical ones, like where you like buttons placed and how strong the vibration options should be. Customers who become involved in Dame Labs will be sent a broad range of surveys. Some might be about your sexual history and preferences or what you're looking for in sex toys, while some will be about the products themselves. And, when they start designing new products, Dame hopes to get customer input on that, as well — it's aiming to give some customers prototypes and collect feedback on the new products before they're released. Sounds pretty great, right?
To get involved, you can fill out a survey on the website to get a sense of who you are —your relationship status, whether you have a vulva or a penis, what kind of partner you normally go for, whether you've used Dame products before, and other basics. Then customers who reach certain criteria will be sent more surveys in the future. If you're someone who's passionate about pleasure- and sex-positivity, then it's a great way to have your voice heard and help shape new toys.
Ultimately, Dame Labs wants to make products that speak to what customers are actually looking for — and that conversation with the customer is important to Fine. "Having our customers be a core part of our business is essential to who we are," Fine says. "We wouldn't be here without crowdfunding, so it only makes sense that crowdsourcing — so to speak — our innovations is the way to go. We've always placed a big importance on listening to people, rather than assuming we know what they want. I think opening Dame Labs up will help us to continue to pursue that mission." So if you feel like no vibe has ever really worked for you during sex, they never quite fit, or that you can't understand why someone doesn't just make it easier to change speeds, now's the time to have your voice heard.
With crowdsourcing becoming such a major funding and development source, it's nice to see a company take customer input beyond the crowdfunding level and into later product development. Now's your chance to get on board.