Few industries have felt the same pushback as SexTech. It seems that no matter how valuable, unique, or innovative a product or service is—involving SexTech in the equation inspires prudes to throw up roadblocks. The SexTech industry is resilient and made up of passionate designers, creatives, marketers, and others who simply aren’t willing to take No for an answer. That has led to some fun an...
Sexual Wellness is a term we didn’t really hear much a decade ago. Now? Everybody wants to get on the wellness train. And why not? Taking our sexual health and pleasure seriously is at least as important as drinking enough water and making an occasional trip to the dentist. So why don’t consumers flock to items marketed as sexual wellness products?
XBIZ poses the question—do consumers really want Sexual Wellness products? Does the average consumer even know what they are? Sexual Wellness products might include anything from vibrators to sleeves, lube, educational apps, video content, or sex toys for individuals or couples. All of that sounds great—so why would anyone not be interested in Sexual Wellness?
The concept of Sexual Wellness also implies sexual unwellness. Most people aren’t keen to admit that they have a ‘sexual problem.’ Given the stigma society attaches to ‘perverts,’ that’s not surprising. If people aren’t aware or can’t admit that they’re seeking a solution to an existing issue—that issue may never be adequately addressed with the promise of Sexual Wellness. For some people, sex is so stigmatized and shameful that talking about it feels worse than simply doing without. A negative sexual experience for some may mean never trying that thing again.
Steve Callow, CEO of Perfect Fit, explains that many consumers will feel more comfortable referring to sex toys and other wellness aids as “gear.” There’s no stigma attached to needing gear. Callow suggests that those who aren’t comfortable buying ‘sexual wellness aids’ might be okay with picking up some gear for a sexy weekend with their partner. Framing is everything.
How should the industry proceed? Should consumers be dissuaded from discussing their sexual health in favor of ‘grabbing some gear?’ Or do we encourage open discussion that seeks to destigmatize sexual wellness?