Pleasure has many components: just ask the women in sexual wellness who are changing the industry.
In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we spoke to four professionals in the field who advocate for self-love, healthy habits, body inclusivity and experimenting with the best sex toys on shelves.
Here's how they're trailblazing the pleasure industry and why you should celebrate them this March and beyond.
4 women in sexual wellness you should know:
1. Rebecca Alvarez: founder and CEO of Bloomi
Rebecca Alvarez has celebrated many firsts in her career: obtaining the first-ever master's degree in Sexology from UC Berkeley and putting the first Latinx sexual wellness brand on shelves at Target, to name a few.
As a sexologist, Alvarez dedicated her professional life to inclusive sexual education, starting with care products. Her company, Bloomi, features premium, plant-based sexual wellness accessories—the Massage Clitoral and Body Vibrator is among the list of favorites—and sheds new light on women's sex lives.
"An intimate care routine is an opportunity to build more pleasure into life and take control of one’s sexual health," she tells My Imperfect Life. "Fundamental to an intimate care routine is building a collection of clean and body-safe products that support intimate health without causing harm to intimate areas."
What's more, Bloomi celebrates a diverse clientele and believes in pleasure for all.
"As a first-generation Latina wellness entrepreneur, inclusivity is central to my work and a cornerstone of Bloomi’s mission," she adds. "BIPOC individuals are typically left out of a lot of narratives about personal pleasure. We have been largely ignored and so the majority of products available have not been developed with the unique needs of diverse bodies in mind."
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2. Lindsay Wynn: co-founder and CEO of Momotaro Apotheca
Lindsay Wynn wanted to put a stop to those pesky UTIs and yeast infections once and for all, not just by clearing up infections but by creating better reproductive health in the long run.
Partnering with pharmacologists to create natural, organic and inclusive products, Wynn co-founded Momotaro Apotheca, a queer, female-owned business that specializes in organic vulvovaginal care.
"We create 100% certified organic and plant-based products that not only provide immediate relief but help improve long-term vaginal health," she says.
Plus, Momotaro Apotheca is looking to make sex education more inclusive and effective.
"This sets the tone for the extensive education we publish that is always from a first-hand personal and professional perspective in an effort to create a more empathetic understanding of our bodies while providing plant-based solutions," Wynn adds.
(And, on that note, be sure to check out our roundup of 8 things gynecologists want you to know!)
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3. Melissa Saavedra: founder & CEO of Steamy Lit
Steamy Lit is two-fold: the company celebrates both hot romance novels—a genre once considered taboo—and equal representation.
"It is such an empowering thing to see through the pages of these books that you are worthy and deserving of love," says the brand's founder Melissa Saavedra. "No matter who you are, where you're from, what color your skin is, or what your background or sexual preference is, you deserve to read a story about someone like you."
A U.S. Army vet who became particularly enamored by the genre while her husband was on deployment, Saavedra wanted to create a welcoming, inclusive community celebrating love and self-love, regardless of what that looks like for individuals. Thus, Steamy Lit was born.
"Your mind is a powerful tool when it comes to self-love, and reading these stories allows each reader to create their own unique and personal view of what the story, characters and scenarios mean to them," Saavedra adds.
Boxes come equipped with books, particularly with a focus on underrepresented authors, fun wellness accessories like candles and skincare products, and, of course, a vibrator. We have a feeling you'll get through that TBR pile with ease!
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4. Angie Rowntree: founder and director Sssh.com
Sssh.com works to destigmatize adult entertainment. Its extensive collection of films, sex-ed videos, ASMR and erotic audio content make it the premiere destination for sex-positive, ethical porn made from a woman's point of view.
"Since we began our journey in 1999, Sssh.com has always been about member-driven content," founder Angie Rowntree says. "Our internal members’ survey directly informs what content we shoot or produce. Now that we have over 24 years of data on desire and fantasy, we can confidently say that it is impossible to put women’s sexuality in a box."
She adds: "For Sssh.com, making ethical porn includes, but is certainly not limited to: open and transparent discussions about consent and boundaries; the right of performers to freely choose their scene partners; the right to pause or stop the scene for any reason at any time; fair pay for everyone."
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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