Self-pleasure, like meditation and a weekend message is an important ritual to include in your self-care routine. Masturbation is proven to improve your skin. Orgasms also have a number of benefits, including the ability to improve sleep quality and support healthy immune systems.
A new trend towards tech-forward sucking toys for men is emerging as self-pleasure has become a greater priority. Although the sextoy industry was once subject to sleazy marketing tactics, it has been redeemed by a new trend to prioritize chic, stylish and proven sex toys for those with penises or vultures.
Rosewell, one of these brands, has a simple mission: To make intimate products and sexual wellness products for everyday life.
“We view sexual health as conducive for self-care. Alisha Williams, co-founder, says that it is important to provide a safe, convenient and accessible environment for customers to learn about products and all the thought that went into them.
We want everyone, regardless of gender, to feel free from judgment and shame so they can be their best connected and authentic selves. We want people question the outdated narratives and antiquated discussions that surround these products, and to make their own decisions about how they should be used. To foster intimacy and connection in everyday moments, we advocate simplifying and de-stigmatizing the experience.
We spoke to Williams about creating sex-positive toys and accessories and what the process involved.
The Latch: Alisha! Please tell me more about Rosewell’s decision to launch it with your own pleasure toys.
Alisha Williams: Our team consists of women who, before starting a sexual wellness company, have worked in traditional careers. Rosewell was ultimately born from our individual experiences with the current market for sexual wellness. This curiosity also led to us asking more questions.
This is what we wanted to find out: Is this normal? Is this something that other people experience? What about products that didn’t tell us how to behave or look? What is in these products? Who are the people behind these leading brands? These questions were not answered in a reassuring way. We felt disappointed by toxic materials that were misguidedly labeled as “body safe”, damaging user information, lack transparency, and marketing about how users should act and look at their products.
TL : This sparked the idea to make your own?
AW: The industry has not changed much from where it was 20 years ago. Google will bring up large numbers of confusing retailers or stores stocking fluorescent vibrators made from dodgy PVC and thick silicone dildos. Further research revealed that these brands are mainly male-founded and commercialize female empowerment and sex positive movements.
We believed we could do better. Where safety, quality, sustainability and sex as an experience for humans were non-negotiable. And where there was no stigma or unrealistic depiction of sexual health.
TL: I love that. The products look very elegant and chic. Did you feel it was important to present a more refined appearance?
AW: To direct our brand’s aesthetic and to create a simple, modern experience, we looked to other industries, such as medicine, personal care, and beauty.
We wanted to remove the obviousness of the bright pink vibrator and replace it with something that is not easily detected as a sexy toy. While we knew branding, packaging and website were important, we also spent time creating a unique buying experience for each person.
TL : Tell me how did you make the toys.
AW: We spent much time researching common terms like “body safe” and what it actually means in relation to materials, manufacturing and testing, as well as Q&A processes. Our findings show that body-safe does not mean anything. Toys that are body-safe use non-porous rubber jelly, which is easily penetrated by bacteria and viruses. Another popular low-grade option is polyvinylchloride (PVC), which contains toxic chemicals called Phthalates. These chemicals can leak out toys and impact reproductive health, hormone balance, as well as breast cancer charities.
We wanted to make sure that our products were made from the best medical-grade silicone. This is the same quality used in breast implants and menstrual cups. It’s bio-compatible, non-porous, and won’t harbor potentially harmful microorganisms.
TL: How many people were involved in the project? Did you have any testers? How did you engineer the form and materials?
AW: It was not unlike other industries. It took a lot research, trial and error and many conversations to find a manufacturer who shared our values. It took nearly a year to review manufacturers, request samples, test and ask more questions to determine how far we could push this process.
We discussed the products when we started sampling. Colleagues, acquaintances, parents, friends, and even strangers at a friend’s birthday can all be contacted to discuss the products. We wanted to hear all of our friends, from their younger siblings to our 60-year-old mothers. We conducted surveys to find out what people wanted and made product decisions based on that feedback.
We valued these shared experiences and prioritized our neutral colours, subtle motors, and quality materials. So we started ordering small batches of each product to improve.