Continued from last week is the story of Claire Deeks and Luciana Burke’s start-up My ilo (I Love Orgasms) a sexual wellness company which branched out into designing their own vibrators and producing a range of natural body products such as lubes and massage oils.
Not being sexologists themselves, they sought out experts and supported charities that taught adolescents about sexual health.
“We made sure we donate $1 from every product sold to a charity called Amaze that creates free online digital resources for kids, talking about everything from consent to watching porn for the first time to menstruation,” Ms Burke said.
The pair have mixed feelings about porn, saying it’s got a darker male-dominated background, but some women in the chat groups they run have said they have found it very useful.
“We have about 50 per cent of our community that said they looked to porn for tips and hints when they were starting off in the sexual realm, which I thought was quite high,” Ms Deeks said.
“But then it’s also not really surprising if we’re not talking about it anyway.”
Ms Burke says there core demographic is women aged 18-35, but they’ve got some 50-plus members and they communicate with them regularly on Instagram to run products and ideas past them.
With 17,000 followers already, they get a lot of feedback, and while many are home-grown followers their international following is also expanding rapidly.
One of their dreams is to expand into the ‘real world’.
“I think one thing for us in the future, it would be amazing to get more of a physical community, so can we do workshops with sexologists, and yeah, take her around Australia,” Ms Deeks said.
Of their move into manufacturing their own sex accessories, the idea came after a discussion about what prevented them from purchasing their own.
“Obviously we weren’t educated about it, but the other aspect was; why do they all have such a scary design …. black, hot purple,” Ms Deeks said.
“So for us when we were doing the design side, it was important to make them so visually pleasing that you could leave them out on your bedside table.
“So our vibrators, lots of people don’t think they’re vibrators; they think their facial products because they look so sleek and chic.”
It was also a great ploy to get around the awkwardness that can exist between partners over using sex toys. One of their vibrators looks just like a ring – rather than an always-primed and perfectly proportioned replica of a man’s penis.
“It’s about trying to take that intimidation out,” Ms Deeks said.
“Your partner can wear it, they can be in control of it with your consent and then you can sort of integrate it into your sexual routine; it’s a really good introduction.”
Next in the pair’s sights is a new range of security alarms for women; sadly that’s in response to the growing number of friends who’ve reported being chased home in Fremantle after dark.
“We were starting to hear so many stories of girls getting chased home in Freo, and we live in Freo. I don’t want to have to get an Uber back to my house, it’s a 10-minute walk,” Ms Deeks said.
“So we started looking and we found a classic whistle.
“But they’re like this big plastic … the ugliest looking thing, and I was like ‘if I’m spending $400 on my handbag, there’s no way I’m going to be hanging that big plastic thing on the side.”
So after rethinking the design they’ve got something no bigger than a USB which fits into a neat little case so that it can double as an accessory on the outside of the bag.