Those of you who have been wondering why the site has been quiet this month: this is why. I've been consulting with the people who are crowdfunding Lovely, and now that it's out in the world I can finally talk to you about it!
I have often complained that sex toys - especially new and innovative ones - are vulva-centric. So when I was asked to give some feedback on Lovely as a consultant, I was really excited for the potential of a new product of this kind - but that's just the beginning of why I'm so excited about it.
If you know me, you also know that I'm ridiculously jaded when it comes to new sex toys - that's not even getting into products that are trying to crowdfund. Most are terrible, some are downright horrifying. But this one, I think, is different. I'm really excited about the possibilities and I want to share some of my favorites with you. Feel free to ask questions or post feedback in the comments below.
Why aren't there good products for men?
Products that are made primarily for penises have more or less been overlooked by the movement towards better design, innovation, body safety, and pleasure literacy in sex toys and retail.
There are a few reasons for this - the original shady stores and products catered primarily to men; newer products and retail spaces were a response in reaction to the lack of good design and female-oriented spaces. It's also because people often simplify male/penile pleasure experiences - dudes just want to stick their dick into an orifice or orifice-like thing, create some friction, and they're done.... right? (hint: it's not that simple)
Everyone deserves quality, body safe, pleasurable and inventive products. There have for sure been a couple really great new things coming out that are for penises and butts - some really interesting penile vibrators, high-end vibrating cock rings, and even an app-controlled butt plug (!) - but most innovative new products are specifically for vulvas.
Not only is Lovely specifically for penile use (though it has other uses, which I'll go over below) but it's innovative - there is nothing else like this.
What's already out there
Sex toys with apps are a relatively new prospect - we started out with the Blue Motion (a panty vibe) and WeVibe 4+ (a "couple's vibe") last year; both apps focus primarily on being discrete remotes for your toys and making the toys bluetooth compatible so you could use them from great distances. The same goes for the new Je Joue Dua (a dual stimulating vibrator) and Nuo (a vibrating butt plug), which came towards the end of last year/the beginning of this year.
Then, there was the KGoal - the first app-controlled toy that gives you data based on use. The KGoal is used primarily for Kegel exercise, and lets you measure your progress over time and compare with other users. KGoal was the first product of a sexual health related nature to give it's users quantifiable, useful, and easy to understand information to use to the benefit of their sexual health.
...& Why that makes Lovely exciting
Lovely is the first to prioritize pleasure and communication, which is what makes it so interesting to me - it incorporates fun, but also gives you usable information and not only that, gives you advice based on your data and feedback. The app also gives you easily digestible data so you can visualize what happens during sex - speed, movements, and calories burned - things that you normally cannot quantify.
Even more exciting to me is that the app encourages communication. Talking to your partner about how pleasurable sex is - whether that's something needing improvement or something being really great! - can be so hard for a lot of people. It can also be hard to express interest in sex rather than waiting for it to happen spontaneously, which doesn't work for everyone.
The Lovely app encourages communication by making it simple and fun - almost like a game - which brings the pressure off people who feel awkward or anxious about talking to their partner about sex. For those people who don't have that anxiety, it can be a great way to try new things you may not have thought of before.
It's not just for cisgendered, heterosexual couples.
If you think outside the box, Lovely can be used by a variety for people for different reasons, and I have been assured that if we fund we'll be able to add functionality for different genders, sexualities, and relationship structures that lie outside of your typical cisgendered, heteronormative, monogamous relationship. Even as it is now, there are a lot of ways you can "hack" the uses of Lovely, and the people who are making it are fully supportive of users thinking up new functionality for the product.
You don't need to have a penis to use a vibrating cock ring pleasurably - this is something I talk about with people all the time. Vibes like this can effectively be used on strap-ons for partnered play and penetrable toys for solo play. I can't even imagine how great it would feel on something like the Fuze Tango.
Lovely is the next logical step in SexTech
We are a technologically infused culture: we have technology that keeps us on schedule, that tells us when to eat or take our medicine, helps us order every consumable we could imagine, monitors our health, keeps us in contact, or is just a way to have fun. Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives.
It only makes sense that technology would break into our sex lives, something that is so innate to our experience of life. Historically, whenever new technology has come onto the field it has quickly been ascribed a sexual purpose. The internet is for porn, but it's also for dating and learning about sex in a sex education deprived bus sex-obsessed culture. Sex toys have become gradually more advanced - better, safer, more interesting and fun.
With lovely, we're not only considering an interesting new toy, we're considering a new way to understand our sex lives, gain access to interesting and usable sex education, and communicate with our partner(s) - and it makes it easy and pleasurably rewarding. We're advancing our sex lives through technology, just like we're advancing our everyday lives through technology.
Full dislosure: I have been consulting with Lovely, but all opinions expressed here are purely my own. I would not be working with and promoting this company if I did not believe fully in their product.