The startup business is tough. The startup business for sex toys is especially tough. Eva helped prove there’s a bigger, more vibrant, more engaged and more mainstream market out there for sex toys than many people imagined. It's kind of a big deal.
It's Designed, Sold and Marketed by Women
Many of the sex toys on the market are designed for female anatomy, but that doesn't mean that they're designed by people with female anatomy - and that's an important distinction. This isn't just a problem in the sex toy industry. In fact, many products that are designed for women - everything from maxi pads to mascara - are designed, marketed and sold by men. In 2014, the Huffington Post and Catalyst, an organization whose mission is to boost women in business, looked at 19 of the largest companies that cater to women. Just one had a senior leadership team comprised of mostly women. This study didn't examine companies making sex toys, but the trend does explain why, until quite recently, many sex toys did a better job of resembling male genitalia than they did at producing pleasure.
In the last few years, however, a number of female-run companies have burst onto the scene with ideas not just about how sex toys for female bodies should look and feel, but how they should be marketed. Dame - and its flagship product, Eva, - has been front and center of this movement. Its founders, Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman, founded the company to help close the "pleasure gap" between male and female orgasm during partnered, heterosexual sex.
Thanks to the efforts of industry leaders like these, the latest sex toys are increasingly being marketed much like many of the other products we buy, allowing their use to become much more mainstream. That helps promote pleasure for everyone, which is definitely a good thing.
It's Wearable - In a Good Way
There are a lot of vibrators out there that are marketed as being wearable. What's great about Eva is that rather than using elastic straps (yeah, it's a thing) or having to hold it inside the vagina (which can make things a little squished during intercourse), Eva is designed to nestle up into the labia and sort of hang out there, vibrating away.
“Eva is a small, helping vibe that is partner-friendly. The two funky looking wings create a tiny bit of force that keep the product secure during sex,” Fine told us.
And that’s just the thing. It’s friendly. It isn’t bulky or strappy or intimidating. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with any of those things in sex toy. But they aren't for everyone, especially people who are new to sex toys. Eva aims to be unobtrusive, which makes it a great entry-level toy. We like that.
It's Something New
To be fair, not all reviewers have loved this design. As some pointed out, not all labia are the same, so this toy won't work well for everyone. But, we'd argue that there isn't a sex toy out there that will. Bodies are different and people are individual in their tastes and, well, getting off is actually kinda complicated once you put all these variables together. It's also why we like to celebrate toys - and makers - that are ambitious when it comes to new designs and ideas. There are plenty of dongs out there. This is something different. Not everyone will like it. But we know that some people like it quite a lot.