Taking self-care to its logical conclusion, masturbation, sex and vaginal-care products are being rebranded as the ultimate luxurious wellness experience, and online beauty and lifestyle retailers are leading the charge.
In the olden days, when a lady went shopping for a Grownup Lady Love Toy, chances were good that she had to do so at worst in a fluorescent-hued hell scape moist with the broken dreams of disappointed men or at best in an über-hipster downtown storefront. Now, there’s new option – and a new image – for female sex toys.
Taking self-care to its logical conclusion, masturbation, sex and vaginal-care products are being rebranded as the ultimate luxurious wellness experience, and online beauty and lifestyle retailers are leading the charge. Goop, Violet Grey and Free People are all focused on stocking these types of goodies where discerning shoppers can easily add things like Crave’s Vesper vibrator (which doubles as a necklace) and high-end condoms to their cart full of cult-favourite finds at checkout.
“For us, it’s all about self-care,” says Jayme Cyk, beauty director at Violet Grey. “Whether it’s about making sure that you’re helping your damaged hair or clearing up your acne, the same goes for someone who wants to give themselves a little bit of extra love in places that they don’t focus on all the time.”
“With the proliferation of sex toys in popular culture in a post-Sex and the City and post-Girls world, there’s an expectation that many women have a vibrator, and it’s rare to talk to a woman who doesn’t masturbate.”
“Self-care can involve using a face mask or it might involve using a vibrator,” says Cynthia Loyst, sex educator, founder of findyourpleasure.com and co-host of CTV’s The Social. “With the proliferation of sex toys in popular culture in a post-Sex and the Cityand post-Girls world, there’s an expectation that many women have a vibrator, and it’s rare to talk to a woman who doesn’t masturbate.”
Brands have taken note of this conversational change, turning unattractive and/or porn-y looking items that used to be shamefacedly stuffed into drawers into beautiful objects that are meant to live in the light.
Here are a few of our favourite top-shelf worthy female sex toys and accessories.
1. Lelo Personal Moisturizer
Swedish brand Lelo has made headlines with its collection of luxury vibrators, including one that rings in at $17,900 and is plated in 24-karat gold. (Need!) For the merely middle class, Lelo also sells a drawerful of more affordable, stylish bedroom toys plus a dual-purpose personal moisturizer that’s good for use on your skin and in your skin. The unscented water-based formula is packaged in a chic black flask with a pump top that could easily be mistaken for a bottle of your favourite perfume.
Who knew dildos could be gorgeous? This glossy non-vibrating sex toy/objet made of rose-quartz crystal arrives at your door ensconced in a white plush pouch with a wax-sealed love letter from Chakrubs founder Vanessa Cuccia that includes lines like “I love you for believing that your body is sacred and so your items should be as well.”
“They’re made from the earth and have taken thousands of years to develop as crystal,” says Cuccia. “Because of that, they are so special and beautiful—it’s not something you want to just give yourself an orgasm with and then hide in your dresser drawer.”
Chakrubs items certainly can function as decor alone. There are so many “crystal bitches” these days that nobody would bat an eyelash extension to see an amethyst yoni egg casually lounging on your mantel. According to the company’s website—where you can also buy other equally lovely items made of black obsidian, green aventurine or red jasper—rose quartz speaks to the heart chakra and dissolves emotional wounds, but if you’re not feeling that vibe, just know this: There’s a reason the phrase “hard as a rock” exists.
Calling it pubic hair is so shades-of-frumpy-public-health-nurse, yes? The cool kids call the hair down there fur, and this natural, multi-purpose gender-neutral oil helps condition your bush—or, if your signature look is a variation of bare, it can also help minimize ingrown hairs and safely moisturize your skin in intimate areas. Fur Oil comes in a decorative vanity-table-friendly flacon and has a light lavender and lemon scent.
4. Nécessaire The Sex Gel
Probably no brand embodies the new wellness-meets-beauty moment better than Nécessaire, the just-launched collection of products for the body—all of the body—created by Estée Lauder alum Randi Christiansen and Into the Gloss co-founder Nick Axelrod. Also known as Le Gel Sexuel (it sounds better in French, non?), the water-based lube comes in a stylish gender-neutral pump-top bottle that can sit on a nightstand and purr “Sex, so French, so what?” Made with organic aloe, the product will also lure health-savvy customers with the long list of things it doesn’t contain, like synthetic fragrance, parabens and drying alcohols.
5. Two L(i)ps Blackout Mask
If you’ve ever wondered what music you should be playing while you drape a wet pancake over your pussycat, the Two Lips 15-Minute Ritual Spotify playlist is here to tell you that apparently it’s “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young. This serum-soaked, activated-charcoal sheet mask is chock full of cornflower, elderberry, Indian cress and chamomile and is purported to boost lymphatic drainage and hydrate and brighten your vaginal lips. Instagram is waiting.