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With the likes of Netflix show Sex Education dismantling sexual taboos, people are becoming increasingly open about their desires. An app called Lover is playing on this shift, offering sexual pleasure education in a bid to become people's toolkit for the bedroom. We explore the insights behind this and how Lover is prompting people to embrace sexual openness.

People who download Lover are invited to explore their desires through a personality quiz and video tutorials. The brainchild of sexual psychologist Dr. Britney Blair, the app offers credited sexual education and discretely matches partners with shared turn-ons they can try in the bedroom. Content includes audio guides to oral sex and multi-step 'playlists' of content like 'Getting Hard, Made Easy'. And behind the $9.99 per month paywall is content like 'Coreplay Not Foreplay' and 'Fantasy To Reality', which are recommended based on the results of the questionnaire. “It is strange that there are such taboos around sex when it is something we all do. Lover can help build confidence, facilitate communication, improve partner connection, and just raise consciousness about sex and sexuality,” says Dr. Blair.

While a growing number of femtech tools – like OMGYes and Vulvation – are addressing taboos surrounding women’s sexual health, Lover opens the conversation by encouraging partners to share in their pleasure. With 42% of young British women suffering from a lack of sexual enjoyment, compared to a third of Boomers, there are significant pleasure gaps. “Almost 50% of women and 40% of men have a sexual complaint… [but] most people don’t realize how common and treatable their issues are,” says Dr. Blair. Brands have an opportunity to sexually empower people and redefine collaborative sex care. OMGYes recognises this demand: with only 65% of women achieving climax during sex, compared to 95% of men, it looks to rectify this discrepancy by offering instructions in how to help a woman reach orgasm. 

Brands have an opportunity to sexually empower people and redefine collaborative sex care
NeONBRAND (2018) ©

People are also looking to better understand the intricacies of their mind. Indeed, sales of self-help books in the UK rose by 20% from 2018 to 2019, according to Nielsen Book Research. With this in mind, Lovers’ communications strategy is pegged on three pillars: 'Build Your Sensual Skills', 'Expand Your Knowledge' and 'Prime Your Mindset'. Given Lovers’ focus on mindset as the third pillar, it is encouraging users to think about their sexual activity from a different perspective, while also using discrete marketing – the app refers to the ‘bedspace’ for example. A similar subtle tack is taken by sex toy company Dame Products. According to Dame CEO Alexander Fine, “The sex industry is on a swing from a male-gaze vice industry to a women-focused wellness industry.” The truth is in the packaging: Dame’s branding resembles that of Glossier more than Doc Johnson. 

Sophie Robinson is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8. She has a degree in social anthropology from the University of Manchester and always tries to deconstruct stereotypes of normality. When not questioning why, she’s watching a short film or writing a screenplay.

Canvas8

27 Feb 20
2 min read

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