The sex tech industry is booming, but who are the ones we should be watching? Here at afterglow, we’re very fond of giving and receiving. Well, ‘tis the season, because we’ve decided to give some love to ten outstanding companies in the sexual wellness industry with this year-end roundup!
O.school is a sexual education and wellness hub that aims to answer all your questions with honest, science-based information and without judgment. After internalizing the toxic cultural messaging young girls receive about sex and relationships, founder Andrea Barrica was inspired to create O.school to help others overcome similar shame and access valuable health information.
The platform’s virtual classes and workshops are facilitated by a who’s-who of sex and pleasure experts; turn to O.school for guidance in communicating with your partner about sex, decoding new-to-you language around identities, understanding consent, and a rainbow of other topics.
Why we love them: O.school’s holistic approach to sex education is dislodging and dismantling harmful attitudes and misinformation about sexuality, a mission to which afterglow is also deeply committed.
2. Leda Health
The Leda Health network is the first and only sex tech resource offering multi-faceted support to survivors of sexual trauma for every step of the healing process, from evidence collection in the immediate aftermath to specialized healing circles to help navigate the long-term effects.
Leda Health also provides survivors with emergency contraception and home STI testing kits for added peace of mind, and while they encourage survivors to get post-assault exams with SANE nurses and report their assaults to law enforcement, no one is turned away or pressured for choosing not to.
Why we love them: This extraordinary network of survivors, advocates, attorneys, scientists, and clinicians rises to meet a serious societal need and help all victims of assault to take back their personal power and healthy sexual autonomy in the wake of these devastating crimes.
Best friends Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan co-founded the sex tech company Dipsea after discovering they were both frustrated with the lack of erotica resources by and for women. The erotic stories available through Dipsea feature diverse, relatable characters with empowering storylines. Written by a team of elite immersive romance writers, stories are brought to life in audio by professional voice actors for the ultimate sensual experience.
Why we love them: Dipsea is the solution to the quality control issues and lack of inclusive material that plague most original online erotica. Dipsea and afterglow share a common purpose in creating content to make every consumer feel good about themselves and their sexuality.
Coral is a sex tech app that makes three key promises to its users: deeper connections, enhanced pleasure, and unshakeable confidence. After installing the app, users can choose from free and premium access tiers that provide standard and personalized education, exercises, and conversation prompts for greater relationship intimacy and self-knowledge.
Why we love them: Coral was built to be an inclusive platform from the ground up. They’ve also collaborated with many of our favorite sexperts to help users learn and grow as singles or couples.
Touted as a one-stop shop for women and AFAB people’s healthcare needs, the sex tech company Tia provides a full spectrum of services including primary care, OB-GYN, and mental health management.
Tia champions simpler access and more personalized treatment plans than the cookie-cutter approach of the past, and aims to bring their special brand of connected care to more than 100,000 women by 2023.
Why we love them: Tia’s app-based patient portal makes scheduling appointments and accessing your medical history a breeze, and includes helpful tools like a symptom tracker and related health information to put your health in your hands.
Previously known as Handi, the Bump’n brand’s star product is the Joystick, a disability-friendly sex toy adapter that can be controlled and positioned with larger muscle groups and less fine motor skill than the standard hand-operated designs that dominate the market.
Equipped with multiple holes and surfaces to work with a variety of toys and any gender, the Bump’n Joystick is not only the first pleasure product created by and for the disabled, but the first to be genuinely made for all bodies.
Why we love them: Everyone deserves to autonomously feel good in their body, and Bump’n meets a need that has gone unaddressed for far too long. We encourage able-bodied players to use the Bump’n Joystick as well; when accessible brands profit, everybody wins, and the benefits of free hands and less effort in your solo sessions promise a much spicier time!
Founded as a passion project by sex-positive influencer, educator, and podcaster Zoë Ligon, Spectrum Boutique features a selection of body-safe products personally curated by Zoë herself. Items on offer include books by leading sex and relationship experts, toy box essentials like vibrators and penetration toys, gender-affirming products for trans users, bondage and fetish gear in iridescent hues, sexual wellness products, and more!
Visitors to the site can also learn and socialize on the Spectrum Boutique forum, a community where customers and fans come together to compare notes, ask questions, and normalize their desires through mutual support.
Why we love them: “Dildo Duchess” Zoë Ligon has been a loud and proud voice in the sex-positive niche for years now, serving her enthusiastic and sensitive takes on pleasure and reducing stigma and shame. In that vein, Spectrum Boutique really does have something for everyone!
If you and your partner have graduated to barrier-free penetrative sex, you’ve probably done a closed-leg sprint to the bathroom a time or two. Awkward Essentials is putting an end to that uncomfortable journey and stained sheets with the Dripstick, an easy-to-insert medical-grade sponge that absorbs the internal fluids left after sex.
As one might expect, Awkward Essentials doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is; the term “cum sponge” is prominently featured in their branding for the Dripstick, ensuring that consumers can easily find the solution to their sticky situations.
Why we love them: We’re here for any product that means nobody has to sleep in the wet spot! In addition to its original intended use, we’ve found that the Dripstick is perfect for tidying up lube and personal fluids after protected partner sex or masturbation.
As the original creator of cannabis-based personal lubricants, Foria Wellness made headlines with their first product’s use of natural, organic ingredients including sun-grown cannabis to promote and intensify female orgasms. No longer relegated to dispensary shelves, Foria Wellness now boasts a number of signature products that can be sold in most stores due to their CBD-only formulation.
Following the growing understanding of THC and CBD-based wellness products and the sweeping legislative changes in cannabis regulation for many U.S. states, Foria Wellness products are poised to revolutionize sexual health and wellness nationwide.
Why we love them: Dedicated to women’s sexual pleasure, Foria Wellness works to alleviate multiple issues that can make sex difficult or uncomfortable from vaginal pain to anxiety. As more consumers come out of the “green closet”, we predict this brand will be a major player in closing the infamous orgasm gap.
UK-based startup Daye hit the ground running in 2019 with their first product, a CBD-infused tampon designed to soothe the physical and emotional pains of menstrual periods. Founder and CEO Valentina Milanova, whose company bio reads “had her first painful period at age 9”, is committed to sustainability and safety as well as comfort. Daye’s period products are finished with plastic-free flushable wrappers and a biodegradable sugarcane applicator, and their manufacturing process utilizes gamma-ray sanitization and a unique anti-shed sleeve to prevent tampon-related infections.
Since that initial launch, Daye’s line has expanded to include cotton and hemp-based tampons with or without CBD, a CBD pain-relief balm for topical use, and a probiotic centered on vulva health. Sign up for their newsletter for a chance to win a year of free tampons!
Why we love them: Daye brings 21st-century innovation to a product that hasn’t seen much change to its design and manufacturing process in almost 100 years, and addresses the concerns of the modern market with their earth-friendly packaging and wellness-first ethos. And, you know, that tampon giveaway.
Want to learn more about sex tech? Read our interview with EU Sxtech Conference founder and CEO Ola Miedzynska.