The revolution of normalizing female sexuality is happening right in front of our eyes. Women feel less ashamed to talk directly about masturbation, they break stereotypes and barriers that have been built over the years of upbringing, habits and social pressures. At a time where male desirability is perceived by the general public as normal and no one is surprised they like to enjoy life in this specific, pleasant way, women and girls around the world must maintain their stance, reminding everyone that orgasms are natural for both genders. Orgasms are a right, and physical self-love will not harm you like some old wives’ tales say it will.
The sex-toys industry is a big part of today’s topic. It can be unpredictable, mostly because a lot of people don’t know how exactly it works. It can also be extremely helpful in creating a new, healthier perception of body and bliss. I would even be inclined to say some sex toy companies should be put in the spotlight, as part of the bodypositive movement. In a way, it’s a great tool to emphasize the importance of knowledge about different bodies, different needs, and the fact that we all deserve to embrace our own pleasure.
This mission is well known to Womanizer, which has been on the market since 2014, with headquarters in Ottawa, Hong Kong and Berlin. More so, their intimate products are available in over 60 countries. I interviewed Johanna Rief, Director Public Relations & Head of Sexual Empowerment at WOW Tech Group, about Womanizer’s mission.
How does Womanizer help their customers build up their self-esteem and self-acceptance?
We try to show women of all shapes, colours and sizes, how important it is to fight the existing beauty standards that we grow up with. It’s about being happy with ourselves and accepting what we are without thinking we have to look one particular way. Plus, if you know how to give yourself pleasure, you can also change your life and feel more empowered. There are a lot of correlations with our daily functioning, work and achieving orgasm. Studies have shown this helps us sleep better, even work better, and strengthens our immune system. Of course being good with our bodies and accepting ourselves is a huge part of taking care of self-esteem, and this is what we want to do to support people & create products, which will help on a sexual level, but also prove “you are good the way you are”.
Womanizer started to collaborate with Lily Allen relatively recently. What’s the story behind it? What is her role in your mission?
Her role in Womanizer is being a Chief of Liberation Officer, because it’s the mission of de-stigmatize the topic of masturbation and getting people talking about it. The good thing is that we found each other, when she wrote a book in 2018 and there she mentioned our company. Lily said that it is “the best sex toy people can buy”. Then we saw that, so we already knew she liked our products. Lily Allen is convinced of that and truly authentic. She is open-minded and also fits the brand. We were very happy when we contacted her and started conversations.
Why was the motto “Making orgasm a human right” replaced by “I masturbate”?
“Making orgasm a human right” was basically the first claim for Womanizer. We started to use it years ago, but now we use “I masturbate”. We still use “human right” to put some emphasis on the thing we know is very important, but our company is selling products, and in some other countries human rights are another topic. And masturbation these days is still a bold sentence, but it shouldn’t be. It should be normal, something that everyone has access to – also women. It’s time to fix the orgasm gap. It’s about knowing our own wishes and taking our own pleasures as priority.
I already know what makes the company’s sex toys unique. But how is your way of work unique? Is it a matter of women making products for other women, or something else? What’s going on behind the scenes?
A lot of men work for Womanizer as well. Maybe it’s a little bit more women, but I would say that basically it’s 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men. I think all of our men-coworkers are happy they can support women. We are a team, made by people from different nations and countries. Besides, if you want to work in the sex-toy company, you should be kind of a liberal person and think that sexuality is a good aspect of life. We also put a lot of effort in the topic’s research and development – it is not so common in our industry. We are working for the future development of toys. We have a lot of experts, who want to figure out what people need.
Now a simple question. What is the hardest part in working at a company like this?
If you are producing mobile phones – everyone gets it, everyone wants one. You don’t need to convince people why they need one. As a sex-toy company, you often see the belief that people don’t need sex toys because “there is something wrong with that”. So convincing society that this is a benefit to people is hard. And changing the mindset when it comes to sexuality? This is not something you can do in a couple months. It takes a few years.
And what’s better than enjoying our own pleasures?
Empowering and encouraging women not to wait for approval, but to take their pleasure into their own hands? It’s still revolutionary, and I heard this from Womanizer, where working on many levels results in ideas which are passed on even beyond their clientele. It’s not necessarily about existing with our sexuality, as in a Britney Spears song. In fact, masturbating (#imasturbate) and talking openly about it is not exaggerating something that doesn’t matter. Self-pleasure is an important and valid act that affects other aspects of our lives. It affects our self-acceptance. We can have many kinds of love, and this is one of them. Delicate, adventurous – it can be different for everyone, and it must not be forgotten about.
You can watch the entire interview here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIYTma2ntau/
Agata Rogozinska is a journalist and activist from Poland. You can find her at: