0010: Fervor Friday With Creator And CEO Of B-Vibe, Le Wand And The Cowgirl : Alicia Sinclair
For the past few years, a sexual revolution of sorts has been happening globally, with female designers leading the charge in developing beautiful and functional products in the adult toy industry, specifically for women. One of them is, Alicia Sinclair founder and lead designer at Le Wand, The Cowgirl & B-Vibe.
For decades, men were the primary product designers in this industry, and it showed. There seemed to be a catchall design in women’s products that didn’t always deliver the punch they promised. The designers overlooked one vital point: All women do not derive pleasure the same way. There was also a shameful stigma attached to the purchase of such products, which were usually sold at seedy adult toy stores.
Thankfully, the landscape has shifted tremendously, with women leading the way. They are designing better products made with safer and more comfortable materials, sold at retail and online shops that are now socially acceptable for women to peruse. Here I talk to Alicia Sinclair sex tech entrepreneur, certified sex educator, and pleasure advocate about her journey into designing pleasure products for women.
Alicia you please tell us about yourself?
I’m a sex tech entrepreneur, certified sex educator, and pleasure advocate. Through my extensive work in the adult space, I have led many training programs teaching people about being sex positive – an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual adult sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation. As a sex-positive advocate, I recognize that sexual wellbeing is an important facet of an overall healthy lifestyle and thus create products to enhance people’s experiences.
It all started when I took a job working at a lingerie company over 17 years ago now. Admittedly, I had no idea that this job would affect the course of my life, but sure enough — as I rose the ranks in that job, it led to another in the industry, and before I knew it I was fully immersed in the sexual intimacy world. After serving as the VP of Worldwide Sales and Business Development at Jimmy Jane, I decided it was time for me to take my years of industry experience and start introducing my own innovations into the world. My goal was — and still is — to examine outdated areas of the industry and create not only superior and heavily-researched products to fill these voids, but to provide approachable educational materials and extensive coaching and support so that everyone can partake. Pleasure is a right, not a privilege
Can you tell us a little about your upbringing?
I grew up in a Mormon household, which affected my early understanding of sexuality. And I have always been hyper aware of how institutional conditioning shapes the ways in which we have sex, even as an adult. My religious cues did not involve open discussions around sexuality and they certainly didn’t include pleasure-based conversation. The shame associated with veering outside of this Mormon narrative propelled me to reclaim my relationship with sex through my work.
How did your family react to you creating pleasure tools?
I come from a very conservative family, so it certainly wasn’t commonplace to go and work in the erotic industry. Yet, as those around me got more and more comfortable with the life I’d chosen for myself (and the fact that it was making me happy) the more they embraced it. I see my work as a wonderful opportunity to gently educate those people who might have hesitations about the importance of sexual well-being and help shift perspectives towards a poorly misunderstood category.
How would you define yourself and what inspires you?
First and foremost, I’m an educator. I use my platform, either via my brands or my personal social media, to spread as much knowledge as possible on sex and sexuality. Education is part of our company’s core mission, and that is reflected in pretty much every part of our brand. When you open a box for our products, there’s more than just a user manual: there’s a guide to anal play for our b-Vibe products, and a pleasure guide for our Le Wand products. Our blog also covers frequently asked questions about sexuality, from societal stigmas women face when they explore anal play, to how to have a blended orgasm. Overall, we’re giving people not only the tools, but the comprehensive sex education they need to feel empowered about their sexuality and take control of their pleasure.
I’m inspired by all of the incredible people I’ve been able to collaborate with over the past few years, and those who share my mission for a more inclusive industry that gives everyone a seat at the table. People like Joani Blank, Carol Queen, Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning are such pioneers in this industry, and really had the foresight to look ahead and see what was missing. And now there is an incredible new wave of educators, entrepreneurs and activists who are making ways.
b-Vibe recently launched a campaign, Every Body Has a Butt, to celebrate the inclusive and fluid nature of anal play. Our models for the campaign included Ericka Hart, Tina Horn, Daniel Saynt,Sonalee Rashatwar, Arielle Egozi, XaXa Bianca + Kevin Patterson – all of whom inspire me every day and propel our mission to dispel sexual stigmas and make our work a more pleasurable place.
As a woman who multitasks and is currently running a successful business, what advice would you give other women who have no time to create or incorporate pleasure into their lives?
Working women have a lot to balance, and thankfully these stories are being discussed more and more – we have so much to learn from each other. Incorporating sexual pleasure into your wellness routine gives you a chance to take actual time for you, and allows for a genuine disconnect from your work week. While it might not seem like you have time as a multitasking woman, even allotting 10 minutes or less for yourself can end up enhancing your productivity in all other spheres of your life!
We've always known women are pioneers in the working world; why not in the personal pleasure world, too?
How did you come up with the idea for creating sensual, erotic tools such as Le Wand, The Cowgirl & B-Vibe?
For each COTR, Inc. brand, we set out to bring innovation to an outdated category in the sex toy market. b-Vibe was created to address a lack of brands focusing exclusively on anal play. Wand vibrators were still being referred to as massagers, so we created Le Wand to own the fact that it’s a sex toy. And when we noticed the sex machines on the market were using outdated technology and lacked important design features, we created The Cowgirl.
Most importantly, each of these brands puts products on the market that are created by a women/femme-led team. For far too long, the people creating the sex toys for vulvas didn’t have vulvas themselves. We’re connecting directly with what our customer wants, and adding educational materials to ensure they have the best experience possible.
Can you please explain how your incredibly beautifully crafted pleasure tools can be utilized to aid a woman find her sensuality?
Sex toys made by women for women have a huge impact on how women internalize and validate their own pleasure. Consumers are seeing they hold power in the bedroom, and how that can be directly applied to their world outside of sex; because, let’s face it, sex and power are intrinsically linked and exist everywhere. With every new innovation that caters to women’s pleasure specifically, we are able to observe women taking their own pleasure more seriously for themselves. We have a long way to go, but I think the message that women deserve sexual pleasure is finally being heard.
What is your favorite pleasure tool in your beautiful line of toys? What would you recommend for beginners and why?
I don’t think I could pick a favorite; it’s like picking a favorite child!
One of my favorite things about our product lines is that we have options for both beginners and advanced players alike. We have something for people at all stages of their pleasure journey.
Here are a few of my beginner tips:
With Le Wand/Le Wand Petite: Start by putting a finger or two inside your vagina and curving your finger to meet your front vaginal wall or tapping and swirling a finger pad or two around the G-spot. Play with different kinds of pressure and stimulation to find what feels best for you. When you find it, you’ll know. If you want some extra help pinpointing your G-spot, Le Wand has a Curve Attachment Cover, which best matches the curve of your vagina’s front wall where the spot is found. The Ripple Attachment also works great, as the bumps massage your G-spot as you move it in and out. Start with low vibrations, brush them against your special spot, and then pull them back out again to graze your clitoris. As you get more and more aroused, you can pump up the vibrations.
It’s so easy to simply lay back and let your vibrator do all of the work, but many people say this leads to a feeling of numbness (especially with a powerful vibe). While it’s important to note you aren’t desensitizing your nerves, it still might be distracting from your solo pleasure. Try keeping both your vibrator and your body moving. Rock your hips to the rhythm of the vibrations, and keep the vibrator moving with circles or back-and-forth motions. Any movement will keep the vibrations from leading to sensation overload (and you may even find a new pleasure spot as you move!)
For anal play: A small vibrating butt plug, like our Novice Plug is a great option because it’s about the size of a finger and is a good transition from fingers to toys. The amazing thing about vibration is that it’s not only a pleasurable sensation, but it also relaxes muscles… exactly what you want to be doing. The added benefit of the Novice Plug is the remote control, which allows a person to easily be in control of their experience. Or, if you so choose, you could hand the remote to another person. This adds fun to couples play and can be a sensual power dynamic in the bedroom.
What are some of the benefits of utilizing pleasure toys?
First of all, sex toys can really up your masturbation game. There are tangible health benefits to self-pleasure. For one, you release endorphins, which not only make you feel good (similar to the effects of a good workout), but also help reduce different types of pain. A sex toy can act as a powerful sleep aid at the end of a tough day.
Sex toys can also be a big help in learning what you like, don’t like and want to try via solo play. Knowing what you do want and don’t want and how to ask for it can really strengthen your sexual relationship with a partner and help you continue to communicate in a healthy way.
How do you want to impact the pleasure tool industry in a positive way for women and pleasure?
I am already seeing how sexual health/the pleasure tool industry is catalyzing certain societal movements. Discussions around sex toys’ inclusion in the tech industry can be connected to a larger conversation about gender bias in the workplace, or censoring of content for sexual wellness Instagram pages reflects how we talk about sex to the/in public. So to that point, I think mainstream society’s response to sex toy’s prevalence in consumerism, whether positive or negative, means we’re making progress.
The innovations in sex toy manufacturing are incredibly exciting. When it comes to making products for women, it’s important to think critically about how we’re using new technologies to help them achieve greater pleasure, rather than adding gadgets just because we can. With more women leading the way in the sex toy industry, their insight and experiences are being taken into account from the start of product development. This makes all the difference in designing a product that women are excited to use, and fits in with their sexual experiences.
Your pleasure tools are very empowering, as it offers women a way to be the decision makers when it comes to their pleasure, what would you like to say to the people that are a little more hesitant about products such as yours
Masturbation is a wonderful tool for many, many reasons. Not only is it a chance to take time for yourself and ideally disconnect from the outside world, but it can also be a wonderful opportunity to take time and explore what feels good to your body. Pleasure tools can help you make the most of this self-connection by helping you to discover new spots and sensations that may just not be possible with just your hands. Plus, it feels great- and I believe we could all use more good feels.
I like to say that sex toys are the chocolate sauce on the ice cream. They’re never going to be the ice cream – connecting with another person, feeling their skin against yours, those are all amazing feelings. But sex toys can make it even more delicious.
What does sexual empowerment mean to you? Moreover, how do you believe sex educators and pleasure toy innovators can empower others to find their sexual authenticity?
Empowerment is about finding your agency, and sexual empowerment means navigating your choices and your bodily autonomy in the bedroom– whether it’s with yourself or another person/persons. As a sex educator and product developer, my job is to continue the conversation around sexual agency. By being a face of open-minded approaches to sexuality and empowerment, I believe we have the power to grow this community of sexual thought leaders. When people see anecdotes that resonate with them, or products with a context that peak their curiosity, they can start to gain confidence in their own sexuality. Our goal is to rid this community of any stigma. We feel we are able to do this via our products and our information, which then empower our customer base.
Do you have any advice for females on how to utilize their sexual energy?
Every individual is different, but I think sexual energy can find its way in so many parts of our lives. The confidence gained in the bedroom manifests in real life; in terms of your ability to advocate for yourself, your strength of communication, and your own knowledge of what you do best. Sexuality is a teacher far beyond actual sex. Especially for women, I find sexual energy can be channeled to enhance their general well-being – and pleasure is an important part of your holistic health.
What do you want to tell woman who are seeking to take on their own passion projects, and make them their career?
It’s never too late to take your passion to the next level. For me, the motivation behind making my passion a career was my desire to educate others. I felt so privileged by the set of tools I was handed– especially the wealth of information. So, to the women out there who want to change direction and follow their entrepreneurial dream, I encourage you to think of all the people who would benefit from what you have to say and share. Knowledge is power, and your unique perspective brings something new to the table.
Alicia, thank you for sharing your time and energy with us where can the Kinktra lovers find you?
You can follow me on Instagram at @aliciasinclair_cotr (my other brands are @bvibe_social, @lewandmassager, and @ridethecowgirl)
You can find me on Twitter at @Alicia_COTR (@bvibesocial, @lewandmassager, and @ridethecowgirl)