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Sexual wellness brand Maude is taking a stance against the "trivializing" and "outdated" term.

By Kylie Gilbert
Apr 08, 2021 @ 3:20 pm
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Sexual wellness start-up Maude has been doing things a bit differently ever since they launched three years ago. Tired of seeing an "outdated and gendered approach," their designers created a lineup of vibrators and gender-neutral sex essentials with a chic, minimalist design.

It's what convinced Dakota Johnson, who is now an investor and co-creative director, to join the brand. "For too long sexual health has been poorly marketed, hyper-aggressive, and highly gendered," she told InStyle. "Maude is a company based on universal design making modern, body-safe, high-quality essentials for before, during, and after sex, with yourself or with another lovely human. The caliber and aesthetic of these products is excellent and elevated."

Dakota Johnson Wants You to Stop Calling Vibrators 'Sex Toys'
Credit: Courtesy

Now, Maude is taking things a step further with a new campaign denouncing the "outdated language" that refers to vibrators as toys. "With our This Is Not A Toy campaign, we aim to activate hearts and minds in an effort to destigmatize sexual and intimate tools. Often the use of language surrounding sexual products is antiquated, gender-specific, and belittling," Johnson tells InStyle.

After all, as the brand points out, around a third of vulva-owners cannot orgasm without stimulation from vibrators, dildos, wands — so it's time to stop using language that dismisses their importance or stigmatizes vaginal orgasms. 

"For so long, vibrators and devices have been called 'toys', a connotation that trivializes their basic benefit: to provide stimulation that improves sexual wellness and feelings of well-being. By reducing them to juvenile novelties, people's needs and satisfaction are often being unmet and overlooked. Moreover, stigmas are being perpetuated," adds Maude founder and CEO Éva Goicochea. "A vibe is not a toy — it is an essential."

Luckily, while the rest of the world gets up to speed, there are more of these "essentials" to choose from than ever before — including Maude's own new launch for spring, a genderless egg-shaped vibrator that hits in all the right places.