When it comes to sex, we sometimes forget that it’s more than just some licking, fingering, rubbing and a thrust or two. Rather, it’s supposed to be an entire experience that engages your whole body, which brings us to a new type of sexual wellness product: The intimacy serum.
A multipurpose oil concocted from aphrodisiacs that makes the point of application more sensitive through increased blood flow, it can be used anywhere for a blissful experience that goes beyond the genitals. However, most intimacy serums have been marketed towards cis-hetero women up to this point, and that’s something For Them is trying to fix.
“Sex isn’t just, ‘We’re going to have sex and then we're done, or we're only driving towards orgasm,'" For Them Founder Chloe Freeman explained. “It’s more experiential, and I think [our intimacy serum] speaks to that.”
Specifically designed for everyone, Freeman’s product is a queer, gender expansive serum that is so much more than something to “get you wet.” Using CBD, which interacts with the sensory receptors that respond to pain, pleasure and mood, the serum helps you relax and reduce anxiety so you can be more present in the moment and conscious of your body, whether you’re by yourself, playing with a partner, receiving a sensual massage or using it as lube.
“Intimacy is multifaceted,” as they went on to add, “So even if it makes it easier for you to penetrate somebody, it’s less about that and more about how we can come back to the body and feel really comfortable. I think that’s really overlooked when it comes to intimacy.”
Aside from wanting to “highlight the diversity of sex,” though, For Them as a whole is dedicated to making products that cater to the “diversity of the folx that are having sex” and reaffirm “the ways they identify,” even in a non-sexual context.
After all, For Them’s story doesn’t start with the intimacy serum, as the company was originally founded to create comfortable chest binders after Freeman became frustrated with how constraining the other ones were. So with the help of the designer behind the bras for American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, Misty Copeland, Freeman created a more flexible binder that allows you to breathe, while helping customers “feel safe” and “authentically themselves.”
But how did they make the leap from binders to intimacy serums? Well, as a company “specifically marketed at gender responsiveness,” For Them is big on customer feedback and suggestions for new products. And, turns out, everyone wanted an inclusive product that “drove home the idea that [queer sex] is different from the cis-hetero experience.”
As such, Freeman set out to develop an organic and natural sexual wellness product made up of only two ingredients: Broad spectrum CBD hemp extract and MCT coconut oil. It should be noted, though, that the coconut oil means that the serum isn’t suitable for use with latex but, even so, it’s still vegan, plant-based, fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin, as well as ethically sourced and eco-conscious packaging, including a recyclable bottle that also offers a mess-free experience via localized dropper. And the bottle itself is beautiful to boot.
However, Freeman is quick to also emphasize that all of these features were brought up by consumers themselves, as For Them is a “strongly customer-first” company. So using a Discord server and interviews with customers to find out what was “missing in the market,” Freeman “drilled down exactly what it is that most people need” to “feel good in their bodies, in their relationships and their intimate moments.”
“There's no other way, because I'm just one person in the community. I can’t possibly decide what the whole community needs, so I really rely on our customers, who are so amazing, beautiful and open,” they said. “Because if they tell me en masse what they need and everyone agrees, it’s, ultimately, going to make such a difference.”
Needless to say, For Them’s intimacy serum is just one example of how the company isn’t all talk when it comes to its ethos of inclusivity and diversity. So with this business model in mind, what’s next for For Them? A lot, because, according to Freeman, they already have a list of “100 products and services that we need to start tackling,” though they first want to develop a serum that isn’t oil-based for use with latex so that people who want penetrative sex “have an option to do it safely.”
“Then, we're really, really focused on building and growing our community, because the most important part of this business are [members of the queer community] who add value by giving us product ideas, helping us decide what's important and seeing what we're missing,” Freeman said, before adding that they even allow customers to “basically text” them.
So whether we’re talking about binders or serums, it’s all about “how can we come back to the body and feel really comfortable” and, honestly, who doesn’t want that?
Welcome to "Sex with Sandra," a column by Sandra Song about the ever-changing face of sexuality. Whether it be spotlight features on sex work activists, deep dives into hyper-niche fetishes, or overviews on current legislation and policy, "Sex with Sandra" is dedicated to examining some of the biggest sex-related discussions happening on the Internet right now.
Photos courtesy of For Them