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An Open Letter on Female Pleasure

Updated: Jul 1

It’s 2019. MeToo came and went. The American President likes to “grab ‘em by the pussy”. Over-the-counter erectile dysfunction drugs targeting young men are the new darling of the venture capital world, whilst female founders and artists working to normalise female pleasure continue to have their social media pages and advertising campaigns shut down for ‘inappropriate content’.


Then one morning we woke up to the giant phallic cactus images of a recent Hims ad campaign for ED drugs on the New York City metro (a very tasteful, very non-phallic ad campaign by female-founded sex toy company Dame was previously rejected by the NYC Transit Authority). Double standards abound. And so despite some great strides forward made by a brave few, it remains fair to say that a woman’s sexual pleasure is still sufficiently taboo as to be up for public debate, and down for private shaming.


We live in a time where we can talk about almost anything. But apparently not female pleasure. Not without lowering voices or looking a bit coy. Pleasure, and self-pleasure, has always been a bit taboo for all sexualities and genders. But it is often downright shameful for women. This is a hangover from hundreds of years of negative narrative around masturbation, and female masturbation in particular. A sign of witchcraft, they used to say.


Women (and – we believe – men) deserve better, for when a woman seeks, owns and revels in her pleasure, all benefit. There is no time like the present... As women, it is time to give ourselves permission to take up space in this world. It’s time to feel justified in coming first. It’s time to remain firmly under the umbrella of our own truth, standing our ground with deliberateness; arms akimbo, gazing fiercely.


We’ve built Hers By Design to strive for intimacy equality, to lift up women everywhere and inspire sexual and self confidence in all. You’ve been kind enough to show interest in our cause – from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.


Here is to you, and to your pleasure.

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