Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. As Fine -- who has a degree in sex therapy -- began sussing out business contacts in her Brooklyn neighborhood, she was constantly mistaken for year-old-engineer Janet Lieberman, another entrepreneur with a similar sex positive venture in the works.
Intrigued by the case of mistaken identity, Lieberman tracked down Fine and the women got to talking design, stimulation, and equality in the bedroom. Lieberman -- whose 3D printer won five Best-In-Show Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show -- was focused on making well-engineered, mindfully designed products while Fine was interested in creating couple's toys that stray from the current industry go-tos: Immediately, the two recognized their alliance potential and decided to collaborate.
The pair named their new joint venture Dame Products and embarked on a Star Trek-inspired mission: While many female-focused sex toy companies have high-tech products Crave, Jimmyjane to name a few , many of these "female-centric" companies are actually run by men, like JimmyJane's founder and creative director, Ethan Imboden.
So what type of conversation do Fine and Lieberman hope Dame will spark? One that sheds light on skewed societal bedroom norms, like why -- in heterosexual relationships -- it's viewed as normal for a man to be more likely to orgasm during sex than a woman, or why men are more likely to report sex as satisfying. Why does the female orgasm come secondary to the male, and why is it often reserved for fore- or postplay? Regardless of how far our society's view on sexuality has come, men are still coming more often, and this assumed privilege of male pleasure isn't right.
Some but not all of this problem is technical. Many women need direct clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, something that is often not included in penetration --the oft preferred male path to orgasm.
With this in mind, Fine and Lieberman hope to create both a dialogue and a toy design that will work in unison to erase the still-existing inequality in the bedroom, or what they call "the pleasure gap," enabling women to get the clitoral stimulation they need to orgasm during sex, while still keeping both intimacy and male comfort in mind. This duality is not always present in the industry, as many couples toys designed to heighten female pleasure can actually stunt male enjoyment.
As someone who used to review sex toys for Babeland, I remember an incident when a boyfriend removed a vibrating cock ring mid coitus, commenting that it made him feel like "robo cock" -- and not in a sexy, steel-suited cyborg way. In addition to finding them uncomfortable or awkward, some men view toys as emasculating.
Dame hopes to blast that misconception out of bed by showcasing toys as an aid, not a replacement. Consider Eva the side kick, not the hero. This is why the pair is so focused on maintaining a hands-free design. While it's unlikely that technology will ever enter the bed undetected, Eva's stay-in-place composition -- which utilizes a unique dual wing design that tucks up under the labia -- allows users to use their hands for more fun maneuvers than cupping a piece of vibrating plastic to the body.
You're using them so often that when you're holding a vibe in place and don't have a hand free, it makes it much more uncomfortable and awkward," says Fine. Reviews for Eva have been overall positive, although a few reviewers note positions like doggy style require hands, after all. Can Eva be used sans partner? That said, it was one of the smartest things we ever did.
You read all these articles about female entrepreneurs being great because they're women, not because of what they're actually doing.