Given that she was the star of 50 Shades of Grey, a film that made kinks cool and suddenly had women owning their sexuality and sexual desires, it’s safe to say that Dakota Johnson can speak freely about the topic. But if that qualification alone isn’t enough to see you pay attention, consider the fact that Johnson even made the pivot from acting to vibrators, having teamed up with Maude CEO Eva Goicochea to launch a range of beautifully packaged bath salts, candles, and body oils in addition to minimalist vibrators. A passion project, perhaps, but more so it was the desire to make sexual wellness mainstream that drove Johnson and now, she’s doing her part to ensure more people make it a priority.
Johnson isn’t the first celebrity to put her name to a vibrator or sex toy. Increasingly, Hollywood’s stars are looking to the sexual wellness industry to promote products that enhance female pleasure. From Cara Delevingne to Lily Allen, it almost seems that sex toys are becoming the new celebrity-endorsed fragrance. These celebs are looking to break down the barriers to sex, removing the stigma from pleasure and ensuring that these conversations around arousal and desire are no longer considered taboo or shameful, but rather openly discussed.
For Johnson, this starts with how we think of vibrators. In a recent interview with InStyle, the actress said, “For too long equal health has been poorly marketed, hyper-aggressive, and highly gendered.”
Speaking about her sexual wellness start-up Maude, the actress explained: “With our ‘This Is Not A Toy’ campaign, we aim to activate hearts and minds in an effort to destigmatise sexual and intimate tools. Often the use of language surrounding sexual products is antiquated, gender-specific, and belittling.”
As Johnson would have it, we’d no longer refer to things like vibrators as sex ‘toys’, as she believes this trivialises their basic benefit, which is one pertaining to product stimulation that improves sexual and overall wellness. It’s a fair point to make. Studies have shown that regular masturbation can help relieve period pain in the immediate and long term thanks to a release of endorphins. Similarly, orgasm has been shown to relieve stress and even improve your self-esteem and body image.
As Johnson explains, “Sexual wellness is a fundamental human right.” We concur.