Spotlight: Dame Founders

· By Team PLEASE

At Please, we think it’s important to understand where your products are coming from, and what their story is. Today we’re focusing on Dame, which was founded by a sexologist from Columbia University and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineer whose mission is to close the Pleasure Gap - the disparity in satisfaction that people with vulvas experience in the bedroom, versus their cis male counterparts. Let’s take a deeper look into one of our beautiful brands, Dame.

Dame is a women-powered source for products for pleasure, designed to nourish sexual wellness and deepen connections. Dame products are engineered with feedback from Dame Labs, their community of 10k+ real humans.

Their products are beautifully designed, undoubtedly making people feel more confident in displaying these products on their night stands as opposed to being hidden away.

Alexandra Fine is the co-founder and CEO, Alex has always been interested in sex. Originally, she was pursuing a career as a sex therapist, and she earned her master's in clinical psychology with a concentration in sex therapy from Columbia University. But she then realised that she could make a bigger impact and reach more people by starting a company, so that’s what she set out to do. She started making vibrator prototypes in her kitchen with silver-dollar coins and plastic wrap. Meanwhile, Janet was also thinking about starting a sex-toy company.

​​Janet Lieberman is the other co-founder and CPO, Janet graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2007. She worked on a range of products—everything from dustpans to 3-D printers—before deciding to start Dame. That happened when she noticed that vibrators weren’t being developed or manufactured to the same standards as other consumer goods, in that she wasn’t getting the same quality of user experience or value for her dollar that she would have expected from any other electronics. She realised she had the skills and background to be able to change that.

When Dame first started, they were one of few companies led by people with vulvas making sex toys, and they understood firsthand the anatomy we were designing for. Sex toys were also mainly being marketed as a novelty product, and Dame wanted to design for a world where vibrators aren’t something you just give as a gag gift. It should feel great to buy a vibrator for yourself, your friends, your partners, and you should be able to buy something that will both work well and look good on your nightstand.

Since Dame’s launch there has been a reality that a majority of people with vulvas need clitoral stimulation for pleasurable sex is far more widely understood than it was a decade ago. That's opening up doors for so many people with vulvas to explore sex with clitoral touch, with or without penetration.

Dame believes that letting sex live in the shadows doesn’t serve anyone, in fact it hinders our ability to have healthy sex lives. That is why Dame filed a lawsuit against the MTA, for discrimination on advertising.

In developing a new product, Dame applies extensive research, iterative design, and—perhaps most importantly—empathy. Through their Dame Labs community, their customers actually become part of our product development process. Surveys are sent to the community to help guide what is made and how it is designed.

Dame talks to experts, store owners, and therapists to see what they’re seeing as trends and needs. They test and analyse competitor products to see what works and what doesn’t. For most products, Dame’s engineering team designs and prototypes different concepts to determine the best design direction, then shepherds those designs through user testing and manufacturing.

Go on, take a look and see if there is something for your pleasure from this incredible brand.