Sexual Innovation Means Sexual Liberation
Even a decade ago, owning a pleasure device of any kind felt slightly shameful. It was as though it was a secret to be hidden away, in our most private drawers only to be seen on dark lonely nights. This feeling was in part due to how sex toys were manufactured to be blatantly realistic and obnoxiously large. Let’s just say before the 90s, vibrators were not discrete—or cute, for that matter.
As we continue to shift our cultural narratives surrounding sexuality, we are able to propel a ripple effect throughout the industries dedicated to catering to our sexual desires. The pleasure toy industry has slowly but surely shifting been alongside us toward the prioritization of women’s pleasure along with innovations for transgender pleasure as well. There is an emphasis on innovative, anatomically driven designs and celebrating women designers who are modernizing the industry. They are helping us to comfortably explore our sexuality and desires without feeling shame or that there is a one-size-fits-all approach.
Below are some of the leading pleasure brands started mainly by women founders who are leading the industry into a new frontier of empowerment and liberation. If you’re looking for other sexual wellness products, check out our guide to vegan condoms and our favorite nontoxic lube brands!
Price | $30–$135
This badass sex toy brand was started by two female founders: One is a credentialed sexologist and the other an established engineer and MIT alumnus. Dame’s devices are futuristic—the Eva, for instance, resembles an alien baby. The designs are truly a glimpse at how sex toys can be revolutionized, and they challenge our ideas on what these products should look like. The two founders are continuously developing new and innovative products for all.
2. Je Joue
Price | $29–$150
With an emphasis on being sex-positive, Je Joue sells uniquely designed pleasure devices that are “sophisticated and elegantly naughty.” The designers worked with gynecologists and midwives to help make sure their vibrators are beautiful and effective. The unique motors operate at an ultra-low frequency allowing the vibrations to travel more deeply through the body and access more internal pleasure points. So, simply put, they do the job right!
Use code SELFLOVE20 for 20% off.
Price | $10–$114
We appreciate the minimalist approach to this inclusive and beautifully designed bedroom essentials brand, Maude. Its goal is to help modernize the pleasure industry by selling body-safe products that not only look cute on your nightstand but are also functional—like the “burn” candle that also doubles as a massage oil and the vibrator that looks like a trendy art piece. Plus, you can grab a travel kit or bundle for double the pleasure and double the fun.
4. Lora DiCarlo
Price | $140–$290
Lora DiCarlo made headlines when the team won a robotics innovation award—only to have it rescinded. That experience started a timely conversation about gender equity in tech. Today, the brand continues to encourage you to take pride in your pleasure! The gender-neutral line of eight sex toys (and cleaners and lubes) are designed for dual stimulation, multiple orgasms, and adjustable pressures. That’s the power of sexy-meets-smart technology. However you hope to be ~feelin’ yourself~ (in the words of Beyoncé), there’s a fitting and inclusive option for you.
Price | $65
This fascinating toy is a revolutionary device that offers those who find penetrative sex uncomfortable some relief. The brand was founded by a woman who experienced painful sex herself and went on a journey to create something to alleviate the discomfort. During her research, she found that one in every 10 women experiences pain during sex. This staggering research inspired her to create the Ohnut. The product is BPA-, phthalate-, and latex-free and made from FDA-approved body-safe material.
Price | $59–$179
Crave was founded by a female industrial designer with a goal of creating sophisticated and appealing products to help change the narrative around women’s pleasure. In fact, some are so elegant that it’s okay to have them in plain sight. We love the portability and sleekness of these devices, making them feel less like a secret to be hidden away. The “Vesper,” for instance, doubles as a necklace and a vibrator, whereas the “Pocket Vibe” is small and subtle but exceptionally mighty. Go ahead—come as you are.
Price | $18–$74
This brand, Unbound, is fully women-led and run with an emphasis on creating a feminist space to explore and experience women’s sexuality. The products are safe, playful, and inclusive. Our favorite unique design is the “Puff,” which uses a rhythmic sucking sensation and intensity for clitoral pleasure. The Puff is rechargeable, waterproof, and sent in discreet packaging. It’s no surprise that Unbound sex toys have thousands of five-star reviews.
Price | $249
Liz Klinger, co-founder of Lioness with Anna Lee, saw a need for better sex toys after previously selling intimacy products at home parties. Enter the Lioness 2.0: a smart vibrator (yes, you read that right) built by and for women. Its award-winning technology uses built-in sensors and a mobile app to see your pleasure in real time—and then it’ll adapt to make your orgasms even more satisfying (with over 100 different intensities). It’s an absolute game-changer—and the last vibrator you’ll ever need.
Price | $49.99–$325
We just love how artistic and beautiful these sex toys are. Made entirely out of natural crystals like amethyst and rhodondite, Chakrubs is derived from the word “Chakra” which is Sanskrit for “energy wheels.” This handcrafted brand was created by a woman inspired to energize other women. These toys help to not only pleasure but also heal, calm, and rejuvenate the “energetic body” with the help of natural materials.
Price | $12.99/monthly, $59.99/annually, free trials & samples available
This pleasure brand doesn’t sell toys, but rather “imaginative sexual experiences” through storytelling. Dipsea is an app created by more badass ladies changing the game. The steamy stories are rooted in three principles: real, elevated, and feminist, pulling from narratives that allow for women to feel empowered in their own pleasure. Dipsea is essentially a pleasure-inducing listening experience that is customized to your desires and mood. Choose how you listen with options like “In Bed” or “With Partner,” then choose stories with titles like “Submerged.”
The Good Trade editors endorse products we genuinely love. If you end up making a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.