SHEN founder Jessica Richards honors that sexuality is a natural and essential extension of spiritual, emotional and bodily connectivity, and that despite our busy and hectic lives, it's critical to make time for pleasure and sexual expression.
Did you know that 75% of women reported needing extra assistance in the bedroom to reach orgasm, while 10 to 15% reported never experiencing an orgasm altogether? The consensus? Additional stimulation and targeted attention IS sexual wellness.
SHEN interviews our fearless leader for her perspective on (good) sex and importance of self-empowering pleasure.
What does sexual wellness mean to you?
Sexual wellness to me is just that—wellness. Wellness of the mind, body, spirit, whatever you want to call it, because let's face it: good sex puts you in a good mood. My friends always seem to be able to tell if I've recently had sex based on how relaxed or happy I am. Perhaps they just know me too well, or maybe that post-sex glow is something very real.
Sometimes sexual wellness comes with age and the understanding that trial-and-error is essential for getting to know your sexual needs, preferences and hotspots, so to speak. But what I think it ultimately means is feeling comfortable and confident in yourself, finding deep pleasure from connecting to your body's communications, wants, needs and desires, and choosing the tools and/or partners that respect, honor and fulfil these needs with you.
What are some ways to have great duo OR solo sex?
Vella's Pleasure Serum has quite literally touched and awakened the lives of so many women who have never experienced an orgasm before (or thought they had until they tried it!). People are purchasing this on a monthly basis now, and it's amazing to hear from friends why they love it so much, and how much better their sex life and relationship with their partner has gotten due to the effects of mind-blowing, orgasmic SEX.
Introducing tools into partner play can feel a bit unnerving, but let your partner know that these toys are their sidekicks, not competition. I suggest Dame's Eva II Vibrator for heavenly hands-free couples fun, and for self-pleasure, my favorite is Dame's Aer Suction Vibrator, an orgasm intensifying toy designed for people who love the sensations of oral stimulation. Most women say they don't know how to bring toys into the bedroom because they fear their partner will become insecure. I am here to tell you, though, that it’s strictly time for you to focus on your sexual wellness! After that, all the other pieces will fall perfectly into place.
There is often a stigma around talking about sex. Why do you feel it's so important to have this open dialogue about sexual health and curiosity?
Sex for pleasure is incredibly stigmatized. There have been so many times that I- and so many other women- have felt shame when speaking about my sex with my partner, or expressing my sexual needs or preferences. This immediately compromises my sense of safety and capacity for intimacy. Starting these conversations really allows you to free yourself from that shame and open up to enhancing your personal play or partner play. We all need to start somewhere, but I think starting with a partner you feel true intimacy with is the first step, and allowing yourself to speak freely is the next.
What are your favorite products for 'down-there' care?
I always try to make time for the essential SHEN V Treatment. Every part of our body needs caretaking to mitigate the effects of aging and dryness. This rejuvenating, anti-aging vaginal treatment includes LED light therapy, a delicate steam and a gentle exfoliation for the ultimate deep cleansing experience.
For every day use, I focus on cleanliness, nourishment and health with Dr. Barbara Sturm's V Wash and V Drops, designed to maintain proper pH levels, a healthy microbiome and soothing hydration. I also constantly carry Dame's Body Wipes in my bag, the individually packaged portable wipes pH balanced and gently formulated for whole body and vaginal use, taking care of your vagina's delicate skin and bacterial health.
How do I keep sex exciting at any age?
Fake it till you make it! Just kidding- it’s truly a practice that requires time and effort. If you feel too tired to have sex due to kids, work, or life in general, make a conscious effort to engage with your partner at least once a week. Start building up your intimacy again. A light touch to your partner’s back while they are doing dishes, giving them a compliment out of nowhere- everyone wants to feel wanted, make it daily goal to engage tenderly.
Next, I would say to implement the 2-2-2 rule. Every 2 weeks go out on a date (NO MATTER WHAT), every two months take a private weekend away, and every 2 years go on a proper vacation together. I think it's all about bringing back those moments of why you are together in the first place. Of course, all the intimacy, safety and care are important when restoring or creating a better love and sex life. If you have all that, though, then think about other ways to engage in intimacy, like showering together, taking your time with sex, and making sure to slow down to truly enjoy each other with foreplay before rushing into sex. Introducing a lube, pleasure serum, or toys in the bedroom is certainly going to help keep it exciting!