So many of the products in the sexual health and wellness space are gendered: pink for people with vaginas and dark, manly colors for penises. And then there’s Maude. Each of the four products available through the sex essentials company (two lubricants, condoms and a vibrator) come in minimalist, neutral packaging and are sold directly to consumer.
Maude’s founders — Éva Goicochea, one of the first employees at Everlane, and Dina Epstein, an industrial designer who ran product at Doc Johnson — set out to make a sexual wellness brand that makes sex better (and safer) for all people, regardless of gender, identity or orientation. And they’ve succeeded.
While Goicochea tells SheKnows that Maude’s current demographic is between 25 and 40, given the broad appeal of the product, they’re trying to capture a wider audience and get everyone to feel more comfortable about sex. She explains that most people purchase the products available through Maude either at a drug store or a sex shop, “and each situation is equally uncomfortable for most people.”
The four sex essentials products were very deliberately selected according to Goicochea. “Condoms were really important because if you’re going to promote healthy sex, safe sex is No. 1,” she says.
Two lubricants are also part of the line — one that’s organic and 100 percent natural and another made with silicone. Goicochea and Epstein saw them as essential for sexual well-being. Goicochea points out that it’s especially useful during different phases of life, like after giving birth or during menopause, as well as for the LGBTQ market. The vibrator is white, thin and pear-shaped, made of 100 percent soft-touch silicone and waterproof. In other words, it’s not the type of sex toy you’d see at a bachelorette party.
But what about the name? According to Goicochea, Maude was chosen for a variety of reasons. After doing some initial research, she says they found it meant “strength in battle,” which seemed very much in line with the brand. And, of course, there’s the iconic TV show Maude starring Bea Arthur as a staunch, second-wave feminist (who also happened to be a more mature woman who was vocal about enjoying sex).
As far as the future of the company, Goicochea says other products are in the works that haven’t been made public yet. But expect to see more of Maude in the sexual wellness space.
“We’re very much a company that believes in setting the tone for sex,” Goicochea adds. “We’re trying to create this world of wellness that feels like you can integrate it in every day life.”