When Alexandra Fine was gearing up to launch her company’s second gadget, a handheld vibrator engineered to mimic human touch, she knew Kickstarter wasn’t likely to accept her application. The crowdfunding website does not support sex toys and rejected Fine once before.
So, Fine did what any strong-willed person would do: She wrote a letter.
“We made an appeal to them. ‘Hey, we’re not doing anything weird. We’re normal. We’re makers, too!'” Fine says, recalling the plea she made to Kickstarter last summer.
On November 3rd, the Fin vibrator by Fine’s company, Dame Products, hits Kickstarter. It’s the first erotic product (lest you count a smart kegel trainer) to tap into the site’s nearly 12 million backers — a milestone that Fine credits to the vibrator’s innovative and intuitive design.
It helped that Kickstarter’s offices were located down the street from Dame Products. Fine and her cofounder Janet Lieberman, an MIT-educated mechanical engineer, frequented their meet-ups for makers and shared their mission of bringing gender equality to sexual pleasure.
“They were like, we’re going to champion this,” Fine tells Business Insider.
Unlike most vibrators, the Fin is worn between the fingers during use to optimise agility. It can be placed at the fingertips, the base of the palm, or the backside of the fingers, giving the wearer direct contact with their partner or themselves with reinforcement from Fin.
The company’s first product, Eva, (which launched on rival crowdfunding website Indiegogo) was hands-free. It tucked into the vagina, providing clitoral stimulation during sex. But Fine says the biggest piece of feedback they received from customers, who were split between men and women, was that Eva created a barrier between the wearer and her partner.
Interest in vibrators made for couples has steadily increased in the last 10 years, according to Google Trends data. Fin rides that trend by catering to couples who want to be more hands on.
The device will retail for $74.99.
Fin’s breakthrough entry into Kickstarter could mean consumers will start seeing more sex toys on the leading crowdfunding website. It’s good news for innovators in the space — and curious shoppers who don’t want to step in an adult store.
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