The soft-tampon does not only help to feel more comfortable and free, but also with endometriosis and period pain. nevernot makes well-designed products for all genders, serving real needs, reminding us of candy and high-quality cosmetic products. It was an absolute no-brainer for CHEEX and nevernot to team up and support each other since day one. We sat down with the founders for a little introduction. Enjoy!
Intimate Wellness – What does it mean?
We can find intimate well-being in different ways. Physically and mentally: through sex, masturbation, touch, or our attitude towards our own bodies. The keyword here is ‘self-care,’ and we see sex as ‘self-care’.
How does nevernot implements this as a brand?
We want to show that intimate health should be an integral part of our well-being routines – yoga, sex, masturbation, me-time, meditation – and can thus create a healthy relationship with our bodies. An example: Someone who masturbates more often, will probably be more balanced in everyday life.
On the one hand, we want to make this easier with our products – by focusing on quality, fairness, and good design. On the other hand, we want to normalise these topics by openly communicating about them. Only those who can talk openly about their desires and needs, about problems with their own bodies, or about pleasure and the lack of it, will be able to implement their attitudes physically. It is about coming to terms with your body, your comfort zones and your sexuality – whether you are sexually active or not.
You are constantly expanding your product range, what else is planned for this year?
We have been around for a year and a half now, and we have already launched six products in different variations – from the soft-tampon to a vegan and organic lube collection, to our latest product, the Smoothie, an anti-chafing gel.
This year we have further five product launches lined up. We are particularly excited about the soft-tampon 2.0, the optimised version of the nevernot soft-tampon. We have been working on it for months now, and it is super exciting. We will be able to tell you more about this in early August!
You describe yourselves as the first beauty brand for sex. What do you mean by that?
Have you ever wondered what ingredients your lube contains? The products we use in our intimate areas should be at least as good as our facial cosmetics. This is why we apply the same sustainability and quality standards to our intimate wellness products as we do to the beauty industry. It is not enough to sell lubes or intimate wipes that do not harm our bodies and the environment, they should also really be effective.
What difficulties have you been confronted with since you have founded nevernot?
For us as a start-up, social media is very important – on the one hand to reach potential customers, on the other hand to communicate our ideas and values even more easily. That’s why we started our Instagram page a few months before the actual brand launched and were able to organically build up a following. However, Meta and Co. keep putting obstacles in our way. Anyone who openly informs and educates about sex, desire, LGBTQIA+ rights, or periods might be restricted. For example, our reach is reduced if we write out words like “sex” or even just say them out loud in a story. In order to reach our followers at all, we thus have to censor ourselves. Shadow bans or deleted accounts are part of the daily agenda in the intimate wellness industry. You know this struggle better than anyone else…
That is right, we have a number of things in common: We are always labelled as a porn platform for women, but CHEEX is for everyone – your claim is "for everyone who loves to make love" and yet many people think your target group is women only. Why is that?
First, this is certainly due to the fact that we are often presented as ‘female founders’ and the idea still prevails that women only make ‘women’s products’. Secondly, we started nevernot with the soft-tampon. The soft-tampon is of course a period product, but at the same time its unique selling point is that it can be worn during sex. So we simultaneously positioned ourselves in the intimate wellness market and the female hygiene market – although the latter is not crucial for our brand.
Another similarity: porn, lubricants and tampons are still considered to be taboos. That's why you are super provocative. But why do you have to be so loud?
We believe that no taboos cannot be broken – at least not in our bubble. But we still have a lot of work to do before we get to the point where everyone talks openly about their porn consumption, their sex life, their masturbation routine, or their period problems. That’s why we have to work on normalising these topics and that means talking loudly and – in our case – provocatively about them.
If you are a start-up in the field of intimate wellness - whether it' s a porn platform or products that enrich your sex life - it's not easy to find funding. What kind of experiences have you had with finding investments?
Of course, there are still some obstacles, but we also noticed that the industry is opening up. We have not really had any problems with business angels in this regard but also VCs* are becoming more relaxed. It certainly varies from business to business. For example, we have a range of products in the areas of female hygiene, intimate care, and sexual wellness. I can imagine that this might seem a bit “softer” to a VC than a porn platform, but there are also big differences among VCs. In any case, we do not rely entirely on typical VC money; we also use alternative financing methods.