Maude aims to revolutionise the sexual wellness industry
Ahead of Maude's launch in the UK, founder Éva Goicochea speaks to us about the brand's mission to change the sexual wellness industry for the better
Éva Goicochea founded sexual wellness company Maude after a career as a legislative aide in healthcare and a brand strategist at retail behemoths including Everlane. Building on Goicochea’s experience in both fields, Maude retails understated devices, lubricants, intimate body washes, and condoms with the aim of bridging the gap in a market that is historically highly gendered and narrow-minded.
Since launching in the US in 2018, the brand has been an instigator in the development of a sexual ‘wellness’ industry – one that addresses a wider spectrum of ages and gender identifications, relinquishes dumbed-down marketing, and places an emphasis on ‘intimacy’ more than 'sex’. Actress Dakota Johnson has signed on as co-creative director, Maude’s products have appeared on the shelves of the MoMA Design Store, and, as of this month, they are available to purchase in Europe.
Maude: innovation in sexual wellness
'Before Maude, the sexual wellness industry was dominated by legacy brands that have focused so heavily on how to sell “sex” (to young men, typically) via condoms and lubricants, that they overlooked intimacy and customers across age and gender,’ says Goicochea. ‘Since our launch, we’ve not only seen companies – whether large or smaller brands – start to focus on intimacy and inclusivity, often using similar language to Maude and creating [similar] products (sometimes knock-offs) across categories.’
In Goicochea’s opinion, the industry’s narrow-minded products and marketing have not only isolated large segments of the population, but have stripped sex of its basic humanity. Maude aims to present sex as a fundamental human act, one that does not need to be cloaked in veils of secrecy or embellished with provocative marketing. That straight-forward ethos is reflected in the brand’s restrained design. With muted colours, easy-to-use packaging, and simple shapes inspired by Constantin Brâncuși's sculptures, they are designed neither to be displayed nor hidden, but rather treated with the same nonchalance as any object in your make-up bag or bedroom drawer.
'Our take at Maude is that sex is human and few brands have inclusively spoken to people throughout their adult lives in a smart, factual way,’ says Goicochea. And while the brand is refreshingly practical, it is far from detached. Beyond its inclusive products, Maude has partnerships with organisations such as SIECUS (Sex Ed for Social Change) and Advocates for Youth, and has launched an expansive online platform with articles that span everything from relationships to sexual education, as well as food, film, science and history as they relates to sexuality and intimacy.
Through these various media, Maude aims to be an all-in-one resource for an alternate form of sex education, one that does not present sex as something either clinical or taboo. 'Without robust sex education,’ says Goicochea, ‘young adults are emotionally ill-equipped and lack crucial information about their own bodies, which not only leads to fear and stigma but also the compartmentalisation of sex in adult life.’
‘[For people] to be able to have healthy, intimate relationships and conversations,' continues Goicochea, ‘sex has to be integrated into an individual's sense of self and that starts with sex education.'
Those in the UK can find Maude products at Selfridges, while its online publication can be accessed through the brand's website.
Mary Cleary is the Beauty & Grooming Editor of Wallpaper*. Having been with the brand since 2017, she became an editor in February 2020 with the launch of the brand’s new beauty & grooming channel. Her work seeks to offer a new perspective on beauty, focusing on the pioneering personalities, product designs, and transformative trends within the industry.
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