By Noemi Plaza & Claudia Cole
After a tense and unexpected year, taking care of our overall health has never been more important. Therefore, many of us have taken the time to create New Year’s resolutions to look after our wellbeing. That may involve exercising from home, eating healthily, or meditating each morning. However, there’s one supporting action that’s often overlooked: pleasure, the fastest route to balance.
The former co-founder of MADE.COM has spent the last 15 years researching the sexuality sector. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the sexual wellness app was built in collaboration with experts.
Now, we’re joined by Chloe, to understand why it’s never too late to learn about sex.
Tell us what influenced your journey into the sexual wellness sector?
Chloe: It’s always been at the back of my mind. I’ve wondered why there wasn’t a place online for things surrounding sexuality. We know where to go for advice with everything else we do, whether it’s travelling, cooking, or fashion.
And the medical field is not very good at giving you clear answers. You don’t get any insights around how your body works.
So, I kept tracking the industry to see why no one was coming into this space. There was just very little innovation. There was also a huge polarisation towards porn and such a fear factor associated with any of it. Venture capital companies classified sex as a vice industry to avoid getting dragged into any kind of projects. What’s interesting with venture capital companies is that they only invest in categories. As a result of this, it was impossible to come in as an entrepreneur because you can’t raise money.
Connecting Mind And Body Through Sexual Wellness
I've been reading a lot about Kama. I have the app myself now. Could you explain what the app is for and in what ways users benefit from using it?
Chloe: We see ourselves as an educational platform which focuses on pleasure. We try to help people reconnect with the potential that sits within their body by educating them about their anatomy and their physiology. Practice makes pleasure. The more you practice, the more pleasure you can access.
But when we teach you, we explain how to check-in with yourself before entering an experience. Are you feeling good? Are you going to bring stress, anger, resentment to the experience? Are you coming at it with the right intentions?
We really try to educate the mind, body and heart. It’s a holistic and conscious approach to sexuality.
What is 'The Kama Method' and what are its key elements?
Chloe: Our ambition is to become FDA and the NHS approved so that a medical specialist can use Kama as a continuity program for anyone who’s suffering from sexual trauma or physical trauma.
Talk therapy isn’t enough when it comes to trauma because it can also be held in the body. It manifests itself as a contraction. The body contracts around the trauma and emotion is left to the side until it’s been addressed. And every time something in your life reminds you of this, you have a reaction because the old trauma wasn’t dealt with.
The Kama method offers embodiment practices that help limit the trauma that is in the body. It deals with the psychological effects and physiological effects of a trauma. The five pillars to the method include the following:
Somatic Pillars (Physical)
The Breath: Breathing is the most powerful sex tool that we have. When you start breathing deeply, it gives you an opportunity to switch into relaxed arousal. That’s when pleasure comes in.
Movement – It’s all about moving energy in the body. When you’re static, there’s no energy moving. The body is to be expressed. It is not designed linearly. We have more rotation points in the body that we’re supposed to be moving. Speed, pace and friction are connected with movement.
Touch – Our fingers are filled with neurotransmitters which help us create pathways to the brain. So, if we realize there’s pleasure in a certain area or with a certain touch, we’ll be able to find pleasure in that place again.
Psychological Pillars (emotional)
Desire – Desire is why we’re still alive today. It’s what drives everything. It is essential for our wellbeing to connect to our true desires, rather than what we think we should want. Otherwise, it creates a mental disconnection.
Heart – The heart is a very misunderstood function. It’s not just a muscle. The heart actually has an electromagnetic field, one much bigger than the brain. So, we can learn to connect to that and communicate with it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be challenging for many of us. Why now more than ever is it beneficial to explore our relationships with our bodies?
Chloe: Many people have a lot of anxiety. One of the big triggers for anxiety is lack of oxytocin. What most people don’t know is that we can create oxytocin for ourselves. There are things we can do by ourselves that can help. You don’t have to masturbate to do this. It can be just a conscious touch. By giving ourselves touch, it has the same effect as if someone else gives you touch.
Giving yourself the attention and being present creates a better environment for yourself, this is the time for people to start learning about their body.
The topic of self-pleasure is still considered culturally taboo. How does your brand navigate around this to make users feel comfortable?
Chloe: For example, having live events and teaching every woman how to squirt. You know, it’s showing people, if it’s part of the body’s function, surely we should embrace it. There should be no shame around this. Again, lack of education is everything. We can support this by having open conversations.
One of the biggest wins that we’ve had with Kama so far is that we created a brand aesthetics that seem to make people feel comfortable when talking about sex. Most feedback we get from users is ‘I was not able to have this conversation until I went to your event.’
We intend to try and influence people to be more inquisitive. The one thing we’re asking people is, are you curious enough to discover something new about your sexuality?
It’s a small ask. We’re not asking people to transform or to become a God in bed. We want people to be curious enough because there’s a lot to learn. Curiosity is essential. The conversation will change once we realise that we are all so similar.
In 2021, we still have what is called the orgasm gap, with women having far fewer orgasms than men. Why is this? And in what way does this affect women in their everyday lives?
Chloe: I think it’s good to talk about these things. So, we have the gender gap in the salaries and now we have the gap in the orgasms.
There has always been a gap because of the way women are forced to be behind. It’s in everything. There’s no difference to what happens in many industries that are still led by men. It is parallel to the system rather than something specific to female pleasure.
We know that female sexuality is very powerful. The reason it’s been repressed is because of the incredible power that women have. When you start becoming much more connected with your sexuality, you connect to your essence. I think these gaps can be filled purely with education and empowerment.
[…] This is defined by the fact that all of the research up to the 1980s was done by men. Pieces of research on female pleasure (which by the way, we can name one hand) were led by men who concluded what was or wasn’t pleasurable for women.
So we are a little bit in the dark, I think as women, but times are changing. The mentality is changing. Like female pleasure is becoming a talking point.
How To Have A Sustainable Sex Life
Yes, the conversation is thankfully changing so much. What do you hope to achieve with Kama in 2021?
Chloe: As a business, we are in this phase that we call product market fit. We are trying to find how our idea fits in with the current market mindsets.
We’re now rebuilding a lot of content that is much more grabbable tips, tutorials and how-tos. So, simple things that people clearly want to understand. For me, the ambition is to focus on content market fit. What is the content that will capture the imagination of the mainstream and make them want to connect with their sexuality in this way?
This is the big nut to crack. Once we’ve cracked this, we can grow. We can establish ourselves and have clarity on our proposition.
What's been your biggest source of inspiration?
Chloe: I have to say that my inspiration has been learning from my body. So much knowledge can be learned by going inwards.
I’ve also reconnected to nature. I have a small garden and felt like I never gave it the respect that it needed. During the first lock down, we had amazing weather, so I spent a lot of time there lying in the sun, laying at night, looking at the stars. It became therapy. I was always very close to connecting with nature as a child, but I lost over the years. I want to get even more inspiration from nature, for sure.
As the inspirational Chloe has proven, taking the time to reconnect with ourselves can transform how we experience life. Only you have the power to unlock your body’s potential. So, give it the love and attention it deserves. After all, practice makes pleasure. Start your journey now with Kama, available on the App Store.
This interview has been shortened and edited by Claudia Cole
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