‘My advice is this- don’t follow trends, start them.’ -Frank Capra
A reporter from Time magazine interviewed me this week. Mainstream media is starting to discover the idea of the eco-sex trend that has been carrying Good Clean Love along. Early in 2003, I didn’t start my business with a plan to ‘green’ the sex industry, I was just trying to fill a niche by creating products I couldn’t find for myself that were healthy and natural. In those early years as I searched for my market and recited my schtick about ingredients, adult storeowners were skeptical, disinterested or amused. The adult market is not known for being health conscious, although of late even they are starting to catch on.
Natural product stores were skeptical, nervous and uncomfortable with adding ‘those kind of products’ to their shelves. My customer base in the natural product market was predicted by the buyer’s relationship to his or her own sexuality. The discomfort of promoting sexual health remains my biggest challenge. Whether I was educating about the importance of cleaning up the products we use on the most sensitive tissue in the body or the importance of normalizing our relationships to our sexual selves, I was never in for an easy sell.
Perhaps it was the difficulty of selling the idea of healthy and natural love products that actually developed the movement toward eco-sex. While I knew I wasn’t alone in my reaction to petrochemical based intimacy products, it took me years of traveling to tradeshows for sex therapists, gynecologists, naturopaths and primary care doctors to understand the impact that bad ingredients had on women’s sexual health. It was in conversation with all these medical professionals that I began to understand my work of trying to spread the word of natural formulas was an essential and often missing ingredient in the mystery of sexual dysfunction. As the number of doctors that tested our products in clinical trials increased, more and more women found relief and pleasure with our natural product formulations.
But I didn’t just talk to professionals during all these years and the conversations about eco sex went far beyond the questions about ingredients in products. The real questions and conversations that define eco-sex were about how to love people in a sustained way. My conversations with our customers were the inspiration behind our tag line of making love sustainable. The heart to heart discussions that I shared about how to do the hard work of loving made our Good Clean Love booths the coolest and most popular ones at festivals all over the country.
These newsletters and the book that I am preparing to launch on the same title came through the conversations and the pain that Good Clean Love opened up for people trying to love and wanting love back in their lives. Eco sex at its core is the most challenging sustainability work that we do in our lifetime. It begins by realizing that being in relationship with someone you love, creating a family and making a history with them is the most precious resource of out lives. Recognizing the deep investment of time, trust and loving intention that we share with others are actually the renewable resources of a lifetime as well as the currency of our future health and wellbeing.
For a small company with no PR budget, Good Clean Love products have found their way into the pages of many magazines. I consider myself a leader in this new movement of eco sex partly because we are continuously working to provide healthy organic product alternatives, but mostly because we stay true to our mission of helping more and more people understand and experience sustainable loving.