Anything that helps get a woman in the mood for sex can only be a good thing–assuming she wants to get in that mood, of course. Forget the roses! (Well, they can sometimes work too, but too often they don’t.) We need more things, products, services, thoughts, whatever it is that makes women more excited, more interested, and more aroused.
Everybody’s been talking about a new pharmaceutical answer to the issue of low libido in women–Flibanserin, or the inappropriately named “female Viagra”–which just got approved by the FDA on August 19, 2015. But I want to tell you about a different possible answer, one without any foreseeable side effects and with a lot less controversy (at least thus far): Fiera Arouser for Her.
Produced by a Silicon Valley-based company called Nuelle™ and launched last week in NYC, Fiera is a suction-based, hands-free device women can wear before (or even during) sex that it supposed to increase their sexual desire and sexual arousal. (I know, I was very curious about it too!) It’s an interesting product, I think. It sounds similar to the EROS clitoral therapy device approved to treat low libido in women by the FDA in 2000, except that it’s hands-free, smaller, and kinda prettier. It’s also not an FDA-approved treatment for anything, it’s just a device to help a bit with desire and arousal when needed.
I had the pleasure of attending the Fiera launch party, and I thought it would be interesting to introduce you to this product, tell you how it works, and talk to the scientists behind it all.
SO, WHAT IS FIERA?
This is what Fiera looks like. It is a battery operated, rechargeable device, whose key component is a suction part that goes over the clitoris and draws blood into the clitoral area getting women more aroused. The suction part comes in three different sizes for all the different types of labia. The part that touches the body is a body-safe material made of silicone.
The Fiera team brought a vulva puppet to the launch party to demonstrate how their product works. You can take either saliva or a water-based lubricant, put it around the soft sense ring and place it on the clitoris, fitting the silicone edges underneath the labia. (It does not go inside the vagina!) The suction area has an increasingly stronger and stronger suction, bringing progressively more engorgement. We tried it on our hand, as did many people that night. The Fiera was very busy. It sucks on and it stays on. Once attached, you can move your hands away and let it do its magic. (I’m sure you can find other things for your hands to do in the meantime.)
I spoke with two of the amazing, pleasure-positive women who were on the panel introducing Fiera: Dr. Logan Lefkoff, a sexologist and author (who also happens to be super hot!) and Dr. Leah Millheiser, an OB/GYN and chief scientific officer who worked on the development of Fiera (also super hot! What is it with these attractive sex doctors?).
Dr. Logan: “Woman can wear it during sexual activity to continue experiencing that great feeling. It can even stay on during intercourse. This is truly the first hands-free product.”
Me: “And it will stay on?”
Dr. Leah: “Yes, and it does not cover the vaginal opening. We tested this on over three hundred women. No adverse effects, no bad things have been reported and it’s scientifically proven.”
Me: “Can you put it on a penis?”
Dr. Leah: “We did not design it for the penis. However, when women have worn it during penetrative intercourse, the male partner reported feeling the pleasurable vibration.”
According to Dr. Logan, “The suction brings blood flow to the vulva, clitoral area and all the surrounding tissues. The idea is that blood flow can increase arousal because there’s more stimulation to that area” she said. Dr. Leah told us, “We have two clinical studies to actually prove that Fiera increases sexual arousal and desire in women. A woman can wear Fiera for five minutes to get in the mood.”
Me: “Five minutes? That’s all it takes?”
Dr. Leah: “We’ve seen anywhere between twenty seconds and five minutes. It’s about how long it takes for a woman to actually get in the mood. Fiera increases blood flow to the genitals, it causes that pleasurable sensation of sexual arousal which sends a message to the brain. We had about sixty-nine women in our consumer study that allows us to make claims on what our product does. We achieved all of our claims, so it does get women ready and in the mood. Also, Fiera can increase the intensity of orgasms. This product does not guarantee that all women will have an orgasm, but when they do its proven to be more pleasurable. That’s because of all the blood flow coming to the genitals. It’s truly the first arouser for women to get them ready for sex.”
Me: “Is any of the data going to be peer reviewed and published in peer reviewed academic journals? As a scientist myself, you know I care about seeing some data that’s peer reviewed.”
Dr. Leah: “Yes, thank you. Absolutely. So I joined the company on one provision which is that we have to do evidence-based science. We just submitted our first abstract to the North American Menopause Society. We’re waiting to hear back, but all of our data will be published in peer reviewed journals and presented at medical meetings. Fiera is not FDA approved, this is not supposed to be a treatment for sexual dysfunction. It is an enhancer for women who are not always ready to have sex at any given point in time. Even when a woman would like to have sex, they’re not necessarily aroused at that moment and so this is something to help them get a little more aroused.”
“This is a conversation about female sexuality. It’s not product centric. I’m in this field because I believe that women of all ages are entitled to a really good understanding about their bodies, how they work and to take ownership of it,” as Dr. Logan so eloquently put, “desire is a big issue, it comes from a lot of places. It has been one of these huge polarizing issues. Where does desire come from? Is it medical? Is it psychological? Is it based on socialization?” she asked, “and the fact is, it’s a little bit of everything and every person is going to be different. How we manage and deal with desire, or lack thereof, is up to the individual. The more we feel the need to talk about it as well as the symptoms, the better we all are.”
Dr. Leah: “We built this for women to help them get into the mood for sex. As you know, women aren’t often in the mood for sex. They’re tired, they’re stressed, they’re taking care of the kids and then they’re ready to go to bed. When their partner says ‘let’s get it on’ and she says ‘I want to go to bed,’ Fiera is a way for her to actually to get in the mood.”
Dr. Logan: “I’m a big believer about products that help us enhance our sexuality and sexual health. Pleasure is a part of it. Everyone should have access to things that are going to change their life for the better and this is certainly no different. The fact of the matter is that sexual health and sexual pleasure is a fundamental right. So, having high-tech thoughtful products that help us access that? I mean there’s nothing better.”
Me: “What do you think is the next step?”
Dr. Leah: “This is our launch, so we’re hoping that everybody will get their Fiera. It really is for every woman. And then we’re continuing to develop more products for women’s sexual health. We are truly invested in making products that are amazing for women.”
Fiera is not going to work for everyone but it is going to work for some people (and something else is going to work for others). You can buy this on Fiera.com for $200. (Inside scoop: there will be a remote controlled version coming soon so you can play with it in different ways. That is pretty awesome!).
Sounds great, right? I’m really looking forward to seeing how this product works on the market and how it holds up under scientific scrutiny. I am cautiously optimistic (pending peer review), but I am all for providing as many options for female sexual pleasure as possible.
Female pleasure is important. So many women don’t feel connected with their bodies and don’t feel sexual desire even when they want to. Any product that can help change that is a great thing.
I got to experience all of this on a gorgeous evening, during a sunset in New York City overlooking the Hudson river. I’m going to say goodbye to you for the time being.
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