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I, like most women I’ve spoken to, grew up feeling very weird about sex. Though I’m retrospectively grateful that my parents never spoke to me about the birds and bees (I’ve heard several horror stories of parents who liked to speak of them at length), a complete lack of conversation surrounding sex—and more specifically sexual wellness—was probably not the best approach either. In a society where women are generally taught to feel shameful about sex, this code of silence just made me feel even more guilty about my very natural (and frankly out-of-control) hormones.
When I arrived at my very liberal liberal arts college freshman year, I quickly unlearned a lot of the shame I had been harboring re: sex and masturbation. Whereas my middle school friends and I used to swear that we had never even heard of the word masturbation, my college friends and I discussed the topic at length—sharing sex health tips and rightfully treating sex as a very important part of life and relationships. It was refreshing and comforting and sure, sometimes a little bit scary—but all in all, I was happy to be free of the rest of the world’s outdated approach to sex, where cis men are the only ones allowed to say they enjoy it.
Years and several rounds of sexual awakenings later, I stumbled upon Maude, a “modern intimacy company,” determined to flip the script on sexual wellness. Founded upon inclusivity, simplicity, and quality above all else, their products have saved my life on a number of occasions. So when they announced the launch of oil no. 0, I quite literally jumped for joy. Read on to join me as I take the all-in-one bath, body, and massage oil for a test drive.
Just When I Thought I Couldn’t Love Maude More
At this point, I’ve been obsessed with Maude for a while now: their mineral bath salts and coconut milk bath have treated my boyfriend and me to many romantic quarantine dates and the wipes are quite frankly a game-changer in the bed/bathroom. Oh, and how could I forget—their scented candle (burn no. 1) means everything to me. I recently discovered they were launching a new product, oil no. 0, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Let’s be real: quarantine isn’t the ideal backdrop for romance, and while my family is genuinely impressed by how well my boyfriend and I are faring in our one-bedroom apartment, we’re definitely flexing our “best friends” muscles more than our “lovers” muscles these days. An ultra-hydrating, multi-use body oil made of jojoba, coconut, argan, and castor oil seemed like the perfect antidote to today’s romantic dry spells.
While I love that the body oil can be used for baths, I was most excited by its massage capabilities. I ask my boyfriend for a shoulder massage probably five times a day and while he actually agrees to it a good half of the time, I’ve noticed they’re getting shorter and shorter with every succumb. I figured that making a night or event out of the whole thing—with music, candles, and bomb massage oil—might help me get the longer massage my hunched-over-the-computer shoulder muscles desperately needed. I'm happy to report: it did. The organic oil left my skin feeling super soft and I loved that it was scent-free, allowing me to sniff burn no. 1 the whole way through.
While I love a good massage, I want a product that can do more than that. No matter how fun the whole spa night experience was for my boyfriend and me, I’ll realistically only get to experience it once a month or so. So—what could oil no. 0 do for me in the meantime? Turns out: just about everything. I use it for my frizzy hair (keep it to just the ends!), as a daily body moisturizer, and once the weather starts to get a bit cooler, I’ll probably mix it with my face lotion to keep things extra hydrated. Because the oil is scent-free and made up of only four ingredients, I feel very safe and comfortable slathering it all over every crevice of my body. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free, so I use it to give myself a pat on the back, too. A little goes a long way, so even though I use this baby all day every day, I have a feeling I won’t need to restock for quite some time.
What's The Rest Of The Industry Up To?
While my circle of friends has this “progressive” approach to sex, it’s clear that most of the world isn’t quite there yet. While there have been a number of impressive strides in the porn industry, it’s still riddled with issues, and the sexual wellness industry (toys, lube, and the like) is frankly archaic—toys “catered towards women” are really catered towards men and in the same fashion, lubricant often contains a number of ingredients that cause yeast infections (are you kidding me?!). In essence: it seems a lot of people are in need of a similar freshman-year-revelation.
I stumbled upon Maude at a particularly stressful time in my life, right after I got my first IUD. Lubricant was never a necessity to me before—I had dabbled in it from time to time, but the mess never felt worth it. Without getting too into detail here: because of some side effects of hormonal IUDs, I went looking for a good lube. I have a checklist of non-negotiables when looking for a new brand: are they sustainable? Do they hold representation as paramount as I do? Are they well-priced? Maude passed the test with flying colors.
Maude chooses sustainable packaging and ingredients whenever possible, but even more importantly—they’re in the business of safe sex, which ultimately leads to less disease and less unplanned pregnancies (both of which drive global poverty and environmental crises). As for representation, it’s at the very core of their brand: founded by a Latinx woman, Evá Goicochea, Maude’s blog “the maudern” touts an exquisite array of stories, interviews, and sex ed pieces, featuring many WOC and LGBTQ+ voices.
While I was always a Maude fan, oil no. 0 really pushed me more into the devotee realm. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen all about it—from it’s hydrating effects to it’s perfectly designed pump and gorgeous packaging, it leaves little to be desired. And as someone who tries to be very intentional with what they buy, it’s a hard price to beat at $35 for a hair, body, massage, and bath oil, all in one.
5 More Reasons To Love Maude:
- In addition to being gender, sexuality, and race-inclusive, Maude prides itself on being age-inclusive as well. The sexual wellness industry is certainly riddled with ageism, and we love that they’re encouraging folks of all ages to get a little freaky.
- They work with the best factories in the world to ensure safety and quality above all else.
- We love that their packaging is discrete. While I’m all about sex positivity, I’d rather not have a bright blue bottle that says “LUBE” on my nightstand. Maude’s lube (called “shine”), condom (called “rise”), and vibrator (called “vibe”) are discrete enough to be kept out for easy grabbing.
- Whereas some blogs just feel like branded fluff, the maudern is filled to the brim with real information and stories. I’ve found it an incredible resource with regard to sex education and tips.
- They’re a WOC-owned business, which we can (and will) always get behind.