Written by Kirra M. Newman for The National Edition. Originally published January 12th, 2015.
“Imagine you’re an angel investor and you find an exciting new sex tech startup to fund. You arrive home at night and your wife asks how your day was – did you find any hotshot startups today?
“Why yes, honey, we funded a porn company.”
The problems that many sex tech startups face often boil down to this stigma: our age-old discomfort with sex, and how anything sex-related is equated with porn.
“We associate the world of pornography with this image of seedy mobsters from the 1970s who are wearing wife-beater t-shirts and gold crucifixes around their necks,” says CEO Todd Glider of BaDoink.
BaDoink started in 2005 as iTunes for adult content, and branched out in 2013 with BaDoink magazine. The online news site aims to be a major voice in the evolution of sex tech and help reduce the stigma, at least in the business world.
Funding is only one of the issues. It took Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, two years to get funded. But her bigger problem was figuring out a payment infrastructure. They had users willing to pay, but struggled to find a reputable service to accept money.
Part of the issue, says Glider, is that there aren’t shining examples of successful and reputable sex tech startups that young companies can point to – see, we’re not all sleazy and we can make big bucks. By covering sex tech, BaDoink hopes to spotlight some of those up-and-coming names.
The past may be riddled with challenges, but Glider sees a change happening in 2015. For one, the erotically explicit 50 Shades of Grey movie comes out around Valentine’s Day and will certainly drive tons of conversations in the media.”
To read more about the issues faced by sex tech startups, and how those challenges might change this year, check out the rest of the article here.