Written by Claire Mason. Originally published on December 2nd, 2015 for Gadgette.
With this kind of power, you’d think that venture capitalist firms would be climbing over themselves to invest in sextech, knowing the amount of money that can be made by making real world sex socially acceptable and shareable. “Think EL James and Fifty Shades of Grey,” Cindy points out to anyone trying to get their head around the opportunity. However, this has not been the case. Not only do VCs not invest in sextech ventures because they’re scared of what others will think (even though, on a personal level “everyone understands what we are trying to do – and supports it”), but existing platforms that other businesses use are not available to sextech entrepreneurs, such as PayPal or hosting packages, because “no adult content” is always written in the small print.
The groundswell for sextech is growing, though – once anyone “gets” what it’s all about, they can’t help but be inspired to join the cause. We caught up with Cindy to find out how she’s changing the world of sex as we know it.
You’ve said before that women challenge the status quo because we never are it. Do you think that sextech is as disruptive as it is precisely for the reason that female entrepreneurs are taking such an active role in driving it?
Yes, absolutely. I say all the time to people that the most interesting, innovative and disruptive initiatives in sextech are coming from female founders, and that is no accident, because as in every other industry and area of life, women are finally seizing the opportunity to take ownership of their own experience, in this case of their own sexuality. And men have no idea how much they’re going to love the world of sex explored and disrupted through the female lens.
You and other sextech entrepreneurs are having a very difficult time acquiring VC funding. Are female sextech entrepreneurs encountering any challenges that their male equivalents aren’t, and are they dealing with the challenges in different ways to their male counterparts?
No. This is one sector where the gender of the entrepreneur makes no difference whatsoever. The challenges of building and growing a sextech startup are exactly the same. But I would say that I think – for the reason I outlined before – that female sextech entrepreneurs are particularly passionate, and therefore persistent and resilient in the face of huge obstacles, because we are motivated to reinvent and redesign the future of sex for ourselves.
Male sextech entrepreneurs are operating within a male-lens, male-oriented, male-centric industry paradigm around sex; we’re working to create better and more empowering sexual experiences for ourselves and for all women – and men, and everyone in between.
You’ve been vocal about the future of business being making money and doing good in the same place. Sextech is a great example of that way of doing business, but what is your ultimate goal for the industry?
If the world started communicating openly and honestly about sex, instead of perpetuating the current paradigm of hardcore porn on the one side and a sanctimonious, puritanical view towards sex on the other side, we would be one step closer to world peace. There’s no doubt that when everyone in the world is having more sex, better sex and feeling good about themselves as sexual beings, the world will be a much better place.
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