Some crowdfunded products are self-explanatory: It’s pretty obvious what they are when you look at them. Ohnut is not one of those products. Hollow, with tiered curves and pastel in color, it almost looks like an avant-garde vase that might be sold at West Elm. But it’s actually a stretchy, 2.25- by 1.75-inch silicone ring made to be worn at the base of the penis, and it’s more than just a sexual accessory. In the words of Emily Sauer, the entrepreneur behind Ohnut, it’s an intimate wearable that allows you to customize the depth of penetration during sex. It works like a cock ring but with stackable modules that let partners decide exactly how far a penis goes into a vagina, and according to Sauer, it’s long overdue.
“I’m a conversation starter, but there was one conversation I wasn’t having, and that was about my experience with painful sex. Once I came up with the original idea, I mustered the courage to start talking about this problem and the fact that there was a potential solution,” Sauer tells Allure. “To my surprise, friends, strangers, even family members came out and told me they had this problem too. It was a complete paradigm shift for me. I found out 75 percent of women have experienced painful sex. I thought, This is not OK. I then took matters into my own hands and built a crude prototype, which then evolved into Ohnut.”
Sauer says that once she started building the prototypes in her kitchen in 2017 and beta and clinical testing began, she saw an overwhelming response from surgeons, pelvic-floor physical therapists, and sexual health educators who wanted to get involved; some went on to become members of Ohnut’s scientific advisory board. But it was the feedback from those who personally experience dyspareunia (or painful sex) during vaginal penetration that she found especially encouraging.
“Women have generally been excited to use it, while some have been afraid to broach the subject with their partners,” Sauer says. “However, when they took that first step and started that conversation, their partners provided an incredible amount of support. Both men and women are excited by the product and how it can change their lives. Every day, I get a message from a beta tester or now a Kickstarter backer telling me about how Ohnut has positively affected their sexual esteem.”
Testimonials from Ohnut testers provided to Allure by Sauer paint pictures of sexual epiphanies. “I’ve never used anything like this before. But after trying it, sex has been better than it has been for years,” said one tester with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Another simply said, “I was like ‘Oh shit, it’s working.'” The users wearing it on their penises are on board, too, not only because of how Ohnut brings them closer to their partners but also because it actually helps keep condoms in place.
The testimonials stand in stark contrast to how various women describe their dyspareunia in the first minute of Ohnut’s Kickstarter video. “There’s a wall being hit,” one says. “It’s like a knife inside me,” says another. As Sauer herself describes her experience of painful sex in the video, “It feels like Muhammad Ali punching my cervix.” The candid, sometimes tearful confessions add to the urgency that Kickstarter’s 30-day, all-or-nothing fundraising system generates. Ohnut has until June 14 to reach its $50,000 goal.
For now, the only way to get your own Ohnut is by pledging $52 or more to Kickstarter (there is, of course, the option to pledge less). Ideally, the patent-pending design will eventually be widely available. “While we’re focused on our Kickstarter and consumer sales at the moment, we have doctors, educators, and pelvic-floor physical therapists who will be offering Ohnut to their patients,” Sauer says. “But, who knows? Maybe one day we’ll be in CVS.”
Read about more ways to make your sexual experience even better:
- 11 Sex Acts You’ve Always Been Curious About, Defined
- The 15 Best Sex Toys for Couples
- 17 Feminist-Friendly Porn Sites You’ll Want to Pay For
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