LUST WOR­THY The adult in­dus­try gets a lux­u­ri­ous makeover.

From ve­gan lu­bri­cants to min­i­mal­ist sex toys, the adult in­dus­try is in the midst of a lux­u­ri­ous makeover.

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - By ANNA LAVDARAS

ONE BY ONE, stiletto-clad women ar­rive at a sleek in­ner-city clinic, click-clack­ing across the wooden floors, grab­bing a flute of cham­pagne as they join the rest of the group. they are dressed im­pec­ca­bly, hav­ing just ar­rived from their re­spectable day jobs as doc­tors, lawyers and ex­ec­u­tives. Ca­sual chit-chat soft­ens to si­lence as a smil­ing brunette in a black blazer and pearls takes a seat fac­ing the group. She in­tro­duces her­self and gets straight to busi­ness. “It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re more like Sa­man­tha or Char­lotte, tonight we’re go­ing to have fun, laugh and learn how to make sex work for you,” she says.

The wo­man host­ing this event is Isiah Mckim­mie — and she’s a sex ther­a­pist, if you haven’t al­ready guessed. The women she’s ad­dress­ing think noth­ing of spend­ing the av­er­age Aus­tralian salary on well­ness fads such as in­frared sauna mem­ber­ships, raw-food­de­liv­ery ser­vices and, ap­par­ently, har­ness­ing the health ben­e­fits of sex.

It was only a mat­ter of time be­fore the health and well­ness in­dus­try moved to en­com­pass this pre­vi­ously clan­des­tine zone. “I haven’t seen this much in­ter­est in my work­shops since back when Sex and the City was on air,” Mckim­mie says. Gwyneth Pal­trow tested the wa­ters quite lit­er­ally a cou­ple of years back when she penned a spa piece prais­ing the virtues of an oc­ca­sional vagi­nal steam. “it is an en­er­getic re­lease — not just a steam douche — that bal­ances fe­male hor­mone lev­els,” she ex­plained. Hordes of her loyal fe­male fol­low­ers with size­able ex­pend­able in­come took note, spark­ing a re­newed in­ter­est in the nether re­gion. a hand­ful of local clin­ics now of­fer their own ver­sion of the v-steam, with some even sell­ing take-home ‘yoni’ can read­ily steam your face as you si­mul­ta­ne­ously treat your pri­vates to a blend of basil, chamomile, laven­der, mug­wort, oregano and rasp­berry (named the ‘Won­der Wo­man Blend’ by Sydney Tantric Mas­sage), nour­ish­ing, ton­ing and cleans­ing your skin from top to … well, you know where.

‘Yoni’, the San­skrit term for fe­male gen­i­talia, means ‘sa­cred space’, and it’s the lat­est buzz word in well­ness cir­cles. Sim­i­larly themed prod­ucts — many cre­ated by women — are launch­ing reg­u­larly, promis­ing a mul­ti­tude of health ben­e­fits. From or­ganic co­conut oil lu­bri­cants to pelvic-floor-training de­vices, th­ese items are sleek, health­ful and help­ing to re­brand the sex in­dus­try — one yoni at a time. The Good Egg is one such prod­uct, of­fer­ing crys­tal-crazed women a chance to get up close and per­sonal with jade, rose quartz and so­dalite, to name a few. Shaped like lit­tle quail eggs with a short string at­tached, the stones are pre­sented like some­thing from an emerg­ing lux­ury jew­ellery la­bel. they prom­ise re­wards such as pro­mot­ing in­ner warmth, emo­tional bal­ance and re­leas­ing blocked en­ergy. The founder of The Good Egg, Amy Mcdon­nell, ex­plains: “The phys­i­cal ben­e­fit is be­ing able to man­age the health and well­be­ing of your pelvic floor, but the other part of it is ac­tu­ally con­fronting your re­la­tion­ship with your lady parts.” And, con­trary to pre­con­cep­tions many might have about the cus­tomer base, The Good Egg at­tracts all types of women, from those in the cor­po­rate sec­tor (“Iron­i­cally, they tend to choose the rose quartz, with the gen­tle fem­i­nine en­ergy,” Mcdon­nell notes) as well as the yo­gis and Pi­lates in­struc­tors, who are more likely to opt for the pow­er­ful stones. Go fig­ure.

“Women are lib­er­at­ing and em­brac­ing them­selves a lot more than they did years ago, and I think that’s a great thing,” re­flects Monica Nakata, the co-founder of dig­i­tal store Par Femme. Billed as a des­ti­na­tion cre­ated “by women, for women”, it was re­cently launched by Nakata (for­mer pub­lisher of Oys­ter magazine) and Ruby Heery (for­mer beauty/fash­ion di­rec­tor of Oys­ter), sell­ing ev­ery­thing from lux­ury silk lin­gerie to jew­ellery to can­dles and toys for the bed­room. “There are no bright pink, gar­ish prod­ucts — ev­ery­thing is sub­tle and beau­ti­fully de­signed, and women ap­pre­ci­ate that.” Right she is. With much of the stock dis­play­ing ‘sold out’ ban­ners, they have ob­vi­ously tapped into some­thing big … or small, rather.

“The phys­i­cal ben­e­fit is there, but the other part of it is ac­tu­ally con­fronting your re­la­tion­ship with your lady parts.” – Amy Mcdon­nell

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