Sexual wellness brand Womanizer has announced a five-year, €250K investment into their newly minted “Pleasure Fund” committed to championing women’s health, sexual well-being and sexual pleasure research. Since its inception, the brand has always strived to create pleasurable experiences for all and is continuously dedicated to investing back into its community by funding women-led research focused on women’s sexuality, pleasure and health.
Womanizer’s new Pleasure Fund aims to help narrow the “Gender Health Gap,” which has widened as a result of lower priority status given to medical research for women. Historically, male-focused research has been considered the benchmark in studying various medical issues, including diseases and their symptoms. This leaves women and their medical needs largely ignored. Disease research, including drug development and clinical studies, are typically conducted with male test groups, even in instances where the medical issue being addressed primarily affects women. For example, erectile dysfunction, which affects 19 percent of all men, has been studied five times more than premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects 90 percent of all women. As a result, women often receive misdiagnoses, incorrect medications or dosages and unexplored treatment approaches.
The first project that Womanizer’s Pleasure Fund will address is in collaboration with Berlin’s Charité University Hospital and Research Institute, led by Dr. Laura Hatzler. Together they will study the effects of sexual dysfunction for those with, and recovering from, breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, with approximately 70,000 women diagnosed each year. Some women in the recovery phase of breast cancer have said they often feel body-shamed and have an overall lack of self-worth. With investment from the Pleasure Fund, Dr. Hatzler will study whether and to what extent masturbation can help those who have experienced or are experiencing breast cancer re-learn sexual arousal, improve blood flow and contribute to a positive body image.
“The consequences of the Gender Health Gap increase the risk of mistreatment and misdiagnosis, as female bodies have different symptoms for certain conditions. We want to help expand and champion research and understanding into female sexual health and wellness. This is why the Pleasure Fund is so important, and we are thrilled to be working with Charité to directly address a topic that affects so many women and yet is historically under-researched,” says Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at Womanizer.
The money invested from Womanizer into the Pleasure Fund will be awarded to researchers and physicians around the world who are conducting studies in these areas. Projects will be selected with the help of an international advisory board consisting of leading industry experts.
“As a gynecologist and women’s health expert, I know that clinical research is the backbone of everything,” says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, OBGYN and Founder & CEO of Sanctum Med + Wellness and member of the Pleasure Fund advisory board. “The gaps we see in women’s health are apparent and range in overall health, reproductive health, and sexual health. The Pleasure Fund is a beautiful and resourceful way to have the right answers for the women in our community.”