The success of the Womanizer seems to be as a result of two things: great engineering and someone finally listening to the truth about the clitoris.
By Bakang Akoonyatse
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length
For many, the idea of clitoral pleasure being deserving of consideration and significance in any capacity is a notion that’s been stifled for a very long time — and though this impacts people of all genders, it is rooted in the oppression of cis women. This repression, we come to learn, permeates every aspect of our lives and many of us find it creeping under our bedroom doors.
More and more, women are being vocal about their displeasure and making an active effort to rectify it. If peace and prosperity are to be sought, one’s sexual health cannot be neglected on that journey. This is the realization that spurred Michael and Brigitte Lenke, to create the Womanizer — a revolutionary clitoral stimulator that’s taken the sex tech industry by storm.
The meteoric success of the Womanizer seems to be as a result of two things: great engineering and someone finally listening to the truth about the clitoris — the only organ which exists solely for pleasure. Most sex toys have historically missed the mark, but the Womanizer intentionally zeros in on it. I talked about this, as well as pleasure, perception, and the price of good sex with Womanizer founder Michael Lenke.
How did you come about with the idea of simply using air technology for a sex toy?
The invention of the Womanizer happened rather accidentally. In a scientific study of orgasms, I read that more than 50 percent of [cis] women have problems climaxing. As an inventor, I wondered how I can solve that problem. During my market analysis, I realized that there had been no new or innovative inventions for a hundred years. Furthermore, most of the sex toys focused purely on vaginal stimulation, but most women only experience clitoral orgasms. That was the moment I decided to change this and the idea for the Womanizer with its Pleasure Air Technology was born. In the end, it took me 18 months to create the first model of the Womanizer. But it was worth it because it revolutionized the entire market.
My favourite thing about the Womanizer brand is how inclusive it is, as far as sex toys for women are concerned. The Womanizer + Size, for example, makes it easy for people who might have difficulty reaching their clitoris to also enjoy stimulation, as well as those with mobility issues. Are these things you consider in the planning stages, or happy coincidences?
Understanding the needs of women is our focus. We listen to their feedback and conduct studies which give us a holistic overview on preferences and desires of women – and couples.”
Additionally, we invest a lot of time in market analysis, monitor trends and react accordingly. Overall, we try to cover all the different circumstances of women and, thus, hopefully, provide them with access to their own sexuality through the simple handling of our products. At the moment, we are selling 6 different models, of which each one has an individual design to fulfill individual needs. Nevertheless, they all have one thing in common: our Pleasure Air Technology, of which we and our customers are strongly convinced.
Most of the Womanizers come with two heads which one user thought would be useful not just if it needs to be replaced. What is the reason for that?
Yes, you are right. Most of the Womanizer models come with two heads which allows replacing. As the heads are also sized differently, this provides the user with the additional option to choose the head that fits best.
Would one be right to assume Brigitte’s involvement in the company in the early days also involved testing the products? And if so, what effect did this have on your relationship?
Brigitte is the reason why the Womanizer exists. She was testing the prototypes from the very first day, as you assumed, and has always advised me. Today, it doesn’t matter where she is, there is always a Womanizer in her handbag.
Our Summer of Sex is made possible by the sponsorship of Planned Parenthood. With their help, we are able to bring you this thoughtful series delving into the subject of sex and amplify the voices of marginalized people and communities.
Most reviewers said it enhanced their sexual appetite. Which would be amazing for people with low sex drives. An issue some users did have was that it was hard to keep it in place during penetrative sex. Is this something you’ll be working on in the future?
This is definitely something that we have already worked on. Our newest product, the Premium, is designed ergonomically and, thus, can be placed between the legs during penetrative sex. Additionally, it is very flat and light, so that it does not take up a lot of space.
The designs have greatly matured over the years; with every release, you went back and fixed things about the product users had issues with. Do you think a huge part of the loyalty people have to Womanizer is because you’re a sex toy line that listens?
We believe that this is true. As stated earlier, we invest a lot of time in market analysis and conducting studies with our testers. This allows us to collect suggestions and recommendations and, thus, continuously improve our products.
Womanizer is groundbreaking, revolutionary. Right now in sex tech, toys are advancing at a meteoric rate and it seems we’re on the cusp of (mass) producing sex robots for sale. What do you think about these technological advancements and what do you think the ramifications of that might be on our sexual pleasure in the long run?
In general, we find any progress in this area interesting. This is the case as innovation is at the very core of Womanizer. Thereby, every person needs to decide for themselves what they need, want, or desire. If a sex robot contributes to a fulfilling love life, then let it be that sex robot. Of course, it is interesting to see which kind of technology is the one that prevails in the market, in the end. From our studies, we know that some users seek more intimacy and less technology. So, we try to use technology wisely and think human when inventing new products.
What was your overall goal when you started Womanizer, and do you think you’ve reached it yet?
My overall goal when I started Womanizer was: Orgasms for every woman. Nowadays we constantly receive positive feedback from customers around the world. They express their gratitude for the Womanizer products and for experiencing emotions and feelings they have never experienced before. They send us messages with quotes like “It’s the best sex toy ever” or “The Womanizer changed my sex life completely.” I believe I have partly reached my goal. However, there is still a long way to go. But we have a pipeline full of ideas that we want to transform into products. Simply said, we are very much looking forward to the upcoming years.
We deeply believe in #orgasmisahumanright for every single person and regardless of sex, gender, physical and mental state, race or any other condition that might be perceived as limiting by some people. In our opinion, every single human being has the right to a fulfilling love life, but without any pressure.
Bakang Akoonyatse is a writer based in Gaborone, Botswana. Her writing centers on topics ranging from music to motherhood, feminism, mental health and sexuality.
Editor’s Note: WYV is honored to have featured this interview for Summer of Sex, but we’d like to note the cisnormative language of the sex toy’s name. We will always acknowledge the diversity of bodies across genders and be inclusive of the trans, non-binary, agender, and otherwise genderqueer people in our community.
You can support Planned Parenthood by donating, taking action, and volunteering. At a time when our reproductive rights are under attack, it is imperative that those of us who are able to help lend our time, energy, and funds to combating the forces that seek to control our bodies and prevent healthcare access for marginalized people.