These are the very impressions that Julie Peasgood identified after several years as an Agony Aunt for magazines like Now, Yours and the Sunday Mirror; as well as from giving advice online for Lovehoney.co.uk, and while working on the Alan Titchmarsh show. With this in mind Julie and her husband Patrick Pearson, came up with a brand with a distinctly female-friendly image. The packaging is in white and duck-egg blue with a vogueishly retro feel. The products range from scented massage candles and naturally-based lubricants to intimate massagers and sensual oils. After years in development, the names of the products are deliberately light-hearted, for instance Massage in a Bottle, Burning Desire, Undercover and Release (I’ll leave you to work out what these products are for). They have paid particular attention to the wording for each product to ensure the information and instructions come across in a clear and approachable manner, in line with the whole ethos of the brand.
Launched only a couple of weeks ago Swoon has a dedicated website (click on Swoon to check it out) as well as appearing nationwide at a high street healthcare retailers and via Amazon.co.uk; providing sex products with a much needed female-friendly makeover. Not only is this good news for women who may be attracted by the packaging and / or intrigued to explore their own intimate pleasure time, but it’s likely to benefit their partners as a consequence too.
Based part-time in Brighton Julie and Patrick began with a soft launch of their range in the city embracing the open-mindedness that exists here. Passionate about how this brand will reach out to a whole new consumer, Julie gives us the lowdown, “from the letters I got from women, I realised that there were many women who were interested in experimenting with pleasure products but were put off by what was currently on the market - either they were too garish, or they just didn’t like the idea of a rabbit. I began to see a need for products that would actively appeal to women, with tasteful packaging that could sit comfortably in a bathroom or bedroom without having to be hidden away for fear of offending anyone.
“My husband Patrick came up with the name Swoon and the quirky product names like Drive Me Balmy for the arousal balm, which suited the retro style of the packaging. We worked closely with the supplier to develop a range of products that could be seen as an addition to intimate relations rather than perceived as being in opposition to a partner.
|Drive Me Balmy balm by Swoon|
Julie, “It was important for the packaging to be appealing and non-threatening, as Swoon is not in any way salacious - it’s meant to inspire confidence. We wanted to create a range that would appeal to everyone, including people who haven’t tried sexual wellbeing products before.
“The three products that I love the most are Shimmy (the little bullet massager) because it’s so tiny and discreet, and easy to take away with you. It’s simple yet incredibly powerful, and it’s probably the easiest to use as a couple because of its size. A lot of people strive to climax together, but it doesn’t necessarily happen. Hopefully Shimmy can help both partners reach their happy place at the same time. So it’s not there to compete with what your partner is doing, it’s an adjunct. Pleasure products are meant to enhance intercourse, not replace it!
|Shimmy by Swoon|
“Another favourite of mine is Massage in a Bottle – I’m bonkers about the smell, it’s got vanilla with essential oils of orange and petitgrain and we’ve striven to make it as pure as possible. We worked with Sally Robinson, the wonderful founder of Organic at Heart, who helped make the blend for Massage in a Bottle. Her background is in making baby products and her ethos in everything she makes is that it should be incredibly healthy. From there I went to this amazing company, Aromatic Flavours and Fragrances, to create the scent. It’s an incredible place with thousands of bottles and the fragrance specialist, Nina, can tell you the top notes, middle notes and the bottom notes of any scent from memory!
|Massage in a Bottle by Swoon|
“The other product I love is Smooth Mover – Sally actually created this lubricant for us, it’s 99% natural and the preservative system is food grade, which is the best. Normal high street lubes have a sugar carbohydrate base, which can be tricky if you suffer from thrush, and also contain propylene glycol, which is one of the main components of car anti-freeze! What we are doing is making products that don't need these chemical nasties in them, obviously it's much better to work with nature where you can.
Click here to find Smooth Mover on Amazon.
|Smooth Mover by Swoon|
“A tip?" says Julie, "kiss more! Research by the Marriage Guidance Council indicates that when a relationship deteriorates, kissing is one of the first things to go - but if you make an effort to put it back on the menu, it can rekindle the romance and the emotional bond between you. Couples who have swapped a peck on the cheek for a proper, substantial kiss have noticed a real improvement in their relationships. Long, passionate, toe-curling kisses release the ‘bonding’ hormone oxytocin, which strengthens your connection with each other. Plus a steamy session of Philematology (the science of kissing) can boost self-esteem and relieve stress. And cure hiccups – now there’s an added bonus!"
Click here to find all Swoon products on Amazon.