Pleasure brand Womanizer launches the “Pleasure Fund” and commits to investing £250,000 over the next five years in research in the field of health, sexual well-being and sexual pleasure of exclusively female subjects. The first study will be implemented in collaboration with Berlin’s Charité hospital.
By now, most people are familiar with the so-called ‘gender health gap’: While men are considered the benchmark in medicine, many diseases and symptoms of women remain unexplored to this day.
New drugs are primarily tested on male experimental groups, and the same applies to diseases and studies – even those that mainly affect females.
What remains are misdiagnoses, wrong medications and unexplored treatment approaches. Womanizer wants to change this and invests in research in the field of female sexuality, pleasure and health.
Breast cancer: Sexual dysfunction
The starting signal has already been given: The first project that Womanizer is implementing in collaboration with the Berlin University Hospital and Research Institute Charité is a study investigating the effects of sexual dysfunction in the context of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, with approximately 70,000 people currently diagnosed each year. The disease is associated with changes in vaginal blood flow and a removable libido, and many sufferers experience a lack of body self-worth afterward.
“Clinical research is the backbone of everything,” says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a gynecologist and women’s health expert.
“The gaps in female health are obvious and range from general to reproductive to sexual health. The Pleasure Fund is a wonderful and important way to find the right answers for women in our community.”
Funded by Womanizer, Dr. Laura Hatzler, head of the ´Female Desire´ research group at Charité’s Institute for Sexuality and Sexual Medicine, will use her institute to investigate whether and to what extent masturbation can help re-learn sexual arousal, improve blood flow and contribute to a positive body image.
Who is behind the initiative?
This isn’t the first clinical trial Womanizer has initiated. Earlier this year, the brand released the results of the Menstrubation Study.
This investigated whether and to what extent masturbation has a pain-relieving effect on period pain.
The positive response has encouraged Womanizer to support further women-focused studies.
For a long time, clinical studies were conducted exclusively on male bodies because the female body was considered too complex for clinical research due to its increased hormone production.
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 females.
To date, studies that focus on female or reproductive health are underfunded – because it is usually males who decide which projects to implement.
Pleasure Fund: International Advisory Board
Womanizer is considered a pioneer in the sexual wellness industry. With its patented Pleasure Air technology, the brand revolutionized an entire industry in 2014 and has since been committed to normalizing and de-tabooizing female sexuality and masturbation.
With the help of the Pleasure Fund, Womanizer will invest a total of 250,000 euros in research into female health and sexuality over the next five years.
This money 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 six leading industry experts:
- Dr. Jessica A. Shepherd, M.D., MBA (USA)
- OBGYN, Women’s Health Expert, Founder & CEO of Sanctum Med + Wellness
- Andrea Tan (Singapore)
- Certificated coach on sex, love and relationships
- Dr. Zelaika Hepworth Clarke, PhD, MSW, MEd (USA)
- Anti-colonial sex educator, decolonial eroticologist, clinical sexologist.
- Joslyn Nerdahl (Canada)
- Sex educator & intimacy coach
- Johanna Rief (Germany)
- Head of Sexual Empowerment at Womanizer
“The consequences of the Gender Health Gap increase the risk of mistreatment and misdiagnosis, as female bodies have different symptoms for certain conditions. At Womanizer, we want to help expand knowledge about female sexual health and wellness in the years to come. This is what we are working towards with the Pleasure Fund and we are very pleased to be working with Charité to directly address a topic that affects many women and has been little researched,”Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at Womanizer.
How can you apply?
Researchers and physicians (f/m/d) from around the world who conduct research on sexual health, sexual well-being, and sexual pleasure and meet all eligibility criteria are eligible to apply.