CES showcases all types of different technology, but I have to admit that one of the products that got me the most excited during CES is a product not technically meant to excite me, but instead women. During the press-exclusive ShowStoppers event I learned more about Nuelle’s Fiera Arouser for Her, a sexual aid designed to help arouse and extend sexual pleasure for women.
While I think the technology itself is great, the impact it could have on relationships and the conversations it might help ‘stimulate’ are even greater.
The evolution of technology doesn’t just put more pixels on our televisions or increase the storage capacity of our hard drives; it also gives us opportunities to improve all aspects of our lives. It’s not frequently that you see technology on the CES show floor meant to improve sexual health, nor is it often that you see technology specifically designed for women; Fiera breaks both of these trends. A small device that fits in the palm of the hand, Fiera isn’t used as a replacement for sex, but instead as a “before-play” device to help women get ready for sex. The device attaches to the clitoris via suction, and through a series of small motions, prepares women for sex within 5-15 minutes.
I might not have gone over to the booth at all had I not overheard two women nearby talking about it; they both seemed really enthusiastic after learning about Nuelle and their fascinating Fiera. As a guy, I figured the technology may be onto something big if even women outside the Nuelle booth were this interested.
Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant to find out just what the tool did, but the discussion and demo ended up being one of the most informative experiences I had at CES. Karen Long, President and CEO of Nuelle, broke the product down for me in frank, direct language: yes, we were talking about sex, but it didn’t have to be an embarrassing or coy discussion.
Sex is a critically important part of most relationships, and conflicts between partners sexually can start to spell the end of a relationship. For women, readiness for sex often requires more preparation than it does for men, and as women age the amount of time dedicated to arousal for sex can change as well. Fiera is a tool meant to help women prepare for sexual activity by increasing blood flow to the vagina and clitoris: through gentle massage and suction, Fiera acts as a primer instead of a replacement, which could reap big rewards for couples.
To better understand what Fiera does, Karen attached the tool to my arm with a gentle press; the suction from the rubber cover held it firmly in place. Once she pressed the button, I expected some sort of vibration or rattling; instead, I just felt a small tickle. After a few seconds, Long removed the device from my arm, and it looked like the tool did its job: there was a raised, circular mark where blood rushed to my arm. If it could have the same effect on women sexually as it did on my arm, it seems like it could produce serious results.
“It’s not that women don’t want to have sex; often, we want to have it just as much as you do,” Long said during our interview. Often the perception is that it’s a stress or frustration for women to have sex, while men supposedly want to have sex all the time and are begging for their partners to participate. Even in non-heterosexual relationships, tools like Fiera could help women feel “in the mood” more often, creating more opportunities for partners to bond physically. Also, since the Fiera utilizes suction to stay in place, this leaves the woman’s hands free to engage with her partner while the device works.
In her studies, Long said that when she asked many women why they wanted to have sex, more than experiencing orgasm, they wanted to deepen the relationship they had with their partners. “I’ve had people literally tell me ‘This is a tool that could save relationships’,” Long said. And she’s right; sexual intimacy between partners requires trust and vulnerability that may be damaged by just a couple poor experiences. Fiera won’t be a substitute for the conversations that are a part of normal, healthy relationships; in fact, using one may increase the need for discussion about sex and arousal since a partner may worry that they’re not “good enough” without the device. Also, Fiera is an investment; right now they cost $250, which isn’t cheap. But with healthy discussion and a bit of trust, partners may find increased depth and enjoyment in their sexual lives.
CES is a show about emerging technology and the way it can change our lives, which is exactly why we need to talk about tools like the Fiera Arouser for Her. It’s not just self-driving cars and drones that can change our lives; better understandings of the bodies we live in and the people we share them with may help us enjoy life even more than an 8K television or Hi-Fi speaker setup. In addition, the idea that we can have a CES where we discuss women’s health and sexuality right alongside the newest advances in home automation and laptop graphics shows that we’re learning how to appreciate all the ways technology can better our lives, both in the virtual world and in the real one.