Tabitha Rayne Talks Pleasure, Erotica and Designing Inclusive Femtech for Women

Scottish-born Tabitha Rayne began designing a femtech product that suited her needs unlike any available on the market over ten years ago. She shares her story with me which makes for an interesting and humorous read.

And yet… her needs were and remain similar to millions of women around the world. The answer was obvious! A non-penetrative sex toy. In this guest blog, Tabitha Rayne talks to me about her journey to becoming a femtech designer and shares her thoughts on self-pleasure, peri-menopause and the importance of sex education at every age.

Femtech is short for female technology, an industry I am passionate about for women. It refers to technology designed for women’s health, wellness and sexual wellbeing. Femtech covers software, diagnostics, treatment, prevention, product and sexual wellness.

You might be interested in another FemTech article [6 Intimate Well-being Products for the New and Curious Shopper]

Her design concept was simple, glaringly obvious even! To develop and manufacture an inclusive and versatile product for women who prefer non-penetrative pleasure which is a ride-on, hands-free design and suitable for many. A product for vulvas – not vaginas. It’s hardly surprising that a product which provides full vulva stimulation would go on to be a popular and award-winning product!

So who is Tabitha Rayne you ask?

Well, you may have heard of Tabitha already if you are a member of the Vaginismus Network or read erotic novels. Tabitha Rayne is an erotica author, narrator of audio erotica, female business owner and inventor of the award-winning Ruby Glow products. She set up her therubyglow.com online business, designing and manufacturing non-penetrative products in 2014. This year Tabitha celebrated 10 years in the femtech business! Want to listen to more? Take a look at her podcast interviews here.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0r7hf_M9-e/Tabitha’s persona of openness and self-acceptance is infectious. She is a joy to listen to on podcasts such as the recent Flowers of Scotland Podcast E:6, talking about women, ADHD, vaginismus and non-penetrative pleasure. You can follow her on Instagram for fun updates. My personal favourite was her Christmas #spicebook Advent Calendar countdown to Christmas each day last December.

Everything about sex toys at that time gave me the absolute ick… so I went on a mission to develop my own product for women.

Sex toys weren’t for me at all so…

Tabitha tells me ‘I really felt that women and people with vulvas were underserved in the adult market when it came to non-penetrative pleasure. I felt that sex toys weren’t for me at all. Being so spoilt for choice nowadays, you might not believe that only a few short years ago, the only options were clitoral bullet vibes, dildos or rabbits. I knew I didn’t want a penetrative sex toy, I only ever needed and wanted external stimulation and I also didn’t like the hardness of the bullets, everything about sex toys at that time gave me the absolute ick so I went on a mission to develop my own product for women.

This product is different from most on the market, tell us your story…

The birth of this toy was very much a personal one. I have been a writer for years and have given classes on creative writing. One of my favourite bits of advice for new writers is that if you want to elicit a response in your readers, you have to be feeling it when you write. Writing a sad story? I want tears splashing on those keys. A funny one – I want coffee splurted over your notebook laughing! 

So when I moved into writing erotic fiction, and hot steamy romance, I had to follow my own advice! If I was writing a particularly hot scene, I’d have to stop when it got too sexy and go to sort myself out

One day I decided I would like to write ‘through’ an orgasm to see what happened to the story. I thought it would be a simple case of going online and buying what I was looking for. I had a very clear image in my mind of a saddle-style object with two grinding humps – no such thing existed. At all!

So I made what I wanted out of clay and used it for grinding and humping against it. It was perfect and I won awards for my erotic writing!

About the Ruby Glow Dusk Seated Pleasure

The Ruby Glow Dusk is perfectly moulded to suit your pleasure. Because of the saddle-style design, it massages and stimulates the whole vulva and vagina area. Two independently vibrating pads are held in place by your pubic bone and operated by controls to the front.

Learn to grind! You can rock and grind against them or relax and let Ruby bring pleasure to you. Ride on seated orgasm. ​It can be used through underwear or is skin-safe for full-body contact.

It comes in a body-safe silicon seductive aubergine colour. Made from an ABS inner shell for stability with a velvety outer silicon coating. Two powerful motors drive the vibrating pads – each controlled by buttons to the front with 10 powerful functions.

Self-pleasure is almost like going to the gym. You know it’s good for you, you’ll feel great afterwards, but getting yourself in the zone can feel impossible.

She says, this toy is anchored in place by your pubic bone and you can grind against it, don’t be worried about the hump at your vaginal entrance, it’s there to hint at penetration and to offer that little bit of pressure. I wanted to be able to use it through clothing as I was sitting at my desk and writing, so you can always dampen the sensations with thicker underwear, jeans or even a panty pad. This also means you can use it on your period, including with a tampon or cup.

Connecting with your sexual self and developing self-pleasure skills

Tabitha, as a woman who writes erotic fiction and novels, talks at events about pleasure, teaches creative writing about sex AND develops sex toys designed for women, you have embraced your sexuality with positivity, joy and acceptance. What advice do you have for women regarding clitoral pleasure who are starting to learn about their bodies and self-pleasure?

First of all, lucky us to have a clitoris! 

The only organ there for pleasure and pleasure alone! You are in the golden age of sex toys and information. My best advice would be, to give yourself permission to explore your body and your inner world fantasies. 

We can sometimes be shocked by what our mind offers up to turn us on, but try to just go with it and indulge yourself. If you are able to visit a sex toy shop or have friends willing to show you their collection, you might get a better feel of what type of stimulation might suit you. And yes, some people hate vibration, some love buzzy toys, and some a deeper rumbly toy. If you’ve ever found yourself wriggling against a pillow or cushion, you may well be in the humping club. Something like a grinding toy, like the Ruby Glow range might suit you well. Because the external clitoral head is just the tip of the clitoral iceberg, I developed the Ruby Glow to be a full vulva massage.

Who did you have in mind for the Ruby Glow range as the design became a reality? 

I’ve had quite a serious bout of arthritis in the past and I could barely pull my own underwear down let alone have the strength to pleasure myself. There was a moment of panic when I didn’t know if I’d always have pain and weakness, like was that it for me and my orgasms? 

I know that so many people live with conditions that limit their access to pleasuring their own bodies and that made me feel that Ruby Glow was a necessary creation and I had a duty to pursue it. 

Tabitha was one of the first to break the sex toy stereotype and designed an inclusive product

for vulvas not just vaginas.’

This was galvanised when I read a review for Ruby Glow from a trans man with ME who felt completely dysmorphic and dissociated from his body and pleasure. Ruby Glow was the one product that was hands-free so offered a level of detachment from his genitals and he didn’t need to use strength to hold it against him as you use your own body weight to grind. It humbled me and in dark times when business gets hard (and it does get hard) I remember him and it drives me on.

Once a gentleman in his 80s got in touch with me after discovering that his wife of over 60 years had never had an orgasm. Because of the lack of female pleasure education, they both had no idea their sex lives were lacking in any way. He was devastated to find out that she had just put up with sex almost as a duty. It broke his heart. 

Can you imagine my absolute joy and emotion when he wrote to me to say that he’d bought a Ruby Glow for his wife along with some other pleasure products and that she’d discovered pleasure and orgasms in her 80s? They both now have a fantastic and satisfying sex life. 

Think particular product will also appeal to older, menopausal women, women with vaginismus and those who have no desire for penetration. The Ruby Glow range has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire Magazine with fantastic reviews.

Living with vaginismus symptoms? Take a read of my latest Vaginismus series blog [ The Ruby Glow Range- Vaginismus Friendly FemTech Made by Women]

Let’s talk about Menopause and the power of self-pleasure!

Oh yes, menopause! Tabitha says as a now perimenopausal woman, let me tell you, the utter bewilderment that comes with symptoms such as not even knowing who you are anymore, or what your purpose is, is utterly discombobulating. 

The drop in sex hormones can really mess with your head too, where once you might have had a strong libido, sex is now something you rarely think of. Because orgasms and erotic writing are my life, they have always formed a big part of my identity and something I use to control my own depression and ADHD symptoms. So as you can imagine, having a diminished libido really messes with my sense of self and wellbeing. 

I am privileged to live and work in the sex and pleasure field so I am acutely aware of how important it is to me, and I notice when it starts to go. I understand that if I wasn’t surrounded by it, it would be the easiest thing in the world to forget about. When that happens, I turn to self-pleasure in different ways.

Tabitha is the Commissioning Editor for the Frolicme Magazine

Tabitha recommends Frolicme, a website produced by Women and for Women. She describes it as a superb, safe, ethical, erotic platform for women and couples offering films, audio, erotica and sexual health articles. You can find Tabitha’s content on their website. Women can give themselves permission to explore their sexuality through different platforms and experiences like Frolicme, audio erotica, reading and self-pleasure. Search Tabitha Rayne on Kindle for her list of titles.

Tabitha and I feel strongly about ongoing sex education for every age and stage in life for both men and women! Self-help Sex Ed all through life. And, developing a secure female sex-positive attitude. Here she tells us why

Women have historically been so underserved in our sexual pleasure education as females and this is slowly changing – young people and young women in particular are taking this to task and spreading the word themselves through social media, using their platforms to highlight sexual health and wellbeing – and I am HERE FOR IT! 

However, there is still a whole swathe of the population who are not and never have been exposed to this level of sexual openness and positivity. 

Ignoring female sexual pleasure education hurts everyone, including the men who love women. So there are absolutely no limits and indeed it is necessary. I believe in age-appropriate sex and body education for all ages and our youngsters too. 

By the time the school or whoever is brave enough to broach sex education, particularly nowadays with the internet, it’s way too late. I came from a sex and pleasure-positive household so feel very lucky. I was fully aware that this was a privilege and tried hard at high school to get the sex educators to acknowledge that pleasure was a driving factor in teen sex. It never made sense to me that they only talked about boys’ climax and literally zero about the girls. I was like, “why would we do it?” like, if the ONLY thing we get out of it is unwanted pregnancy, literally, what is the point? A bit of honesty would have been great for us all. I knew what I was doing when I asked the questions but no one at the time was willing to say anything. 

Self-pleasure is almost like going to the gym. You know it’s good for you, you’ll feel great afterwards, but getting yourself in the zone can feel impossible. I always turn to erotica and visual porn – but something else that I find exciting is buying myself a new sex toy and having the anticipation of trying it out. The great news for women and perimenopausal people like me is that menopause care and awareness are really riding a wave right now – you can find so much great info online.  

CONNECT WITH TABITHA RAYNE

Find out More!

Website: www.tabitharayne.com

Instagram: @TabithaRayne

The Ruby Glow: www.therubyglow.com

Podcasts: www.tabitharayne.com/events

YouTube: @TabithaRayne

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Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy

Orlagh Reid

Orlagh Reid is an IACP accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Addiction Counsellor, Gottman Couples Therapist and Fertility Counsellor in private practice based in Co. Kildare, Ireland and worldwide online via DOXY. She specialises in addiction, recovery, well-being and clinical sexology. To find out more or to book an online consultation visit www.orlaghreid.ie

Orlagh Reid Psychotherapy MIACP Therapy Ireland

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