Back in college, my friends would turn to me to talk through their sexual questions and anxieties. And it wasn’t because I was any sort of expert. It was just because I was comfortable talking about “that kind of thing.” That was years ago, and the progress I saw my female peers make throughout our twenties was incredible. We collectively became more open about masturbation. More communicative with our partners. More honest about our needs and desires. These changes were mirrored in and encouraged by the way culture was evolving around us.
I felt proud to be part of a generation of women growing increasingly more sex-comfortable and sex-positive. But even with all that momentum, finding sexual fulfillment still seemed super, super difficult. For all of us. I wondered why that was. It was definitely partly a question of the body. Discovering, understanding, and communicating what feels good is really hard. But what seemed to me like the bigger challenge was rooted in the brain, and no one was talking about that.
Thoughts. Imagination. Mood. Context. The stories we tell ourselves to make everything just a little bit, sexier! In my own experience, porn definitely had never told me any stories. I had never felt like romance novels’ stories were for, or about, me. It was obvious that my half of the population (women actually make up 51% of the American population—how’s that for a “niche market”!) needed better options.
I felt proud to be part of a generation of women growing increasingly more sex-comfortable and sex-positive.
But who was going to do it? Who’s up to the task of creating better options for women? Well... women. I’m definitely not trying to say empathy can’t cross the gender divide. But I believe the most powerful means to understanding women’s experiences is having lived them. For too long men have been designing for women based on assumptions. And with enough time and persistence, those assumptions can start to feel like facts.
One of the best examples of this is in the pantyhose industry. For decades, men sold and advertised pantyhose telling women that it flattered their legs. Until Spanx founder Sara Blakely had an amazing insight based on her own lived experience: she separated the control-tops from the tights and sold them alone. As it turns out, women actually care more about smoothing their butts than their legs, and the pantyhose industry started to eat Spanx’s dust.
Who's up to the task of creating better options for women? Well...women.
In 2017, I had a few of my own insights. Women needed more relatable, evolved erotic content. Better yet, it should be produced in audio. Why? Because audio lets our imaginations dream up their own personal versions of every story. Because it’s scene-setting and mood-making. It checked the box for so many things I believed women need to get to that sexy place in their minds.
My friend Faye and I did research for a year. We talked late into the night at her kitchen table. We knew we wanted this to exist. And ultimately, we decided we wanted to be the ones to build it. We founded Dipsea together in 2018: an app for audio stories designed to turn women on.
To us, Dipsea stories are more than 15 minutes of fun—they’re a catalyst for what happens afterwards. Maybe that means feeling more alive, more in touch with yourself. Or more intimate or explorative with a partner. Maybe it means heading out the door feeling empowered, sexy, and confident. That’s the real power of nurturing the sexual being inside all of us.
We’re on a mission to help women tap into their sexual powers more accessibly. And while we’re brimming with passion and ideas, we're not pretending we have all the answers. We’re figuring it out day-by-day, with a lot of help from our listeners. Thanks for following along with our story. This is just the beginning!
Gina, CEO & co-founder of Dipsea