If you look around the media (and our industry!) these days, there’s a word you’ve probably noticed coming up repeatedly in reference to a whole bevy of different things. That word? Wellness.
So, what does “wellness” really mean? What is it? How is it used (and sometimes misused) in marketing? How can our industry make a positive impact on it? Buckle in because we are going to cover all of that and more! Get ready to get to know wellness pretty well!
But really, what is wellness?
This can be a complex question, especially when the answer varies based on who is giving it. A doctor, an educator, an activist, and a manufacturer might all define it differently. But in the simplest terms, wellness is about looking beyond basic health to an overall sense of well-being — emotional and mental, especially.
But be careful not to conflate wellness with healthy! Health is relative and often defined by unrealistic and biased standards rooted in white supremacy, fatphobia, sexism and transphobia. And while wellness can include practices and products designed to support physical, emotional and mental well-being, experiencing “wellness” is not dependent on outside purchases. Wellness in marketing and manufacturing Before we talk about how wellness can be successfully addressed in marketing and manufacturing, let’s take a moment to look at how it is often misused. Like with anything that gets a bit of buzz around it, wellness can sometimes be inappropriately used to pressure consumers into buying unnecessary and often expensive products that may hold no benefits whatsoever.
For manufacturers who wish to serve consumers on their quest for wellness, it’s important to offer products that are beneficial in terms of physical, mental and emotional well-being — but also to price those products accessibly and to advertise their benefits clearly and transparently without exaggerating or over-stating their benefits. Evidence-based advertising is ideal, though evidence is not always available because many of these topics are under-researched. Following these introductory ethical steps can help your company benefit from promoting wellness while also potentially becoming a trusted source in a sea of snake oil.
Because wellness is so closely associated with health, it can be stripped of the fun and exciting parts of the wellness journey — like experiencing pleasure. Avoid this! At Blush, we believe that pleasure, joy and fun are vital to well-being and thus must be part of the wellness conversation. Cultivating pleasure in our lives is beneficial to mental and emotional health and is a basic human right often stifled or shamed out of us! In a world that often devalues pleasure and fun, the adult retail industry can help keep the wellness conversation well-rounded by validating pleasure practices. True wellness should always be pleasure-inclusive.
Adult retail and wellness
Because pleasure is such an important part of the wellness conversation, it is valuable for adult stores to provide consumers with products that support a variety of wellness practices and meet people where they’re at in their life. Pleasure products can be a great way to match pleasure with well-being and give shoppers something to complement their current wellness journeys — or even get them started!
Inspired by users with specific sexual health needs, sexual wellness products like dilator sets are inspired by a desire to offer options for cancer patients and are made for anyone looking to support their vaginas with gentle and gradual opening and stretching. Kegel training products can help users relax their pelvic muscles and enhance sexual experiences. Toys with thoughtful touches like a long handle that is firm and easy to grip for users with arthritis, carpal tunnel and other dexterity limitations.
Not only is it important for adult retailers and manufacturers to offer products that support shoppers’ pleasure and wellness needs, but they also need to make these products as accessible as possible — meaning quality construction at wallet-friendly prices.
In addition to offering specific products that support the wellness needs of a variety of consumers, adult retail manufacturers need to make those products accessible which means offering quality products at wallet-friendly prices.
Centering pleasure in the wellness conversation — and keeping it transparent, ethical and realistic — can help shoppers feel supported and trusting as they explore the brands and products available to them. Adult stores and their hardworking staff are often shoppers’ go-to (or even exclusive) source of information and recommendations, and by tapping into that need and addressing it effectively, you will likely reap the benefits for years to come.