Trauma-informed sex toys are the new harbingers of the future. As the topic of sexual trauma slowly but surely steps out into the open, the pleasure industry is finding that sex therapists and sex therapy modalities are more relevant and pertinent than ever.
Elixir Play is a boutique-style brand making sex toy designs accessible and comfortable for all, especially trauma- or pain-sufferers. This exclusive, hand-designed pleasure line is just what the doctor (or sex therapist) ordered for helping to heal sexual trauma — or simply adding light, soft exploration into one’s self-love routine.
With the Australian brand’s four-piece collection of sex toys, company founder Lara Pack seeks to erase stigma and help consumers move past trauma to rediscover pleasure. Designed for sensitive users and those prone to painful penetration, the company uses a proprietary silicone that allows their products to bend and flex with the body. The ultra-soft and bendable Elixir Play pleasure designs, says Pack, have a beautiful, creamy texture that’s gorgeous to view and feel.
“To be honest, the reason I started this brand was because I wanted it to be more than just the product,” Pack explains. “The products are the physical representation, but the brand is all about educating and empowering women.”
This playful-looking line of familiar sex toy shapes was, rather unfortunately, born of Pack’s many years of personal issues with pelvic pain and painful sex. When Pack turned to pelvic physiotherapy for assistance, she realized the importance of external stimulation, and thus the benefit of sex toys in sexual pain relief.
“I really wanted toys that were not painful,” explains Pack.
“Traditional toys have plastic components with a thin silicone over the top,” she highlights. “It was important to me to have toys that could bend and flex which would help with particularly the insertion, which I struggled with myself so much.”
As Pack tells us in recounting the creation of her business, a consultation with a doctor led to a daydream-y wish: If only there were a magic pill to fix her issue.
“Hence the name Elixir, which means magic potion or spell,” explains Pack. “We added Play because, of course, sex should be playful. In fact, keeping it playful actually helps to address some of the issues associated with pain.”
In November 2020, Elixir Play was nominated for two XBIZ Awards: International Pleasure Products Company of the Year and Sex Toy of the Year — Powered (Vibrating) for the Ruby soft wand massager.
“Ruby was all about the ‘is she or isn’t she a vibe?’ [design appearance],” Pack describes.
“A lot of women said they wanted toys that didn’t look like a toy, so that if they were found by kids or whomever, it wouldn’t be an issue,” says Pack. “She also has specific grooves that mean you can place your fingers to guide or add pressure, if needed. That allows the user to have more control over their experience.”
Shaped like a slender wand, the Ruby has a large bulb at one end, perfect for clitoral stimulation or G-spot massage. Pack suggests using Ruby all over the body, as her squishy-soft and flexible neck can work around every curve.
Pack’s first product, however, definitely fits the design bill for an artsy sex toy. The Aphrodite is a heart-shaped silicone charm meant to be worn around the neck as a not-so-discreet piece of statement jewelry. Unclasp Aphrodite from around your collar and she becomes a remote-controlled pocket rocket or panty vibe.
“My first toy, Aphrodite, was meant to be all about fun and non-confrontational. I have decided to sunset this product to make way for the new range,” says Pack. “These three [additional] products were designed after speaking to women and creating a range that was non-phallic and designed to be able to move with the body.”
The Elixir Play collection also includes Garnet, a versatile, shareable, ultra-soft cock ring, and Amethyst, a dual-stimulating vibrator with a fully flexible shaft.
“Garnet is all about the vulva,” says Pack. “She covers as much surface area as possible to allow for stimulation. A lot of our focus with toys is on the glans clitoris and I wanted to accentuate the whole area rather than just the glans.
“Amethyst is all about the traditional rabbit style, but I really wanted to accentuate the flat areas for both G-spot and clitoral,” continues Pack. “I found traditional rabbits often don’t hit the exact spots they need to, which can be frustrating. By bending and flexing, there is more opportunity for Amethyst to be able to fit for most women.”
Against the odds, Elixir Play managed to prosper throughout the hellish year that was “COVID-2020.” Pack thinks it’s just the nature of our naturally resilient industry.
“I think we are in an amazing place where we have all adapted so well to COVID and moving into this amazing sexual wellness space,” remarks Pack. “I think honestly everyone does such an amazing job in this industry. I love the work we all do together and the way in which we all work to make our industry more mainstream.”
Elixir Play calls Australia home and hopes to expand its wholesale offerings around the world. Pack encourages the industry to reach out via ElixirPlay.com to participate in her expanding brand, which she anticipates will include new designs throughout 2021.
“We are busy working away on new designs for either this year or early next, so definitely watch this space,” says Pack. “I will continue to be offering trainings and educating on our brands and hope to partake in some industry events.”
True to her company mission, Lara Pack is embodying the changes she hopes to see in her lifetime and beyond. Pack is active on spaces like Instagram and Facebook, where she posts her triumphs (like her two XBIZ Awards) and often-unfair failures (like her unfortunate rejection from exhibiting at a local market for women biz owners — and on International Women’s Day at that).
Pack thinks that if we only push forward, pleasure products can open doors for the people who may have the hardest time finding satisfactory sex and self-love.
“I think we need to ensure that we are continuing to listen to our consumers, and the biggest thing we can all work on is fighting against the censorship we face in social media and many other channels,” concludes Pack. “I can see this slowly changing, and I think we have a lot of opportunity in this space.”