Can An Intimate Wearable Change The Conversation About Sex?

Nicole Guappone
The Establishment
Published in
8 min readJun 6, 2018

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Via Ohnut

The Ohnut wants to take the shame out of painful sex. Is a product all it takes?

NN aturally a conversation starter, entrepreneur Emily Sauer and I chat on the phone one afternoon having the conversation she’s spent years wanting to have. One that was difficult to start, even for her. For 10 years, Sauer experienced painful sex and never brought it up to her partners. When she finally tried to seek help from medical professionals, she was dismissed. The feeling is not uncommon.

My own painful sex journey started years ago, when I continued to have pain with sex after a yeast infection had cleared up. After a few appointments, my gynecologist said, “I don’t know what to tell you,” in a frustrated tone of voice that I knew was inappropriate. I’ve since learned that it’s not uncommon for medical professionals — including gynecologists — to not know how to handle pelvic pain that can’t be visually diagnosed. Many of us end up feeling betrayed by our bodies and alone in our pain, and Sauer was no exception.

“I never felt further away from everybody than when I was experiencing painful sex,” she says. Thankfully, research of and knowledge surrounding pelvic pain has advanced a lot in the last few years. Still, Sauer couldn’t find exactly what she needed, so she created it herself — Ohnut, the “intimate wearable redefining painful sex.”

Many of us end up feeling betrayed by our bodies and alone in our pain.

The creation of this product is as much about starting that conversation as it is about finding a potential solution to a problem approximately 75% of women will experience in their life. Creating Ohnut gave Sauer an excuse to talk to others about painful sex, and it gave them the chance to open up to her as well.

“It was both heartbreaking and hopeful to find out every single one of these people felt like they were struggling alone,” she says.

Ohnut is a modular device made up of stretchy rings — yes, they look like doughnuts, hence the name — that fit at the base of the penis or dildo. The idea is to provide cushion upon penetration and to be able to customize the depth of…

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Nicole Guappone
The Establishment

Writes about sexuality, kink, & sex toys. Also the pelvic floor. @RollingStone @glamourmag @Into @The_Rumpus @RebelliousMag @bust_magazine @ESTBLSHMNT