In an increasingly crowded wellness market, female-founded mindfulness app Simple Habit has introduced sex-related meditations. Unlike its top competitors, which steer clear of directly discussing sex, the app now has entire series dedicated to “Couples” and “Intimacy.”
The app’s 1,000+ short meditation sessions focus on better wellbeing generally, but Simple Habit’s users responded enthusiastically to two old episodes posted over the last couple of years.
It’s known that stress can have a negative effect on the libido, even causing sexual dysfunction, but more recent studies have found that mindfulness helps reduce stress levels and enhances arousal. Among the new episodes are: “Mindfulness During Sex”, “Have Better Sex”, “Get Into Your Bedroom” and “Sexual Intimacy”, each containing episodes for solo and partnered meditations and sex education.
Sex sells… right?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, as of April 2019, the wellness industry is valued at $4.2 trillion. Leading wellness app Headspace launched in 2010, and now has revenue of $100 million per year. Rival Calm comes a close second at $80 million in revenue.
Simple Habit, is both a relative newcomer and relatively small in comparison. Stated revenue is $1.5 million per year, according to Owler, and raised $12.9 million in its second funding round in October 2018.
As sex is still considered taboo, incorporating sex-related content is a risk that its mainstream competitors haven’t seemingly taken. Some of Simple Habit’s rivals do offer meditations that touch on strengthening your relationship, but they don’t specifically talk about sex. Sex sells… right up until it doesn’t.
This isn’t an issue of the wellness industry specifically. Porn and other ‘sexy’ adult content has – and will likely always – sell. And mainstream products aren’t too shy to ‘add a sexy twist’ (we’re looking at you deodorant and razor ads) if that’ll boost sales. The frequent exception to this? Anytime there’s a new product focused on sexual education and empowerment, it’s not ‘sexy’ anymore, and thus garners less success.
That could be a situation on the verge of changing, however. An industry-focused report from April 2019 suggests the sexual wellness industry will reach an estimated $39 billion by 2024.
With more female-founded companies such as Emjoy and Ferly, there is more focus on body positivity and sexual confidence – both of which could be considered inseparable from our wellbeing. And the mainstream wellness industry might finally start to catch on, given the financial incentive.