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A guide to gifting sexual wellness

Thu, Dec 03, 20

 

 

A little holiday message from our founder

 

Thinking about how to gift Tabu? I’ve heard whispers that it’s top of mind this holiday season and I can’t tell you how much joy that brings me.

So, let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for following our story and for caring so much about a woman in your life that you’re willing to consider the gift of sexual wellness – confronting a pretty meaty taboo head on.

And, let me state the obvious: I know this is a wildly uncomfortable topic. I, for one, have never really been comfortable talking about sex. My first real birds and the bees talk with my mom came just this year, right before my 30th birthday. I learned some outrageous facts about how prevalent the sexual health side effects of menopause are from a friend and I almost didn’t believe it. Figures like 90% of post-menopausal women can experience painful sex due to vaginal dryness and atrophy, leading to 50% of women giving up on their sex lives altogether in their 50s. So, after hearing this and fact-checking the figures (feels like a 2020 requirement, yeah?), I did what anyone would do. I texted my mom. Without context, I wrote, “Hey, do you or your friends have pain or discomfort during sex?” To which she replied, “HAHAHAHAH…,” for at least a full 30 seconds. But, once we got over the absurdity of the question, we had a really sobering conversation. She knew exactly what was happening to her body. Admitted it was not just physical, but deeply emotional, too. I was stunned. Not only was I talking to my Muslim, Middle Eastern mother about sex for the first time, but I was ashamed that even though I talk to her every single day, I had no idea she was hurting.

Then, I became obsessed. Truly. I talked to anyone and everyone who would give me the time of day from my aunts, family friends, and future mother-in-law, to OB-GYNs, therapists, and midwives. Most of my conversations with women ended in tears. Discussions around failed treatments for vaginal atrophy and mood swings would inevitably lead to how they felt embarrassed, invisible, and like they were losing a part of themselves. You may be thinking, “Wait – can’t hormones fix all of this?” For some people, hormones can be incredibly helpful. For others, it’s simply not an option. Whether it’s due to medical concerns, family history, or because they just don’t want to. The thing that further rocked my world was hearing physician after physician, therapist after therapist, say that peri-to post-menopausal women should go out and buy a vibrator, lubricant, and commit to a sexual wellness routine. These “tools” help strengthen your vaginal muscles, improve natural lubrication, and provide a host of physical and emotional benefits. While historically I may have been uncomfortable talking about sex, I of course knew that sexual health was a part of overall health and recognized that that fact wouldn’t just magically disappear with age. I didn’t, however, realize how restorative and healing it could be as we get older and thought this was something that needed to be shared.

Let’s back up though. My mom can’t say the word “vibrator” out loud let alone feel comfortable buying one online. So, my friends, I started Tabu. I can assure you it’s still not easy for my parents to tell their friends that their daughter founded a sexual wellness company for women who age, but honestly, it feels like the most important thing I’ve ever done. That out-of-the-blue, wonderfully taboo question led to a conversation I wouldn’t trade for the world. I truly feel closer to my mom than I ever have before. Not because I know the intimate details of her sex life (for the record, I most definitely don’t!), but because by asking the question, I signaled to her that it matters. That her relationship with herself and her husband matter. And that her sexual health doesn’t have an expiration date.

I started Tabu for our moms, aunts, friends, and future selves. I know this can seem like a hard, awkward, and impossible conversation, but I promise – it’s worth it. 

But enough about me. Let’s hear from our members.

I decided to ask some members why they bought Tabu. Whether it was a gift for mom, aunt, grandma, or themselves – their stories are everything. 

Maddy
Gave Tabu to herself and her mom

“I bought Tabu for myself and also for my momma because she is the person who taught me to love myself and that female sexuality is important…I remember as a young teen getting my first box of condoms from her, and while at the time I remember feeling mildly mortified, she made it clear that she was there to support me, and my sister, and my friends who didn’t have open relationships with their moms as we explored our sexuality. So, it’s so important to me to support her as she’s in a new phase of her sexuality.”

Brittany
Gave Tabu to her aunt

“I’m an OB-GYN and I bought Tabu for my aunt this holiday season because she is someone who, unfortunately, has really struggled with the changes in peri-menopause and menopause...Her symptoms have been so severe that she’s decided to go on hormone replacement therapy. And that’s a decision I support and that medication has helped her some. But, Tabu is a company that focuses on a specific subset of those symptoms which is sexual health. Sexual health has been shown in countless studies to be an important aspect to overall health, so I really do believe that it’s the perfect gift for her. She’s someone who typically would be a little turned off by any kind of sex toy, but Tabu is different. It’s clean, it’s elegant. It emphasizes the health in sexual health.”

Carissa
Gave Tabu to herself and her grandma

“I bought a kit for myself but I also bought a kit for my 83 year old grandma who was a nurse...she always stressed to her grandkids (me especially)...the importance of sexual health and sexual wellness and how we should be talking about it more and that it shouldn’t be taboo. So, when I heard about Tabu I knew that I had to first of all tell her about it...and second that I had to buy her a kit for Christmas. Recently she told me that despite being 83 years old she still has sexual desire and doesn’t have an outlet for it. My sister and I have bought her toys in the past that she hasn’t loved so I am just really excited to give her a Tabu kit. I might not even be able to wait until Christmas!”

Sandra
Gave Tabu to herself

“I purchased Tabu for myself. I’m definitely in menopause and I thought I was educated about the things that were going to happen to my body – and I was not. The biggest thing for me was the painful intercourse...I went the natural route to the doctor, and unfortunately, I was just prescribed estrogen. It didn’t work for me. It does for some women, but it did not work for me. And I don’t want to give up on my intimate life with my husband of 31 years. So, Tabu has been a godsend for us."

 

To see these members and others share their stories, follow us on Instagram at @heytabu and on Facebook. 

 

Gifting Tabu in three simple steps.

And finally, some practical steps you can take when gifting. For some women, the kit will just make sense and won’t need much explanation. For others, a little context might go a long way. (And, when you start feeling unsure, just imagine the number of people that will get the gift of Manscaped this year and have zero qualms about it…)

Here’s how I would approach gifting Tabu or any kind of sexual wellness product this season:

  • Write a personal note. For this one, make sure to use more than those little To / From Santa tags. Make your note about what you’ve learned about sexual wellness, why it’s important (especially as we age), and how a self-care routine isn’t complete without the tools to support our sexual health. I certainly wouldn’t assume anything about your lucky recipient’s menopause experience or intimate relationships. Your gift is about empowering her with information and making her feel seen. It’s also important to note that a sexual wellness routine is appropriate whether or not someone is in a relationship. Like our skin, hair, and exercise routines, it’s about investing in the right tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Encourage her to open it in private. To make sure she doesn’t get caught too off guard, don’t give it to her in front of others. Either catch her alone and open it with her; or, tell her to open it in private later. This doesn’t have to be horribly awkward. You can blame it on the fact that there’s a lot of reading material – between your epic note (see point one) and the educational booklet inside every Tabu kit – and you want to make sure she has the time and space to read it all at once.
  • Follow up with a conversation. A couple weeks later, start a conversation. Ask her what she thought of the gift, how surprised she was to open it, and see where the conversation goes. It may surprise you. 

If you haven’t ordered your Tabu kit yet, use code WORTHIT at checkout and receive 25% off until December 10th.


With love, 
Natalie