Alexandra Fine on Sexual Wellness

This Women’s History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on the women behind some of the biggest brands in the beauty and wellness industries, and learning more about how they #EmbraceEquity. Today, we’re sitting down with Alexandra Fine, founder and CEO of Dame, to discuss the challenges of starting a sexual wellness brand, the pleasure gap, and more.

At Standard Dose, we love Dame’s range of pleasure products and mission to change the way sexual wellness is understood and experienced. Can you tell us about what inspired you to create your brand and your journey to launching?

What inspired me to create my brand was this feeling that my pleasure was not being treated like a valid part of my health and well-being. I remember experiencing my first kiss and the boy getting high fives while I was getting dirty looks. I feel like there’s always been a real gender divide in how we celebrate pleasure in our lives, and it became a large part of why I wanted to become a sex therapist. I went and got my master’s in clinical psychology at Columbia and then from there, I decided to just try something else out before getting my Ph.D. I ended up working in consumer goods and absolutely loved it! I felt that through entrepreneurship and creating tools, I could have a really powerful impact on the world. I wanted to create a brand that honored pleasure, that honored intimacy as a valuable and important part of our lives. This was so obviously true in the world of therapy, but wasn't necessarily replicated in consumer goods.


What are some of the unique challenges you’ve experienced creating a sexual wellness brand? 

One of the unique challenges of creating a sexual wellness brand is taboo. I want my mom to feel comfortable on my website and my grandma to feel comfortable on my website because they benefit from my products as well. I always have to make sure that I am using the right language and imagery so we can welcome people. We're very fun, a little cheeky and frank, but never crude or really explicit. Even with all of that, we still face a lot of challenges. We sued the MTA because they wouldn’t let us run ads yet they let erectile dysfunction medications run ads. I think that lawsuit and winning the right to run those ads felt like such an achievement because it made a real societal impact.


How do diversity and inclusivity play a role in your product development process?

We make sure to have diversity in our tester pool. We want to make sure we test our products with people who have different genitalia, as well as with individuals and couples. Age is also really important as it can create very different experiences when it comes to sex. Having differently-abled people in our tester pool has also helped us create fantastic products; if I can make a product that works really well for somebody that has chronic pain or a hard time holding something, it’s probably going to be a great product for everybody. Centering these people is really important and helpful. 


The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is #EmbraceEquity. One area of inequality we’ve seen in the wellness world is the pleasure gap. Can you tell us about this and how Dame aims to end this disparity?

The pleasure gap is the idea that women don't experience as much pleasure as men, specifically sexual pleasure. For example, women are four times more likely to say that sex has been not at all pleasurable in the past year than men. There’s also a huge disparity in how frequently we’re experiencing orgasms. At Dame, we believe that with the right education, communication, and tools, we can create more pleasure for people who have vulvas. 


I wanted to create a brand that honored pleasure, that honored intimacy as a valuable and important part of our lives.

We love the emphasis Dame places on education. What are some other areas of sexual wellness you think we could all learn more about?

I think afterplay (hugging, holding, and talking after intercourse) is something that should be talked about more. There’s also a lot more education and understanding and normalization to be done around the challenges of postpartum sex.


What advice would you give to women starting the journey of entrepreneurship? 

Get ready, girl! Get ready! You’ll need some hype-up music because it’s rough, it’s tough, it’s hard. 

I’d say to focus on your fundamentals; your revenue and your profit. These are things that you can control a lot more than investors and perception.

You can also create a simple scorecard of the three metrics that you really want to track. Start tracking those metrics every week because that will help you be able to see how your actions can have an impact. It’s great to have revenue as one of them but you could also have things like email signups or Facebook engagement. Keeping focused like this can help you create a really clear strategy.


How does Dame promote gender equality within your company and in your mission?

Internally, there are some HR measures we find valuable. Having a clear system about salary is really important to us because it removes any biases. Having parental leave (rather than just maternity) leave is also so important. 

In our mission, we definitely think that closing the pleasure gap is an important part of improving gender equality. I really believe that the benefits of pleasure go way, way beyond the bedroom.


Finally, can you tell us a little bit about a woman who inspires you this Women’s History Month?

I'm going to go with Jacqueline Novogratz. She wrote a book called The Blue Sweater and one called Manifesto for a Moral Revolution. She’s also the CEO and founder of an investment fund called Acumen that really focuses on using venture capital to address global poverty. I think that what she's doing is really amazing and I'm inspired by it because it's using business to empower others when oftentimes business can be used to, like, demoralize. 


Shop Dame

+ Quick Add
+ Quick Add
Desire Gummies
+ Quick Add



$125 $87.50