‘You’re your own science researcher’: UC Berkeley alumni develop data-collecting vibrator

vibrator_liz-klinger_courtesy
Liz Klinger/Courtesy

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Users can now analyze the intricacies of their orgasms through a new “smart” vibrator developed by a team that includes UC Berkeley alumni Anna Lee and James Wang.

The Lioness Vibrator, described by the company as a “smart vibrator for biofeedback and self-discovery,” costs $229 and records patterns of arousal and orgasms, such as body temperature and vaginal contractions, with the use of precision sensors. Users can sync their vibrator with the Lioness app, which displays the data collected from each usage of the vibrator.

“The more you know about your body, the better you can feel about yourself,” Lee said in a Berkeley News video. “You’re able to see your own trends and what you might observe, and you’re your own science researcher.”

Lee, who studied mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley and co-founded Lioness, said in an email that she had no passion for her job at Amazon, which she quit because she wanted to instead work in women’s health.

She added that she grew up in a conservative family that never discussed sex and was initially worried about telling her parents that she had started developing the vibrator. But when she told her mother, it was a “beautiful” moment.

“For two hours we just ended up sitting on the grass at UC Berkeley campus and just talking about how we feel now and what we wish that we knew when we were younger,” Lee said in the video.

Using the Lioness app, users can evaluate each session with the data and start to recognize the visual signals for what indicates a bad or good session, according to Wang. He added that the data can help users determine how factors such as sleep, mood and alcohol consumption affect orgasms.

Through using the Lioness Vibrator, people can learn how to have better orgasms from the data, according to Lioness co-founder and CEO Liz Klinger. She said in an email that some customers have experimented with how cannabis affects orgasms, and one customer tracked how a concussion affected her orgasms.

Klinger said in an email that her own questions about sex initially motivated her to co-found the company. When she was selling intimacy products, Klinger found that “everyone has questions about sex.”

Co-founding Lioness was a way to answer the questions people asked about their unique bodies and experiences, allowing them to explore their bodies “on their own terms,” Klinger said in an email. According to Klinger, more access to knowledge about arousal and orgasms can open up doors to better understand the role of sexual pleasure in many aspects of life.

“Even if it isn’t malicious, it’s not surprising we have so many hang ups and misconceptions around sexual health,” Klinger said in an email. “Sex plays a huge role in most people’s lives, but there are few readily available places to turn if you have questions.”

Contact Sri Medicherla at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sri_medicherla.