Emojibator, the originators of the eggplant vibrator, discuss empowerment through sex toys

By Shelly Simon

Emojibator was founded in 2016 by a duo of dreamers, Joe Vela and Kristen Fretz, who were set on changing the way women masturbate. The company launched its Eggplant Emojibator in 2016 as a fun way to promote health and humor with sex toys for women. Now, their line consists of vibrators, pasties, lubricants, condoms, and greeting cards.

“A lot of women don’t consider self-pleasure, because it’s luxurious, or sexy, and it’s not approachable to a variety of women in the world,” says Fretz. So their products address the accessibility of sex toys for females of all sizes and shapes.

“Growing up there was very little discussion about sex,” she recalls. “No one talked about it. In college, when finally exposed to the sexual education sphere, I found the sex toy industry to be an expensive, hardly approachable atmosphere for people like myself to enter.”

“We want to affect people in a positive way by literally creating a product that can focus on making people happy,” Vela says. The two have the same vision for the company, though they stem from different backgrounds. Fretz was employed in politics on Capitol Hill, while her business partner, Vela, was a musician with the band Tweed. He had modest savings and wanted to start a project he could manage from the road. “I wanted to tour and to take Tweed more seriously. It’s a difficult balance between making money and making music. We all know which is the more important one.”

A lucky conversation between the two turned up a business that worked for both. “We threw a bunch of ideas out there, until this emoji idea, especially the eggplant, came into fruition,” Vela says. He also yearned for an opportunity to empower women beyond social media campaigns and clever videos—although those tactics have proved to be successful with Emojibator’s video series endorsing the tagline “Close the climax gap.”

Vela says, “We thought: How can we reach the most people and create this conversation that goes past the bedroom and into dinnertime, being able to have a dinner-table conversation about sex positivity and pleasure along with empowerment and options.” Companies like Emojibator facilitate those discussions by focusing on the key element of empowerment, which can get lost between the sheets.


This article was featured in the Sex issue of Tom Tom. Purchase it online. 


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