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A blue-coloured adaptive reach extension tool for a sexual wellness product. It is censored by white starbursts

The sexual wellness product your OT hasn't told you about

TouchBot is responding to disabled people’s desires yet to be prioritised by the sexual wellness industry.

  • The sexual wellness toy your OT hasn't told you about
    Olivia Shivas
  • For Margaret Andersen, creating a line of accessible sexual wellness products came to fruition out of necessity. It was during a pelvic floor physical therapy session when Andersen, who is based in the US, needed to use a vaginal dilator to relax her muscles and it just wasn’t working out. “Inserting dilators independently was impossible for me because the nature of my disability limits the strength and range of motion in my arms,” she says. 

    But there was also a need to expand the idea beyond dilators. “I’d also struggled to use conventionally designed pleasure products without assistance for the same reason, and it was deeply frustrating that these intimate products were inaccessible to me because of how they were designed,” she says. 

    She figured there were other people who had similar experiences as her, and after a lot of time brainstorming online with engineer and CAD (computer-aided design) designer Alex Wertheim, TouchBot was born. The two spent months discussing the various ways in which assistive technology intersects with sextech and finding a solution that could remove the access barriers to sexual wellness for folks with limited mobility.

Image description: A blue-coloured adaptive reach extension system for a sexual wellness toy.

  • A blue-coloured adaptive reach extension system for a sex wellness toy.
  • What they came up with was a prototype called Lattice, which is a 3D-printed customisable tool designed for those with reach limitations in their arms. “Lattice was designed through a process that centred the needs of people with disabilities,” Andersen says. 

    Although the initial target audience was people with similar physical disabilities, they realised the products could help address the needs of a wider community that has yet to be prioritised by the sexual wellness industry. “Folks with larger bodies also really benefit from the different length options Lattice comes in, as well as its angle adjustability,” she says. “We’ve even had sexual trauma survivors who really struggled with pelvic floor physical therapy, and felt empowered by the bodily autonomy that Lattice provides.”

    Having just launched the products and finishing their first round of pre-orders, TouchBot is now taking on-demand orders. Each item is produced and assembled by hand, so turnaround time is about two to three weeks for delivery. “It's been incredibly rewarding to know that this product is giving people more control over their health and their bodies during a process that is so personal and sometimes scary,” she says.

    To find out more or purchase a TouchBot product, visit their website.