Introducing Kris Fretz, founder of Emojibator, as part of our weekly Sextech Salon, chatting to us about eggplants and orgasms.
What is Emojibator and how did you get into it?
Today, women experience 30% fewer orgasms than men. Emojibator empowers women to close the orgasm gap with high-quality body-safe vibrators that are inspired by adorable emojis. Our products deliver countless health benefits while empowering women with orgasms.
If you seek self-pleasure, the playful and perfect gift, or are embracing your inner vegan, Emojibator will certainly deliver. Using education and humor, we are striving for a society that celebrates pleasure.
I have a background in political organising and left my Washington, DC career in 2015 to pursue new ways of driving impactful social change for women. My day-job is in marketing operations, so I am familiar with the factors that make ideas and products go viral online.
Shortly after relocating to Brooklyn, my business partner and best friend from college, Joe Vela called me with the simplest idea: eggplant emoji vibrator.
I immediately envisioned the virality of that type of product, and couldn’t believe no one had created it before. We are both very driven, entrepreneurial professionals and we knew we had to take a stab at making the eggplant vibrator a mainstream part of the sexual wellness community.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to run for public office and work in the federal or state government to enact policy changes that benefitted millennials and future generations. I studied Public Policy at the University of Delaware, had several policy-related internships and lived in Washington, DC for 2 years.
While the experience was inspiring, it was also rude awakening to the greed and power dynamics that run our federal government. I felt I did not want to climb that political ladder until we made systemic improvements to the campaign finance laws governing our elections.
So, while I still have friends who say they can’t wait to vote for me for President, I am perfectly content impacting the pleasure society from the realms of Emojibator.
What was your sex education like growing up?
My sex education was lacking in the sexual wellness department and was more focused on the threatening, fear-filled messages of “don’t get pregnant” and “don’t get an STD.”
My school taught us about our reproductive system and how to deal with periods, but they failed to mention orgasms, the benefits they have on the brain and body, and how masturbation can be a vehicle for stress-reduction.
I would have loved to know these facts during the most awkward and drama-filled years of my adolescence.
Unfortunately, my mom did not have these honest conversations with me either. Sure, it sounds uncomfortable and awkward. But I don’t believe the risk of me not obtaining the right information at the right time is worth skipping these important conversations.
Fortunately, my college girlfriends stepped in and gifted me my first candy cane vibrator for my 19th birthday. Since then, they were my safe community of women I could share stories with about sex, masturbation and all the sexual discoveries that happened during college. We used to host sex toy parties and text our group chat “LMV” (love my vibrator) was our code for “I feel amazing and that orgasm rocked.”
What is your vision for the future of Emojibator?
Our top priority is to expand our wholesale and distributor network. We love our clients at local shops nationwide as much as the expansive reach of Amazon or the leading brick and mortar feminist sex toy stores, GoodVibes and Babeland.
Pleasure products are more culturally acceptable across Europe, so there is also a huge opportunity to hit mainstream consumers in these countries. We’ve only scratched the surface of those markets.
The combination of our viral launch and our presence at national and international conventions such as VENUS in Berlin definitely put us on the map for worldwide success. We love to travel and work remotely so we are looking forward to growing this amazing purpose-driven business to its highest potential in our own fruit-tastic way.
What are the key trends you’re seeing at the moment that influence your work?
When I was 19 and first started exploring masturbation via vibrators, I only had access to the luxury market with products that looked veiny and phallic while costing $75-250 each. As a first time buyer, I was intimidated and unmotivated to make that big of an investment when I did not understand the benefits orgasms have on my body and mind.
Emojibator is dedicated to increasing access to high-quality, affordable vibrators so that we can engage a new category of consumers who are privately curious about masturbation but willing to purchase a $29 vibrator online that comes in discreet packaging. We are thrilled to have tapped this global community of novelty gift buyers who are using our products as a friendly, approachable way to bring more orgasms into their lives and their loved ones.
What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had since starting to work in sextech?
The biggest surprise came on our first day in business: we were immediately blocked from using all major social media advertising platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Spotify do not allow sexual products for pleasure to use their advertising platforms.
This discrimination against perfectly legal businesses like Emojibator has taken a toll on our ability to reach the internet generation where they are. It’s an unempowering feeling having to prove and fight for our right to inform consumers of the health benefits associated with pleasure.
The reality is, our society teaches us that men have a right to pleasure (via erectile dysfunction medicine companies being allowed to advertise) and that women seeking pleasure is a luxury choice that is shameful to acknowledge outside of the bedroom.
Our plan to overcome this discrimination is to deliver the best possible customer experience to generate word of mouth referrals and gift purchases. We also invest in our public relations strategy and database to reach local news markets in both metro and suburban US markets.
Local media coverage helps boost our wholesale partnerships quickly after we receive earned media articles. Finally, our in-person events strategy helps our brand and mission come to life. Our in-person engagements with prospects and customers typically results in smiles, laughs and a shared understanding of why our products matter and how they help improve people’s lives.
When it comes to sex, what’s the one thing you wish everyone knew?
I wish everyone knew that, when properly informed and educated, sex does not have to be the most serious part of our lives. Sex is beautiful. Sex is funny and weird sometimes. Sex is a vehicle for self-pleasure and spiritual exploration.
I have been infinitely happier, more confident, and sexually empowered since I started masturbating with vibrators seven years ago. I did not know I had the power of pleasure within me, and that I did not need a partner to experience orgasms.
This information is crucial to empowering young women to define their own sexuality. We need to not let society or unhealthy partners dictate how often we orgasm.
Do you have any practical tips that someone could use tonight to enhance their pleasure?
Stop thinking about what you’re doing when you masturbate, or whether you look “weird” or “sexy.” Trust your body to feel these strong sensations and to react in a natural way.
It’s important to use masturbation as a meditative exercise so that you can truly experience what pleasure feels like on your body and mind. If your mind is racing with thoughts and you cannot enjoy the climax to orgasm, then you may feel discouraged and not motivated to keep trying.
As Emojibator tagline says so perfectly: Go f*ck yourself. Literally.