Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve started to infuse more sex-driven content into this little feminist lifestyle blog of mine. Part of that includes highlighting some of the most exciting and sex positive brands out there. So, when Big Oh! Box ended up on my Twitter feed, I was ecstatic. I spoke to husband and wife duo, Michael and Rachel Gibbs, about their unique adult subscription box.
Please introduce yourself to my awesome readers
Michael: Hi! I’m Michael Gibbs, the CEO of Passionate Ideas Inc and the company that started The Big Oh! Box. I’m the numbers guy and Rachel is the creative one; it works out great.
Rachel: I’m Rachel Gibbs, the Chief Creative Officer of Passionate Ideas Inc. I’m “the talent”. I have a deep love for my Sexuality and Gender Studies courses.
I understand you’re a husband and wife duo, how did Big Oh! Box start?
M: We wanted to do something positive and fun with our lives. So, we kept that in the back of our minds while we continued with our lives. Then one day, I was looking up adult subscriptions after having positive experiences with Lootcrate and Hello Fresh, but everything we saw had lingerie or people were sent toys they didn’t care for. For instance, one vlogger was sent a glass dildo that they wouldn’t use, and we wouldn’t have used the lingerie in any box. What a waste of an opportunity to make someone feel good. I asked myself, what did we like? Kink; we like to experience new things in the bedroom, then, it hit us. Where was the subscription box for people who like to explore?
R: I am very passionate about helping people and I love to have my mind blown. Michael and I had a lot of conversations about what our joint goals were and we were always on the same page, especially when it came to helping others. I love listening to podcasts while I work and I was introduced to one, that was focused on sex positivity and education, by a co-worker. I immediately became addicted and would talk with Michael about the various points of views on sex related topics and would share with him all of the things I had learned. It soon became pretty apparent that this is what excited us. It was something that we both enjoyed learning and talking about. We wanted a way that we could share ideas of sex positivity and inclusiveness, and we wanted to be able to reach various people with these ideas. We noticed that subscription services featuring adult toys were geared towards heterosexual couples with an emphasis on spicing up their sex lives with a featured “date night”. We felt that these boxes didn’t promote sex positivity in that they appeared to be very exclusive to heteronormative standards and identities. This is where we decided that we could make a difference. Everyone deserves to enjoy themselves, explore their sexuality, and play, regardless of how they identify sexually or socially. Our goal is to be inclusive of all body types and sexualities with an emphasis on pleasure and exploration. Society already tries to put us in a box; our goal is to provide an experience in a box without putting a person’s sexual orientation in there as well.
Did you face any difficulties when starting Big Oh! Box?
Michael: We needed to make sure we stayed sex positive and as gender neutral as possible, so everyone could play. The hardest part was planning the toys since we are all anatomically different, but we eventually figured out that you now have so much more choice; backdoor play, a rabbit, vibe and stroker to name a few. We came up with a theme that gives the user a new experience every time with the first two quarters focusing on senses. We also give our users the option to change their toy preferences.
What are the differences between both boxes?
M: ‘With Oh! Friend’ is focused on couples and comes with a large number of items. The ‘Sol-Oh!’ box is essentially a quarterly masturbation box! You get a toy, lube, sex toy cleaner along with some additional goodies.
R: Our couples box is all about partner play, it’s an experience curated for two (or more) people and is driven by a theme which encourages sexual exploration. This box includes an assortment of experiences including but not limited to: wax play, BDSM, and bondage play, depending on that quarter’s particular theme. Our solo box is geared towards toys and items that can be used alone, but can still provide maximum satisfaction and pleasure.
How do you ensure your boxes are LGBT+ friendly?
M: Our boxes are designed for all types of couples with no focus on just one type. We try to go for gender-neutral toys, but it can sometimes be hard figuring out which toys suits all anatomies.
R: Absolutely, our boxes are for everyone! The only thing you need is an open mind and a wandering hand to enjoy these boxes. Instead of having to identify who you play with, our boxes cater to how you play (anal play, vibrators, etc.). You get to curate your pleasure, so that we can provide you with items that will make you say “Oh!”
Your Twitter bio reads “You deserve something more than a date night“. Do you think, in a dating app-obsessed world, that there is a pressure to maintain ‘date night’s?
M: Rachel is going to be able to describe this better than I, but I think there is certainly still pressure on couples to keep date nights in the mix. Although, this added pressure is going to counteract the relaxation part to date night. Why waste the night on going out anyways? Stay in, enjoy each other, and let us help find new ways to play 😉
R: There is definitely a social stigma regarding dating that if people don’t “date” in a manner that is typically defined by society, then their life is clearly boring and lacking; especially their sex life. It is plastered everywhere in the media and hits us from all angles. We have enough stressors in our life, pleasure should not be one of them. A goal with Big Oh! Box is to play when and how you feel works best for you.
What’s your perfect date night?
M: Sushi and sake; home by 9 and bound by 9:15.
R: This is an answer that has evolved since Michael and I have had children. Currently, my perfect date night is where I can fully relax and enjoy my time with both myself with my partner without interruption.
What would you say your brand’s core values are?
M: To be inclusive of all types of couples, individuals, and persons.
R: To be sex positive and inclusive of everyone. We believe that everyone is entitled the opportunity to explore their bodies and find what makes them say “Oh!”.
I love the idea of your ‘Sol-Oh!’ box, do you think masturbation is still a taboo? If so, why?
M: I think all masturbation is still taboo; some friends of ours won’t like our Facebook page because everyone will know they play with toys.
R: Yes; I have strong thoughts on the taboo nature of masturbation and sexuality in general. I think that the way media portrays women’s sexuality forces standards on women that they feel they need to live up to and if they don’t, they’re broken. Society has taught us that the way a man’s body works is the default way for how all bodies should work, and when they function outside of this ‘norm’, then something is wrong. I think that women who don’t automatically become aroused at the thought or sight of something sexually relevant automatically assume that something is wrong with them. Additionally, porn gives women unrealistic standards of how they should be responding to sexual stimulation, such as by squirting, achieving multiple orgasms and being able to cum within mere minutes of playing. I believe that there should be space for women to explore their bodies and what brings them pleasure without falling into the ideas of these social influences. Our boxes encourage sexual exploration and self satisfaction without putting these expectations or extra pressures on them.
What do you hope to achieve with Big Oh! Box?
M: We hope to give everyone a chance to experience new ways to play with their partners or to try new solo toys that they wouldn’t have before.
R: We hope to encourage sex positivity and sexual exploration as a norm, so that people can break free from the stigmas that revolve around sex. Our goal is to create a safe space and context for them to explore and experiment with what brings them pleasure.
Don’t forget to check back later this month for a review of The Big Oh! Box!
Portrait by Heather Turner.