Throughout May, Missguided and Shushbox teamed up celebrate Masturbation Month. We have chatted all things mindful sex, food play and self-pleasure. We thought it was about time to introduce you to the founder and director of Shushbox and tell you a little more about the story behind the sexual-wellness brand.
Shushbox founder Q+A
Created and founded by boss babe Sunita, her aim is to open up a conversation about self-love, sex and wellness. From this, Shushbox was born.
Based in: London
What made you want to start Shushbox?
I started Shushbox because I wanted to help women who, like me, may have experienced difficulty in expressing themselves…to not only explore their sexuality but to OWN it and know that it’s ok to do so.
From a young age I had always struggled to fully express myself, keeping things inside which made them harder to carry as time went on. My sexual energy and self expression included. Open communication wasn’t a theme when I was growing up. Instead many things were hidden and never spoken about, including traumas and issues related to sexual abuse and mental health which built layers of shame and guilt. This led to me creating a vixen-type alter ego as a protective defence mechanism to my earlier experiences.
I had an unhealthy relationship with sex for many years, but wanted to explore my sexuality too…as I felt connected to it. This was at a time when the branding and tone around sexual pleasure and sex was always so mysterious, dark and seedy-feeling, which made me feel guilty for even looking at it! So I always associated my sexual side with the dark, which fed into the whole taboo around talking about sex. Something needed to change.
Shushbox started off as an outlet for me to express my sexy alter-ego, but in a fun and colourful way, with imagery and content that I liked and that made me feel empowered rather than ashamed about my sexuality. The more I got into it the more I saw there was a gap in the market for a sex-positive community that really spoke to people like me, I wanted it to feel playful and welcoming. I also wanted to facilitate an open conversation around women, sex and pleasure. It wasn’t until I started to communicate and open up about my own earlier experiences that I was truly able to feel sexually empowered and explore my sexuality from a place that felt right to me (this is still an ongoing process).
The more I spoke about this with other women I realised there were so many others going through similar experiences and it made me want to create a space where we could just get together and BE! Sexy, loud, intimate, vulnerable, unapologetic, horny, whatever… all of those things and more. Because that’s what sexual wellness is to me, I believe it’s a part of our overall wellbeing, not just psychically but also mentally.
What’s the message behind it?
It’s about speaking your truth and re-claiming your sexual pleasure in a safe, healthy, non-judgmental and FUN space. Shushbox isn’t about looking or acting in a certain way to be sexy, it’s about loving yourself first…ALL of you and being true to who you really are. Everyone inside of them has an XXXtra version of themselves they might be too scared to release because of what people might think. It’s about stepping into that power, showing up for yourself and owning it. It’s also about Sisterhood. As women we should celebrate each other and re-claim our pleasure in a way that feels good to us, and on our terms.
Who is Shushbox for?
Anyone who wants to feel sexy, liberated or who are even just curious to explore. It’s also a place where women who have something to say can go and share their own stories without the stigma or judgement attached. It’s not specific to straight cis women either, our aim is to be really inclusive, so we don’t leave anyone out who would want to connect with what we are doing. The LGBTQ community, including non-binary and transgender women are definitely welcomed and we’d like to work more with the community to cover and create content that speaks meaning to them too. I myself identify as a bisexual woman and this will always be important to Shushbox.
What’s your favourite sex-related fact?
I find Bonobo (monkeys) so fascinating! They are one of our closest cousins among the great apes and are approximately 98.7% identical to us genetically. Their society is led by females and they resolve a range of tensions/conflict through having sex! Often given the nickname of ’hippie chimp’, 75% of their sex is non reproductive and most bonobos are bisexual. They can also have sex facing each other and sometimes use their tongues! Chimpanzees on the other hand are dominated by males and they often have a very aggressive nature. I just find it so interesting, and think the world could learn a lot from ‘Being more Bonobo’.
How do you define self-love?
For me, self-love means making time and acknowledging your own-well being and happiness as a priority. It’s about spending time with yourself, for yourself. I feel as women we are often expected or have the pressure of putting others before us and leaving what’s in our best interest last, ultimately making us feel unhappy with our decisions or as though we are not truly living up to our full potential. Growing up with a parent who suffers with a mental illness, I’ve learnt over the years that I need to look after myself first, both physically and mentally, before I can be there for others. When I take the timeout to reconnect with myself it has a positive effect on all of my external relationships and I’m able to care for others better too.
I also believe that Masturbation is the self-love topic that we NEED to be talking about as it’s one of the most natural forms of self love there is. We spend our entire lives in our bodies, so getting to know what we like, what feels good and just exploring… it’s all part of the long term relationship we have with ourselves and something we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to to find pleasure in.
What’s your boss babe mantra?
If you live your life in truth, there is nothing to fear.
Don’t be scared to be exactly who you really are. When you’re confident in yourself, regardless of your sexual history or whatever you are into, or how you look or what you’re wearing, when you become fully comfortable and accepting of yourself… nothing can stop you after that.
How can people find out more?
We will be launching our platform later in the year. Until then you can follow us on Instagram @_Shushbox where we are hosting weekly takeovers with some amazing and truly inspiring women – our #ShushSistas. Plus throughout the month of June we are also giving away pre-launch annual free subscriptions to Shushbox.
You can claim yours by signing up here: https://www.shushbox.com/subscribe