Last month, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Sexual Health Expo with Astroglide in New York City. I had a blast all weekend long and ran into old friends from Desire Resorts, The Pleasure Chest NYC and We-Vibe to name a few. I also had the pleasure of meeting a host of new folks including Stephanie Berman, President of Berman Innovations, LLC and creator of The Semenette. I was so excited to learn more about their new product and am pleased to feature an interview with Stephanie below. Please check it out!
What inspired you to create this product?
In the past, in my personal life, I have had relationships with both men and women. Having experienced intimacy with both “sides,” I have a keen understanding of the differences between what heterosexual couples and same-sex couples can do and experience in the privacy of their bedroom. My inspiration in designing and developing The Semenette® was to afford same-sex couples the opportunity to mimic the intimacy and experience a heterosexual couple has.
I have also spent the last 10 years of my professional life working in the women’s reproductive health industry. Having dedicated much of my professional career to helping others achieve their goals of starting a family, I have spoken with thousands of couples, and in a sense, have joined them on their journey from the initial phases of planning their families to the arrival of their bundle of joy. I am extremely passionate about what I do, and wholeheartedly invested in the success of these couples. Their desire for more intimacy in this process is what spurred me to create The Semenette®. Once I married my wife, this desire became a personal journey. It was after we married and began exploring options to conceive a child, when I learned there were no high-quality toys available designed to allow people to simulate heterosexual intercourse and the ejaculation process at home.
Despite there being many couples, including my wife and I, who were eager to be able to have an intimate and private experience using a toy which allowed us to mimic an ejaculation, there were absolutely no appropriate options available. This got my wheels churning, so I brought together my experience in the women’s reproductive health industry, as well as my own previous personal experience, to create a toy which is not only highly functional, but provides the intimacy, romance, and fun couples like us were looking for.
How is your product different from other products?
One of the key differences about our product from other ejaculating toys is not only the quality of the toy and the materials it’s made with, but how users have the ability to remove and replace the inner tubing components that come in direct contact with whatever liquid they are using – we actually own a utility patent on our ejaculation system. All of the other ejaculating toys we have seen are not made with medical-grade silicone, and also do not have the ability to remove and replace the mechanism which mimics the ejaculation. The tubing is either embedded inside the toy, and can be very difficult to clean properly, or the liquid is stored in fake testicles or a pump, which cannot be removed and replaced. This feature in our toy makes it superior and sets us apart from any others.
Who might buy your product?
At first, I thought my only customer base would be same-sex couples looking to use this to try and get pregnant, but boy was I mistaken! To my surprise, I actually found out the term “ejaculating dildo” is one of the highest searched terms on Google, so there is quite a vast range of people that are seeking a toy like this! We have had support from so many communities beyond same-sex couples, such as the transgender community (mostly FTM), men with ED or disabilities, serodiscordant couples (where one or both partners is HIV positive), the pegging community, BDSM, kink, fetish, sub/dom play, swingers – the list goes on and on! It’s been so rewarding being able to bring a product like this which reaches such a broad range of people. I love hearing success stories from all my different customers.
What is the pregnancy success rate from The Semenette?
I get asked this question a lot – for obvious reasons, it’s something I would want to know as well! However, the effectiveness of the product is very hard to measure, due to the fact we are only aware of the success stories people are willing to share with us, which is limited. As you can imagine, people want privacy during this process, and are not always willing to share their stories; therefore, we can only account for the success stories we know. I do know in a more medical sense, the success rates of an intrauterine insemination (IUI) with a doctor are anywhere from 5-25%, and those numbers are identical to that of doing an intracervical insemination (ICI) at home. If you were a heterosexual couple trying to conceive at home by having sex, the success rate is also the same. So like anything, there are no guarantees for success, however, my wife and I had success with the toy as well as many other couples. As of today, I know of 20 success stories, which is incredible for us, considering there are probably many more!
As some male semen has a shorter life span than others, is there a time limit as to when the Semenette is first used until ejaculation?
For a sperm sample, this totally depends on what kind of sperm you are using. If you are using frozen sperm from a sperm bank, there are very specific protocols for thawing the specimen, and how much time you have to use the sperm once it is thawed. I would refer to the protocol from each specific sperm bank for this information.
As for fresh sperm, once ejaculated into a sterile cup, if kept at room temperature, the sample can be stable anywhere from 6-12 hours! Of course, you ideally want to use the specimen as soon as possible, as the viability does decrease the longer the sperm stays outside of the body, but if you need to transport the specimen from house to house, that is totally fine! My wife and I used to drive about an hour to our donor’s house to pick up the sperm, and then we could come home and use it with the Semenette.
The key is to make sure it is not exposed to air and it is kept at room temperature until it is used.
What’s next for you? Any new products or ideas in the works?
We are so excited to announce the launch of the second version of our toy, which will be called “POP by The Semenette®”. POP will be offered in a different shape and size from the original, and will also be offered in 4 exciting colors! We took all of the customer feedback from the original toy, and tried to incorporate the most commonly asked things to be updated, and we feel we have accomplished that and then some. We are in love with the new toy, and think everyone will be as well!
I am also personally excited to share that my wife is once again pregnant, thanks to us using POP! We are expecting our next bundle of joy in March, and couldn’t be happier!
As for other new products, we are always looking to evolve and bring our customers what they want, so we will continue to offer a variety of new options for POP, including a larger bulb and different sizes. I also do have another new toy I have started brainstorming, so stay tuned!
(Instructional video from http://thesemenette.com/)