As men there’s a certain amount of stigma and bravado that surrounds topics like sexual health and...
Meet Patricia López and MYHIXEL: Combining Tech and Therapy to Improve Sexual Performance
The eroticism industry is full of products designed to elevate your self-pleasure experiences. Some eroticism brands, like Fleshlight, have even become so popular that they’re now virtually household names. Yet there’s one rising star in the industry that more people with penises need to know about: MYHIXEL.
What is MYHIXEL?
MYHIXEL isn’t your average sex toy– in fact, “sex toy” isn’t even a fitting term for it. MYHIXEL is designed with state-of-the-art technology to be comfortable, stimulating, and pleasurable– to be sure– but it has a bigger goal. Backed by extensive research and ongoing collaboration with urologists and sex therapists, MYHIXEL is the first toy of its kind specifically designed to treat and prevent rapid ejaculation and build sexual confidence.
From the MYHIXEL website, “MYHIXEL is a pioneer brand that takes care of men’s sexual welfare worldwide. That's why MYHIXEL launches the unique solution that helps you gain self-confidence and improve the quality of your sexual relationships by controlling ejaculation.
Currently, MYHIXEL offers two revolutionary methodologies, developed by professional sexologist, that combines the most innovative masturbating device (MYHIXEL I) with gamified online program (MYHIXEL Play). This method helps you control your ejaculation and make your sexual relationships last much longer.”
To put it another way, MYHIXEL is designed to combine the enjoyment and pleasure of a personal masturbator device with the therapeutic and clinical aspects of working with a sexual therapist.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with MYHIXEL’s founder and CEO, Patricia López, and discuss her story and motivation for creating MYHIXEL, as well as how her product can be the unsung hero of your sexual health.
How Did MYHIXEL Get Its Start?
The eroticism industry currently has a market size of around $30-billion, and is expected to grow to nearly $60-billion before the end of the decade. As lucrative of an industry as it can be, it wasn’t the profit opportunities that inspired Patricia López to start MYHIXEL.
After working in marketing for Fleshlight EU for four years, she had spent time a significant amount of time with distributors and exploring trade shows, getting a sense of what brands were doing on the cutting edge of the industry.
In 2016, she noticed that brands catering to women and people with vaginas were starting to change their approach. Rather than purely putting their focus on stimulation, several companies were integrating health and wellness into their product lines and marketing.
“I thought it was a smart move– I knew it would make it easier for these products to be bought when it benefits your health,” she said, remarking on the potential decrease in stigma associated with sex toys. “But, I could see that male-targeted brands weren’t following the same path.”
This observation led López to speak with sex therapists, soliciting their feedback about what they would love to see in a product that could provide stimulation while also being designed to produce health outcomes.
As she pursued this question, López knew that she wanted to focus on the therapeutic component of how such a product could work. In these pursuits, she partnered with the Instituto Sexológico Murciano (The Murciano Sexological Institute) and the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) to design and create a device that would feel amazing and be fun to use for users, but would also enable clinicians and therapists to leverage it as a resource in their treatments.
There’s a Lot of Stigma Associated with Rapid Ejaculation and Sexual Health Among Men- Is that Why MYHIXEL Incorporates Gamification?
“Men can learn a bit from women when it comes to stigma in this area,” López explained. “Women have always revolutionized the wellness industry, and we have faced a lot of struggles with the taboo around sex. But, women have stood up and claimed the right to experience sexual pleasure.”
She went on to explain that men are a step behind when it comes to dealing with the taboos around sex, and this ends up negatively impacting their sexual health in a variety of ways. For example, she explained, most people with vaginas see their gynecologist on an annual basis and seek out information about their reproductive health. Similarly, they are more likely to own and seek out personal pleasure devices, and to intentionally develop an understanding of their body, their likes, and their dislikes.
Men, on the other hand, are less likely to have these conversations on a regular basis unless they have a particularly intrusive concern.
“I want to have men thinking about their health– including sexual health– in a preventative way. You don’t have to struggle. You can educate yourself and take control of what your body needs,” López explained.
In regards to the gamification aspect of the MYHIXEL products, López explained that the gamification was less about gender differences and stigma than it was about following a therapeutic protocol.
“It’s the best way to approach the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) component of the therapy,” she explained. “It’s a 10-week or 8-week program, and the difficulty of the activities increases as you go through the program. In our research, we found that gamification is useful for cognitive experiences, and it scalable for creativity and new challenges.”
What About Other Masturbatory Products? Couldn’t Someone Buy a Cheaper Product and Practice on their Own?
The MYHIXEL program isn’t cheap. The cheaper option currently available is $239 USD, which can be a significant investment. For folks dealing with rapid ejaculation, that price is totally worth it, but it does raise the question of whether or not someone could get the same results by purchasing a cheaper product and then engaging in the start-stop technique on their own.
Luckily, this is a question Patricia López and the team at MYHIXEL had already looked into.
“Our device is a tool designed to emulate real penetration. We have run different medical studies to prove the efficacy. [The MYHIXEL products] have demonstrated that when following the 8 or 10-week program, results can be achieved consistently. By using a specific device, the therapy could be optimized, and that’s the real value of MYHIXEL. Using the product feels quite similar to some other toys, but it has been designed to have a therapeutic purpose. What we are offering is a solution designed by sexual health professionals with science-backed results.”
Is the Eroticism Industry as a Whole Moving Toward Health and Inclusivity, or is MYHIXEL a Bit of an Anomaly?
“I think that the industry is moving forward toward being more inclusive,” López answered, pointing out that products for women, non-binary folks, intersex people, and trans people are already prominent on the market, and many of those brands aim for more than just pleasure.
Along those lines, I followed up with a question about MYHIXEL’s use of language on their website. In particular, they commonly use the phrase “people with penises” as opposed to sticking with a strict gender binary. She responded by reiterating that sex is about more than gender, and if a trans or non-binary person struggles with rapid ejaculation, MYHIXEL could benefit them as well; while most of their customers and target audience could accurately be described as men, that’s not true of all of them. She then expanded on the importance of health, not gender, within their mission.
“As a brand that is committed to gender inclusion, one question I get asked frequently is if it’s weird for a woman to be behind a men’s sexual health brand. I don’t think it is. Anyone who has sex with men and people with penises can benefit when their partners take their health seriously.”
While the first product is designed for penetrative training for people with penises, López eventually wants to create a whole ecosystem for sexual health that includes contributions from urologists, therapists, nutritionists, and physical trainers– an ecosystem in which everyone is included.
“In the end, we’re really committed to the improvement of sexual wellness,” she concluded.
Generally, I won’t recommend products that I haven’t tried myself, and I have not personally used the MYHIXEL product or training program. But, after learning about what MYHIXEL can do, the research behind it, and Patricia López’s vision for the future, I can confidently endorse MYHIXEL as a unique solution for those who need it.
One aspect of MYHIXEL that didn’t come up in the interview but which is documented on their website is that it won’t benefit only guys who struggle with rapid ejaculation on a consistent basis. People who are already able to sustain penetrative intercourse for their desired duration can also use the program to get more comfortable with their bodily cues and further improve their climax control.
Sex doesn’t need to be a taboo topic to avoid. It’s a part of your overall health, and products like MYHIXEL are making it easier to seek out preventative care in a revolutionary new way.