Online retailer Lovehoney has launched the World’s first sexual wellness space in the metaverse, with a pop up across four floors of virtual department store Decentraland and offering a “full, immersive brand and product experience, educational videos, workshops, a dance floor showcasing the new music-activated product collection “Juno” and an erotic NFT art exhibition and auction”.
Running from the 15th to 31st July 2022 the store can be entered on any browser with any computer by clicking on www.lovehoney.co.uk/metaverse.
Why the Metaverse?
The sexual wellness industry has benefited from technological advances for years, and the Metaverse offers new opportunities. Decentraland is a Metaverse that can be entered with any computer and no extra equipment, like VR googles, is needed. This makes it easily usable and accessible for a broad audience that so far may have shied away from the technology. Plus, the Metaverse space offers an anonymous place for people to explore sexual wellness products and content around the topic of sexuality.
Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at Lovehoney, explains: “Even though we’ve made progress over the last twenty years, when it comes to sexuality and the way we treat the topic in society, there is still a long way to go. In a World where ‘Big Tech’ is silencing sexual wellness brands, with regulations on Instagram and Google becoming more and more tight, it’s exciting for us to launch an experience like this pop-up space.”
She adds: “We put a lot of capacities and budget into our R&D efforts. We see ourselves as a (Sex)Tech company and have always been forward-thinking and keeping an eye on technological trends. Therefore, we were curious and the Metaverse store was close and a logical step.”
Four floors of fun and education
So, what’s in store? On the ground floor, the Lovehoney shop is a place where visitors can browse the brand’s bestsellers and even purchase them by being forwarded to the online shop. The Lovehoney Lessons area on the second floor offers a place to kick back, relax and watch integrated, educational videos from the brand’s global expert panel. Up on the third floor, visitors will find an art gallery where they can enjoy and bid on a range of erotic art from popular and new NFT artists via OpenSea. All proceeds will go back to the artists themselves. And finally, the rooftop club will be playing music all day and night, showcasing the new Lovehoney Juno range – a collection of music activated toys that bring together a love of music and sexual happiness.
Bryony Cole, Lovehoney’s global sextech expert, says: “The Metaverse allows us to immerse ourselves in digital content rather than feeling like a separate viewer. People naturally look at entertainment as the only possibility for sextech, but there is also a great potential for sex education, sexual happiness and sexual health support in the Metaverse. Plus, the combined anonymity and intimacy of this platform, allows people to engage with this topic further, where they perhaps don’t feel comfortable in real life, allowing more people to educate.”
Consumer wellbeing and protection is of the highest priority at Lovehoney and therefore, Betty the Bee, Lovehoney’s own security avatar, will greet visitors at the front door with information on how they can report inappropriate behaviour and block anyone who is making them feel uncomfortable. By clicking on the other person’s avatar, users can easily select the block function, and by pressing the ‘E’ key on their keyboards, they will be moved to a random area of the Lovehoney store. All consumers will also be asked their age upon entering the experience to ensure they are over 18 years old.