At Smile Makers, we strive on a daily basis to normalize the perception of female sexuality. That means working with renowned designers to create beautiful products with the same level of demand as for any other premium consumer goods. That means convincing your favorite stores to list sexual wellness products. That also means working with the medical community and with NGOs to make women’s sexual wellness a social right.
And for that, we have a strong-headed woman leading the way and travelling the world to bring about a change! Meet Jacqueline Husin, our Head of Corporate Social Responsibility!
Can you tell us a bit about you?
I’m Jacqueline, Brand Manager for our Southeast Asian markets and Head of CSR. Though I currently call Singapore home, I’m a Nashville native at heart: I was raised on a healthy diet of barbecue ribs, hot chicken, and nasi goreng (shout-out to my Chinese Indonesian heritage!). Having written a thesis on sex and comedy in ancient Chinese literature, it was only a matter of time before I made my way to joining Smile Makers.
What is your role at Smile Makers?
I lead the company’s corporate social responsibility, or CSR. Since our mission is to normalize female sexuality, our CSR is centered on keeping up-to-date with the latest medical research and educating women around the world on sexual wellness and pleasure.
But what do you really do?
My work ranges from teaching a workshop on self-pleasure to cis- and transgender Malaysian women to demonstrating how to use our vibrators to over 300 gynaecologists at an international conference on sexual medicine. Basically, I talk to people all over the world about sex!
Why would a vibrator brand develop a CSR strategy?
World Meeting on Sexual Wellness in Lisbon. March 2018.
Educating the public is one of the most important pillars that supports our mission to normalize female sexuality. There are so many misconceptions about sex: we’ve come across women who use dangerous objects for anal stimulation or equate vaginal dryness with virginal purity. This stems from the embarrassment many women feel when dealing with and talking about sex. Sex should be fun and pleasurable, but when not done properly, sex can be harmful – just one bad experience can affect a person’s life forever. That’s why providing correct information and resources to the public is so important to us.
We hold workshops on sexual pleasure in Malaysian family planning clinics so nurses can encourage better intimacy between couples and debunk any incorrect information their patients have heard elsewhere. We also donate lubricants to universities, clinics and hospitals so that they can be applied at will, for patient use or even as ultrasound gel. Through our workshops and donations, we hope that women will feel more empowered to take control of their sexual health and, of course, have better sex.
How does Smile Makers approach female sexuality and sexual education?
Workshop in Sabah, Borneo. August 2017.
Talking about sex can be fraught with anxiety, but we bridge the gap between education and application through comedy. Even the most stoic doctors have cracked a smile upon seeing our vibrators’ names, and that smile can start a conversation on how female sexual pleasure is just as important as sexual health. Applying one of our vibrators to my forehead as a form of headache relief in front of a group of Muslim nurses brings both laughs and intrigue. From our name to our product designs, Smile Makers is built on making women’s sexuality fun and light-hearted, so we extend that silly yet educational approach to our community work.
What is the most rewarding aspect of CSR work?
Workshop in Penang, Malaysia. March 2018.
The best part of my job is being on the ground and learning from doctors – from the US to Australia, from Malaysia to Denmark – on how they are using our products to improve their female patients’ sexual and general well-being. I’ve spoken with doctors who use The Millionaire to treat women with vaginismus, or the involuntary tightening of the vagina’s muscles, or suggest The Fireman to stroke survivors to recreate intimacy with their husbands. Their knowledge in turn helps us create better products, products built for the female form based on proven medical research. We always love hearing that people enjoy our products, but it is even more fulfilling to know that our products are assisting patients recuperate and regain their sexual health.
When Smile Makers first started, little did we know that we’d be invited to speak at the International Islamic University in Malaysia or join the UN’s anniversary celebration by the UN Population Fund. All these opportunities have only been afforded to us through our CSR work.
Our goal at Smile Makers is to normalize female sexual wellness and pleasure. Through CSR, we can extend our reach beyond the countries we simply retail products and improve public sexual health at a larger scale.