Sunsette: Empowering Arousal in the #MeToo Era

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Sunsette is making arousal more accessible through a new iOS app that curates empowering short stories written by award-winning erotica authors

Sunsette was created by a small team in Portland, ME which saw an opportunity to disrupt the status quo in personal arousal products. To that end, Sunsette has built a platform for sex-positive erotic short stories. Sunsette’s unique approach is based on two observations: a) reading sex-positive erotica is a more satisfying arousal experience than watching videos online, especially for women, and b) high-quality erotica is difficult to find in a convenient, consistent format. Sunsette’s sleek app offers sophisticated content that improves the experience for existing erotica readers and introduces a new tool for those who don't typically read for arousal.

Sunsette is a discreet app that can be downloaded to any iPhone device (Android coming soon) which delivers one sex-positive, fictional erotic short story each day, at sunset according to each user's time zone. What sets Sunsette apart is the sex-positive angle – all of Sunsette’s stories are non-demeaning and generally feature women as protagonists. Content is also especially high-quality, with stories sourced from talented writers across the world, many of whom are regularly featured on Amazon and USA Today bestseller lists. Sunsette’s tagline is “No Guilty. Just Pleasure.” This is a refreshing alternative to the “ick factor” many can relate to when watching adult video content. Further, Sunsette says the text format (vs. video) allows readers to engage their imagination, something that is proven to increase arousal. According to the Journal of Sex Research, women who read romance novels have 74% more sex with their partners than those who don't.

Alongside Sunsette, myriad startups are entering the sexual wellness space to cater towards a wide and booming consumer segment. Personal product companies like Dame Products, and popular blogs like Future of Sex seek to make the business of arousal more relevant and comfortable for historically ignored demographic groups.

Startups like Sunsette are well-positioned: the global market for sexual wellness products is expected to grow at 13% per year over the next eight years to reach $123B in value according to Stratistics MRC. This trend is directly implicated as a causal factor in the declining rates of sex between two partners in America today – is sex less relevant when one can better manage with “self-care"? If Sunsette’s claims are true, they may be one of the few companies leading consumers back towards intimacy instead of away from it.

Sunsette also believes that consumers want mobile-specific access to erotic content, citing PornHub’s 2017 Year-In-Review report that indicates a 75X increase in erotic content consumption via mobile phone (versus desktop) over the last decade. Additionally, the report also notes that compared to men, women are 34% more likely to consume erotic content on their mobile devices. Sunsette seems to have hit on this chord, with a timely app that is simple and elegant, and already earning rave reviews among users.

Finally, Sunsette donates 10% of profits to ending sexual violence through Physicians for Human Rights, grounding the enterprise in a philosophy of helping people who need it most. The company states it more plainly: “Feel good about feeling good.” With Sunsette, that seems like a given.

Download Sunsette in the App Store or subscribe to the Sunsette newsletter for updates.

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Ellen Clark
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since: 07/2018
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