Words Founders Factory
November 22nd 2023 / 3 min read
We’re excited to announce our latest Accelerator investment in partnership with Reckitt—GASM.
Despite significant progress in the last few decades, sex remains a taboo across many cultures.
For one, this leads to widespread feelings of dissatisfaction in many people’s sex lives. Nearly half of UK adults (45%) are unhappy with their sex lives, and a majority (87%) express a desire to change at least one aspect of their sexual experiences. This doesn’t start to address the gender pleasure gap—that cisgender women report far less pleasurable sexual experiences than cisgender men.
This stigmatisation also makes it harder to distinguish between helpful and harmful information around sex. Many individuals, but particularly men, rely heavily on pornography as their primary source of sex education—which can lead to unrealistic expectations, objectification of women, and distorted perceptions of sex. 50% of women believe that porn dehumanises women. This isn’t to mention extreme content sources—whether that’s AI generated sexual content or misogynistic influencers like Andrew Tate—from whom many take their information.
The outcome of this is alarming. Misinformation and lack of credible sources leads many to struggle in their intimacy. Many people experience sexual dysfunction, such as performance anxiety, low sex drive, and premature ejaculation—not to mention feelings of loneliness, isolation, and displacement. 30% of men under the age of 30 haven’t had sex at all in the last year.
This is a growing sexual wellbeing and intimacy crisis.
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GASM is creating the comprehensive platform for adults to practise their sexual wellbeing, and enhance their real life sexual and intimate relationships.
Starting with men, GASM offers a personalised dive into sexual wellbeing, through curated courses, games, activities, date nights, and exercises. They are building out the underlying psychological IP and curriculum, and training a psychosexual expert AI companion, to guide users on their sexual wellbeing journey. Additionally, users will be able to connect with a marketplace of sexual wellbeing experts for one-to-ones, and premium experiences.
GASM is collaborating with influential educators in the sexual wellness space to establish an initial agenda and curriculum. Users will be able personalise their journey through the curriculum, and interact with their intimacy companion to meet their goals. On top of this, their community-generated marketplace will enable users to connect with creators they resonate with on a personal level, allowing GASM to meet the diverse needs of their users while promoting meaningful connections within the platform.
Lauren Cooney (Co-founder, Content & Psychology)
Lauren Cooney is an expert in sex and love coaching, with a background in content creation and psychology. She brings a wealth of content experience as a director, writer, and producer of Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying films. On top of this, Lauren is a corporate leadership coach and a psychosexual somatic therapy coach. She holds an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University.
Douglas Van Duyne (Co-founder, Product & Technology)
Douglas Van Duyne is a seasoned entrepreneur with expertise in product development and technology. This includes selling NetRaker to Keynote and consulting for companies like Oracle, Yahoo, and Paypal. Douglas is also a best-selling author in UX experience design and an intimacy and meditation coach. He holds a degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley.
Natalie Peire (Co-founder, Community & Research)
Natalie Peire specialises in community building and research. She has created an international self-development centre and has extensive experience in data-led psychological consulting. Natalie is also a psychosexual somatic therapy coach and holds a BSc in Business Management from the University of Birmingham.
Levi Young, sector director at Founders Factory, says: “The taboo around sexual pleasure is starting to show the same signs of dissipating as the taboo around mental health has over the past several years, particularly as there is a growing recognition of sexual pleasure fitting into the overall picture of wellbeing. GASM plugs perfectly into the growing trend towards functional wellness and verticalized community networks, building a vibrant community that could transform pleasure and intimacy for a generation.”
Support to establish strong early product-market-fit, and customer traction, in the form of engagement, retention, and revenue
Build out our investor network, and complete a successful institutional seed raise
Develop an AI companion POC, integrated with GASM’s curriculum
Optimise as a team, with key operational, tech, and marketing hires in place for end of programme
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