Coming Soon – Episode 1 – An idea with legs – Transcript

[00:00:00] So what am I hoping to achieve from this? You are hoping to come away with a positivity. Obviously , you’re hoping to come away and hearing that it hasn’t been done before. Yes. That’s probably your main thing, that your project has legs. Yeah, like the clitoris, , which has many little endings in its legs.

Thousand and the hood. Um, most importantly, how they would. Venture working. Ultimately, that’s the goal, isn’t it? They know that this is all a first time thing for me. They know that you are here to be an extra pair of eyes and ears. Remember, don’t, without too much naivety, no. Cause business is business.

Well, I, but I’m not an idiot, am I? And that’s partly why you are here. I’m a bigger idiot. . Okay, so maybe I’m jumping ahead here. Let’s start from the beginning. I’m Charlie, I’m an actor. You may know me as a certain [00:01:00] infamous soap villain. Safe to say, I’m probably not the person you’d expect to be talking about clitoral nerve endings, but here we are.

You see, I’ve learned something about the clitoris that blew my. It’s not the shape we think it is, it’s actually a wishbone with legs and bulbs, not just the hood at the top of the vulva. And it got me thinking about our bodies and pleasure and things started to make a lot more sense. And then I had what I can only describe as a 3:00 AM brain wave.

Why not make a vibrator that actually mirrors the shape of the clitoris?

I told a friend who seemed to be really into it, which I took as a good sign, and then I spoke to some more women. Got some really good feedback. Did [00:02:00] some market research. Unbelievably, I couldn’t find anything similar, and so for the first time I thought maybe I’m onto something here. I’ve always been intrigued by business, but it’s felt far too daunting to try before.

Now, I dunno if it’s because I’m about to turn 40 or if I’m tired of doubting myself, but for once I feel like I should be brave.

So I’m on a mission to bring this product of my own. To mark it. Ah, . This is completely new for me and I am way out of my comfort zone, but it is for a good reason. It’s about trying my hand at business, having open conversations about self-pleasure. And educating ourselves about our bodies.[00:03:00]

I’ll be speaking to experts and recording my journey along the way. Trust me, you’re gonna hear a lot of voice memos, audio diaries, and meetings throughout this, and I’m hoping to learn a thing or two about my own pleasure. And business as well. I know they say never to mix the two, but I think in this case it’s worth the exception.

Welcome to coming soon.

I should say here before we start, I have a teenage daughter and let’s face it, no one wants to hear their mom talking about sex or pleasure, so I will do my best to make this as honest and as informative as possible without horribly embarrassing her wish me luck.

Okay, so session one. Yes. This recording is for you, so it’s not going anywhere, obviously, however [00:04:00] you wanna show up. Charlie, it’s perfect with me, and so I just want us to relax. And take some nice deep breaths in. Okay. It’s 2019 and I dunno where to start with the idea. I went to college for just one year.

Never been to uni. Acting has been all I’ve ever known, and although it’s been an incredibly rewarding career. I have a massive sense of imposter syndrome when it comes to anything offscreen or stage even creeps in there occasionally. So for me, this is a real step into the unknown. I feel like I might be on the brink of something great and I just need some help get in there.

So I thought I’d give life slash business coaching a try. I feel quite. Which comes and goes, um, because I’m just worried that I won’t have any clarity in there. I’ll just try [00:05:00] not to listen to the little voices in my head and, um, that I’m not gonna match up to my own expectation, I think is probably the main one.

Excited and hopeful. Yes. Awesome. You know what, what you’re describing is so normal. Everybody. Everybody feels that when they really, when they first start connecting, coming outta that first session, one thing that is clear to me is that I really need to get a hold of my inner critic, otherwise known as the inner bitch.

She runs riot every now and then. If I’m gonna be out in the world talking business, pitching even then I really need to work on this and breathe. So while I get a grasp of life coaching, I wanna take a moment to talk female pleasure,[00:06:00]

as I start to explore bringing a product of this nature to market as both a public figure and a mother of a teenage daughter, the prospect of talking about female pleasure. Is uncomfortable if I’m honest, and I can’t help but feel that this isn’t a new feeling or that I alone feel it. Female pleasure is rarely spoken about publicly.

For me at school, sex education was non-existent beyond how to avoid becoming pregnant. Or getting an S T D, absolutely no mention of female pleasure at all. And I’m guessing it’s probably a similar story for most women out there. The fact that the clitoris is actually wishbone shaped was only discovered in the nineties by urologist called Professor Helen O’Connell.

Even when she published a paper about it, the scientific community didn’t pick up on it for years. [00:07:00] Now it’s finally becoming common knowledge, but female pleasure seems so easy to ignore. In spite half of the world, having a clitoris. One organization that really helped with my research was OMGs Google it.

It’s a platform that researches pleasure and the different techniques women use. They name these techniques and make educational videos about how to do them. It’s great. The one I’m interested in is layering. It’s essentially indirect touch around the hood of the clitoris and seems to fit with my vibrator idea.

So I’m gonna speak to one of the research scientists there, and please go easy on me. I’ve never interviewed anyone before. I’m experiencing a lot of firsts here. Okay. That that’s recording. I’m just gonna share that screen quickly so you can just check. Okay, here we go. Testing 1, 2, 3, testing. That’s really close to my.[00:08:00]

Hi. Really nice to meet you Christiana. So happy to have you. You okay? My pleasure. Charlie, I’m so pleased to join you. Can we start by you telling me a little bit about yourself, who you are, and what you do? Well, my name is Christian Navon Hipple, and I am a research and I conduct research through a wonderful partnership with Indiana University and Kinsey Institute researchers, as well as our wonderful in-house MGS research team.

And my passion has always been to explore at the population and community levels what makes flourishing happen, what circle events to taboos, what busts, taboos, and allows people to flourish in the areas of life that are most important and joyful for them. I’ve really focused on women’s sexual pleasure and that’s what we do at OMGs too.

There is a lot of important stuff that you are doing there. I can’t wait to learn a little bit from you today. Can you just give me a quick overview really on what OMG is? Sure. [00:09:00] Yeah. O is a website and it’s accessible all around the world. We have Amen and women and non-binary folks, uh, using our site to explore female pleasure.

So it’s really accessible to every. The meat of our content is really around sharing evidence-based, open, honest conversation of what works for women to experience more pleasure and new different kinds of pleasure. We learn from tens of thousands of women about their experiences with specific. Sexual pleasure, touch techniques, and we’re conducting studies all the time.

So far, we have studied 20,000 women to find patterns in what works for them, and we give those patterns that rise to the surface of our surveys and interviews names so that they’re relatable, easy to use in the bedroom or in talking with friends. Our process really starts with qualitative open-ended interviews to say to, um, women that we’re, we’re asking to participate.

We know that there’s been no study of this before, so we’re gonna ask you direct questions about your [00:10:00] experiences and tell us all the details about what the technique is that you found that’s made the biggest difference for your pleasure, that you wish you had known sooner, that you would love for somebody else to learn at this point in her journey so that you know she doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel on her.

We dive into how can you take, uh, a woman along the journey with you so that she can go home and try this step by step? And so we have videos of really honest conversations. between the women that use the technique and our interviewers, or they demonstrate, um, on their bodies how that works. Well, I applaud them and thank them enormously.

It’s super important, you know, and I was just so thrilled to find a platform that had this information. So that’s how I sort of heard about the term layering for the first time, which I know that OMG labeled. How many new techniques have you found? Well, on the site we have showcased 25. We have original collection, which is about, um, the external vulva, clitoris, uh, stimulation techniques.

And then we have an internal [00:11:00] pleasure collection. We have collected more and more really, um, but we’re just releasing them in this kind of staged flow on our website so that we can really do the justice. So you mentioned layering. That’s my favorite. That’s a really popular. Yes. And, and so we showcase how women do that by indirectly touching their footers through the skin of their clitoral hood, through the lips, through, um, fabric, which is the least direct way.

You know, some people like to touch themselves through a blanket, so that’s a pretty thick barrier. So it’s a more diffuse touch, um, or through their underwear, which is a little, little thinner fabric. You know, we found that two thirds of. Absolutely love using indirect touch for stimulating the clitoris because it is really intense.

Yeah. To touch the clitoris directly. Absolutely. Two thirds of women use layering. I mean, that is so helpful to hear. I guess the next step is to actually start speaking to product designers, cuz I really need some help, [00:12:00] so, okay. Picture. An upside down, roll top bathtub with a bath cushion at one end. That is how I’m describing my design.

The idea is the cushion vibrates against the hood of the clitoris and the rim of the bath against its legs. I know, I know. I know that this needs some work, but I’m about to start talking to business people and I need to have my spiel sorted. To start with, my friend gave me the number of a guy called Gordon, who is a product designer.

He helped me to talk through my idea and didn’t seem too embarrassed when I started talking about clitoris and VULs taking that as a good sign. He gave me some good pointers and I’ve been spending the last couple of days fashioning a model round my kitchen table out of clay. Luckily, this is a podcast, so there are no visuals because I am not blessed artistically, let me tell you.

But the main thing is that after speaking to Gordon, [00:13:00] I set up a meeting with a product design company, and my friend Sarah came along to hold my hand.

Now, the company didn’t want to feature. But you’re about to hear me pitch for the first time and tbh, I’m breaking it, shall we? I’ll just come, come, you’re coming in there, huh? I will share my idea with you the best I can see if you think it’s a good e . Um, so through, you know, through exploration of my own body and discussions with many girlfriends, um, I, I just came up.

An idea that I can’t seem to see on the market at this point. Um, we know the clitoris is in the shade for Wishbone. Many of the products that are on the market are wand types. Um, you know, great big hard dildos. Do you know what I mean? Hilariously, [00:14:00] I had a little play with some clay. It looks like a dinghy, and I don’t want it to look like a dinghy.

No. So I, I don’t want this hole in here and I want it to have more depth, and I want this to come out. I just couldn’t achieve that. So this lovely sort of raised padded area, like, um, a pin cushion, uh, that vibrates gently, and then the mechanics going down here that the wood vibrate and motor, and then this what I discovered through making this ding.

Was that you could, it’s got as close there how you fit Andy. Finger hole. It’s got , so you know, you could jump insertion at the same time, but I would imagine this on the main clitoris area to be. A gentle sort of vibration. Then the deeper and, and then I dunno if it can increase in intensity around here or, and that’s enough of that.

But you get the gist as pitchers go. I do feel like I did. Okay. The next step is that the designers will call us tomorrow with a follow up plan. Hi girls. Impression, really exciting. Like with the business plan, we [00:15:00] need to basically get ourselves into a position. Don’t need to get this seed funding. Okay, let me summarize what they said.

I would need to raise between a hundred and 150 grand for the prototype. One working prototype that is for me to then take to investors to demonst. Once we have an initial investor, we would then have to go to another funding round to get the product mass produced. Now that’s a lot of money for one prototype.

I also need to start pulling together my business plan and funding. There’s a lot of stages to get this off the ground and how can multiple people test one device? There’s a lot I haven’t thought about here. We’ll have a talk. Thank you so much girls. It was lovely to speak to you.

So woke up today having had the long chat about exploring a potential deal. Um, I feel really encouraged to buy it. I’m trying to get my head around all this business lingo and [00:16:00] you know, the more I sort of hear it and the more I’m surrounding myself with it, the more it kind of stays in my head. I am learning, I am taking notes all the time, and I am trying.

expand my knowledge of thinking like a businesswoman. You know, most of my email starts with, hi babe. Hi, lovely kiss, kiss. Such a lovely . So I’m trying to be more professional, um, in my quest to get this business off the ground. So we need money, we need to get some money together. We are doing this without our.

Now, ordinarily I wouldn’t even know how to research. Uh, but this is very different and I’ve never been that much of an academic. So actually having to discipline myself to sit down at a computer is something new. I dunno, I I actually quite enjoy it as long as I know exactly what I’m doing and what I’m looking for.

So today I’m looking, uh, I’m researching crowdfunding and options around that and getting a list of potential people together [00:17:00] who I. May invest in this project. Um, I’m going for at this point, the 200 K marker as soon as the business plan is ready to go. And then, um, I’m gonna target those and. and hopefully help them understand what a shit hot product this is gonna be.

Yes, I’ve never done this before, but I just, I wanna learn and I wanna try something new. We’ve gotta see what we can do, so wish me luck. One thing that keeps coming up for me in this whole experience so far is how important it is to normalize talking about pleasure. The more people I talk to, the more used to saying words like vulva or clitoris, I need to be.

And it reminds me of something that Christiana said when I asked about why there’s so little information on women’s sexual pleasure out there. Women’s sexual pleasure in the study of sexual pleasure in general [00:18:00] has been shunned by society as well as science. And we’re highlighting that, you know, unabashedly exploring and talking about.

Human experiences is important and in sexual pleasure, we’re highlighting, you know, the specifics that have never been discussed for women. And the more we can name them, show them, and encourage people to continue exploring throughout their lives, the less power a taboo has. Mm-hmm. We’re really part of a, a wonderful cultural shift right now, and that’s extending into academia and science around being open about discussing quality of.

as just as important as, you know, avoiding negative health outcomes. Yeah. Um, you know, embracing the, the wonderful parts of life that’s studying them. Putting names and numbers to the experiences helps normalize and celebrate the range of, of things that make people feel good. And, um, yeah, and the response to OMGs has been so overwhelmingly positive [00:19:00] in terms of our feedback from the community, but also we’ve been able to publish these scientific papers that fills this age old gap, um, in, in the science and, and it’s just been really exciting.

Can you talk to me a little bit about the wellness and what has the response been? So we know from sex research that experiencing pleasure, sexual pleasure, sexual satisfaction, as well as, you know, just engaging in masturbation, um, or a better word for it, maybe solo sex or self-pleasure has lots of wellness benefits.

What we’re highlighting is really around. You know, women’s experience is a pleasure as they self describe it. One might be more confidence. Mm. You know, one might be more agency to use language to ask for what you want. Really, there are endless benefits, and part of OMG S’S mission is to make it very clear and exciting to everyone that pleasure is a wellness outcome.

[00:20:00] Absolut. It is the be all, end all of this particular aspect of human lived experiences of joy. Coming out of this conversation with Christiana, not only am I seeing the immense benefits of having these chats, I’m also feeling a bit bolder and having them myself.

So I’m changing tack for this next meeting. I’m going this one alone with Rend. They’re a prototype manufacturing specialist, so it could be a cheaper and quicker approach. Here we go. Hello, John . Hi, I’m Charlie. Should I tell you a little bit about what Yeah, I do. Excited to hear . Okay. I’ve got an NDA that I need to, obviously we’re happy to sign it.

Um, um, so obviously I’m just starting out. I’ve never made anything before in my life. I’ve just had an idea. Mm-hmm. , which is based around, um, suddenly Phil, really girly, stood in between John and, yeah, mark, mark . Um, a new [00:21:00] idea for a, a female vibrator. So it’s for exclusive use by a. Mm-hmm. for a woman designed by a woman.

The clitoris, I dunno if you know, is shaped like a wishbone and, uh, for a very, okay. You’ve heard this before. I’ll spare you. Get the picture source of Yeah. So it does it sort of cup around, it would cup the vagina. Right. That’s exactly what it, it’s how I’m imagining it just to say, I know it’s vulva, vulva, vulva, vul.

I mean, even saying vagina is a step in the right direction. Growing up I used to say, oh, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but growing up I used to say Mini or Nu Noom, which just goes to show there’s been some improvement. How, how would this work? Can you talk me through it in baby steps please? Yeah, sure.

Uh, Well, it starts with a conversation. Yes. Before we’re having, right now, it’s not the accident. It’s not actually the first time we’ve been asked to, uh, to make something. Oh. So yeah. Good. It’s not been the first time. It needs to start with some sketches, some concepts, whatever you can provide. Just [00:22:00] getting some stuff sort of drawn down so that we can better visualize what you’re trying to achieve there.

What we would then do is, is sit, is sit down and go, right. What, what’s the mechanical sort of characteristics of this and what’s the aesthetic? External and, and packaging? And when I say packaging, I actually mean like the silicon outer or whatever it needs to be. Yeah. We would then give you a quote and say, right, first of all, we need to come up with an As.

Aesthetic prototype. Yeah. For you to say, yeah, this is on the right lines. We’d then be able to use that model to go overseas and go, right, let’s start getting some indicative prices for manufacturing a mold for this. We would then do exactly the same thing for the electronics side of it as well. So we would start to say, okay.

For us to prototype and actually design the internals for it is probably gonna cost about this amount. And then once we’ve done that, we would look to, um, you know, get that overseas and see exactly how much that’s gonna cost on mass. And then we would look. For, um, we would look for one of the companies to contract, assemble these units.

We can get the packaging done [00:23:00] overseas or we can get it done over in the UK for you. And, and that’s really how, how we run. I would suggest that we would really need to see what, what your, what your concept is first. And then we will be able to basically at the end of that sort of confer for a few minutes and say, yeah, this is something that we, that we believe we can put together.

It’s coming out of this meeting with the guys at RE that I’m really starting to understand what it’s actually gonna take to bring this idea to life. But looking at the options before me at this point, I’ve also had a bit of a wake up call. All the product designers I’ve spoken to have been so helpful with their time, but both of these different roots, Rely on me putting significant money into getting the prototype made before I can even get in front of investors.

Now, I’ve spoken to a few people who are interested, but at the moment I’m just trying to sell them an idea, and it feels [00:24:00] so risky to put money behind a prototype that might not even get investment. I have never run a business before. I’ve never done anything like this ever in my. And I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

Maybe there is a simpler way. Okay, so I’m here, I’ve got all my branding ideas. Um, I’ve had a, a graphic designer do my branding and it came through the other day and it looks stunning present. Okay? So I’m currently with my friend Alice as I have big meeting next week, but our intro, so. Through Charlie’s amazing emails and um, found some content which we conspired straight into an intro.

So we are gonna do a presentation deck. Now, I can’t say who with, but they are a big deal in the world. Of sex toys, and Alice is helping me to put together a brand book because I am rubbish at computers, only just really teaching myself to do emails, et cetera, et cetera. The title page, we’ve got the introduction to what my [00:25:00] product is about, what’s on the market, vibrators.

We’ll talk about vibrators, obviously. Oh, we’re just gonna talk about the market, so let’s squeeze in here. Our market. Oh, yeah. Talking about two, all of our friends. Yeah. Who this is owned at. Yeah. Yeah. And why? Because I do think, you know, the younger generation of kids openly speak about masturbation more so than our generation that interested by people who aren’t.

Yeah. Our age group of friends. And unless you’re really tight, I don’t feel like they have the conversation to actually admit that, oh my god, that they do anything down there. Some of them, it’s like they’re scared to go down there. Just scared to go near it. Yeah. . Yeah. And I have to say we have quite an open, diverse group of friends.

It’s not like, yeah. You know, um, interesting. Mm-hmm. . Okay. Uh, And then the great high of you. Than the reveal. Yes. Yeah. By the way, I’ve decided to call the toy the you as it’s shaped like a you, and it’s all about you. How much about [00:26:00] self-care is not getting inside our own heads? Because this really is about me taking a chance on a.

On trying to build something and make it happen. Mm-hmm. , it just so happens that it’s a vibrator that I think is a brilliant idea. Mm-hmm. I dunno if the rest of the world will, it might sell too and then never be seen again. Mm-hmm. , you know, and so that’s what this has also the story of, of the you is.

That you can do, try be anything, you know, um, I think that what will come along that doesn’t have to be all over the product by the time through press, then that will already have been said, which will have to be navigated very cleverly. I don’t want to be like, oh, Jeanine from the send this. Selling a vibrator like with my face on the end of a big penis

That’s not what this is. Oh, the vision. It could happen. What this is and we will embrace it cuz all press is good press John. Well I know, I know, I know. You know, the chances are obviously it will go down that road a little bit, but the navigation of the PR has to be strong. Yes. That’s all I’m saying.

Right. Okay. So how many pages is that? [00:27:00] Sorry. The title intro, all about the market. Um, product research. And, um, we were gonna talk about the cl ah, yes, the wishbone, the shape of the cliff first and what the U will do for it, where the U fits in. So I think this is gonna get really boring to Yeah, I was just about to fade it out.

Vietnam. So the one thing I should say here is, up until now I’ve been doing this all by myself, but this next meeting would be a completely different way of working because they already manufacture toys, they have factories and designers on hand. They know about motors and medical grade material.

Everything. I don’t, and I think this is a good moment to recognize that my acting career and name probably landed me this meeting, and luckily for me has definitely made part of this a little bit easier. I’m still [00:28:00] terrified. I’m full of self-doubt as always, but if I can get through. I know it’ll be okay.

Unfortunately, I can’t share that interview with you, but you’ll find out why later.

No. Food and Service. Service. So here’s me and Tony, my ex, my daughter’s dad. He’s become a successful businessman over the last 15 years and has been very inspiring. He came along with me to this big meeting and this is our debrief. Yes, very good meeting. Very proud of Charlie. Thought she held herself very well.

That’s really sweet. Thank you. I feel, um, like it went really, really well. I don’t know if you’re gonna feel intimidated in the situations or if I’m gonna sit down and they’re like, Their eyes or what sort of silly product has she got? I didn’t know what to do first. It’s like making that small talk with people, isn’t it?

In the room where you’re waiting for people to arrive, and I know you did pull [00:29:00] everything out. I know. I put it all out quite quickly. That’s the only thing I said to you. Let her go through the document first, then pull out the prototype. They like to see things like that and digest it a little bit. Yeah, and when she turned around and said, I haven’t seen anything like this.

I was like, oh my God. I was expecting that pull out like two or three hours ago. It’s very. To this child. True. So was I. Yeah. I think you know, that was a really good point. She really knew her stuff as well, didn’t Shane? Yeah. They liked the name. They did, didn’t they? Yeah. He’s nervous that I’m not gonna get the trademark.

I need to get the name, don’t I? I think they’re very interesting. I actually think you should do it now. Do you? You should go for it, but that’s what scares me. Like act, that’s serious money for me. Maybe you’ve gotta own your own product, John. Own your own ib. Yeah, I know you’ve got to. Okay, so I should ring Simon then and say let’s do it.

Do it now. Do it now. I’ll do it now.[00:30:00]

Hello, you have reached the voicemail of Simon. When you finish recording, please hang up or press the hash key for more options. Simon, are you all right? Um, you can probably tell by my tone of voice that today’s meeting went very well and um, I can’t wait to tell you all. In the meantime, I would like to start, um, processing the application for the name the You, please.

All systems go,

and I really can’t wait to text and go, got the fucking name because he doesn’t think I’m gonna get it. Oh, that’s why you should do it today. Oh, honestly, I can’t even believe I’m talking like this, Phil, coming out of that meeting like I’m. I’m really getting there and that feels good. I also,[00:31:00]

I am very excited. I found out today, I’ve got a phone call tomorrow with the. Head buyer of Anne Summers, um, which is gonna be really interesting. I’m a bit like, oh God, I need to figure out what questions I need to ask. Like, what do I want from them? They would clearly be a strategic partner in this. Um, they messaged me saying they are.

Really interested in this idea. They’re really interested in female empowerment and they love the idea of our podcast and what this story is and what we’re exploring. So potentially they could be a really great partner. I’d be mad not to see what they have in mind. Obviously, they’ve gotta like the idea.

I’m not gonna give too much away. I’m gonna talk a lot about what I want. This vibrated to bring, I [00:32:00] suppose, what goes with it and who knows? I think once more, I’ll do a lot of the listening. Um, but there are so many things to consider, you know, all the negative connotations that do go with sex. But, um, yeah, I’m intrigued to hear what they feel they might be able to offer, um, and what they would potentially be looking.

It’s another tiny baby. Step forward, one little step in front of the other, you know? But doors seem to be opening, movement is happening. Um, a away, that’s my dog growing at me, presenting itself to me in a way that, um, Easy and it’s making it easy to move forward with it and nothing feels forced, which is I think how it should be.

Um, yeah. Anyway, um, , my dog is calling my.

Coming soon was brought to you by Orie and features me Charlie [00:33:00] Brooks, with contributions from Christiana Von Hile. Produced and edited by Holly Aquilina with Sound design by Iva Manley. The executive producer is l e d Martinez.

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