Creator of the Ohnut and Co-Founder of Lady Bits League
Painless penetration – a longstanding challenge that turned into a game-changer for vulva owners experiencing painful intercourse. Emily Sauer imagined and then invented a cute little donut-looking device that goes over the shaft of a penis to help vulva owners experience pain-free intercourse – and Ohnut was born. While developing Ohnut, she also co-founded the Lady Bits League and co-launched the Sexual Wellness Summit to connect people and professionals from all over the sexual health world through education and story. Like, wow!
I was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Emily and feature her in our Power Babes series. We’re fellow members of Women of Sex Tech, a super supportive group of sex-positive women, and we proudly share the distinction of inventing a product designed to break stigmas and help women maximize their pleasure 🙂
I’m very pleased to share some of our conversation with all you Lova Babes…
What does it mean to you to be a Power Babe?
For me, being a Power Babe is about taking chances and adapting. When I started Ohnut, I didn’t have any background in business, hardware, manufacturing, or even pelvic health. I was a patient unwilling to settle for inaction.
So, tell us about Ohnut 🙂 Why did you decide to create it?
The Ohnut idea was born in the passenger seat of a rental car, on a 2 hour car ride with an old co-worker named Pamela. See, for over 10 years I assumed that I was un-relatable in my experience of painful sex. With very little confidence I tried my best to figure out what was wrong, but everything pointed to nothing.
Doctors were dismissive, erotic websites boasted ‘bigger is better,’ and everyone else was having ‘the best orgasmic sex ever.’ Year after discouraging year, I had no idea that our medical institutions have historically revolved around the male biological template – ignoring women almost entirely – and that my questions about painful sex would be a nuisance to a doctor who has 15 minutes for an appointment, and who is equipped with a toolkit that pushes surgery and medication – over quality of life.
Something needed to change… and the idea of a pink frosted donut on a penis that could customize penetration depth – well, that felt like a delightful place to start.
If you can change one thing in women’s health care what would it be?
The lack of education and funding around women’s pelvic health, particularly around sex, has led an entire population to feel unsupported, ashamed, and unable to make empowered decisions about our health. It is up to our medical schools to teach our doctors how to comprehensively treat sexual and pelvic health with a multi-disciplinary approach, and it is up to our insurance companies to incentivize doctors based on quality of care while expanding pelvic health coverage beyond fertility.
I love that you created a safe space for people to converse about all things sex and relationships. What made you decide to create Lady Bits League?
When I came up with the Ohnut idea, it was the first time I could confidently start the conversation about painful sex, sparking the realization that I had zero understanding of anyone’s sexual challenges other than my own. Once that conversation started – more and more people spoke up as feeling unsupported and un-relatable, in a completely relatable struggle.
My co-host Jenn Louie is an unparalleled moderator (she also founded Kinvite.co, a socially conscious event platform) and together we host a monthly roundtable of empowering women bravely redefining the normative narrative of female wellness.
What’s one of your proudest moments?
I never thought it’d be so satisfying to give a voice to the disparities, possibilities, and business trends in Healthcare and Women’s Wellness, that are so often silenced by stigma and shame. It’s like detective work. I also live for creating catalysts for human connection and helping others explore their potential with a sense of hope – and the testimonials I receive generally result in minor heart explosions (with a side of tears) on a regular basis.
Who is a woman you look up to and why?
Right now, I am an enormous fan of Dr. Bertice Berry – a good friend of Oprah’s. She’s a sociologist, author, and educator who tells the most tear jerkingly affirmational stories about her struggles and triumphs as a black woman in America.
IG Live is a great place to follow her. She defies generalization and connects us all on a fundamentally human level. I highly recommend watching her videos if you’re in need of a little sense of hope.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you’re passionate about your idea and are thinking about starting a business, start a conversation with your friends, family, and people on the street. The trick is to find out if it sparks action or emotion – if it helps people believe something in themselves that they didn’t think was possible. Whether or not you feel like you have the tools or the training to make the leap, if that validation is there – just keep going.
Thank you, Emily! Your vision and efforts are transforming the way women experience sex, and we can’t wait to see what you do next.
You can learn more about Emily and her amazing company at Ohnut.co and on social at @sauerhour and @ohnutco. You can also request to join “the brave monthly conversation about all things sex and relationships” at LadyBitsLeague.com.