The Ferly Lowdown
What is Ferly?
Ferly is the world's first digital sexual wellbeing studio. Our app is your audio guide to mindful sex, built to help womxn feel confident and sexually empowered.
Yeah but ... WTF is mindful sex?
'Mindfulness' is trendy AF at the moment - but for good reason. To us, mindful sex is about slowing the F down, understanding what you really want from sex and putting your pleasure first. Most of the time we go through life like salmon swimming upstream in the fast lane (#mixingmetaphorsforlyf) but when it comes to sex and sexuality, we should be taking our sweet time. Mindful sex means putting your sexual self-care first so that the sex you're having is healthy, happy, intentional and on your terms, ALWAYS.
What's the mission?
1. Close the knowledge gap.
2. Create a space for womxn to explore their bodies, minds and social world(s).
3. Smash the taboo around female pleasure and sexuality.
Why is the Ferly app significant?
- 60% of womxn in the UK were unable to identify where the vulva is (Eve Appeal, 2016).
- 51% of womxn in the UK have experienced one or more sexual difficulties in the last year including feelings of anxiousness, lack of enjoyment and/or pain during sex (NATSAL, 2012).
- Womxn are 4 x more likely to experience less pleasure than men in a year
- There is also a ‘guilt gap’ where womxn are +2x more likely to feel guilty for having a casual hookup (Garcia et al., 2012).
- 1 in 3 womxn worldwide have experience physical or sexual violence - mostly by an intimate partner (WHO, 2013).
Womxn have not been taught to understand or to think about sex in terms of their pleasure. They’ve also been handed a pretty narrow definition of what counts as ‘sex’. We’re here to challenge this. To break down barriers that inhibit womxn from having happy, healthy and empowered sex (whatever sex means to them).
What does the app do?
Through a mashup of audio content and exercises, we’re helping womxn to understand and connect with their bodies, make sense of their own mental chatter and rewrite their beliefs/narrative about sex. By combining short bits of science with guided practices and sensual stories, we’re encouraging womxn to discover and communicate what they really want - and just as importantly - what they don’t. Plus there's space to reflect and journal, share thoughts through community polls, and explore self-pleasure.
Who is this app for?
We address the needs of womxn (and folks with vulvas who may not identify as female) whose pleasure has been historically left out of the conversation. While most of our content is centered around female pleasure, we are 100% trans-positive, non-binary positive (and male positive) and encourage all folks to explore the app and find practices which work for them. We know we cannot be everything for everyone, so we are starting with what we know ourselves: womxn. Our mission is committed to progressing, challenging and educating ourselves in these different spaces and with the support of a wonderful assortment of different communities, so we can work towards being as inclusive and accessible as possible.
What's with the name?
Ferly comes from the Old English word færlic. And, just in case your Old English is a little rusty ... this is a word with a meaning that has developed over time. What was once associated with darkness, terror and a fear of the unknown, has since shifted into the modern lexicon to mean ‘a marvel, a wonder’. So, what better word than to describe the mystical nature of female sexuality and pleasure than one which was once seen as something to be feared but now is something to marvel at?
Who are Billie and Anna?
Billie Quinlan (FKA CEO + co-founder) and Dr. Anna Hushlak (FKA CSO + co-founder) are Ferly's fearless leaders. Billie and Anna met through Zinc, a mission-led business builder, where they were set the challenge to create a company that would transform the mental and emotional health of womxn. Of course no one was even considering womxn's sexual wellbeing, so they decided to change all that and BAM! Ferly was born. Read more about their stories and how their experiences with sexual assault and violence led them to co-found Ferly on our blog.