Felicity Evans is in the business of making women feel good about themselves with her health and wellness company IMBIBE. Of particular interest to vulva owners is the brand’s V-Oil—a luxurious natural oil for your vagina that doubles as lube and which has cold-pressed rose otto and jojoba oil to thank for its heavenly scent.
We spoke to Felicity about prioritising pleasure at every stage in life and what sensuality looks like for her…
Par Femme: Can you give us the Felicity Evans elevator pitch? (i.e. who are you and what do you do?)
Felicity Evans: Hi! I’m Felicity. I’m a mum, wife, sister, daughter, friend, creator, innovator and get-shit-done’r. I’m the Founder of IMBIBE, a health and beauty company based in Byron Bay.
What was the initial motivation behind starting IMBIBE, and particularly the motivation for creating the V-Oil product for your range?
My motivation for starting IMBIBE was honestly to just get well again. I had developed an autoimmune condition—I was getting sick all the time and was lacking the energy I needed to keep up with my two little girls. My research very clearly led me to discover the importance gut health plays in overall health, wellness and beautiful skin. I started making fermented probiotic drinks in my kitchen, with my two young daughters, and very quickly felt (and looked) a lot better. Friends started asking for what my new secret sauce was, I knew I had to bring these products to more people.
V-Oil has actually been 10 years in the making! When I was pregnant with my first baby girl 10 years ago, I instinctively knew that my yoni was going to need some extra loving to birth her. While this ritual was initially intended to care for my labia and perineum in preparation for childbirth, it stuck.
Why do you think there is (still) so much shame around female pleasure? How far has the conversation progressed, and how far do we still have to go?
There is a long, long way to go. I don’t know all the answers. I think we have progressed but there is more work to be done. It starts with little girls feeling strong and confident and capable in their own bodies. (I have two daughters, so I’m pretty invested in doing my best to talk to them about these issues). I think starting to own the dialogue around our own bodies is a definite start: what we like, what we don’t, what feels good, what doesn’t and speaking up with what's not working. Also, standing up for ourselves if our partners don't listen to us. That is not OK. Women need to be listened to. I think that will go a long way in helping women and their partners dissolve some shame around pleasure.
What’s some of the best feedback you’ve received from customers?
We’re lucky enough to have a very active community who sends in their feedback on a daily basis. This came in this week and I think it pretty much sums up our customers experience:
“V-Oil made me feel sensual, sexy, powerful and even helped with my menstrual cramps and stretch marks when applied on my stomach. Now that V-Oil is in my life, I'm never looking back! Thank you Imbibe!”
Why is self-pleasure so important?
I think it's more than physical: it's a connection to a higher energy. It’s important to feel that connection but to also release all the stress and tension that we carry around all day. Well, I sure do! It's the ultimate fix for dissolving that uptight feeling.
What are some ways for women to prioritise pleasure at every stage of their lives (as teenagers, during pregnancy, post-partum, during and post menopause etc)?
I think that pleasure comes in many forms. A whole piece of chocolate cake with whipped cream and absolutely no guilt. Taking time for self-care. A moment to appreciate the sun. A minute in the ocean. Connection to all the senses. Fresh honey on the tongue. Deep rich chocolate in the mouth. Acknowledging that pleasure will be different for different stages. For me as a full-time working Mum, pleasure is an hour to myself (if I’m lucky) with no one asking me for anything. It's amazing how we can adapt, isn't it?
What does sensuality mean to you?
All senses turned on at the same time. The smell of the organic Rose Otto in our V-Oil on warm skin with the safe touch from my husband and being accepted inside and out. That is sensuality. The safety to explore ourselves. That is sensual.
How is sexual liberation tied to women’s liberation?
They are both the same thing.
What turns you on?
The warm sun on salty skin, nowhere to go or anything to do. V-Oil. Chocolate.
What do you wish you learned about in sex education during school?
Ha! I wish I had learned more than how to put a condom on a banana. In fact, I don't even think I learned that! This would be my wishlist for my kids to learn:
How important is sex to you personally?
It’s as important as a good conversation with my husband. It’s connection. It’s stress relief. It’s an escape from the everyday. It’s understanding. It’s medicine for the soul and body. As my priorities as a mum and business owner have become more encompassing and the fatigue I feel is real, it’s still important. It just doesn't happen as much as I would like it to ;). I need to work on that!