Even very young, I was aware of my femininity. The only epiphany I ever had about sex was when I grew boobs. I remember waking up and being like, "Oh my God! I officially have boobs."
I first experienced slut-shaming in sixth grade, when I kissed three boys in one night. They were all my good guy friends and they were like, "What would it feel like to kiss a girl?" and I said, "I'm a girl, I could show you what it feels like to kiss." I'm an open person. That's me.
It only bothered me the next day, when I got to school and everybody was talking about it. People were so mean to me that day and called me a slut. I did not kiss a boy for like two years after that.
I caught on early to the power of sharing stories about sexual experiences
In high school, I dated the same guy from freshman to senior year. I lost my virginity to him... and got HPV. I wanted to share what I went through with my health class. My teacher told me not to -- she said it would be a really awful idea because kids can be so cruel. I told her that was wrong: "You are telling me not to share my experience and you are perpetuating the cycle." I refused to shut down and pretend these things hadn't happened. So I kept talking -- and other girls started coming to me to talk through their own stuff.
As high school graduation approached, I was seriously considering becoming a sex therapist. I am so fascinated by the psychology of gender and sex and how it shapes our society. I wanted to be a part of this conversation. I ended up going to Columbia University for a masters in clinical psychology. It was during that time I realized this dialogue was one I wanted to have.
My goal was to figure out how to make the biggest impact
Growing up, my father really instilled in me the entrepreneurial spirit. It was a belief that there were no limitations on what I could do -- and if I didn't know how to do something, I could look it up on the internet and get the answers I needed. I think a good entrepreneur has this really ridiculous belief that they can figure out how to do anything.
I remember mapping possible futures out for myself in grad school. I could become a sex therapist, sex educator, teacher… And then I added, "I could make a vibrator."
I circled that last sentence on my idea board. The thought resonated with me. My goal has always been to help people -- especially women -- feel empowered and aware of their own sexual identities.
So, it was in that headspace that I ended up working in a consumer goods company. I wanted to learn about what it means to be a brand and sell a product around the world -- and that's when I started drawing out what would eventually become the Eva hands-free vibrator for women to wear during sex in order to close the orgasm gap.