ELLE Beauty Chat: Anushka Gupta on MyMuse and Transforming India’s Sexual Wellness Landscape


India, a country with a rich history of intimacy and love, is witnessing a significant shift in attitudes towards sexual wellness in 2024. Once shrouded in stigma and taboo, the conversation around sexual wellness tools and products is evolving, reflecting a more open and accepting society. This change is fueled by increased awareness, education, and the efforts of pioneering brands and individuals dedicated to normalising sexual wellness.

With the rise of digital platforms and social media, discussions about sexual health and wellness have become more accessible and widespread. People are now more willing to explore and invest in products that enhance their intimate lives. This cultural shift is creating a vibrant market for sexual wellness tools, which are now seen as essential for personal health and happiness rather than objects of shame or secrecy.

One brand at the forefront of this revolution is MyMuse, co-founded by Anushka Gupta and her husband Sahil. Launched in 2021, MyMuse has been instrumental in transforming the perception of sexual wellness in India. By offering high-quality, thoughtfully designed products and fostering open conversations about intimacy, MyMuse has carved out a unique space in the market. We sat down for a chat with Anushka to learn more about the brand and what the future holds for sexual wellness.

ELLE: You made a great space for yourself in the nascent stages of the sexual wellness industry. What has the journey been like?

Anushka Gupta (AG): Starting MyMuse over three years ago has been an exciting journey. When Sahil and I launched MyMuse in 2021, the industry in India was fragmented and overlooked. We aimed to turn the idea of buying intimate products from something shameful into something celebrated. Overcoming personal biases and confronting the taboo was challenging, but seeing the positive impact on people’s lives has been incredibly rewarding.

ELLE: Every product from MyMuse tells a different story. How do you decide which kind of products to launch?

AG: We base our product decisions on extensive customer research, including surveys, focus groups, and beta testing. Understanding our community’s needs and desires is key. We aim to create a holistic wellness brand that addresses all aspects of intimacy, from physical pleasure to emotional connection.

ELLE: Tell us about a few experiences, both good and bad, as a woman in the sexual wellness industry.

AG: Being a woman in the sexual wellness industry can be challenging due to gender bias. I’ve faced awkward stares and instances where people talked more to my male partner. However, persistence and making my voice heard have been crucial. In the VC landscape, being often the only female in the room was intimidating, but it encouraged me to speak up for women. We also get occasional trolls, but we approach everything with sensitivity and cultural respect.

ELLE: MyMuse creates some unique card games too. What is the thought process behind creating those?

AG: We realized that intimacy is about more than just the physical; it’s also based on emotional connection and communication. Our card games act as icebreakers and intimacy enhancers, helping couples navigate their relationships with curiosity and creativity. They provide a safe and enjoyable way to encourage honest conversations.

ELLE: Tell us about a few really cool customer testimonials.

AG: We’ve received heartwarming testimonials from customers. One shared that our products led to the best moments of intimacy in his 11-year marriage. Another customer discovered the joy of exploring her body and experiencing pleasure for the first time. These stories are the most rewarding part of being in the sexual wellness industry.

ELLE: India has a largely conservative and orthodox attitude towards sex. Where do you think the sexual wellness industry is headed here?

AG: India’s attitudes towards sex and sexuality are diverse. While some parts of the country are becoming more open, others remain conservative. The sexual wellness industry is growing, with new players catering to different audiences. Social media and OTT content are also fostering more openness. We believe the stigma around sex and sexuality will continue to reduce, but it’s a gradual change.

ELLE: What advice would you give a beginner who is a little afraid of embracing their sexual side, with or without toys?

AG: Embracing your sexuality is a journey of discovery and empowerment. Take things at your own pace and start with simple activities to get in tune with your body. When you feel comfortable, introduce toys made from body-safe materials. Seek support from trusted friends or communities, and remember to be patient and kind to yourself.

ELLE: Tell us about the”Laid In India” survey by MyMuse.

AG: The ‘Laid In India’ survey is the country’s largest live sex survey, offering real-time data on sexual experiences and attitudes. It invites participants from across India to share their intimate truths anonymously, fostering open conversations and breaking down taboos. The live format allows participants to see results instantly, providing a raw glimpse into the intimate lives of fellow Indians. By participating, you contribute to a nuanced understanding that could reshape conversations about sex in our country.

As India continues to evolve, the conversation around sexual wellness is set to become more open and inclusive, paving the way for a healthier and happier society.

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