Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jan 20th, 2022

Talking to Andrea Rey of Biird

Biird is a women-led pleasure positive brand based out of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Having launched multiple award-winning products, the company continues to develop products that are easily approachable, look great, and feel incredible. Andrea Rey is one of the co-founders of Biird. After having spent nearly a decade working for major companies in the sexual health field, she grasped the opportunity to help even more people discover what pleasure and self-care can mean for them by founding Biird. I had the pleasure of talking to Andrea about all things Biird.

On your about page you mention the “restrictions and barriers placed on sex toys,” that you were up against when first starting the company. What were some of these?

We’ve encountered restrictions in the strangest of places. Opening a bank account was far from easy. Many banks turned us down. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank that doesn’t explicitly mention ‘no adult products’ in their terms and conditions. One of the stranger ones was getting a ‘sorry, we can’t work with you’ from a major shipping company. Apparently, shipping sex toys is not something they wanted any part of.

Of course, there should be some regulations but completely banning the self-pleasure category is acting as if this is a topic we shouldn’t know about. This pushes it further into the taboo sphere.

What could women learn from male pleasure products and men learn from female pleasure products…if either could learn anything at all.

That’s an interesting question. I’ll take this a little broader. I see a rapidly growing female audience becoming very knowledgeable and comfortable around topics like self-pleasure, self-care, and body acceptance. Just have a look at the popularity of many Instagram accounts talking about these topics. There is all this great content out there. Women are helping each other to grow and to love themselves. This is something I haven’t really seen much from male influencers but I do hope this will change soon.

In your ‘silent censorship’ section you mention “…current policies around adult content are inconsistent, damaging, and biased against women and other marginalized communities,” tell us what some of these are, in your view.

Take Facebook’s policy surrounding advertising for sexual health products. There’s already not much that is allowed. Sex toys definitely not. Luckily, advertisements for condoms are allowed. But… they can only be advertised as a way of preventing unwanted pregnancies or protecting against STIs. The ads can’t mention pleasure. What’s so wrong with pleasure that we can’t talk about it?

I also get the impression many of the policies are written from a man’s perspective. Ads objectifying women are still (but luckily less and less) part of our daily lives yet ads showing women with body hair get flagged by Facebook as inappropriate.

I also often see accounts from body-positive activists, sex educators, artists getting shut down and I do ask myself every time if they would have been shut down if they weren’t ‘different’ than what society tells us is normal.

Harder or easier to sell in a pandemic?

Both. I’m sure some of our customers have found their way to us after spending yet another day in confinement. It hasn’t been easy for many of us. We’ve been told to stay inside, limit our social contacts; letting off some steam with our products is a great way to escape it all for just a bit. The pandemic also comes with its own set of challenges. Shipping delays. Material shortages. Worrying about the health of our staff…

You make clothing, jewelry, adult pleasure products, do you see a concentration on any one of these over any others, or will you just make what you are inspired to into the future?

I see all the products we make being part of the same thing. At the end of the day, we aim to provide happiness. And bringing that happiness into people’s lives can be done through various channels. Take Evii, our latest pleasure product for example. Evii was created to be a great external vibrator but we added a few layers on top of that. We wanted it to be a product that encouraged exploring your body (or your partner’s) with. It’s also designed to be displayed in the room like a piece of design decoration and that way it’s always at hand, removing the friction of having to dig it out of a dark drawer.

Orgasms are one of these channels, but self-pleasure is just one part of the self-care journey. Wearing socks that make you smile, jewelry that makes others think… it’s all part of Biird. Part of sparking joy.

Following from the above, are there any new products or even ideas you have that you might be able to tell us about?

Oh absolutely. There will be quite a few new products coming this year and next. I can’t talk about it too much for now but you can expect to see more pleasure toys and more accessories.

Go here to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Biird.

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Talking to Andrea Rey of Biird