Since the early days of her music career in the '90s, Aguilera has been “on a journey of talking about and embracing her sexuality as a woman,” she says. But the cultural narrative around sex didn’t always celebrate her for it. “Growing up in this business, sex was very much put upon me, and I was labeled about it, and it was all coming from the male gaze,” she says.
“I've always intended to empower myself and other women to embrace and celebrate their bodies.” —Christina Aguilera
At home, Aguilera encountered the opposite narrative—that sex was something hush-hush. “I grew up with my grandma and my mom, and there was such a, ‘We don’t talk about that’ vibe [when it came to sex], and there’s just so much shame around the topic,” she says. But despite being both objectified and stigmatized, Aguilera always intended to “empower myself and other women to embrace and celebrate their bodies,” she says.
To Aguilera, that act was never about pleasing a partner or being sexy for anyone but yourself. So when she came to learn that men were making the sexual-wellness products and lubricants women were using to have better sex, she was inspired to get involved. She began working alongside Playground co-founder and CEO Catherine Magee and co-founder and chief product officer Sandy Vukovic to offer an option that centers people with vaginas, instead.
How Christina Aguilera is empowering women to embrace their sexuality as co-founder at Playground
Playground lubes are specifically formulated with vaginal health in mind, says Magee. In the product, you’ll find the kind of soothing, hydrating ingredients typical of skin-care products, like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and bamboo extract, alongside a plant-based citric acid that has the same pH level as the vagina (to keep things pH-balanced) and gentle scents to set the mood.
But what most drew Aguilera to Playground’s lubricant formulations is its unique blend of adaptogens—ashwagandha, black cohosh, and horny goat weed—each chosen for its potential to boost arousal.
“It’s about taking any shame or weirdness about sex away, making it feel fun, making it feel friendly, and making it feel good.”—Aguilera
These are lubricants “designed to help make female bodies feel good,” says Aguilera. And that’s the big reason why she’s coming onboard: “It’s about taking any shame or weirdness about this topic away, making it feel fun, making it feel friendly, and making it feel good,” she says.
The role of lube in that picture—and the playful, pleasure-forward messaging around Playground’s lubricants—is to empower women not only to step into their own sexuality, but also, to go after their own pleasure, stigma-free. “What’s amazing about lubricant is that it can be used by women of all ages in different ways, shapes, or forms,” says Aguilera. “For example, if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, this is going to help [make sex less painful]. If you don’t know what makes you orgasm, these are products that are really going to help you understand yourself better and know that it’s safe to explore.”
Indeed, that exploration can be a key part of learning what makes you feel good in the first place. And the more you understand your body, the more empowered you become, says Aguilera, who feels even more passionate about championing this message now, as the mother of an eight-year-old daughter. “I want her to know from mom first that your body is the most important vessel ever,” she says. “It’s your safe space. It’s for you. It’s your playground.”
The fact that the mainstream narrative around sex has finally started to shift, in recent years, to de-stigmatize sexual exploration and pleasure-seeking also gives Aguilera hope that she can continue to push the conversation forward. “I’m just so happy that now, what might have been taboo or controversial when I was releasing music and writing certain lyrics and [filming] my 'Dirrty' video, is almost an everyday topic,” she says. “Social media wasn’t around when I was coming up in this business, and now more than ever, I see more young women having open conversations with one another and creating a safe community to talk about sex.”
By joining Playground, Aguilera can amplify the sex-positive, pleasure-positive conversation even further. “It’s a natural space for me to progress into,” she says. “Not only do I like to make music, but I like to continue the conversation of inspiring women.” After all, she’s the one who told us all that we are beautiful, in every single way… no matter what they say.
And decades later, she’s standing by that confidence-boosting message. “[Playground lubricants] are just the next way for me to put a product literally into women’s hands that they can use to feel good about themselves,” she says.
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