Physical Love – Accessories for Closeness and Tenderness

Maciej Głowacki
AFAD Warsaw

 What is the project about?

Physical Love – Accessories for Closeness and Tenderness are made for sexual education in pairs. They’re a counterproposal to today’s sex toys, aiming to provoke closeness instead of meeting the simplest sexual needs and stereotypes. The project was made as an attempt to aid modern intimate relationships through design. The Physical Love consists of 3 independent objects, related to 3 universal areas of sexuality:
1. Before sex – Invitation – a lamp dedicated to easing problems with sexual communication and the expression of erotic initiative,
2. In the act – Consonance – an electronic device that helps in achieving sexual harmony with one’s partner through listening to their heartbeat,
3. After intercourse – Presence – a set for creating jewelry from “bedroom memories”.

For whom the project was created?

“Physical Love” was designed with accessibility in mind, for pairs of users regardless of their gender, orientation, age or physical fitness. Because everyone needs sex-ed and it can only be truly learnt with one another. Design should offer couples more than tens of shiny dilodos. It should raise awareness of often unacknowledged emotional needs, instead of profiting from basic sexual drives.

What is the aim of the project?

Physical Love is a postulate against stereotypical sexuality in product design. Instead of focusing on penetration and vibration, I propose two different goals that should be manifested through product design as viable sexual needs:
1. Presence over orgasm – Sexuality perceived not as a solitary activity, but always in relation to another human being. Design approach that changes focus from sexual efficiency and satisfaction to an intimate relation.
2. Sexual education through objects – Sex toys that encourage curiosity and attention towards one another. Products not for physical hedonism, but for bonding emotionally with our partners.

The idea of my project is to pave the way for the future of erotic accessories design, so that it could become more responsible and educative.

What was the motivation?

Today, the image of sex is severely distorted. Sexualised popculture, pornography and liberalization come with a lack of education, especially concerning ​​emotions. Even though the average age of pornographic initiation is 11, sex-ed is still unavailable in many countries. Meanwhile, erotic accessories are gaining popularity. The majority are single-user objects meant for penetration. They promote self-satisfaction, self-sufficiency and orgasm as the ultimate goal. Those products refer to the most biological drives and therefore meet with huge consumer demand. Physical Love marks an alternative to the intensity and nature of sexual content overwhelming the modern consumers. In the suggestive segment of erotic accessories, a design that looks for delicate and tender areas is badly needed.

Additional values

Tenderness is the most modest form of love. It is the kind of love that does not appear in the scriptures or the gospels, no one swears by it, no one cites it. It has no special emblems or symbols, nor does it lead to crime, or prompt envy. It appears wherever we take a close and careful look at another being, at something that is not our “self”. Tenderness is spontaneous and disinterested; it goes far beyond empathetic fellow feeling. Instead it is the conscious […] common sharing of fate. Tenderness is deep emotional concern about another being, its fragility, its unique nature, and its lack of immunity to suffering and the effects of time. Tenderness perceives the bonds that connect us, the similarities and sameness between us.
Olga Tokarczuk, The Tender Narrator.

Maciej Głowacki