Say goodbye to red roses and chocolate boxes – this Valentine’s Day, Urban Outfitters is done with conventional forms of affection, focusing instead on new ways to communicate love, lust and intimacy. The global fashion and lifestyle brand is doing this with the help of pioneering sex-positive brand, Smile Makers, to cancel the taboo around masturbation and promote a pleasure-positive attitude.
UO Shows Love, the latest campaign from Urban Outfitters, documents the boundless ways for who and how you do love in 2022. The brand hands over its platforms to explore alternative love languages of Share The Love, Make Plans, Random Gifts, Wear Vintage and Self-Love, with each theme brought to life with members from the UO community.
The term ‘love languages’ was first coined by Gary Chapman in the 90s following the release of his book which describes the five unique styles of communicating love, based on his experience in marriage counselling and linguistics – words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. In recent years, ‘love language’ has come to mean the understanding that gender, culture, customs, and values can all impact how we want to communicate and receive love, with much of the conversation often focused on how to best serve your partner’s needs.
However, Urban Outfitters and Smile Makers are reminding us all that understanding our own love language is integral to our self-care routine as it impacts how we speak to and treat ourselves when we’re in need of affection and relaxation. Perhaps you value a quality listener, feel warm and fuzzy from a surprise gift or maybe it’s a kind compliment that provides you with the perfect pick-me-up. To encourage us all to think about our love language, the partnered brands are inviting their communities to showcase their alternative love language in whatever form they choose.
“Everyone who knows me knows I’m a homebody, so my self-care routine always starts at home with a hot brew in my slippers with a good candle on,” says Tori West, BRICKS Magazine founder, who has collaborated on a series focusing on her love language via TikTok to educate audiences on sexual wellbeing, celebrating their natural bodies and understanding the benefits of using vibrators.
Everyone who knows me knows I’m a homebody, so my self-care routine always starts at home with a hot brew in my slippers with a good candle on.
Launched in 2013, Smile Makers – the brainchild of entrepreneurs Mattias Hulting and Peder Wikstrom – was inspired by an embarrassing trip to a sex store when product designer Wikstrom felt the existing market didn’t speak to its target audience, often featuring vulgar phrases and NSFW images. The duo quickly set to designing thoughtful vibrators that prioritise pleasure while also passing the ‘Mum check’ – in other words, they can show it to their mothers without cringing.
Designed specifically for vulva owners, the game-changing models were created with the help of sexologists to develop sex toys with tongue-in-cheek names that mimic the best movements to make you smile – fancy a night in with The Tennis Coach, The Frenchman or even The Millionaire? The future night-time partners are made in waterproof, super soft silicone with an ingenious silent vibrate and plenty of speeds to suit.
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