Founder Features is an ongoing series of conversations between Dr. T and the sexual wellness innovators she admires. The series highlights founders and designers that are working to foster inclusivity and to create accessibility-minded sex toys for pleasure-seekers from all walks of life.
Meet Step (they/them), founder of Cute Little Fuckers, a line of all-gender sex toys created with the belief that your bedside buddies should be personal, approachable, and fun. Step shared with us about their personal story, their approach, and their vision for the future of sexual expression.
Tell us more about your company and the specific audiences and interests it caters to!
STEP: Cute Little Fuckers’ Mission is to make sexual expression more accessible and inclusive, so as a company we really aim to serve people who feel like their experience is beyond what traditional sex toys on the market can provide. From trans and non-binary individuals who feel disenfranchised with the gender division in the market, to disabled and chronically ill people who need more versatility and conscious design in their products, to individuals who just feel like other toys are too intimidating or not fun enough, we love supporting communities who don’t get enough love. Because, really, that’s me, and those are just my communities.
What led you to become a founder? How have your background and experiences set you apart?
STEP: I was working a standard day job when I started increasingly losing the use of my hands, which was quickly followed by other severe health symptoms. I became physically incapable of doing my job and eventually had to leave, which left me with a future wiped clean and filled with uncertainty. Honestly, there were times I wasn’t sure if I was dying or not. In that crazy time in my life, it almost felt like taking a chance on a business was the only thing I could do — all of the insanity that was happening with my body made me realize that life is too short to not do the things you find important and the things that bring you joy. So I combined play with purpose and ventured to make Cute Little Fuckers.
What sets me apart as a founder is that I am queer and non-binary and I have a fair amount of experience working doing queer activism. I first became involved in activism back in high school, then continued through my early adulthood leading the not-for-profit organization Loud and Queer, and still, to this day, through Cute Little Fuckers. In a lot of ways, Cute Little Fuckers is an activist project in an adorable package.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting to shop for your products?
STEP: What sets Cute Little Fuckers apart is that our toys are not made for specific genders or bodies - they’re just toys made for people.
One of our goals is to help normalize designing accessibility into adult toys for disabled and chronically ill individuals. Simple, thoughtful design choices can help make toys easier to hold or to prop up, and, with a few considerations in mind, one tool can be designed to be usable in a multitude of ways. This can go a long way in bringing pleasure to more people.
What do you hope to change for the good of the industry?
STEP: Marketing in the adult toy world is overwhelmingly gendered, which can feel disenfranchising to many people. I want both individuals and companies to realize that toys can be designed to bring pleasure to so many more people and body parts than many seem to realize.
One other paradigm shift we are fighting for is making sex toys more accessible by making them less intimidating and just more fun! Our toys are filled with personality, and pretty much everyone who looks at them smiles the first time they see them. It makes people feel warm and included and expressive. Sex should be fun! That’s something that’s all too easy to forget, and I find the fun often gets overlooked in most toy designs.