‘Wild Wives’ Jessi and Millie Poutama on IVF, pregnancy and pleasure
As parents, we are constantly working towards creating a happy and healthy space for our family. With personal health and wellbeing taking a front seat over the last year, one topic rarely discussed between parents is self-pleasure. We know that when we are feeling like our best selves, we’re also able to give our best to our family and relationships. Self-pleasure plays a huge role in wellbeing, with positive benefits such as stress relief, promoting better sleep, strengthening the connection between your mind and body, and for some, a reduction in menstrual pain.
We caught up with eco-warriors Jessi and Millie Poutama (also known as the ‘Wild Wives’) to discuss all things IVF and pregnancy and how pleasure plays a role amongst all of it. The power couple hope to open up the conversation about pleasure during IVF and pregnancy to encourage more parents to embrace and care for their bodies from all aspects of health and wellness.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Long story short we met at a local pub in 2015 and since that night have been pretty madly in love! Throughout our individual lives, we have always been driven by equality and change for the better and have been involved with some incredible campaigns across topics that really matter to us. These include rallying for climate change, proactively being involved in the conversation around keeping our environment clean and playing a part in marriage equality.
More recently, a huge part of our time has been dedicated to starting a family, which has led us down the IVF journey – a wonderful but incredibly challenging and emotionally draining process. Our goal has always been to share our experiences in the hope of helping others in the same situation. We shared every needle and appointment on our Instagram page and even shared a live pregnancy test. We are now 13 weeks pregnant and still can’t quite believe it!
2. How did the collaboration with Womanizer on the Premium Eco come about?
We believe in empowering our community to embrace their bodies and connect through pleasure. We are massive advocates of sexual liberation and wellness, a natural fit with Womanizer whose mission is to destigmatise masturbation and pleasure. They similarly advocate for an open, shame- free dialogue about sex, so the partnership is a really authentic collaboration as our values really align.
Sustainability is also at the heart of everything we do. Quite frankly we didn’t think a product like the Premium Eco existed on the market – one that combined both of these important areas of our life. Naturally we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with them to launch the Premium Eco product.
3. Why is self-pleasure important to you both? How does it benefit your well-being?
Self-pleasure is important because it helps you connect with your own body and helps you to understand what pleasure means and feels like to you. This ultimately helps with communication with your partner/s and letting them know what you prefer and what you don’t.
Pleasure also plays a huge role in your general health and wellness. It can reduce stress, boost your mood and help you sleep better, which are all really important factors in achieving a balanced lifestyle. That’s definitely important to us to ensure we can continue doing the things we love like surfing, road tripping and camping – the things that make us most happy.
4. As women, what were your misconceptions growing up about pleasure and masturbation? And why do you feel these are false?
When we were growing up there wasn’t the accessibility of information that there is now with the internet and being able to question everything. Nowadays teenagers are growing up much more self- aware and with social media, they can find positive references to pleasure and body autonomy that we just didn’t have access to. Despite the wealth of knowledge on the internet sex education at school was, and still is completely lacking when it comes to talking about female pleasure, masturbation and also queer sex and relationships. We were taught from a young age that sex was about procreation and not pleasure…. Its kind of ironic that as an adult I found out that sex was only about pleasure and in order to conceive a child there was actually a lot of science.
5. How have you found self-pleasure during IVF and pregnancy?
As a pregnant woman, there honestly isn’t a lot of information or discussion around pleasure during pregnancy. However, I am well aware that it is so important and something I need to make time for. In general, there is still a lot of stigma around pleasure and this also translates onto pregnant women. We see mums-to-be and mothers criticised for their choices as parents, so it is extremely important for us to encourage others to follow what their body needs to feel good and be healthy. For us, we have been focused on enjoying this time as a couple. Becoming pregnant and knowing that shortly life will never be the same has really made us prioritise spending time together as a couple. Rapidly changing hormones can mean wildly fluctuating libido, so communication becomes very important to let your partner know when you need space or more attention.
6. As you step into parenthood, what sort of message would you wish to pass on to your child about the role of pleasure for both individuals and couples?
We have already talked about using the correct anatomical words for body parts from an early age. I think this starts to reinforce that body parts aren’t shameful and don’t need to be given cute names like “pee-pee” or “flower”. Children can also start exploring their own bodies in a non-sexual way from as young as toddler age, we will teach around this and make sure that it’s not seen as shameful, but it’s done in a way that is considerate to people around them. I read a quote from sex author Melissa Carnagey that said, “When children are free to explore their own bodies, they develop a self- awareness that can keep them safer and more prepared to recognise unsafe touch if it ever occurs,” – which is something I believe is incredibly important to instil in our children.
7. You’re both passionate about the ocean and preserving it – reducing plastic plays a huge role in your day-to-day life. Why is this so important for you? Particularly as you become mums?
Trying to live our lives in a sustainable and eco-friendly way is at the forefront of how we live. It’s important to us because we believe we have a duty to care for the planet for our future children.
8. What excites you most about the Womanizer Premium Eco?
We have talked for soooooo long about the lack of eco-friendly pleasure toys on the market. The Premium Eco combines so many things we love. The fact that its biodegradable, recyclable, is a high- quality and premium product, and has a beautiful design, are all winners. We are thrilled to be able to share that vagina havers can take their pleasure seriously AND be sustainable at the same time!
To learn more about the Womanizer Premium Eco:
To follow Millie and Jessi: