Our Values

We can and should experience shame-free pleasure

Sex is one of the primary pillars of happiness, but we spend less time and resources on improving it than we do other areas of our life such as exercise, diet and mindfulness.

And yet despite being universally-relevant, sexuality is still considered taboo in many cultures. Many of us are never taught about pleasure or our role in an intimate relationship, and we aren’t encouraged to have full sexual agency or to exercise our right to shame-free pleasure and connection.

At Coral, we believe that great sex isn’t about being the best in bed or the most sexually active, it's about understanding how our bodies and our minds work when it comes to sex, and finding a balance that fuels enjoyment. We believe that education is the antidote to shame and that pleasure is for everyone.

You're responsible for your own pleasure

At Coral we embrace the philosophy that each of us is responsible for our own pleasure. By this, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t try and give your partner pleasure, or that you should be selfish in bed, but rather that it’s nobody’s “job” to “give” their partner an orgasm.

Many of us received the message that, in heterosexual relationships, a man’s worth is based on his ability to give pleasure (and orgasm) to a woman. This assumption is harmful not only for women, who are culturally permitted to only experience pleasure at the hands of their partner, but also for men, who shoulder the burden of initiating the encounter, satisfying their partner and enjoying themselves. The result of these harmful stereotypes is that heterosexual women experience orgasm far less than men of all orientations, lesbians and bisexual women.1

In imagining a world where there’s no shame and stigma around sex, we also imagine one where every partner is able to understand what they want sexually and communicate that to their partner, and where one or both partners can give themselves pleasure without guilt or embarrassment.


1. Frederick, D. A., St. John, H. K., Garcia, J. R., & Lloyd, E. A. (2017). Differences in orgasm frequency between gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual men and women in a U.S. national sample. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Journey over destination

For too long in our culture the word sex has been shorthand for heterosexual penetrative sex ending in the male partner’s orgasm. This definition not only dismisses the experience of non-cisgendered and non-heterosexual people, it also leaves a lot of pleasure, connection and intimacy on the table for everyone!

At Coral we define sex broadly to include anything that gives you sexual pleasure, including self-pleasure, oral sex, manual sex, penetrative sex and everything in-between.

We believe that by focusing on the journey of sex rather than the final desination (read: orgasm) we open up a universe of potential pleasure and deeper intimacy.

What we think about...

Porn

Coral is proudly pro-pornography with the strong caveat that not all porn is created equal and that not all porn consumption is unreservedly positive for all people at all times. We encourage members of our community to be conscious consumers of porn by A) supporting the work of ethical porn creators who foster a healthy, realistic and inclusive view of sexuality, B) casting a critical lens on harmful stereotypes perpetuated by “free,” or (often) exploitative, porn on the internet and C) being conscious of how porn consumption is impacting their sexuality and relationships. We regard porn as a fantasy meant to entertain rather than educate and assert that whether or not porn is “good” or “bad” for you depends to a large degree on your porn literacy, or your awareness that the sex in porn is not always an accurate representation of sex in real life. We support the use of porn as a tool, rather than a substitute, for intimacy. Erotic imagery has always existed and will always exist, and if used responsibly, porn has been shown to strengthen relationships and promote a more pleasure-centric view of sex. [1, 2]


1. Kohut et al. “Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships.” (2018) Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 35(4) 655–676.

2. Grubbs, J. B., Wright, P. J., Braden, A., Wilt, J. A., & Kraus, S. W. “Internet pornography use and sexual motivation: A systematic review and integration.” (2019) Annals of the International Communication Association.

The G-spot

Coral’s mission includes presenting the most up-to-date scientific evidence for our users. Despite the prevailing understanding of the G-spot, the term “spot” is a misnomer that can lead some people to frustration and anxiety about their anatomy. What’s known as the G-spot is currently believed by the scientific community to be the internal structure of the clitoris, an area of pleasurable sensitivity for some people and little-to-no sensitivity for others. We look forward to a future where a deeper understanding of the range of people’s bodies, health and sexual enjoyment is prioritized in research.

Masturbation

Coral exists to promote safe, healthy and pleasurable sexual exploration, including sex with onseself. We operate from the understanding that masturbation is a normal and valid form of sexual expression for both singles and those in relationships, and that self-pleasure can foster a sense of bodily autonomy and empower people to know and communicate to their partners what feels best. Women who masturbate have been shown to have significantly more orgasms, greater desire and higher self-esteem, and masturbation can help men take control of performance anxiety.3 Mastubation has also been linked to indicators of sexual health, which is another reason why we strive to remove the stigma from self-pleasure.4


3. David Farley Hurlbert & Karen Elizabeth Whittaker (1991) The Role of Masturbation in Marital and Sexual Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Female Masturbators and Nonmasturbators, Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 17:4, 272-282.

4. Eli Coleman PhD (2003) Masturbation as a Means of Achieving Sexual Health, Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 14:2-3, 5-16.

Non-monogamy

One size does not fit all when it comes to structuring committed relationships. Coral views consensual non-monogamy as a relationship structure that is just as valid as conventional monogamy. Consensual non-monogamy is not a kink or fetish; in fact, Coral believes that the interpersonal communication modeled by the non-monogamous and polyamorous communities (which are not analagous) can be a benchmark of transparency for many couples, regardless of their lifestyle choice. There are no hard-and-fast rules that apply to all consensual non-monogamous relationships other than respect and consideration for each partner’s health and safety. Please note that we stress the word “consensual” in this context; Coral does not condone cheating.

Casual sex

First and foremost, casual sex should be safe and consensual. Coral recommends the Planned Parenthood acronym FRIES (freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific) for establishing consent and advocates for safe sex, particularly condom use, during casual encounters. Coral believes that sex can and should be a positive experience for both parties and recognizes that casual sex can be just as intimate and connective as sex in relationships. Casual sex is a choice: as long physcial and emotional safety is prioritzed, we take no stance on moral grounds about what consenting adults choose to do together.

Sex toys

Coral supports exploring a wide variety of resources on a user’s journey to greater sexual satisfaction, including sex toys. Whether used alone or with a partner, sex toys are an excellent tool for increased pleasure. Enjoying sex toys together in partnerships isn’t a judgment on either party’s performance or skill, but a way to introduce novelty and cultivate deeper trust and intimacy between partners. We acknowledge that some people report distress or anxiety about decreased sensitivity or “toy dependency,” but we have not yet encountered compelling, science-based evidence for vibrator addiction. Because vibrators may make orgasm occur more quickly, it’s more likely that the time to orgasm feels comparatively slow without them.

Inclusivity

Our greatest ambition is to make Coral a fun, safe and enriching place for everyone. We adamantly believe that each and every person is entitled to and deserving of their own fully-realized sexual experience, regardless of their gender expression, sexual orientation or physical ability. As a science-based company, we strive to combat misinformation with peer-reviewed evidence and acknowledge that because the vast majority of research into gender and sexuality continues to be conducted from a binary perspective, we are limited by this constraint. As the science of sexuality evolves to include the greater scope and spectrum of human sexuality, Coral looks forward to presenting a product of even greater value for everyone. Coral continually strives to become more inclusive and welcomes feedback from our users.

Kink

Coral takes the firm position that kink is not deviant, unhealthy or abnormal. In fact, the kink community exemplifies many healthy sexual attitudes and practices, such as consent and aftercare, which all people, regardless of their sexual interests, can learn from. As a company, we use principles and best practices outlined by the kink community to model communication skills for our users. While kink itself exists on a spectrum (what’s kinky to some may be “vanilla” to others) we caution that some forms of kink are unsuitable for amatuer players and require instruction and initiation from an experienced member of the kink community. Kink is not synonymous with fetish and encompasses a range of behaviors, some of which may be unconventional but uniquely rewarding. In fact, recent research suggests that sexual trauma survivors can use kink to reclaim a sense of sexual autonomy.5


5. Mark, K. P., & Vowels, L. (in press). Sexual consent and sexual agency of women in healthy relationships following a history of sexual trauma. Psychology & Sexuality.

Sex addiction

As an evidence-based company, Coral defers to the consensus among the scientific community that sex is not addictive, but we also acknowledge that the concept and label of sex addiction may validate the experience of people who struggle with compulsive sex. We recognize out of control sexual behavior, which can include compulsive masturbation or high-risk sex, as a symptom of larger and underlying issues such as anxiety, depression and unresolved trauma. We do not advise using sex as a coping mechanism or a way to self-medicate, and urge anyone who experiences signficant distress about their sexual behavior to seek professional guidance.6, 7, 8


6. Janna A. Dickenson, PhD; Neil Gleason, MA; Eli Coleman, PhD; et al “Prevalence of Distress Associated With Difficulty Controlling Sexual Urges, Feelings, and Behaviors in the United States” (2018) JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(7):e184468.

7. Reid, R. C., Carpenter, B. N., & Lloyd, T. Q. “Assessing psychological symptom patterns of patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior.” (2009) Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 24, 47–63.

8. Gerald Weeks, Nancy Gambescia and Katherine M. Hertlein. A Clinician's Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy, 2nd Edition. Routledge (2015).

What We're Doing To Serve Our Trans And Gender Diverse Community

Why we made this

As a science-based sexual wellness company, it is Coral’s responsibility to provide accurate and affirming content for all members of our community.

Coral’s trans and gender diverse inclusivity style guide outlines the linguistic choices that we make. Our intention in making a condensed version of the style guide public is to offer both transparency and insight into our work and to encourage further discussion.

Although it is our highest ambition to make Coral an accessible and welcoming place for everyone, we have made and will continue to make mistakes. We also fully realize that trans and gender diverse people are not a monolith and that the choices we outline in this style guide will not satisfy all people at all times.

This is a living document. We adamantly believe that everyone is entitled to and deserving of a fully realized sex life, and we welcome feedback from our community about how we can better serve you.

Scientific Research

Coral uses academic research and peer-reviewed studies on sexuality to support our claims. Citations, as well as links to their sources, are included within our content whenever possible. Because research about sexuality is primarily conducted from a straight and cisgender perspective, content that relies heavily on scientific research may not align with every Coral member’s experience.

Whenever possible, we strive to cite studies and statistics inclusive of queer, trans and gender diverse people. When inclusive studies are not yet available and the framing of the available science is particularly exclusionary or inflected by cisgender and heterosexual assumptions, we endeavor to contextualize this information for Coral members.

Gendered language

As a science-based sexual wellness company, it is Coral’s responsibility to provide accurate and affirming content for all members of our community.

Coral’s trans and gender diverse inclusivity style guide outlines the linguistic choices that we make. Our intention in making a condensed version of the style guide public is to offer both transparency and insight into our work and to encourage further discussion.

Although it is our highest ambition to make Coral an accessible and welcoming place for everyone, we have made and will continue to make mistakes. We also fully realize that trans and gender diverse people are not a monolith and that the choices we outline in this style guide will not satisfy all people at all times.

This is a living document. We adamantly believe that everyone is entitled to and deserving of a fully realized sex life, and we welcome feedback from our community about how we can better serve you.

Whenever possible, we strive to cite studies and statistics inclusive of queer, trans and gender diverse people. When inclusive studies are not yet available and the framing of the available science is particularly exclusionary or inflected by cisgender and heterosexual assumptions, we endeavor to contextualize this information for Coral members.

Anatomy

Coral frequently uses terms for genital anatomy such as penis, vagina, vulva and scrotum in the same way that they are used in the scientific research we cite.

We also refer to genitals more broadly in instances when specificity is unnecessary, for example, when referring to homologous genital function among all people.

When we do use more specific terms such as penis or vagina, we do so to indicate a difference in the use or function of genitalia due to its shape rather than the way that hormones influence a person’s sexual experience.

Although we do use terms such as penis and vagina in the medical sense, we acknowledge that trans and gender diverse Coral members may not refer to their genitals in this way, and we encourage anyone to mentally substitute their own preferred language for genitalia as they engage with our content.

Whenever possible, we strive to cite studies and statistics inclusive of queer, trans and gender diverse people. When inclusive studies are not yet available and the framing of the available science is particularly exclusionary or inflected by cisgender and heterosexual assumptions, we endeavor to contextualize this information for Coral members.

Hormones

Certain physiological responses, including aspects of sensation and orgasm, are attributed to hormones. Coral includes scientific information regarding hormones when it provides insight for all people about the role that hormones play in sexuality and genital function. This includes people on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) who may experience physical, emotional and sexual changes to their bodies..

Representation

Coral is on a mission to reduce sexual shame and increase sexual empowerment. Representation is crucial to this goal. We are committed to including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the breadth of our content, including in our stories, exercises, lessons and discussions. We see our LGBTQIA+ members, and we understand how important it is to have access to a science-based sexual wellness resource that fully represents your body and experiences.