Rebecca Alvarez Story has the best profession ever. She’s a certified sexologist, with a specialty in Latinas, and when in 2018 she launched The Bloomi at the age of 33, an e-marketplace for nontoxic intimate women’s products — hygiene, menstrual cycle, sexual wellness, and pregnancy — she became an overnight success. She created a place where women could read researched articles and learn about intimate health while exploring with the world of sex toys as well.
Having always loved talking about sex, as a student at UC Berkeley, Rebecca created and majored in the first sexual health focused major, Women’s Health and Sexuality, and went on to get a Master’s in Sexuality Studies. Today as an entrepreneur and CEO she has taken that passion and found a way of keeping the conversation around our sexuality alive while keeping women’s vaginas free of chemicals.
“By normalizing conversations around sex and wellness I hope other women, especially other women of color like myself, can feel empowered to embrace their sexuality and make informed decisions for their bodies,” she told Forbes. “It’s important that we talk about sex because it’s a big part of our overall physical and emotional well-being.”
Before founding The Bloomi, Rebecca worked for a company leading product development and clinical trials for sexual satisfaction, infertility, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. But some of these topics also hit close to home. As a young woman, she experienced a stretch of vaginal dryness which over the counter products seemed to only worsen. Then, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After this, she began an emotional journey into researching what feminine hygiene products on the market were toxic for women. It was then that she discovered that there was at least one toxic ingredient in most intimate care products due to poor regulation in the U.S. Today, she screens thousands of products and only 2 percent make it onto The Bloomi marketplace. What can you find on the site? Vibrators in every color and clean intimate products (from organic pads to pH balanced vulva moisturizers) for example.
Based in Oakland, California, she lives with her husband and two children. She has said that despite having semi-progressive Mexican parents growing up, sex and menstruation were not discussed. Relatives suggested using fragrant products to keep her “private area” clean. And in high school, she has said she received abstinence-only education and even had to sign abstinence contracts. She’s come a long way, baby, and she wants others to be the CEO of their own bodies too. “I wanted the Bloomi to be a part of the movement in de-stigmatizing sex products. By incorporating sex toys into the marketplace my hope is that lubricants, sex toys, and other sexual wellness products will simply be seen as wellness products.”