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1 year of Afterglo

Article by Kim Levan

Photo by Thy Tran

One of the most common questions that I get about Afterglo is… “Out of anything else in the world, why sexual wellness? Why did you decide to start a sex toy business?” Well, here’s my honest answer: it was an accident. An obvious accident that makes a lot of sense for me, yes. But still an accident. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Let me explain. About a year and a half ago, my good friend Louise was chatting with me about aging and sexuality. We spoke about how much our bodies have changed in the last few years (her being in her 50s and me in my mid-30s) and how difficult it was to navigate those changes. Me being me, I was literally googling “aging, menopause, sexuality” while chatting with her; and to my surprise, all of the first-page results that popped up were articles about the negative effects of aging on women’s sexuality. I then dug a little deeper… one link led to another, then another, and another… and before I knew it, I was on the dark web on some super super sketchy website. No, no, I’m just kidding. I actually ended up on the Joylux vSculpt website and thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be cool to start an online store to help humans who are going through changes - in their bodies, in their minds, in their relationships, in their lives - to feel more confident by offering well-researched hard-to-find wellness products?” That was it. That was the “it” moment that led to Afterglo.

About half a year, lots of sleepless nights and endless testing sessions later, Afterglo was born for the whole world to see. I know, I know. I’m making it sound so easy and almost pleasurable, right? Well, please believe me when I say that our team worked… a lot. We worked quickly, but we worked hard. We worked with heart. We worked with conviction. And we went through a lot while doing it - physically, psychologically, and emotionally. (I love you Khoa, but our steamy debates can sometimes be overwhelming, although I am so grateful to you - and them - for forcing me to have to think outside the box and constantly learn and evolve into (hopefully) a better human everyday.) 
Today, I realize that Afterglo means so much more to me than (just) a business, (just) a sex shop, (just) a beautiful website or (just) a cool brand. Without even realizing it, with Afterglo (and Khoa), I put myself in an uncomfortable situation to have to push myself to learn, to have to be more open, to have to learn about what being more inclusive means, to have to be more curious, to have to be more accepting of others - and of myself, to have to unlearn a hell of a lot from my own past, and then to have to re-learn how to honor myself, others, my feelings, my curiosities, my body… And boy has it been (and still is) a sometimes-uncomfortable but extremely rewarding and transformative ride.

Afterglo is a purpose and values-based company. Yes, I know. Every company says that these days. But we actually mean it. We are a tiny team of two (helped by our talented and generous friends, of course) and we care. We fucking care. We care about helping you feel confident. We care about helping you explore your sexuality. We care about you getting the best freaking customer service ever. No matter who you are. Or where you come from. Or what you look like. And through our mission of wanting to help you feel your best selves, we (also speaking for Khoa here as I feel like 25 years of friendship allows me to do that) have also been closer than ever to feeling our best authentic selves. And we really have all of you to thank for that.

Afterglo wouldn’t exist without you to inspire us, to challenge us, to keep us curious, and to keep us in check, everyday. 1 year after our official launch, I couldn’t feel more proud of myself, of Khoa, and of you. Cheers to many more years of love, growth, and pleasure together - you, and me, and us. 🥂

Kim Levan

Sexuality is deeply rooted in how Kim navigates herself, others, and the world. Growing up in an environment where intimacy was unspoken and shameful, she searched for answers through numerous and diverse experiences. Through Afterglo, Kim wishes to introduce tools to encourage learning, connection, freedom and self-expression.