The couple behind the controversial 'sex button' on Kickstarter speaks up after getting roasted online: 'We're not trying to end the world'
- LoveSync is a button that lets your silently indicate to your partner you're in the mood for sex.
- After launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, LoveSync drew serious flak for its perceived intentions to replace audible consent and communication in sex and relationships.
- But LoveSync's founders, Ryan and Jenn Cmich, say critics are ignoring the bigger picture and instead portraying the issue in terms of "black or white."
- In an interview with Business Insider, the Cmiches explained LoveSync's cost, the gadget's role in their own marriage, and the next steps in marketing their product.
Earlier this month, a Kickstarter launched for LoveSync, a product made for couples you use to indicate to your partner you're in the mood for sex - not with verbal communication, but with the push of a button.
Reactions to the device, which the Kickstarter said was supposed to "take the luck out of getting lucky," were critical, to say the least. Twitter burst forth with opinions, as users referred to LoveSync as a "central horniness server," roasted the device for trying to replace audible consent for sex, and called out its similarities to a raunchy meme.
But Ryan and Jenn Cmich, the married couple behind LoveSync, tell Business Insider that skeptics and the media are guilty of "black-or-white" thinking that is painting their product in a poor light.
"We're not trying to stop people from talking. We're not trying to end the world," Ryan Cmich told Business Insider. "We're just trying to introduce a fun little dynamic to relationships."
As explained in LoveSync's marketing material, the Cmiches created the product to take the risk of getting rejected when you want to initiate sex. If you're in the mood to have sex, you press the button. If both partners tap their buttons within the same 15-minute "consensus window," both buttons will glow green to indicate both parties are in the mood.
The idea for LoveSync stems from the Cmiches' own experiences from their 15-year marriage. Both of them work - Ryan Cmich, 40, is an engineer at a robotic lawnmower company, and Jenn Cmich, 39, is a manager at a marriage and relationship counseling practice.
With schedules that are both "so busy and full of stuff," the couple said they were having trouble passing the barrier from wanting to have sex to actually having sex. The Cmiches dispite the narrative that's emerged online that says LoveSync is trying to be a replacement for consent between partners. Instead, they see it as a "tool" for couples to improve their communication.
"It added anticipation back into our relationship, because we were wondering if the button was going to glow," Jenn Cmich said. "It has really quickly become a gadget I wouldn't ever want to give up."
The Cmiches imagine that LoveSync will become a "permanent fixture on your nightstand," which plays into the couple's reasoning for the product's price point. A set of LoveSync buttons costs $57, a price that was ridiculed on social media.
But the Cmiches believe that this price tag is "worth it" once you realize the benefits. Ryan Cmich says he thinks people would spend more than $57 "just to have sex once or twice more."
"It's less than a bouquet of roses, or a nice dinner out, or a couple bottles of wine," Jenn Cmich said.
The Cmiches say they never imagined this amount of media attention when they first started their fundraising campaign for LoveSync earlier in February. The coverage hasn't been exactly what they expected, Jenn Cmich says, but the couple has maintained the view that "any press is good press."
So far, the media coverage appears to have worked in their favor. Since the Kickstarter fundraiser launched on February 11, LoveSync has raised more than $15,000 - surpassing its original fundraising goal of $7,500.
Now that the fundraising goal has been met, Ryan Cmich says the couple is "laser-focused" on getting LoveSync buttons out to their backers and "delivering what's promised." The Kickstarter campaign lists a delivery date of August 2019, but Cmich is hopeful they can get LoveSync out to backers earlier than that.
In the meantime, the Cmiches are continuing their effort to dispel the negative reactions and comments about LoveSync.
"We dont think we're really abnormal people," Ryan Cmich said. "We have normal friends with normal relationships like everything else."