Frances Tang (she/her)Founder & Captain Awkward
“I’m a mom, wife, baking hobbyist, and inventor of dripstick. I’m all about helping people embrace—and celebrate!—the inherent awkwardness of being a human.”
You recently had a baby – CONGRATS! – how has that impacted your work with Awkward Essentials?
Having a baby is hard. I struggled to find other founders who have gone through the same thing, but it doesn’t get talked about much. This is likely due to the fact that there are still a lot of stigmas surrounding pregnancy and having a baby. Female founders have so much to balance and “prove” that they’re capable of handling work and motherhood with the grace society expects of us. It has, however, opened my eyes to the endless amount of awkwardness wrapped up in pregnancy and post-partum life! Creating another human with your body is an awkward, but mostly INCREDIBLE, thing that we’re able to do.
If Awkward Essentials were a song, what would it be and why?
I’m on a Boat by Lonely Island (we’re very chaotic, but we have a lot of fun amidst the chaos)
What would you say are Awkward Essentials’ core values – what makes you, ‘you’?
First and foremost, how we connect with our customers. We use humor to bring some much-needed levity to uncomfortable conversations. Talking about post-sex drip isn’t nearly as fun as talking about sex itself, but it’s still important since that’s not a common topic in basic sex education. We’re all about providing a comfy, accessible space to talk through things. We aim to be the helpful older sister and fill in the gaps left by public school sex ed. It’s a process of unlearning what we’ve been taught and relearning sex education with an emphasis on comfort, personal preference, and celebration of the oh-so-awkward parts. We believe in sharing what we’ve learned along the way—because we’ve been there too! And are continuing to share as we uncover new truths.
What made you actually want to bring Dripstick to market?
Lots of people can relate to the experience of cum falling out after sex - but not many people are like ‘YEAH let’s do something about it'!!
I’m a founder at heart — I love exploring new ventures, solving problems, and sharing what I’ve learned along the way. As I was doing research and seeing how other folks were dealing with post-sex drip, I was very surprised that most people seemed resigned to just dealing with it using crusty hand towels and sitting on the toilet. I created dripstick for myself, and never thought it would be the thing that launches me in a new direction in terms of my career. I’m thrilled that our customers have found it to be as useful as I have!
Have you ever had someone completely galk at what you're creating? What’s the story there?
Um, SO MANY… and it hasn’t stopped! There are a lot of assumptions about what dripstick is, why it was created, and how it works. The proliferation of social media definitely amplifies some of those assumptions and it can be a little rough. At the end of the day, I created the product for my own personal comfort — that’s it! I decided to share it with the world because I realized there may be other people seeking the same solution that I did. If it’s useful for them, that’s great. But it isn’t for everyone and that’s totally okay. Everybody has their own preferences regarding sex and comfort. I can understand why people feel a little uncertain (and awkward) about it, but it’d be cool if people took a minute to understand what dripstick is first. :)
Okay, what’s the HOW TO / 411 with using Drip Stick? Right after sex? After peeing? Leave it in for a few moments??
After sex: insert, twirl, remove, and you’re good to go! We understand everyone’s body is different so our customers have found what works best for their own bodies and post-sex rituals. We 10000% recommend peeing after sex to avoid UTIs, and waiting for the cum to drip down to the base of the vaginal opening so there is something for the sponge to slide against/absorb. Here’s a helpful guide we have on our website, too.
What makes Awkward Essentials a Top Shelf brand?
We leverage real people (our community!) for feedback and testing on all of our products. We are always iterating and taking feedback from our customers into account to improve products and release new ones. Since we’re in the business of solving awkward problems, it’s crucial for us to hear from the folks we’re aiming to help.
Why is it important to support Top Shelf brands?
Many of the Top Shelf brands and products are created by women for women—which is important, because who understands women better than women?
What does pleasure look like for you?
Pleasure is doing what works for you — regardless of what you see and hear elsewhere. It’s about getting in touch with yourself, finding what feels good, and running with that. There can be a lot of shame attached to pleasure, but pleasure is our right as individuals. Nobody else can dictate how pleasure should look for you.
Some parting words: being a human is awkward! Give yourself grace! If you’re dealing with an uncomfortable problem—like post-sex drip—know that you’ve got options, and you’re likely not the only person who has dealt with this.