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After years of excruciatingly painful sex, Lara was introduced to a product that fixed it.

Since the age of 12, Lara Pack has been in pain. And despite having various surgeries to fix that, it only got worse after having children.

Now, not only did this pain affect her every day, but it made sex and pleasure two things that were nearly impossible to enjoy.

LISTEN: Lara Pack chats to Mia Freedman. Post continues after audio...

On this week's episode of the Lady Startup podcast, Lara sat down with Mia Freedman to discuss how her experiences with pelvic pain led her to starting her successful sex toy brand, Elixir Play.


Lara began by explaining that before starting the brand, she realised that plenty of women weren’t using sex toys (or pleasure products as Lara likes to call them) and many were experiencing similar pelvic pain issues to her. 

And to preface why these issues and sex overlap, Lara explained what she has been through.

"I had endo (endometriosis) as a kid — literally from 12, I had excruciating pain. I had five laparoscopies by the time I was 19,” she began.

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"So I feel like for me, my start to my body and my organs, essentially, was very clinical and not ideal.”


"After kids, I developed vaginismus. Which is the worst word in the universe. But basically, it's when you get involuntary contractions of the muscles inside. You can't actually turn it on or off,” Lara explained.

"So when you're trying to have sex it feels incredibly painful because your body can't associate it with relaxing or being tense. It feels like you're being stabbed.”

Lara continued to share that to help with this, she began attending pelvic floor physiotherapy. And one of their treatments for vaginismus is the use of dilators.

Dilators are cylinder-shaped objects that are designed to expand and relax the vaginal muscles, making sex more comfortable and enjoyable. But while they might help with the physicality of it all, Lara explained that there is more to it. 

“Part of the problem with vaginismus is that it’s physical, but it’s also psychological and emotional as well. So when you start to have an association of pain with sex, it’s really hard to overcome that,” she said.

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And that's when her pelvic floor therapist suggested using a sex toy externally to relax the muscles. 

"70 per cent of women need external stimulation to orgasm, and I was not aware of that," Lara explained. 

And that’s when the idea for Elixir Play was born.


After realising that there could be something in producing sex toys for women, made by a woman, Lara decided to speak to various gynaecologists and see how common painful sex was. 

"I asked, 'What percentage of your day is spent talking about painful sex?' It's like 10 to 20 per cent, and that's only the people that talk about it," Lara explained.

And finally, once she joined the Lady Startup Activation Plan and got overwhelmingly positive responses from other women about her product idea, she realised she was onto something big.


Read more on Lady Startups:

Feature image: Instagram/ @elixir.play 

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