An Interview with sexual life style brand Goodparts founder Dave Shanfield
This month, nftreats is partnering up with lube brand Goodparts to help them raise money for sex work advocacy using NFTs. Goodparts founder Dave Shanfield has developed a sexual lifestyle brand focusing on lubes and other sexual wellness products.
Dave launched Goodparts in 2020 and ever since he’s been on a mission to destigmatise lube for all genders. It’s there to make sex more pleasurable for all parties involved, so why do so many people feel ashamed to use it? We sat down with the fearless entrepreneur to find out why lube is such a taboo, how he came up with his start-up idea and what that has to do with sex work (spoiler alert: turns out the answer is: EVERYTHING)
How did the idea for Goodparts come about?
There were a lot of different factors that came together that inspired me to create Goodparts. As a gay man, I was always disappointed with the aesthetics and messaging surrounding lube and sexual wellness brands — it seemed like everything was either highly and stereotypically gendered, or extremely unsexy and under-designed.
everything was either highly and stereotypically gendered, or extremely unsexy and under-designed.
What was your primary goal when you founded Goodparts and has it shifted over time?
When I first created Goodparts, my target customer looked a lot like myself. I figured if this is something I want, there are probably a lot of other people like me who want it too. What I didn’t think about were all the people who weren’t necessarily “like me” who also felt ignored or misunderstood by the sexual wellness space and products.
Gender and sexual orientation make it easy for companies to target specific people and stake out their claim in the marketplace — however, doing so reinforces a false sense of homogeneity within those groups, and also silos conversations between them, creating a sort of “echo chamber” when it comes to conversations about sex.
As we’ve grown and connected with more people, Goodparts is working to break down these silos, and use our universally, minimalist brand to make space for more open, honest, and fluid conversations about sex.
What’s your favourite Goodparts product?
I love all my children equally… but I am currently fully addicted to our newly-launched Everywhere Balm. It’s an amazing lip and hand treatment during these dry, cold, New York winters, and it’s also an amazing enhancement for anal sex.
You can use code NFTREATS15 for 15% off any Goodparts product you like in celebration of our NFT drop.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about lube?
I think the biggest misconception about lube comes from straight men (sorry, guys). A lot of them seem to think “if I’m hot enough if I’m good enough if she’s into me we won’t need it.” Which is a load of bull. I’ve spoken with enough women at length to know it’s a lot more nuanced than that. There are a million reasons why she might want to use a lube that has nothing to do with a guy’s looks or performance, and there’s no reason why both partners shouldn’t want to enhance the experience.
Why do you think so many people have an aversion to lube or don’t even consider it a regular part of their sex life?
Lube is certainly unfairly stigmatized, but a lot of brands seem to reinforce these perceptions with an unappealing “clinical” aesthetic, clunky packaging, and awkward and outdated attempts at “sexiness” (hypermasculinity, specifically).
Why is it important that there are lube brands specifically focusing on the lgbtq+ community?
I mean… have you tried having butt sex without lube? But seriously, the LGBTQ+ community is a mainstream lube consumer, yet the market is consistently treated as niche. I think it’s important that there are brands that can comfortably acknowledge and address LGBTQ-specific ideas and issues around sex, without doing so in a vacuum.
I mean… have you tried having butt sex without lube?
We love the aesthetics and branding you chose for your company. What’s the concept behind it?
Looking across products targeting gay men, it seemed like there were two approaches: rainbows and pride flags or muscled-up naked (and mostly white) dudes. No shade if that’s your thing, but it just didn’t resonate with me — it felt like pandering to the most basic and commercial common denominator.
Then, I looked at how other brands outside of the sexual health space approached “sexiness.” I took cues from streetwear, athletics, and skincare to create a new “high-performance” aesthetic for Goodparts. Sex is sweaty, sporty, fun, weird — I wanted to capture all of that. We were also inspired by minimalism, and the versatility of our design to fit with virtually any personal aesthetic. Sable Yong described it as “cool but quietly branded” in GQ, which I think hits the nail on the head.
Sex is sweaty, sporty, fun, weird — I wanted to capture all of that
Why did you choose Benjamin to market Goodparts as a photographer?
I actually studied ceramic sculpture in college, and as soon as I came across Ben’s work I fell in love. The pieces are situational and sculptural — sure, the photo documents the work, but you get the sense that the real art is what happened at the moment. His work explores the intersection between our sex lives and desires and our everyday lived experiences and memories, which I think is fascinating.
you get the sense that the real art is what happened at the moment
Who are you trying to speak to with Goodparts?
Everyone! With a subject as universal (yet personal) as sex, I think Goodparts has a place in everyone’s lives. That means:
Gay, straight, and bisexual men and women with an eye for aesthetics
Non-binary and trans individuals who don’t fit stereotypical gender moulds
Races, ages, and body types who are underrepresented in the sex space and consumer culture at large
Sex workers, educators, and advocates who promote open and real conversations about sex
Lube & NFTs – on the first look, doesn’t sound like a match made it heaven. What do you think blockchain and NFTs could contribute to sexual wellness products like yours in the future?
Despite the challenges that come with it, I feel so thankful to have grown up gay in the digital age. Even being closeted in the small, suburban town where I grew up, I knew there was a bigger world out there, that I wasn’t alone, and that there were people who were living happily on “the other side.”
I’m definitely not an expert, but it seems like the NFTs can similarly expand peoples’ perspectives, showing the art and content they might not otherwise see in the physical world, allowing them to participate in a part of a culture that might otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Why did you decide to donate the profits of the NFT drop to the Sex Worker Project?
Sex workers are an integral part of the Goodparts community, both as loyal customers and vocal advocates. Since launching the business, I’ve gained a much better understanding of (and in some cases experienced) the constant challenges of censorship and de-platforming that threaten their livelihoods. These are entrepreneurs and creators.
The UJC’s Sex Worker Project provides free legal services, education, research, and policy advocacy to all sex workers, with the aim of creating a more sexually liberated world.
sex workers are entrepreneurs and creators