Wheel of Foreplay (WOF) is a light-hearted online game to encourage people to have more sex, explore themselves, and ultimately bring people together. In a world under lockdown, we couldn’t image a healthier activity to pass the time than getting your freak on – but various factors showed us that heating things up in this brave new world wouldn’t come so naturally to everyone.
During launch month, WOF was featured in more than 25 publications in five languages, including The Guardian, Unilad, Forbes, Vice, MTV, GQ, FHM, Maxim, Hustler, Mashable and more… clocking us more than 1.5M pageviews, and even more wheel-spins.
The ongoing introduction of broader behaviors, orientations and identities into the mainstream has changed the way we think about sex. Despite this, talking through intimacy needs is still challenging on some level for the best of us. We wanted to continue breaking down the hesitancy to help couples, daters and solo-sexers alike discover what their own version of pleasure was.
We wanted to make that necessary vulnerability not only normal, but fun as hell.
The FOS lab was founded to identify, develop and launch ventures at the intersection of tech and sexuality – going beyond sex toys to progress sex education, intimacy skills, gender identity, medicine and so much more. Creating and launching this game was part of our lab’s ongoing commitment to sex-positve exploration.
The game idea seeded through the traditional concept of truth-or-dare: a cheeky game where everyone knew each other a little better at the end. We developed a library of ‘dare’ ideas with the help of sex educators, sex coaches and articulate horny humans from around the world. It was then that we realised that at the height of isolation boredom, some of the ideas wouldn’t feel so ‘daring’ after all.
We developed a content architecture for “ideas” instead, in the form of a randomized game. Users would selecting “packs” of cards that appealed to them. These packs would reveal spinning wheels accompanied by with fun, forthright, characters exuding contagiously cheeky energy. Upon spinning, cards would surface – and the fun would begin.
We enlisted the help of Egle Zvirblyte, a brilliant illustrator known for her bombastic depictions of sensual and colorful characters. By forming this artistic foundation, we ensured that the the game’s design was accessible, delightful and thought-provoking for beginners and kink connoisseurs alike.
By foregrounding playfulness, we created space for first-time wheel-spinners to feel comfortable, implicitly sharing our commitment to sex positivity and diversity along the way.
We launched the Wheel of Foreplay in April of 2020, during the first few weeks of the COVID19 international quarantine. The global community was looking for hope, health and a little bit of fun, and we saw the Wheel of Foreplay as a lighthearted and welcome addition to an otherwise serious environment. The world saw it the same way and the game was well received as a cure for boredom, a solution to a stagnating sex life, a facilitator of long distance dating and a tool to promote wellbeing.
The support we received from press outlets mirroring our own excitement for the launch was – to put it gently – overwhelming.