Can brands save our relationship with sex?

Sex Brand is reimagining the condom at a time when people are having less sex than ever. We speak to Uncommon’s Nils Leonard about bringing new life to a flaccid category

On the surface, it seems as though we are more open about sex than ever as a society; whether that’s through the rise of social media sex ed on TikTok, sexually open dating apps such as Feeld going mainstream, or the overt horniness of TV shows ranging from Love Island to Sex Education. The stats around our sex lives, or lack thereof, suggest otherwise though.

The average person now has sex less than once a week, according to a study by the British Medical Journal, while in the US a quarter of 18-29 year olds haven’t had sex in the last 12 months, according to the General Social Survey. The busyness of modern life, dating apps, social media, exposure to porn, and societal pressures are all cited as factors in why we’re not doing it.

“You read about these virgin clubs, which are groups of young people basically going, ‘it’s too much like hard work putting myself out there’,” says Nils Leonard, co-founder of Uncommon Creative Studio. “There are no rules of engagement anymore, nobody’s teaching anybody to talk to each other about having an open sexual relationship. The whole thing is slightly broken and I just thought, what a brilliant place to put a brand, right at the heart of that tension.” Founded by entrepreneurs Jack Gove and Tom Salvat and co-created with Uncommon, Sex Brand is their attempt to do just that.