The market for cannabis-infused sexual intimacy products is rapidly expanding. Early research shows that cannabis can significantly improve the quality of your sex life — with or without a partner. That’s why Luz De La Riva and her daughter Luna founded LDLR, a line of cannabis-infused products for sexual wellness — from the bedroom to the boardroom. Their lubricants, body oils, candles, condoms (and more) are designed to “deepen intimacy, enhance your sexuality, and create lasting relationships.” As members of the Momentum’s inaugural class, the De La Rivas will officially launch their company in the coming weeks. They talked to Eaze about the journey that brought them here.
Tell us about your company.
I am the co-founder, with my youngest daughter, Luna De La Riva, of LDLR. The premise of our company is sexual wellness. When we founded this company, I wholeheartedly believed that sexual wellness is an important part of our life and we should take it seriously. It impacts every aspect of your life, starting from your relationship with your husband, to your children, and to your friends. So it’s very, very important to have a healthy sexual life.
Where are you from and how did you start LDLR?
I grew up in El Salvador, so for me to be here, it’s kind of emotional, because I left the war [there] and I landed in another one. We live in East Oakland and we have been through the war on drugs. The legalization [of cannabis] has been extremely important to us.
I started working in sexual wellness 25 years ago, because [until recently] there wasn’t many healthy intimacy products for women. And I thought that was very important. I have daughters and they were going to have sex whether I like it or not. I thought that it was irresponsible of me not to do something about it.
And now we are in the cannabis industry. What does cannabis do from the neck down? Let’s talk about it, and let’s be responsible about it. When we-co founded this company, we had short term-goals and we had long-term goals. Our short-term goal was to bring healthy products to the market and be responsible. This was the very beginning.
We need to create products that don’t just sustain the big O. They’re going to sustain the relationship that is going to produce the big O, or the little O, or whatever. But whatever you get, you’re going to love it because it’s intimate.
Just because you’ve been married for 40 years, it shouldn’t matter. You don’t know each other really intimately because you don’t talk. I want to get women to the point that they feel comfortable enough to say, “You know what darling? You need to finish the job.” You know? Yes. You got to do that.
How did you hear about Momentum and what made you decide to apply?
I always keep up with the industry. Eaze is a huge company. And when I saw this opportunity, I thought, “Well, hello, this is very good. This is my platform.” And I’m really grateful because I’m going to get to launch my product and move forward.
We could now bring the product to market, which has been the, one of our [biggest] hardships. How can we produce this product? The other thing is marketing. How are we going to market this product the right way? Because it’s very easy to put up a product of this type and start screaming the F word and the P word, and all of those things. Yeah, it’s easy. We get to bring this to a sector of society that is uncomfortable with the words in mind. We’ve got to find a way. And we get to have Eaze help us market this the proper way.
What are you most excited about in the program, and you kind of answered this just now, but what are you excited that you’re going to learn?
I’m so excited. Number one, I need a coach. I need somebody to help me eloquently [express] my ideas and my concept, which I think I lack. I need help launching my product. I do need help. Our problem is economics. That’s our biggest challenge. I’m excited to have Eaze on our side to connect us with the right resources, with the right partners, which we have been waiting for.
We’ve been in the [equity] program for almost four years and we haven’t been able to do everything ourselves. Yes, we are licensed a company, but we have zero resources. Because we need a real partner, not an incubator that is simply looking after themselves. My incubators are in business and here I am four years later. We don’t have a business going. We’re [finally] ready to launch, but we have done it ourselves.
We made all the artwork, the layout, the packaging. I did the drawings. But my goal is for people not to go through what I have gone through. I don’t believe the phrase, “If I did it, you can do it.” No, that’s not true. That is not true at all. Just because I did it doesn’t mean you can do it.
But you know what? You can do it because you don’t have to go through the same thing that I’m going through. You [can] learn from hardships. However, there are hardships, and there are hardships that [you should be able to skip]. Your talent is being wasted. [Resources] could solve [those hardships] very quickly and then you can move on and you can move up. But you can’t when you are in a situation where there’s no help.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud to be here. I’m most proud of my children. Last night, I felt such a sense of wealth — wealthy like there is nothing that I need. My son was in bed. I’d just spoken to my daughter in New York. I’d spoken to my son. He went to bed. I’d spoken to my daughter in New York, said good night. My partner kissed me goodnight and off they went to bed and I was just like, “Wow, wow. If I could bring this into somebody’s home, by creating intimate relationships…”
It doesn’t mean that we are happy, happy. Oh no, we fight. We fight, but you know what? We are close. We are unbreakable.
Cannabis is, at the end of the day, classified as a drug and you have to [understand] responsibility that comes with that. Whether you like it or not, the state is making you. So speak with your children, talk to your children, talk to your husband. Create a better society.
I just want to say something to the dispensaries. [When you say ‘sex’,] everybody recoils. It’s easier to talk about drugs than talk about sex. Let’s talk about sex and cannabis.
Everybody who walks through the dispensary door, I would assume they have had sex at least once as an adult, right? This person is buying the goods there that are going to make them feel good. Then [they] have to schlep to get a product to Walgreens or CVS or go to a sex shop. Why not make it a one-stop shop? You get your lube, your good lube. You get your rousing creams. You get the products that are going to elongate your sessions.