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Sustain Natural's Meika Hollender

Meika Hollender has led Sustain Natural to not only promote safe sex, but advocate political, environmental, and social change, simply by opening up the conversation.

By Natasha SydorPublished 8 years ago 5 min read

Meika Hollender and her father Jeffrey Hollender co-founded the up-and-coming revolutionary all natural condom company Sustain Natural. Featuring environmentally friendly, clean, fair-trade, and vegan products, Sustain promotes wellness for our own bodies while promoting wellness for our planet. But Sustain produces more than just condoms; It sees sexual wellness as merely the beginning of a long-needed (and often ignored) conversation. Sustain creates a forum where men, women, and everyone in between can be passionate about their rights, lives, and world.

Meika Hollender is quickly becoming the voice of advocacy and change for a generation that is committed to embracing it. She attended the United States of Women summit held at the White House, which celebrates and supports women's progression in gender equality. Meika is all about girl power, controlling your health, and her new campaign #GetOnTop. In an exclusive interview with Filthy, Meika gives us an inside look into her ever-evolving platform.

Photo courtesy of Sustain Natural

Filthy: What is Sustain Natural in a few words?

Meika Hollender: Sustain Natural is the first brand of natural condoms and lubricants made by women for women.

How and why have women throughout the history of sex been labeled with negative and derogatory terms in relation to their sexual activity? How has this changed in 2016?

Gender inequality has created a history that has labeled any woman related to anything sexual as a "slut" and any man doing the same a "hero." As we have slowly gained more equality in the boardroom and the classroom, we are also slowly moving towards a more equal balance in the bedroom. Women are no longer being taught or believe that sex before marriage is bad. We are moving into a moment when we're talking about our needs in the bedroom and our health.

How does Sustain aim to lift the taboo on women carrying and providing condoms for their sexual encounters? Are men and women equally responsible for protection during sex?

Everyone is responsible for his or her own sexual health and wellbeing. It's not about who should be doing what, it's about all of us taking control of our bodies and standing up for our health. Sustain is starting a national conversation among women––and men––around women's sexuality and sexual health in a way that embraces women as sexual beings and educates women on why taking control of their sexual health should feel empowering and not shameful.

When should sex education begin? What is the appropriate approach in talking about sex with your children––and anyone, for that matter?

In my opinion, sex education is not just one conversation; It's about parents creating an environment where their kids feel comfortable coming to them and talking to them about anything that they're going through. Sex education is something that needs to happen between parents and kids, among peers, and in school. It's a collaboration of a lot of efforts. For me, the most important thing that my parents taught me was that when I was in a relationship with someone I should make sure I felt good about myself, that I felt respected.

How do safe sex and organic products intertwine through Sustain?

We wouldn't be doing anyone any favors if we were empowering women to take control of their sexual health with products filled with nasty chemicals that aren't good for their bodies! Sexual health is about protecting yourself from STDs and unplanned pregnancy, but also about making sure the products you're using to do this aren't causing your body any additional harm.

Photo courtesy of Sustain Natural

What are three essential sexual health products every woman should own? What should she not leave home without?

Never leave home without a condom! At home, make sure you have organic lubricant, your preferred method of birth control, and some post-play wipes for clean up.

Sex is the topic of conversation for Sustain. When will it become a dinner conversation for us all?

It's already happening! I challenge all of you to talk to your friends about sex. It's amazing how we're all going through the same issues, challenges, and experiences. It's great to talk about it.

What are steps we can all do to eradicate slut shaming from our culture?

We can speak up. I think too many of us stand by and don't say anything when we hear others slut shaming women. I think it starts with all of us taking responsibility and working to eradicate these comments by staying something.

Photo courtesy of Sustain Natural

What is the #GetOnTop campaign? How did it form and how can we get involved?

Get on Top is a campaign with 10 powerhouse women. We set out to join forces with women nationwide to change the conversation around safe sex. Launched during Women’s Health Week, this campaign inspires women to take their sexual health into their own hands and to contribute to a global conversation redefining what it means to practice safe sex. All it takes is one visit to to make the pledge and join the movement.

What is paramount to continue making progress in reproductive healthcare?

Not defunding Planned Parenthood.

Do women approach casual sex differently than men? Should there even be a distinction in their approach?

I think they used to, but I think it's really starting to change. Women are becoming more empowered about going after what they want and getting it—and being safe!

To the women who experience slut-shaming everyday, what advice do you have for them?

Talk about it!

Sustain's Premium Personal Lubricant is an all natural, water based lubricant with Aloe vera, Xanthum Gum, Agar, Lactic Acid, and Natural Flavors. These ingredients combine to nourish skin, enhance sexual pleasure, and balance the body's pH to provide natural comfort during intercourse.

interviewsexual wellnesshumanityadvocacy

About the Creator

Natasha Sydor

brand strategy @ prime video

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