When it comes to men’s sexual health, it can be a little difficult to discuss. Okay, fine, it’s rarely discussed. That’s where the fellas over at Pure for Men come in. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they offer various products from fiber supplements to bidets to skincare products…and more.
If you’re on TikTok or Instagram, you may have noticed their ads focused on men’s wellness and personal care. I had a chance to sit down with the team and learn more about the company and the men behind the products.
I met with Lawrence and Fabian the co-founders and CEO and CMO respectively, as well as team members Chris and Ryan to discuss the men’s wellness products and why they decided to create the line.
Read on for the full interview with the guys at Pure for Men.
How did you get your start in the supplement business?
Pure for Men founders Naaman Esquivel, Lawrence Johnson, and Fabian Prado (L to R)
Photo courtesy of Pure for Men
Lawrence: We considered ourselves serial entrepreneurs during our high school years by selling anything from candy to music CDs. When we were sophomores in college, we came up with the idea that anal sex needed to be clean and worry-free. Google was less than 5 years old at the time and didn’t have a lot of tips on how to stay clean. We were trying to figure out how porn stars were able to have anal sex with no issues.
One piece of advice we were given was to get more fiber in your diet. Back in 2003, we didn’t know much about marketing or promotion and there certainly wasn’t anything marketed to gay men in terms of sexual health and preparation.
We eventually created an early version of the Pure for Men website and sold one product which was a trial packet of a fiber supplement. Nothing really happened so we moved on into the world of start-ups in the tech industry. We learned all about start-ups, incubators, and how to market and promote products. We then applied our start-up knowledge and revisited the fiber product. A fiber recipe was developed and tested and we came up with a proprietary blend of soluble and insoluble fibers to help flush out your system and stay ready.
Once the formula was set, Fabian started marketing and promoting the product on social media. The fiber supplement quickly became a hit.
How do you approach the stigma of identifying as a top, bottom, or versatile?
Fabian: We were new to the market and in 2015, there was a stigma about talking about gay sex and being a bottom when it came to the gay community. There was a lot of bottom shaming. We had to rely on sex workers to launch and promote the product because they had a large social media following and because viewers knew what their job was and what positions they were in the videos. It was easy for them to engage with their followers and get them to share information about the product. After a time the taboo and stigma of being a bottom faded away. We came up with the slogans “Stay Ready” and “Bottom with Confidence” as more of an empowerment to the gay community and wear it with a badge of honor.
All of a sudden, there was user-generated content with people posting images of themselves holding the product saying “I stay ready.” The brand is about confidence and sex but it also makes you feel good. You’re regular, you feel lighter, and not bloated. It’s not just for bottoms, it’s also for anyone looking for a plant-based product that is safe for everyday use. I
Lawrence: When we first kicked this off, there were no content restrictions on social media and they decided to make a big splash. One of their first ads was “clean sheets, zero stains” and we were spotlighting the problem people wanted to be solved. Once the algorithms were updated, they needed to be more tongue-in-cheek.
Is the majority of your customer base gay or queer men?
Fabian: Yes, we launched Pure for Men in the beginning and we had some feedback from the trans community stating they could also benefit from the product so we developed and created Pure for Her. Also, at the same time, gay men talk to their best girlfriends and by word of mouth, a lot of straight women use the product too. Our market has always been anyone under the LGBTQ+ umbrella but straight people also benefit from the product.
What is the Reset supplement?
Joe: I tried the Reset supplement and it works. Maybe a little too well. My husband is diabetic and the medicine messes with his body. It makes him bloated, constipated, and uncomfortable. I gave him the detox pills and told him to use them. They worked great for him too.
Fabian: There are people that we have worked with where certain medications make them feel nauseous and woozy. There is an HIV medication that makes people feel nauseous and if you take Pure for Men, it will help make it feel better. If you suffer from diarrhea, it can help and that’s why we say it’s not just for bottoms. It’s for anyone and just makes you feel better. Fun fact: only 18% of men get enough fiber in their diet and the majority of men are walking around not getting enough fiber in their diet.
Lawrence: The Stay Ready fiber supplement should be a daily ritual. It’s like the gas going into your tank. The Reset is like an oil change. After the weekend, or Thanksgiving meals and you feel bloated and full, you need to hit the reset button. Incorporating the two into your diet will deliver a good experience if your a bottom or taking too much protein, or just want better movement.
Can we talk about the Bum Balm and Body Scrub?
Fabian: I love both products. The scrub is just for full-body exfoliation. People can suffer from butt acne or stretch marks. It helps to exfoliate and keep clean. Removes scents and you feel fresh and rejuvenated.
When it comes to the butt balm, it helps to keep it moisturized and deodorized, and clean throughout the day. Say you’re going out dancing and you’re going to be in a jock, this will help keep you from getting musty and stinky. It helps keep it fresh. We call it a bum balm but you can use it anywhere. You can use it on your hair, as a deodorant, and on your balls. It is made with food-grade material and it is safe to consume.
What are some of the other products in the line?
Fabian: The Vitamin C Serum is great. There is another product called Hydrating Gel Toner and works great. I’ve put it on my shoulders when I’ve had too much sun. It’s a cooling sensation and works really well.
The multivitamin gummies have an extra dose of biotin which is why we call it the Beauty Boost. Biotin is great for hair, nails, and skin. It tastes good too. The reason for the product is we wanted supplements that were more universal and not just considered for bottoms and sexual cleanliness. Every man needs a good multivitamin.
The bidet is a natural progression and you can never go back to life before a bidet. It’s life-changing. We rounded out our line with a bidet. The cool aspect is you can control the angle and the pressure of the water flow. We’re in the business of cleanliness and clean bums.
Lawrence: We took a weekend trip in Texas and one of the rooms had a bidet installed in it. After using it for a weekend, realize how much cleaner you can walk around. I couldn’t believe how I would go to the bathroom and wipe and go about my day. The bidet experience is just so much cleaner. You use it long enough, it’s harder to go without.
Our approach is to find out how we can make what people are buying better, more convenient, or more affordable. If you’re a friend or family member of mine, you’re getting a bidet as a gift.
What made you decide to use the name Pure for Men? There seems there would be some controversy as far as gender identity. What do you do about DEI?
Lawrence: We’ve had heavy discussions about topics such as representations of race and the models in our social media posts. As gay men’s products went, there were blue-eyed blonde-haired unrealistically amazing bodies with a lot of unobtainable features that were not reflective of our customer base, the country, or the world as a whole. Thankfully as a result of our discussions, we always yield to what’s right. We reflect the world we want to see through the ads we create. The company name dates itself. The imagery we came up with was clean, fresh, pure. The name Pure for Men basically manifested itself. It was natural sounding.
Over time, our first hiccup wasn’t just the trans community saying hey, I am a woman and I want to use your product but I don’t feel right having a bottle of Pure for Men in my cabinet. It was also women who are straight, or not, that liked our product but the pills were like horse pills so we created a smaller version of the same formula so they are easier to swallow. That is how we learned to adjust to the world that’s coming. We’ve done surveys and roundtable discussions on how we can improve our products without being unrecognizable to existing customers but also be mindful of new ones.
Fabian: I think there’s also the side that men will see the product and feel that ‘this is a product for me.’ We don’t want to alienate the community that got us to where we are but at the same time, we need to adjust and acknowledge there is a broader community within that we need to recognize.
We all know what water-based lube is, but can you tell me about the coconut lube?
Lawrence: The coconut lube is all vegan and it's amazing. I am a lifelong silicone lube user but it can get your sheets messy. Silicone lube has a better sensation and experience than water-based. The coconut lube is so great, I haven’t used silicone in such a long time. This coconut lube is the best of both worlds. It tastes amazing, smells great, and there’s no friction. It’s the best.
What’s Next for Pure for Men and Team?
Fabian: We do have some projects in the works that we’re really excited about and are along the lines of cleanliness, but not necessarily supplements.
Lawrence: Our mission has always been to make sure our products are helpful to bodies in the long run.
Pure for Men available at CVS Pharmacies
Photo courtesy of Pure for Men
While it may seem a bit unnerving to chat with a group of men you just met about sex products, sexual health, and general health supplements overall, it’s a conversation that needs to happen, and it needs to happen more often. The LGBTQ+ community is doing a better job of discussing once-taboo topics and opening up about not only sexual health but mental health as well.
To find out more about the Pure for Men or the Pure for Her line, visit the Pure for Men website or check your nearest CVS store to see if they carry the line. If they don’t, ask them to immediately. You won’t regret it.