Finding self-confidence in 2021 is possible. Here's how working for a sexual wellness company in Hong Kong has changed me
Hi, I’m Petra, the Creative Director of We Are Fk, a sexual wellness brand aiming to break stereotypes and get people comfortable, confident, and open about their sexual health; a hugely important part of our wellbeing and happiness that often gets shunned and swept under the rug. I’ve written this piece on how my work with this company has helped me in finding self-confidence, and I my story might help you have your best year yet in the Year of the Ox.
Getting personal about finding self-confidence
I am a graphic designer and resort wear designer by trade. Up until June last year if you told me that I would be a partner in a sexual health brand I would have let out a resounding “HA! Suuure!”, but here I am, at my home office writing this surrounded by various sex gadgets! It all started when I met up with two of my friends Edwin (who recently shared a piece on finding happiness) and Adam who had ulterior motives for our catch-up, they had a question they wanted to ask me; would you like to be head of creative of the company? I had an inkling as I had seen some of the early stages of the company forming on social media. I had already let out a “YES” before they had finished asking.
During the catch-up that turned into a business meeting, we were talking about what we wanted the brand to embody and how and what we were going to convey content-wise. As the only female in the company, I was asked to be the first face of the brand.
Having talked about our ideas, we knew we wanted to be more than just an adult toy retailer, we wanted to give back and make a difference, so we aimed to be a community and have an educational and playful angle to what we do, we wanted to make an impact and be loud and proud. During the meeting I had a moment of clarity and determination, I knew that even though I was terrified to put myself out there – and about sex, no less, I would have to let go of any anxieties and be open and honest otherwise it wouldn’t feel genuine.
The community aspects came from our own personal experiences and wanting to break free of boundaries and wanting to communicate and share. We also collectively agreed that we received little to no sexual education growing up, so while we weren’t taught much about it, we were taught that it was something not up for discussion, the silence was deafening, and damaging. While the education system was set up to make us financially successful, it taught us nothing about coexisting. Nothing about language, sexuality, or psychology to better understand ourselves and give us the tools to be happy and healthy humans. So since starting Fk. we advocated creating a safe space to unload and learn, it, in turn, made the Fk. crew feel free to talk about anything and everything, from my IUD drama of 2020 to periods, porn genres, and sex toys, because, well we had to and wanted to-it was our job now.
I mean let’s face it, It’s hard to ignore the vibrators in the room and not have discussions about orgasms and BDSM when your daily life consists of promoting and researching this mainly uncharted realm of sexual health in Hong Kong. And just like anything you’re exposed to often, you become comfortable with it. That’s our goal.
Growth is in the place beyond comfort
I owe a lot to this company, it has given me so much confidence in the short time we’ve been in operation. It’s encouraged me to let go and push through anxious tendencies because I really believe that what we’re doing is important, we need this, we need openness, we need communication and education. These are the ideals that the Fk. team push for and actively adopt in our everyday lives, we make a real conscious effort to be more compassionate with each other and be honest and inquisitive because that’s what we preach and we’re on this journey together.
It’s also taught me to be open. I was pretty closed off growing up, scared of ridicule and riddled with anxiety but I’ve always cared for the wellbeing of the people around me, it’s my biggest strength and greatest weakness which is where I got my title: Altruist and Creator for Fk. I felt propelled into a new dimension of confidence and openness by wanting to connect and lay bare my experiences to encourage people to do the same. It made me want to throw myself into the deep end and speed up the process as much as possible because of how damaging withholding education and communication was to me growing up.
That’s when I decided to write a piece about my self-harm. It was liberating, and also the easiest piece I’ve ever written. Not many people had known about it and it was always something I was self-conscious about. I had no intentions for the post other than wanting to throw that part of my life out into the open and let it go, so I didn’t expect to receive so many positive comments and certainly didn’t expect people to message me for advice and share their own stories with me. I had done it, I had put myself out there and it was an incredible feeling to let go and most importantly start a dialogue about something that’s rarely discussed in Hong Kong. Another thing that I hadn’t considered myself until I read the comments of my post was that I was brave. A word I would have never associated myself with. This company has magical powers, had I become brave as well? I feel like I’ve become a new person in the last year, I feel more like me.
So If I could have a resolution for 2021 it would be that we are not quick to judge and be compassionate about each other’s stories, backgrounds, sexual orientation, and preference. I hope that Fk. will impact our community the way it has impacted me so we can all have the bravery and confidence to fully be ourselves.