Doing it for Science: Meet Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment


These days, job titles that sound new and sometimes a bit exotic are not unusual. So, it’s great that we have the chance to look closer at some of them and ask ourselves what’s behind it.

Have you ever heard of a “Head of Sexual Empowerment?”

Johanna Rief (31) holds this exciting title – and explains to us what she actually does as Head of Sexual Empowerment.

To understand Johanna’s job description better, it helps to know her personal goal: “My aim for the future is to create global campaigns that reach people of all ages and backgrounds. I want to change the way people see sexuality and break down taboos in this area.”

Johanna is the spokesperson of the brands We-Vibe and Womanizer and, as Head of Sexual Empowerment, she breaks down complex issues, innovation and technologies. She regularly exchanges information with sex therapists, doctors and sex coaches from all over the world and analyses trends in sexual behavior.  She is also in constant contact with press representatives, customers and testers. Her work reduces friction and strengthens dialogue in order to empower more people to lead sexually self-fulfilled lives – regardless of gender, age or origin. Johanna has been working in the industry almost 7 years and has spoken to around 8,000 people about sexuality and sex toys during this time.

The current mission: We are looking for reinforcement for the MasturbaTEAM!

At We-Vibe and Womanizer masturbation is not just for personal pleasure, it is for science. After all, there are still so many great toys to be developed, especially ones that meet all needs.

“This is only possible if we incorporate the opinions and feedback of our users directly into product development,” explains Johanna. “We take our job very seriously and invest in research and development – as every tech company does. All new products go through several development and testing phases. From the alpha test with 10-20 employees to the actual product test with approx. 100 external testers.”

At the beginning of 2019, We-Vibe and Womanizer launched the world’s first professional sex toy tester panel – the MasturbaTEAM. Around 6,000 men and women from all over Europe have now registered. The panel will be rolled out globally beginning of 2020.

“Interested people can register free of charge and receive an e-mail as soon as a product is available that matches their preferences. If you reply that you want to take part in the test, you will receive a package. So, depending on your feeling, mood and time, our testers can decide whether or not to participate.”

And then what? Then we masturbate – for science! The participants fill out a questionnaire with their honest feedback afterward and we use this to continue to make great toys even greater…

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A few years ago, Julia Heyne moved to Berlin. Not because of love, but to deal with love on a daily basis. She headed the erotic department at for seven years and because that wasn't enough love, lust and passion, she wrote a book about online dating in 2016. Today she has renounced online dating, but continues to write for O*Diaries about the most beautiful minor matter in the world. In her spare time, she also enjoys unromantic things like mountaineering, reading and ghostwriting for various book projects.