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SF lube startup revealed to have ‘Dirrty’ singer as co-founder

Christina Aguilera is a co-founder of and chief brand adviser to San Francisco-based startup Playground. | Eva Schwank

Christina Aguilera, personal lubricant and horny goat weed: San Francisco’s latest startup has it all. 

Playground, which touts itself as a pioneer in sexual wellness, announced Tuesday that the Grammy Award-winning singer has been named as its co-founder and chief brand advisor. The company sells water-based lubricants that contain natural, if somewhat atypical, ingredients like the aptly named herb horny goat weed.

With hits like “Genie in a Bottle,” “Lady Marmalade” and “Dirrty,” Xtina has embraced sexuality throughout her career. 

The San Francisco-based startup soft-launched in May 2022 but has had Aguilera’s collaboration for over a year, according to co-founder and CEO Catherine Magee. The company wanted to save her involvement for her “fans and women and mothers everywhere.”

“Christina is the perfect voice to champion female sexuality,” Magee said in a statement. “She has always proudly embraced her sexuality and has been unafraid to share it with her fans through her music or her own voice.”

Sexual health, Aguilera said in a press release, has long lacked products designed for female-specific needs. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of a woman-owned business, and building a brand where women can recognize Playground as a product that is speaking to them with an informed perspective,” the release said. 

In interviews this week, Aguilera champions Playground being made by women in a field dominated by men. That’s why the city’s most famous sexologist, Carol Queen, bristles a bit at Aguilera’s statement. 

“It’s a new age of celebrity involvement with the sexuality space—even as sexuality and gender issues become even more powerful lightning rods than they already were,” Queen said. “It’s a pretty weird time to be alive.” 

Bay Area sexual health retailer Good Vibrations was founded with a similar mission some 46 years ago. Queen has noticed many more flower over the past decade.

“Way too many of them enter the marketplace without acknowledging the people, products and businesses that have been here for decades, paving the way both inside and outside the industry,” Queen said. “And I would really like to see that acknowledgement be a standard line in their stories.”