These days, no one could blame you for leaning hard into the concept of self-love. With so many external stressors and what feels like constant global chaos, turning inward and focusing on personal nourishment can feel so good. And if you happen to be in possession of an all-new Kate McLeod Sex Stone ($38), it can feel really, really good.
Solid and oil-based, the Sex Stone is palm-sized and designed for use virtually everywhere. A limited-edition spinoff of McLeod's signature Body Stone solid moisturizer, you can think of the Sex Stone like its saucy little sister. Both are hydrating stones that can be gently rubbed and massaged on skin for moisture as your body temperature softens and melts the solid into a silky oil. From there, it can be smoothed on like a lotion, leaving gleaming, soft skin behind. The Sex Stone can be taken one step further, though. Infused with six body-safe oils, including ultra-hydrating argan oil, the Sex Stone is also a personal lubricant and massager for intimate moments alone or with a partner. Thanks to its formulation without essential oils or synthetic materials, it's an all-natural way to enhance skin-on-skin contact. Plus, the discreet (and chic) canvas drawstring bag that houses it makes the Sex Stone a sexual lubricant you'll actually want to display on your nightstand—which is good, because you'll also want easy access from bed.
For Kate McLeod, founder of her eponymous brand, the Sex Stone is based on the importance of not just touch, but intentioned touch. "We've learned this past year how prone we are to touching our face without realizing it: Nail biting, cuticle picking, hair twirling," McLeod explains to Byrdie exclusively. "Intentioned touch is different. Intentioned touch is care; it is communication. It's amazing how often our touch, our interactions, whether partnered or solo, are unconscious—happening without us being fully present in our bodies." The Stone was created to correct just that, using its silky-soft base to encourage mindful touch that not only connects sexual partners but might also reintroduce you to you. It was a moment of self-reflection and honesty that lead McLeod to developing the Sex Stone. "My sister-in-law handed me a piece of raw cocoa butter and told me to go spend some time with myself. I had no idea what she meant but eventually, I figured it out," McLeod tells us. "She was talking about the deeply healing effects of our own touch. My touch helps me ground in my body; it drops me out of my mind and helps me feel the life force moving under my skin."
Taking a few minutes every day (or multiple times per day) to reconnect with yourself through physical touch is key for personal development. In a relationship, old or new, purposeful daily touch between partners not only strengthens bonds but is clinically proven to reduce stress levels and even reduce pain. If you're unsure where to start, the Kate McLeod team has some ideas. If you're a little nervous about introducing the Stone to your bedroom, it's suggested that you start with a massage on your partner or self. Begin somewhere you feel comfortable, like the back, shoulders, or neck, and let your hands wander to increasingly intimate areas as you relax. As the Sex Stone warms up, so does the action. "There is something so natural and sexy about it," McLeod says. "It doesn't feel like you're using a lubricant."
And this is just one way to get Stone'd. In Kate McLeod's growing collection, there's a Stone for everybody and every body made with different scents, oils, and ingredients to serve a host of needs, including the Mama Stone and Sleep Stone. The only things to be mindful of while using the Sex Stone is to keep it external use only, make sure that any toys introduced are all oil-safe, and avoid the Stone if you have nut allergies. After a year defined by a lack of physical contact, touching has never felt better.
As with all oil-based lubricants, oils found in the Sex Stone can erode and degrade latex condoms and other protective materials, which in turn reduces their efficacy against sexual transmitted infections and pregnancy. Double-check any sexual safety apparatus for compatible material, like polyurethane, before use.