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Love, Sex, and Chair Design—Bowchair sex furniture's touching origins

Petrilla Archer Bow Sexchair Demonstration

A chair with a love story

I first heard about theArcher Bowchair from my college alumni network (I attended a women’s college). A bunch of us were fascinated by this chair. I mean, look at it:

Archer Bowchair - designed to let you get into positions that may have been previously difficult to achieve

It’s not just a chair, it’s a work of art. And it’s designed specifically to have amazing sex on it. You might call it a sex chair or a kind of sex furniture. It’s designed to let you get into positions that may have been previously difficult to achieve or ones that are difficult to maintain over time.

Then I recognized the chair onZoe Ligon’s Sex Stuff show. It started popping up in all sorts of random places. I had to learn more. What I discovered was not only a great chair (and great sex), but also a love story. Not just any love story, but how to have a rich, fulfilling relationship no matter your circumstances.

Meet Bob

Bob is an award-winning furniture designer. “I’ve always had a taste for high quality/high design, but been too cheap to pay for it so I teach myself how to make it.” (Same, Bob. Same.)

He spent 10 years at US Steel Research, where he had access to multiple machines and facilities to teach himself welding, machining/fabrication, and process automation. He ended up taking his work in-house, renting a garage behind his apartment to work on his own projects. At first he started with furniture and body jewelry, but “it quickly went to sex toys too, much of the same crowd for customers.”

One of Bob's kitchen projectsA pleasure product Bob made for a client

Examples of the breadth of Bob's work

The inspiration for the Archer Bowchair

For how the Bowchair came to be, Bob says it was “the intersection of two paths.” It was a love story—in more ways than one.

Bob and Lisa met online. It was serendipity. Bob had had a long string of dates that didn’t work out, and Lisa was coming out of a sexless marriage. They met each other hours into their memberships to the dating site and fell in love. They married two and a half years later.

Problems in Paradise

Since giving birth fifteen years ago, Lisa had pelvic floor problems. It’s a common issue for women that’s all-too-often unreported, and she suffered with it for a long time.

One of the “bright spots” of being in a sexless marriage was that this particular issue never came up often—it was just the “fun” of peeing her pants frequently as a constant reminder of her injury.

She tried different treatment options for years. She went to a women’s hospital, a specialty clinic, and even tried a therapy that did pelvic wall massages from the inside. Only the latter really helped, but it was so extraordinarily invasive that she didn’t think it was worth it.

In the midst of trying to find relief, one day Lisa was teaching herself stretches on the living room floor. Her pelvic floor was hypertonic with “dead spots” that felt nothing. Bob was just sitting on a chair with pins sticking out of his finger—he had gotten cut with a table saw and needed to have his left middle finger reattached. He couldn’t work since any movement was too painful for the pinned joint.

Suddenly, while doing her exercises, she bent and arched in a particular way and felt a rush of feeling all through her vagina—including the dead spots. She demanded he have sex with her right then, in that position. At long last, she couldfeel.

It was tough though. Bob did physical work for a living, but it wasn’t the most natural pose on a couch, and he was injured. He could only really do it for a few minutes. It wasn’t really a hard position to hold. It was more than it was really hard to move once they were actually having penetrative sex. With only one hand, it became near impossible.

A solution of steel and wood

They both found something that worked for them, but they couldn’t actually do it for long. They needed some help. They needed to move, they needed to… bounce.

With his designer’s mind, Bob thought of springs.

“I have personally always loved the added bounce of a spring mattress, we had sex on an exercise ball before for the bounce, so I figured why not put bounce into what was already a universally adopted shape for a sex position chair (i.e. Tantra/Liberator).”

With a new project in mind, Bob started designing:

“I got to drafting/engineering and experimenting, as I healed and could start to build again the prototype took form. It worked, but Lisa wasn’t happy with the look, too clunky, and just couldn’t stay in our living room. I refined it till she was happy. Sleeker, shorter, the pillow and long grabbable straps, and upholstery (the original was just a bare yoga mat pad).”

Couple on the Archer Bowchair

And with that, the Bowchair was born

It didn’t stop there. With their newfound invention, Bob and Lisa wanted to share the Bowchair with people around the world. After all, it helped them so much so they could enjoy painless, pleasurable, and more titillating sex, a problem all too common problem for couples. Given Bob’s previous experience handmaking and selling both furniture and pleasure products, they started a business selling their pleasure furniture.

Bob handcrafts each and every chair in the USA with American raw materials (or environmentally responsible attributes if American materials are not available). They go for reclaimed/repurposed wood and biologically responsible materials/finishes/adhesives. Given that they’re shipping a large item, they’re environmentally conscious even with shipping the chair.

Close up of making on a Bowchair

Why was it important to create this chair for people around the world?

I had to ask him this, because it was easy to stop at just having a solution for the two of them. Even if he had a business before, it’s always hard to start your own business. So what motivated them to start?

“The enjoyment, pleasure, and intimacy that it creates and the relationships it can help save or strengthen.

“Lisa and I were an extremely close, open, loving couple who really valued monogamy. The sort of relationship where you can bare each others soul. We were comfortable enough to openly talk about what we wanted, needed, how to make things better, and I was talented enough to invent solutions.

The problems that her pelvic floor disorder and our aging bodies presented, weren’t viewed by us as problems, rather just something we had to work around. Many couples aren’t that lucky/capable, often being too closed off to even begin discussing a solution, and more often than not straying from their mate to fulfill a need.

“We felt that we could promote this view/agenda even more with our 60-day money back guarantee. Risky for us, but we were confident that so many of the couples that purchased a chair would see such an improvement in their relationship we had to do it, even if it would just start a conversation between a couple that they wanted better sex with each other and not stray instead.

“Also as an assistive device, it provides a higher level of dignity. To a level that some who wouldn’t accept help, will. Non-invasive, non-medical looking, blends with your decor.”

Petrilla Archer Bow Sexchair - Trying position

What advice would you give other couples about keeping life exciting and fulfilling?

Speak your mind, be vulnerable, be honest with yourself and your mate.

All too many times he’s been saddened by “how closed off so many people/couples are about sex, particularly their own sex life. So many people with their needs not getting met by the person they’re with forming resentment, but too cowardly to speak up and be vulnerable.

Bob also recommends “frequent scheduled sex – Don’t make sex an infrequent “production”, make it comfortable and about strengthening the physical and emotional bond you share frequently. Try for once a day, maybe even twice, and pick times when you and your partner are physically and mentally able to perform your best. Not the last thing before you pass out at night, or when you have full stomachs shortly after a meal, but when you can really appreciate each other.

“Life is hectic, and there never seems to be time. But what is really more important than your spouse and your relationship/intimacy? Make time, pick a time each day and stick to it. It may seem like a chore at first, and maybe even seem like a chore on the way to the bedroom/bowchair long after that, but you will never regret having done it afterward and a countless number of hurt feelings, misunderstood signals, resentment and performance anxiety can be eliminated.”

Partners demonstrating the Archer Bowchair

Want a Bowchair of your very own?

Are you inspired to invest in something beautiful for your own relationship? You can order your own Bowchair, custom designed by Bob himself.

Additionally, you can get some secret perks that are not yet available on the site (just ask Bob!):

“We are going to roll out real leather upholstery and therapeutic/real aerospace grade memory foam options as standard order on the website by the end of the year. We’ve been offering them to customers for a year now, but unpublicized after the initial checkout process. And some designer finishes. Cerused oak, walnut, and ash and also a jet black dyed ash wood.”

Check out the Bowchair here.

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