Dr. Picolya McCall-Robinson first conceived her idea for an oral-sex enhancement product through her work as a licensed psychologist. She observed that many of her clients, individuals and couples alike, were struggling with questions, concerns and discomfort related to their sex lives — particularly oral sex.
Regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship status, McCall-Robinson found, many of her clients shared similar worries about performing or receiving oral sex. These worries included their teeth and jaw placement, persistent physical discomfort and potentially triggering emotional trauma.
We all want to be the best at pleasing our partners.
“There are men who are well endowed who tell me they don’t like their wives or their girlfriends performing oral sex on them because they’re bad at it or it hurts, or women who have had really traumatic experiences and they don’t like it,” McCall-Robinson shares. “I’ve also had clients who are a little more open in their sexual practices with BDSM who were injuring themselves by accident because they desired the extra pressure.”
Some of McCall-Robinson’s clients even confessed to going to great lengths to avoid injuring their partners, covering their teeth with makeshift dental dams, orthodontist-prescribed bite guards or Invisalign retainers.
“Those products are still really hard,” McCall-Robinson notes. “And your sleep aid is meant to keep you from grinding your teeth at night or snoring — not for oral sex.”
Mostly, her clients just wanted to be able to enjoy giving and receiving oral sex.
“They want to be really good at it,” McCall-Robinson says. “We all want to be the best at pleasing our partners.”
In addition to privately counseling individuals and couples, McCall-Robinson works as an adjunct instructor with the Los Angeles Community College District and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She previously served as director of clinical services at the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
“A lot of traditional psychotherapy is really, really outdated,” she explains. “What I value as a therapist are alternative approaches that really help the individual. I strive to really meet my clients where they are and make them feel comfortable talking about something so sensitive. I’m always asking, ‘What can I do? What’s out there?’”
Looking for practical solutions to her clients’ concerns about oral sex, McCall-Robinson turned to Google, searching for products that might help make it more pleasurable for couples, but found few useful options. She imagined a product that would make oral sex more enjoyable for both partners — or in the case of some of her clients with physical limitations, simply make it possible — and immediately secured a patent for her idea. It would be more than a decade, however, before she took the next major step.
In 2021, McCall-Robinson founded SugahLipz, an oral-sex enhancer worn over the teeth. Made of food-grade silicone that can be trimmed down to fit the wearer, SugahLipz enhancers help prevent discomfort for both partners by creating a soft, flexible barrier to uncomfortable tooth contact with the receiving partner’s genitals. The SugahLipz oral sex enhancer is available for purchase through the brand’s website, and includes flavor options like strawberry, lemon, apple, peach and blueberry, as well as unflavored.
“SugahLipz can help the person who maybe has a small jawline, or a tiny mouth, who might think, ‘I can’t do this,’” McCall-Robinson shares. “There are people with TMJ disorder like myself who can’t open their mouths that wide for long periods of time. This gives us a shot in the game, and it takes out that fear around feeling like you’re going to harm your partner.”
Since McCall-Robinson attended her first XBIZ Retreat in January, SugahLipz has begun to generate interest among retail buyers and individual customers alike. Individual purchases — many by McCall-Robinson’s clients — currently make up the majority of SugahLipz sales. She says the product is especially popular with gay and bisexual men, even more so than with her straight female clients.
Maintaining that interest, though, presents unique challenges for a busy practicing psychologist like McCall-Robinson. Jetting off to out-of-town trade events and scheduling follow-up meetings with interested buyers isn’t always possible.
“I’m a psychologist,” she says. “That’s my main, full-time job. SugahLipz is something I did on the side, and thought, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ Plus, it’s really hard to spark ongoing connections with potential buyers, because it’s a new product.”
It has now been 15 years since McCall-Robinson first patented the idea behind SugahLipz. She says that one of the greatest challenges for the brand — then and now — is securing the necessary funding to implement a comprehensive marketing strategy.
In the meantime, she remains focused on the individuals and communities she serves through her clinical work, while working to spread awareness of the brand and bring SugarLipz to a wider audience. In addition to providing an easy, accessible solution to some of the physical limitations that might keep couples from enjoying oral sex, McCall-Robinson hopes that SugahLipz products can ultimately encourage a sense of fun and playfulness — an essential yet often overlooked ingredient of a fulfilling sex life.
“Try it out, put it in somebody’s bachelorette bag,” McCall-Robinson suggests. “Tell your friends.”
Indeed, nothing could be more fitting than SugahLipz reaching the people who need it most, thanks to “word of mouth.”