Main Meal: Éva and Ian Goicochea
Every story begins with an introduction. So, how did you two meet?
“We met through a mutual friend. A former high school classmate of mine met Ian playing basketball in the park and they became friends. He told both of us about each other and said we’d get along—he was completely right. He brought Ian to my BBQ and we both instantly knew that the other was the one. A month later, we moved in together. A year later, we were married and 16 years years together later, we’re still here.” —Eva
Maude is ushering in a revolutionary new era for sexual wellness. Can you share a bit about how that innovation journey has been? What progress are you still dreaming about?
The journey of building maude has been both difficult but also incredibly rewarding. I think of sexual wellness as the foundation for how we feel about ourselves and our partners, and is a critical component of overall wellness, and yet it's historically been shrouded in so much shame and exclusion. Having come from a background in both product and public health, I was inspired to create a brand that served as a thoughtful, updated response, with beautiful, inclusive products at the forefront and I look forward every day to paving a better and inclusive future of intimate wellness—for all people.
Éva, you’ve said before “Intimacy is a feminist act.” Can you say more about what this means and how others can practice it?
In intimate relationships that have open communication and mutual respect, all humans are acknowledged and their thoughts, feelings, and desires are heard. This alone challenges the historical pattern of silencing women's voices and treating them as objects and the more that we are in healthy and equal relationships, the more we are creating a world of gender equity and less stigma.
You have a fearlessness in your approach with work, breaking taboo barriers, and even within your relationship just trusting your gut. How do you find that sense of self and bravery?
As a young child, my mom gave me a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic feminist tome on women's reproductive health. By having access to factual, basic education and having a forward-thinking parent who prioritized normalizing the conversation, I was raised without shame or stigma. That said, I am a very private person and take my role of shepherding the brand forward and something that is my privilege and responsibility but not a reflection of me personally. It helps to separate your own self image from your business.
What’s the upside and B side of being a pair at work and in your marriage?
We don’t work together formally but Ian does have a desk in our office as his company is remote. It really is calming to have his presence during the day and it’s nice to walk to lunch or grab coffee and check in with one another. It’s a little luxury but something that means so much to us.
What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve gotten or given?
“Communicate, communicate, communicate. The outer veneer of attraction and affection is one thing, but to reach the true levels of deep love and understanding there is only one path. It can be uncomfortable and it requires letting go of control, but there isn’t any other joy in this life that reaches the heights of being truly loved and understood for who you are. “ —Ian
How does food inspire the various elements of your life? Has it played a role in intimacy? What’s the best meal you’ve shared?
Food holds a profound place in our lives, as it transcends mere sustenance and becomes a source of inspiration and connection. Living in New York, we have neverending access to discovering food and the sensorial part of being in a restaurant – from the aromas to the ambient lighting and the surroundings—creates intimate moments of closeness through shared experiences. Over the years, as we've journeyed together, it's difficult to single out just one exceptional meal because each dining experience we've shared has been part of the map of our memories.
What does romance and love mean to you?
It sounds so simple, but having fun together and never letting the curiosity slow or desire to improve cease is what romance is to us. Neither one of us is interested much in gifts or the typical trappings of romance, but we relish in our quiet time together spent sailing on our little boat, or taking our pups to Central Park, or visiting museums. Enjoying each other’s company in everyday moments is how we build love.
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you individually and as a couple?
We do not seem like traditionalists in any way and for the most part, we aren’t—we both never wanted to marry anyone. Imagine our surprise when we wanted to marry each other and dove in headfirst. Now, we’re the couple that got hitched early in life and then even renewed our vows ten years in, which is just hysterical.