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Wickedly Inspirational Women – Asa Baav: Founder of Tailor Matched, a match-making service based on sexual needs

The pandemic re-wrote the script for dating. When all physical human contact was stripped away from us, we got wrapped up in a whole new direction of online dating. To start with, some of the most popular dating apps were downloaded for the first time by a lottttt of people; 82% of singles turned to online dating in the pandemic, and Hinge saw it’s global app downloads increase by 63% in 2020, compared with the previous year. Those who already had profiles on dating apps increased their usage in a time where contact was limited; Tinder had 11% more swipes and 42% more matches, making it the app’s busiest year to date.

When real life dating was put on the backburner for the year, apps had to get savvy with what they could do to get people connected behind a screen. Almost all leading apps quickly developed, or improved upon, their existing video-dating features. For a generation that’s grown up alongside ever-evolving technology updates, this was a rather natural move; in pre-COVID 2019, a Stanford study reported that today people are more likely to form a relationship through online dating than any other avenue. However, pre-pandemic, exchanging DM’s were quickly ditched for dinner, drinks or a whole of casual flings, in an unforgiving hookup culture. The pandemic forced people to fight the natural urge to get physical, remaining behind a screen, behind closed doors, for the safety of themselves and loved ones.

Virtual dating seemed to be a success for a large number of users; OkCupid found that 31% of users liked engaging in virtual activities, 25% preferred video chat over meeting in person and 15% wanted to watch a movie or TV together online. Female-first dating app Bumble saw a 93% increase in use of their video-dating feature within the first two weeks of the lockdown alone. However, not everyone joined these apps looking for love, or in a pursuit of passion. With no freedom to interact with people in the outside world, other than a grocery shop or a short stint of outdoor exercise, disconnection and a sense of isolation hit people hard. Beyond the founding principle of getting people linked up with a potential lover, dating platforms used the pandemic to begin to try and cultivate a sense of community for their users. Tinder’s CEO Elie Seidman said“While we are socially distant, we definitely aren’t disconnected […] More than ever, having someone to talk to can make a world of a difference.”

And those who were looking for potential lovers, seemed to have refined their requirements. A long year of isolation seemed to shed an exposing light on what people were lacking in life and love. Across nearly all dating platforms, there was a shift in a search for a little more long-lasting love than a limited-time-only lust dose. More than 80% of OkCupid users stated that they’re looking for a steady partner post-pandemic – and over a quarter of those reported that they’ve changed their minds due to last year’s experiences. 75% of Hinge users highlighted that they’re seeking a relationship this summer rather than a casual fling, and over on Bumble, more than half of users today feel less willing to compromise on what they want, and more importantly need, from a potential relationship, and almost 30% say they’ve noticed a decline in dead-end conversations.

However, it’s not been an easy ride for all. Social isolation has made people’s confidence and social skills regress, making the idea of dating a highly daunting task. One matchmaker, Sarah Louise Ryan, reported a 300% increase in enquiries to her matchmaking business due to people struggling with dating during the time of Covid.

Today’s Wickedly Inspirational Women interview allows us to meet a matchmaker who’s doing things a little differently; not just in response to dating in a post-pandemic climate. The incredible Asa Baav has switched up the matchmaking game and is leading with the intention of matching people based on their sexual, emotional and intellectual needs. Born from her learning from her own experiences, she has revolutionised the way in which ‘black swans’ are being connected. Continue reading for our detailed interview with this groundbreaking woman who is paving a new direction for people to find their perfect match, a match tailored to each other… tailor matched.

Tell us about yourself: name, age, where you live, what you do?

My name is Asa Baav, I am 34 and live in London.

I am a matchmaker, female dating, intimacy and relationship coach, educator and founder of Tailor Matched.

Can you tell us 5 words to describe yourself?

I would describe myself as driven, deeply curious, cheeky, ecstatic dance enthusiast and caring.

Tell us a little bit about Tailor Matched? What was your inspiration/reason for starting the company, when did you come up with the idea?

I created Tailor Matched in 2019, to make real connections materialise on a deeper level. Tailor Matched was built to be a catalyst for wanting it all and making it

happen, and to make it possible to talk about what really matters to people when dating, both inside and outside the bedroom, without judgement or shame.

Tailor Matched is a reflection of my previous love life where I found myself in this frustrating dynamic of either meeting men who I was compatible with in life, but not in the bedroom or meeting men who I was sexually compatible with, but who never wanted to the things as I did in life– leaving me feeling unfulfilled, wondering what part of me that I have to give us in order to find love.

Going into my 30s I decided that I no longer wanted to give up any part that was important to me, I was ready to own and speak up about all my wants and needs, inside and outside the bedroom, and through my journey, I have met so many other people in a similar situation.

Tailor Matched quickly became the nationwide thought leader in sexual and romantic compatibility.

How would you set your method of matchmaking apart from the online dating / dating app methods?

Matchmaking is a deeply personalised journey and each match is handpicked by a team of professional matchmakers.

Matchmaking is so much more than just dating. As a team, we take the time to get to know every single person in our community and truly understand what is important to them, both inside and outside the bedroom. As trained coaches, the team are able to hold space for real conversation as they explore and reflect on what perhaps hasn’t worked out for them so far – as well as their values, their motivators, their inner journey and who they are looking to meet.

Our personalised and refined approach to matchmaking, alongside the time investment needed from singles who apply, means that we naturally filter out people who are simply not serious about building something meaningful. We work on a personalised vetting and selecting process for all singles who would like to become part of our community, ensuring that all of our members are on the same wavelength. The Tailor Matched community is a pool of singles who are serious about connecting offline and on a deeper level; emotionally, intellectually and sexually.

I feel beautifully bold in Something Wicked

How do you personally feel when you wear lingerie opposed to underwear?

Lingerie brings out my playful side. I love the feeling of having a date night planned where I’ve bought something new that makes me feel sexy and feminine. Not only does it make me feel great, I also love surprising my partner. Over lockdown we went to a Zorgie (online orgy) and I was wearing this beautiful bodysuit, and as the night began, I treated my partner to a little strip tease… slowly unveiling what I was wearing underneath my dress and the smile on his face was priceless!

What is your favourite piece of Something Wicked and why?

I adore bodysuits and love how the Mia Leather Bodysuit enhances the female body. I also love the gorgeous blindfolds; it’s one of my favourite play accessories in the bedroom as it really enhances our senses.

Can you give us a behind-the-curtain insight into how you match people through Tailor Matched? How do you go about matchmaking people on their emotional, intellectual and sexual needs, and what is your success rate?

We don’t work with algorithms; everything is human-led as we know that there are so many nuances to who we are as people that simply can’t be captured through data.

Taking the time to speak to each and everyone in our community means that we interact with people in real time, which gives us a human understanding of who they are, what they are about, how they express themselves and what inspires and motivates them in their life. This gives us a well-rounded view of their personality which is so important when introducing two people.

After the initial call and the invitation to join, we give them access to our unique Suitability Profile, which goes deeper into what their search for a partner looks like – this is made up of 150 carefully selected questions, going deeper into love and life aspiration, relationships goals and sexual compatibility. Our members find this part of the process to be very insightful as it helps them to get clearer on what is important to them and why.

We don’t measure success on how many marriages or babies like the old -style marriage bureaus may have done way back when. We measure success on the duration of time our clients work with our personal matchmaking services, the amount of testimonials and recommendations we receive, as well as the amount of couples who share their journey once they have connected and committed to one another further to our labour of love.

We have found that most of our clients work with us for around 8 months before meeting someone significant, despite our matchmaking services spanning a year for them. However, it’s not always the case – our most recent success story met after just 6 weeks! It just goes to show how preparation can meet opportunity, especially when ‘married’ with personal matchmaking services provided by our industry leading experts.

Do you follow up with your matched couples after the matchmaking process? Can you tell us a success story of Tailor Matched?

We do have a feedback process in place when the members are still in the dating process and meeting new people through Tailor Matched. There are some things that we can only learn about ourselves once we are in the actual dating process and meeting new people, and it is important for us as a team to continue to learn about each member. We frequently touch base with everyone to see how they are getting on in their connection and how we can refine their search moving forward.

One of my favourite success stories is a recent couple that we matched, who we had such a warm feeling about from the start; from how they showed up energetically on the call, their humour, approach to career, and attitude to making time for play and their love for adventurous holidays, and of course similarity in sexual curiously and what that exploration would look like.

It was like they described each other in the first conversation with our team and when looking deeper into their compatibility via their profiles, our gut feeling was confirmed and we just knew they had so much potential – upon meeting they saw it too and they haven’t stopped talking since!

It is our aspiration to continue to support couples throughout their journey together, and we have recently developed more workshops with couples in mind. Compatibility, inside and outside the bedroom, is an ongoing journey, and we would love to facilitate more pleasurable experiences for the couples that’s been successfully tailored matched.

What else do you do other than Tailor Matched? Tell us more about your coaching courses and classes?

Events are something that quickly became a big part of Tailor Matched, and they have been an opportunity for our members to discover, explore and learn more about their desires, their bodies and pleasure. The events are like the sex education you wish you had.

As an ex-queen of self-sabotage, when asking myself the question “what is the point of matching two highly compatible singles if they are going to do what I used to do in the past” aka self-sabotage out of something that felt happy and healthy, I made the decision to become an accredited coach and later set up @coachwithasa to help women own who they truly are, speak up about what is important to them and remove whatever is holding them back in their love life.

A big part of my own journey has also been to befriend my body, embrace my femininity and open up my heart to deeper love. My own transformation has been led by practising tantra which has revolutionized how I show up in my life, in my relationship and in my businesses.

So as my own journey is evolving, so is my businesses and I now support other couples through couple coaching alongside my partner David. As Tantra Practitioners we also guide couples and singles through the world of Tantra, as they discover new depths of intimacy, connection and pleasure.

What is your long term goal with Tailor Matched?

We want to liberate even more singles in love and in the bedroom, and we have some exciting plans to expand to new locations across the UK. More to come soon!

I think some people still have this idea that by engaging a matchmaker, they have somehow failed in their search for love, when in fact engaging a matchmaker doesn’t mean you have failed, it just means you want MORE from your love life. I hope that having a matchmaker will be just as normal as having a PT.

What has the response been like you ‘ve featured in mainstream media, e.g. This Morning, BBC Radio, The Independent?

The word that I often hear from people after they hear my story is the word “hope”. The hope that they can re-write their love story, the hope that there is someone out there for them and the hope that they can meet someone who wants what they want, without having to make themselves smaller. I’ve had an overwhelming amount of positive support from my family, my partner, friends, ex-colleagues and old friends who I knew when I grew up in Sweden. I feel very grateful and feel very supported.

How do you think the Covid-10 pandemic has effected peoples sexual exploration, do you think it has had a positive or negative impact?

Let’s start with the positive – something we saw early on when navigating the pandemic was the change in what people found to be important when meeting others. Traits such as being caring, kind and empathetic quickly replaced any conversation about height and physical traits. We had one member who wanted to know if others clapped for the NHS, which I think says a lot about their character and the people in our community.

Another thing that singles embraced was the benefit of slowing down. Not being able to meet in person and not having the option of exploring that physical connection meant that everyone had longer conversations and more frequent conversations before even having the opportunity to be intimate.

Sadly, the long period of non-physical touch meant that many people felt anxious about getting themselves out there. Many singles felt overwhelmed at the thought of going from dating in their own home, to now venturing outside, meeting in public with the possibility of hugging, touching and perhaps more. As we transitioned out of lockdown, we encouraged everyone to leave any perceived expectations at the door and to take things slow and at their own pace to ease themselves back into the “new normal”, on their terms.

What do you do to make yourself empowered/liberated/confident?

By listening, acknowledging and communicating what I want, need and desire – emotionally, physically, sexually and spiritually – I have opened myself up to this newfound sense of freedom of being me, unapologetically.

The more I do it, the easier it gets and it is so empowering to be able to say how you truly feel and speak up about your wildest dreams, desires and fears. The more I do it, the more my life continues to fall into place and I am so excited for the future and what’s next for me.

“Female sexuality is no longer a taboo” Do you agree with this statement?

I think we are making fantastic progress and it makes me so deeply happy when I see women learning about their bodies, their pleasure and what they want (and don’t want) in the bedroom. There is still work to do, and as an educator it is very easy to think that we are further ahead than perhaps what is the reality for many.

The truth is that there are still many women who have deep shame around sex, are being shamed by others for wanting to have sex, plus with a society that still hyper sexualise women, I think we have much a lot more work to do when it comes to celebrating women and letting women do whatever they want to do with their life and their body, without the need for others’ opinions or judgment.

We need more education when it comes to sex from a much earlier age, to counteract the fact that younger people now access porn. It is so damaging to grow up thinking this is what sex looks like.

Finally, I would also love to normalise the female naked body without the need to sexualise it!

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sex and relationships?

That a fulfilling love life doesn’t just happen.

There is a strange misconception that when you find the “right person”, the relationship will be effortlessly fulfilling, passionate and multi-orgasmic and if it isn’t, there is something seriously wrong.

Being in love and exploring sexual desires is one of the most heart-warming, nourishing, healing, and exciting of experiences AND it can also feel uncertain, vulnerable, scary and challenging and that’s ok and very normal.

We need to normalise talking about our wants and needs and have the tools to hold space for this type of conversations.

I think the most important characteristic to look for in a partner is their willingness to put effort into growing and nourishing the relationship, and keeping the sex life interesting, romantic, and intimate as you grow together and individually.

What message would you give yourself e.g. as a teenager?

That you are so worthy of love and that you are so capable, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You are perfect just as you are and there is a whole world

out there waiting to get to know you and to celebrate you, just for you! Keep your head held high, girl!

Fill in the blank – “I feel beautifully bold in Something Wicked”

To enquire about Tailor Matched’s services, or just learn more about the incredible work they’re doing to change the way we date and form relationships, visit Tailor Matched. Don’t forget to follow them on instagram, aswell as Asa’s additional coaching account!