As the world slowly learns to live in self-isolation, many people are turning to toys to help them get through this time. And Canada is no exception, as our country has been buying sex toys more so than others.
A recent study looked at sex toy sales across the globe and found that Canada’s sales have gone up 135% more than predicted.
That’s compared to the U.S., where sales have gone up by 75%, while Hong Kong is up by 71%.
This report looks specifically at numbers from the company Womanizer, from January 1 – March 6th. These numbers are in comparison to their perceived sales forecast.
‘You can only watch so much Netflix’: Sex toy sales skyrocket by up to 350 per cent amid looming coronavirus lockdown
- Sex toy sales have surged by up to 350 per cent due amid looming lockdown
- Honey Birdette said male sex toys such as the Easy Beat Egg is flying off shelves
- Managing director Eloise Monaghan is crediting sales to impending lockdown
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison is urging people to stay home to stop COVID-19
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Sex toy sales are surging by up to 350 per cent after Australians were advised to stay at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Lingerie label Honey Birdette has seen a record number of toy sales over the past week since Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government’s first round of restrictions.
Managing director Eloise Monaghan told The Courier Mail one of its male sex toys, The Easy Beat Egg selling for $15, saw a 345 per cent spike in sales since last week.
Wiz Khalifa recently tweeted about how quarantine babies were the new Valentine’s babies. But as Indians prepped for a 21-day lockdown last night after PM Modi’s announcement of it, many citizens of the overpopulated country decided to be considerate. In an effort to not go overboard with what experts are calling a “coronavirus boom” that will see a generation of “quaranteens” by 2033, they added condoms and other kinds of contraception to their list of essential items to stock up on.
Condom retailers and pharmacies report that people’s idea of protective gear isn’t only face masks. They’re also going big on buying condoms, causing sales to go up by 25 to 50 percent. “People now have a lot of time, and they are bored at home,” Harshal Shah, a medical store owner in South Mumbai told Hindustan Times, adding that while people would usually pick up packs of three, they are now buying packets with 10 to 20 condoms.
Adult retailers have reported a spike in sales as people use their time in quaranting and self-isolation to shop for and try out new sex toys. Men’s sex tech brand MYHIXEL has sold five times more devices in March than in February. Luxury brand LELO has seen an increase of 40% on sales since the beginning of social distancing and self-isolation. Adam & Eve told me it had seen sales spikes of over 30% compared to this time last year, while sales at British brand Ann Summers are up 27% on this time last year.
With the UK, Italy, Spain and France on lockdown, and many parts of the US practicing social-distancing, it makes sense that there would be increased interest in solo play. People who don’t live with their partners are suddenly unable to spend time with them, while singles are finding themselves with more time on their hands. Many more are just looking for ways to relax in a time of anxiety.
“We definitely think individuals and couples are self-soothing and looking for some de-stressers during these uncertain times,” a spokesperson for Adam&Eve says. “We’ve seen a jump in couples’ toys, and anal toys are quite popular. Maybe for couples all this time together ramps up some experimentation. Or perhaps the stresses outside create a ‘why not?’ approach for people?”
This is certainly what the team at Sh! are finding. They’ve seen a 53% increase in website users and online revenue is up by 89% compared to a week ago. Meanwhile, sales of lube and toy cleaner have doubled. The bricks and mortar store in London closed last week but the team are still giving tailored, customer-facing advice on social media and live streams.
The requests certainly suggest that people are thinking outside the box. “This ‘trying something new’ theory is backed up by the advice people are seeking from us,” says founder Ky Hoyle. One message the team received read: “So I am thinking about getting a strap on for when my girlfriend and I are able to see each other again after isolation, but I don’t know where to start as I have never used one and neither has she!” Another customer wrote: “I first got my bullet vibrator about a year ago. I love it but I am so bored with it. I was thinking about getting another another one to add some more good vibes. What would you recommend?”
At Hot Octopuss, sales are already up 42% on last year, and this week they’ve seen a massive 149% increase compared to the week before. The website has also seen a 59% week-on-week rise in visitors since early March. But not everybody is shopping for new gadgets. Many people are browsing for tips and advice. Je Joue has seen a 63% increased in sales compared to last year but the site has also seen a 265% increase in the amount of visitors to their blog.
“I think people are looking for two things right now: information and connection,” says the co-founder of Unbound, Sarah Jayne Kinney. In the last three weeks, daily sales at Unbound have doubled and there has been a significant uptick in customers selecting express shipping, as well as getting in touch with customer services to ask when to expect their shipment.
At Ann Summers, the Whisper Rabbit was the bestselling toy in the second week of March. A spokesperson for the brand said they suspected customers were placing increased importance on noise while they have a full household. Lovehoney also reported that quieter toys are doing well, perhaps due to families and flatmates all being stuck at home together with limited privacy. However, the company declined to comment on their sales figures, citing the escalating seriousness of COVID-19.
But Dominnique Karetsos, the co-founder of Healthy Pleasure Collective says serious times often result in more sex. “History and economics tell us that even in recession or depression birth rates go up as consensual sex is free,” she says. “Plus, it’s never been as easy to access films and toys that you can order online and have delivered to you door.”
Unlike in times of conflict or economic downturn, all the advice for halting the spread of coronavirus is geared around doing as little as possible. “Never before in history have we been asked to stay home and look after ourselves,” she says. “We have no distractions, and even the distractions we do have are telling us to take care of ourselves. You may not have taken time to masturbate before or use toys with partner but now we are in a different space to explore that.”
Wise to people’s renewed interest in experimention, some adult brands have been offering heavy discounts or doing giveaways. Last week Bellesa boutique partnered with Womanizer to give away vibrators as part of a push to encourage people to stay home. Promescent, a manufacturer of lubes, condoms, arousal and climax delay gels, have seen a 60% increase in online sales since March 5 and last week started offering all shoppers a free four-pack of condoms.
As the UK went on lockdown this week, British brand Hot Octopuss launched their own giveaway of 1000 sex toys for people who are self-isolating because of coronavirus. “It’s easy to get swept up in worry about the headline stats and forget that the coming months will be lonely—and boring—for many people,” says the founder, Julia Margo. “Taking care of ourselves will help us all get through this difficult time. Masturbation and pleasure are good ways of helping to make isolation more bearable.”