Sex Toy Sales Continue to Grow Because of Social Distancing

By  //  December 2, 2020

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As most of the world is heading towards a second set of lockdown measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, some companies are capitalizing on the surprising way that 2020 has turned out.

The sex toy market is one of those affected in the most positive way by social distancing measures and lockdowns.

Even during the first set of lockdown measures during the spring of 2020, manufacturers and retailers saw a huge increase in sex toy sales. The trend has been ongoing over the year. As people have had to spend more time on their own, they’ve naturally sought opportunities to enjoy themselves and experience a bit of pleasure amid really stressful times.

Previous pandemics in the history of humankind have seen a reduction in sexual activity and birth rates. New technologies, however, are turning such trends on their head in 2020. Covid-19 lockdowns will be remembered as sex-filled ones, predominantly because of the effortless accessibility of sex toys.

The Sex Toy Market: Stronger Than Ever

A number of market leaders in the field of adult toys like Lelo, Lovehoney and others have reported an increase in sales reaching 250 percent over the course of 2020. Even smaller, niche manufacturers and retailers reported figures way out of line with 2020 forecasts.

Since March, some of the large brands report selling over a million toys.  And while the world is becoming increasingly positive and open to experimentation, such numbers are incredible and outstanding for the state of the industry right now.

Some reports also suggest that the range of people experimenting with sex toys has grown. In fact, many people gathered the courage to buy their very first adult toy over the course of a Covid-19 quarantine.

In a Cosmopolitan survey, it became clear that 41 percent of the women surveyed invested in a new sex toy over the course of the quarantine. For most of these ladies, the investment ranged between 30 and 60 dollars in a single new pleasure item.

The reasons for acquiring a sex toy vary but wanting to try something new is the most prominent one. The other two popular reasons for the acquisition of a new sex toy include loneliness and boredom.

Taking these figures into account, it’s obvious that the Covid-19 pandemic has given the market a significant push. Sex toy companies generated revenues of 24.9 billion dollars in 2018. The number is expected to reach 49.7 billion dollars by the end of 2026, a CAGR of over nine percent over the forecast period. Researchers suggest that Covid-19 is one of the factors that promoted the growth.

Stigma Goes Down as Sales Grow Steadily

One other very important phenomenon has been observed over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.

As the sales of sex toys are going up steadily, stigma surrounding the use of adult gadgets is dissipating. Yes, our societies are generally becoming more liberal and sex-positive. There are still some demographic segments, however, characterized by heavy stigma and even shame surrounding sexuality.

Strict upbringing, cultural and religious beliefs are largely to blame for such attitudes. During lockdowns, however, these factors have reduced in significance. The reason for the change is very simple and easy to understand.

Some powerful negative emotions have taken over during lockdowns and quarantines. Uncertainty, fear and anxiety all affected people’s state of mind. Psychologists believe that such profoundly negative emotions can easily kill the stigma some may feel towards the use of sex toys.

Psychologists even believe that the pandemic is going to have a lasting effect on the way we perceive adult toys, even when it comes to niche demographics that aren’t keen on sexual exploration.

One thing that became clear in 2020 is that sex and intimacy are needed, regardless of one’s age or relationship status. Sex and intimacy have become even more important at a time when people are stressed and freaked out about their wellbeing. They’re seeking a source of comfort and they’ve managed to find it.

Such a response to an extreme situation isn’t stupid and it certainly isn’t irresponsible. Sex and orgasms provoke the release of chemicals that deliver a lasting feel-good sensation. It is an important part of self-care. As many people explored the benefits of pleasure and masturbation, they found new ways to ensure their mental and physical wellbeing. Needless to say, this knowledge will contribute to a lasting socio-sexual shift.

High-Tech Sex Toy Makers Are Also Thriving

The sex toy market isn’t a static one. Just like many other product-based fields, it is evolving all the time to give users better, safer and more thrilling experiences.

It’s pretty clear that people haven’t just been looking for regular, classic sex toys over the course of the pandemic. Innovative, high-tech adult items have also become more popular than ever before.

The innovative sex toy market is truly diversified. From cyberskin dildos to remote-controlled products for couples that result in interactive sex when two people cannot be physically together, hi-tech toys are expanding the range of possibilities.

And it’s easy to see how such products can appeal to couples who cannot be quarantined together or people who want to have a sexual experience with a stranger in the middle of a lockdown.

As long as two toys are synced up with each other, the people using each can have a harmonious experience that is realistic and engaging for both parties involved.

Smart sex toys have been highlighted by media for some time already. For many, however, these remained a trend of the future that will require many additional decades to occur in real life. Once again, predictions have failed materializing as technology has evolved rapidly to make such items readily available.

The Future of the Sex Toy Market

With so many positive shifts occurring right now, the future of the sex toy market seems bright.

As more and more people are buying, manufacturers will guarantee the funds required for research and even more innovative developments. As a result, we can anticipate better and even more interactive adult toys in the years to come.

In addition, toys that were previously considered niche or fringe will make their bold entry into the mainstream. This has happened to an extent over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Larger retailers have begun carrying such items, making it effortless for people to shop for all kinds of gadgets (including self-pleasure ones in the very same place).

Sex toys for men are increasingly growing as a popular segment. For many years, such items have been linked to a massive stigma. While sex toy use is encouraged and celebrated among women (a signal of sexual empowerment) it’s still looked down upon when it comes to guys. Luckily, that situation is beginning to change and the socio-sexual shift mentioned above is one of the reasons why.

The fact that sex toys can also be bought online effortlessly is also encouraging those who feel somewhat shy about the prospects to experiment. Hopefully, the powerful shift will continue unfolding into the years to come, completely transforming the market “status” of sex toys.

The sex toy market turned these products into a lockdown essential for most demographics interested in sexual experiences.  Not only are sex toys soothing, they have also enabled a sense of connectedness for people who are completely disconnected by government-imposed restrictions. And this effect will last, potentially changing the way we date, we interact with each other online and even the way we have sex.

Quarantine has changed our daily interactions beyond recognition. But there’s at least something beneficial that emerged from all of the difficulties and frustrations of 2020. We will only have to keep a watchful eye on future developments and the direction in which the trend will be taken over the years to come.