They’re featured in our books, celebrities rave about them, and they’re even sold in select stores of our high street giants. Few can even think of a product-based business that has skyrocketed in such a slow economy. According to The Daily Mail, the sex toy business is worth £250million per year in the UK alone (which is projected to rise to £400m) and the number of people admitting to owning an adult toy is seemingly ever-growing: in fact, leading UK retailer Lovehoney have estimated that over 50% of Brits own some type of sex toy.
The majority of sex toys are now sold to couples, which has given the industry a more marketable face compared to the lonely stereotypes of bored housewives and depressed bachelors. The website Daily Statistic have some rather surprising facts about our American cousins, such as the fact that 78% of women have used a sex toy said they were also in a relationship, and those that are married are twice as likely to own a vibrator.
Not A New Phenomenon
It’s also not such a recent phenomenon. Vibrators were advertised in the world-famous Sears cataloge long before some common household appliances. For example, it was featured 10 years before the electric iron, and 9 years before the electric vaccum.
But of course it is technology has played the greatest part in bring sex toys into today’s society. Now that the adult toy market has the interest of investors, engineers are dedicating their time to making quieter motors that power the vibrations, and designers are moving away from the clumsy, exaggerated phallic shape that belonged to a lot of dildos in the 90s. Although there is the common saying that the internet was founded on pornography, what holds more true is the notion that the internet is based upon anonymity, a premise of which sex toy retailers are more than aware with the promise of offering ‘discreet packaging’ to those that are placing an order. Customers can get their fix at the click of a button, and are saved from any embarrassment.
And tastes are now becoming more diverse since the Carrie Bradshaw days of the rampant rabbit. The runaway bestseller and very risqué Fifty Shades of Grey has put our love of erotica to the forefront and fan fiction (on which the book is based) now has a cult following. When published, many credit the book for the 350% increase in sales of Ben Wa balls (small beads that aim to improve the quality of female orgasms by exercising the pelvic floor) and the 50% increase of bondage-themed merchandise. Whether or not this is just a passing phase, the popularity of the book has taken S&M (and the gear that comes with it) from the basement and placed it firmly in the front room.
Secret Passion is a leading UK retailer of adult accessories, offering luxury products and discreet billing and delivery services.