The Covid-19 social distancing and quarantines have contributed to the emergence of numerous new market trends. And while some sectors are experiencing massive slowdowns, others are thriving. The sex toy market ranks among those that went through a massive grow in demand as a result of the coronavirus slowdown measures.
Not only that, the new social dynamics are bound to completely transform the ways in which we view and seek intimacy. While it’s still too early to tell what the full scope of effects is going to be, we’re witnessing the birth of some interesting new trends right now.
In the end of April 2020, Forbes reported that the sales of sex toys have sky-rocketed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The phenomenon has been observed across the world. Adult toy sales more than tripled in New Zealand. In the US, adult toy stores reported an increase in sales ranging between 30 and 100 percent on an annual basis, Los Angeles Times reported.
Europe isn’t that far behind. In the UK, sex toy sales went up 13 percent over the few months of anti-Covid-19 measures. In countries subjected to very strict lockdown measures, the growth has been even more astonishing. In March 2020 alone, sex toy sales went up 124 percent in Italy and 300 percent in France.
Bringing Down the Stigma
Some retailers like HotCherry adult store are observing rising interesting phenomena on top of the growing sales.
According to online sex toy store owners, social stigma is going down and the overall acceptance is increasing at a time when people are forced to spend more hours at home than ever before.
Quarantine safety guidelines have also helped to make sex toys 100 percent mainstream.
In the end of March, the New York City Health Department issued an advisory focused entirely on sex during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the official guidelines, masturbation is one of the best and safest ways to enjoy healthy orgasms while the Covid-19 lockdown lasts. The only recommendation that the department issued is washing and sanitizing sex toys before and after each use more carefully and thoroughly than before.
Psychologists believe that people are getting very lonely due to social distancing and they’re also scared and stressed out. Masturbation provides a good chance to unwind and decompress in a safe and fun manner. This is especially true when some high quality, innovative adult toys are involved.
Social Distancing Is Also Transforming Online Dating and Cyber Sex
Having sex in person isn’t the only thing that’s been changed by the pandemic.
Reports suggest that online dating and virtual encounters have also been altered.
Dating apps have struggled due to the new developments as most people utilize them with the intent of eventually meeting someone new in real life.
As a result, a brand new concept is being coined – virtual dating. As the name suggests, it obviously entails a long-distance “encounter” with someone new that is kept in the digital realm.
This is where adult toys step in once again to make the connection more tangible and more intense. Internet-connected and remote controlled sex toys were originally conceptualized for couples in long-distance relationships. These can be synced with each other to result in an experience that both people will be involved in.
The sales of such sex toys have also grown exponentially since various countries introduced lockdown measures.
Interactive sex toys give a new meaning to sexting or virtual sex. When someone in one country downloads the control app, they can modify the way in which a partner’s sex toy works thousands of miles away. Obviously, such toys result in a lot more intimacy that two people can engage in when they don’t have the chance to physically meet and touch each other.
More and more couples are becoming long-distance out of necessity. Regardless of the fact, people still want to be connected. Manufacturers of high-tech sex toys have reported a growing interest in interactive toys that can be used to experience two-way, long-distance sex.
Social and Sexual Impacts for Decades to Come?
Sex is a human need and while most are concerned about a potential infection, we all crave intimacy.
The way we interact with each other, meet new people, hook up and have sex, however, is undoubtedly changed as a result of the global pandemic.
While people have become more cautious when it comes to seeking sexual experiences, they still crave the closeness these provide.
Sociologists believe that the effects of the pandemic on social and intimate interactions is going to be extensive and long-lived.
Will one-night stands and casual sex disappear altogether? Probably not. Experts, however, believe that our views of sex will have to change. Currently, it’s perceived predominantly as a standard heterosexual penetrative experience. Sex, however, encompasses a lot more than that. In an attempt to keep loved ones safe and healthy, more people will have to start accepting and embracing those broader notions of intimate experiences.
Needless to say, that can be a good thing.
Patience, creativity and technologies will come together to make sex more colorful, more inclusive and more diversified than ever before. We will have to wait and see how connections are going to be formed from this point forward and how people will act out on their urges and desires. One thing is certain – sex will not be the same when all of this ends.