Times are rapidly changing! A few decades ago, sex toys were considered a taboo and a big no-no for reputable individuals. Today, the popularity of adult toys has skyrocketed so much that various niche products have also emerged.
So, what happened?
Why did even conservative parts of the world change their prudish ways to start embracing everything that sex toys bring to the table?
Social tendencies are most definitely at play here, painting an interesting picture of changing attitudes and growing acceptance.
The Current State of the Sex Toy Market
The global sex toy market is thriving.
In 2019, it was a 28.64-billion-dollar industry. By 2026, the global adult toy market is anticipated to reach a volume of 52.7 billion dollars. the annual growth rate in sales is approximately nine percent over the forecast period.
The most commonly owned kind of sex toy across the world is the good, old vibrator. It’s followed by dildos and approximately 65 percent of women in America report owning some kind of sex toy or another.
Online sex toy buying could be considered a large contributing factor to the growing popularity of such products. Gone are the days of having to stand in front of the sex shop and gather the courage to go inside. Online shopping opportunities make it easy for even the most conservative segments of society to begin exploring toys.
The current situation that the world has found itself in happens to be another interesting factor that has contributed to a sex toy boom. Multiple countries, from EU member states to India, have reported a massive increase in online sex toy sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Obviously, that’s an isolated occurrence but it demonstrates just how much the attitude of people towards the ownership of adult toys has changed.
What Fueled the Revolution? Female Empowerment!
Online sex toy purchases make things easier but for such to start playing a role in the niche, societal attitudes towards sex toys need to have been changed in advance.
The empowerment of women is a large contributing factor to the sex toy boom.
TV shows like Sex and the City put adult toys in the spotlight. And they did so in a good way. Most of us who have watched the show remember the vibrator discussion in the café, followed by the introduction of the amazing powers of the rabbit vibrator.
Such productions focused on female sexuality and empowerment made sex toys mainstream and prompted many to give them a try.
It’s also essential to point out that sex toys aren’t just for women.
Products targeting men and couples have been growing in significance over the past few years. HotCherry adult toys provide an excellent example of all the niches and societal segments that the sex toy market caters to. Not only are there sex toys for couples, there are sex toys for same-sex couples, sex toys for people in a long distance relationship. The market evolves to become more inclusive, which gives more individuals access to the products that are catered to their specific sex life. Needless to say, such diversity will pay off in the form of growing sales.
As of today, couples make up a large segment of the sex toy buying market. Most of these people report they’ve bought a sex toy to keep intimacy fresh and exciting. In fact, this is true for 82 percent of the couples that own sex toys. The act of buying a sex toy in itself acts as a bonding experience and it also gets people communicating more about their sexual needs, which is obviously a good thing.
Emerging Markets, Breaking Taboos
Certain parts of the world have long been recognized for their openness towards sex toys. Europe leads the way and has always been the least conservative part of the world. The adoption of sex toys is also widespread in the United States and Canada.
Research, however, suggests that many conservative societies are starting to open up to the idea.
The popularity of sex toys in India, for example, has grown exponentially.
Online adult stores in India offer a plethora of products for singles and for couples. These appeal predominantly to younger Indians, who are getting engaged in a sexual revolution of sorts.
Sex toy store owners also believe that Indian society is changing and becoming somewhat more liberal. People are starting to talk about sex toy usage among themselves. Such exchanges are contributing to curiosity and sooner or later, that curiosity transforms into a purchase.
The sexual wellness market in India is anticipated to grow at a rate of 34.8 percent per year annually in the coming years. Currently, India is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the worldwide Google searches on products like lubricants, erotic lingerie and sex toys.
The Arab world is another conservative market segment showing signs of change.
While there are still Arab countries where sex toy ownership is banned (you could get arrested for their ownership in Saudi Arabia), parts of the Middle East are welcoming a sexual revolution.
In Bahrain, adult toy shops are thriving. They still offer a limited range of products as replications of sensitive body parts are religiously unacceptable. Discussions of sex and pleasure are a taboo in the Gulf region but this doesn’t mean society isn’t interested. In fact, the sex shops are doing pretty well, despite the limited range of options.
Pakistan is another relatively conservative part of the world that’s contributing to the adult toy boom. Many local manufacturers and retailers do offer their products via Chinese online stores to avoid scrutiny from local religious authorities. While there’s still a long way to go, the authority of local regulatory entities is getting diminished as people are becoming more curious and ready to discuss and explore their sexuality.
With the development of the adult toy industry, there’s something for just about everyone out there. The more manufacturers branch out, the more people they’ll reach. Chances are that the sex toy boom will continue even beyond the forecast period to give people happier, kinkier and much more enjoyable sex.