Sex toys have been around for far longer than you might expect (the 6th century BC, by some accounts!). In reality, it has only been since the sexual revolution of the 1970s and 1980s that sex toys have become an integral part of modern sexuality. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that certain events have spurred their use, culminating in the industry’s remarkable growth during the Covid pandemic. We will look at some of the reasons why the pandemic has caused a surge in sex toy sales and even led to panic buying at one point.
Covid brought a great many things to the world that those in the West have been largely insulated from, including panic buying. While the news outlets focused on the toilet paper stockpiling phenomenon, another event was unfolding. The event in question was the peculiar proactivity of many people rushing online to purchase a vast array of sex toys and other sexual paraphernalia! Some reports indicate that during the onset of the pandemic, when governments were beginning to contemplate lockdowns, the sale of sex toys jumped almost 150% in some cases. There are lots of reasons for why this might have been the chase, but the common consensus is:
- People were worried about prices rising.
- There was a fear that lockdowns would mean sexual isolation.
- Many people feared that they wouldn’t be able to see their partners for an unknown amount of time.
- There is one thing people can control in an age of absolute uncertainty: sexual pleasure.
Although there may be other reasons, those just mentioned provide a fascinating insight into why so many people choose to get online and buy as many toys as possible. Therefore, it is worth breaking down those points individually to gain a deeper understanding of what was going on.
Pandemics bring uncertainty, and as could be observed with panic purchases of such mundane things as toilet paper, rational thought tends to go out of the window, and base instinct begins to kick in. Paradoxically, panic buying is one of the main drivers of price hikes. They cause retailers to increase the price to discourage it, resulting in supply issues far quicker than orderly service would. However, humans being the irrational creatures they are, can’t help themselves, and this fear of increasing prices could be one of the reasons that sales shot up so dramatically.
Sex toys come in a range of shapes, sizes, and of course, prices. Dildos, for instance, can be purchased for an affordable impulse buy or for higher prices that require more thought before purchasing. Studies show that roughly 50% of people who have purchased a sex toy, including men who purchased a male sex toy, spent around $20 on it. This indicates that most people are unwilling to spend big bucks but still want to indulge in the pleasures they provide. Therefore, it is safe to infer that people were worried about sexual isolation when the pandemic struck but didn’t want to spend much money (because they were concerned about their future income).
The next point relating to the uptick in sex toy sales is due to the fear of becoming sexually isolated. Humans are intimate creatures and desire the comfort of one another to satisfy their sexual desires. Nevertheless, once the pandemic hit and countries worldwide were beginning to implement strict lockdowns and curfews, it became clear that nobody knew when they might be lifted. This possibly resulted in them looking for alternative ways to “scratch the itch,” so to speak. Sex toys are the perfect remedy to this situation as the range and novelty are almost unlimited. You have the option to purchase the more common items, all the way up to machines that mimic human flesh and machines that replicate human motion.
When things are uncertain, the only thing you can rely on is sexual pleasure. When people feel out of control, they tend to fall back on the things within their grasp. Some manifest as conspiracy theories, while others more relevant to his post appear as a desire to masturbate all day long! While all day might be a tad hyperbolic, the fact remains that sexual gratification is almost the only thing that people can control without the need for outside influence. To that end, it seems clear why so many people rushed out to buy sex toys during the pandemic, i.e., to alleviate boredom and to do something within their control.
There are numerous reasons for the increase in sex toy sales resulting from the pandemic, but the main sones discussed in this post focus on price, isolation, and looking for control in turbulent times.