Smartphones have long been a must-have accessory, but sex toys are quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular gadgets.
Experts believe the willingness of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jane Fonda to divulge their bedroom secrets is behind a recent surge in the sales of “pleasure goods”.
Global sales of erotic accessories are to set to rise to 400 million.
While some of Hollywood’s most famous leading ladies have opened up about their sex lives in the new TV series, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet, in the UK Channel 4 has just screened a documentary More Sex Please, We’re British, focusing on its biggest online sex toy retailer, lovehoney.co.uk.
Originally founded in 2002 by Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst, Lovehoney offers an array of goods from adult toys and sexy lingerie to erotic literature and games. It has seen its sales increase each year to a current total of £16 million (R205m).
Slateford, a former record producer for Kylie Minogue, stated that celebrities opening up about their sex lives had been a key sales driver.
He said: “A famous celebrity will give a big interview about their sex life or their love of sex toys and we will see a flurry of sales afterwards.
“It all started with Sex In The City – which was incredibly liberating for women, especially after Charlotte became a virtual recluse after buying a rabbit vibrator at New York’s famous Pleasure Chest sex store.
“Suddenly ordinary women weren’t afraid to talk about their sex lives and their use of sex toys.”
Global sales of vibrators and other sex toys soared to £5.5bn a year and are to set to rise to £40bn by 2020 – matching those of smartphones.
Slateford added: “It’s great that celebrities are being more honest about their sex lives. There has been such a huge change in people’s attitudes over the last 10 years.”
While sales of sex toys had been held back in the past due to an association with the sleazy, male-dominated pornography industry, women were becoming far less shy about sexual aids.
A report by retail analysts Hewson confirmed there had been a revolution in the past 30 years, driven by the fact that women have a more powerful position in the home and work place.
“Celebrity endorsement of sex toys by star such as Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria and Halle Berry act as validators for brands and women alike,” researchers said.
Several female celebrities talked openly about their favourite sexual positions in US TV interviews screened recently.
Zoe Saldana, 33, star of Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean, said: “I like missionary and I like being on my knees too. And I love being on top or standing up.”
Meanwhile, the X Factor star Tulisa blushed when her rabbit vibrator accidentally went off in her suitcase when she was picking up her baggage at Miami airport.
Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria, 37, revealed that some of the best sex she had ever experienced was with a sex toy.
She said in an interview: “I own two and I have a Rabbit one. I give that as a gift all the time. It’s the best gift to give – an orgasm.”
Teri Hatcher, 47, also from Desperate Housewives, said: “To be honest, I don’t know what I want a male for. I have some fabulous electronics to use instead. And any woman who tells you she doesn’t is lying.” – Daily Mail
CHECK OUT THESE STYLISH SEX TOYS AVAILABLE IN SOUTH AFRICA
For him. Maker Fun Factory says the Cobra Libre is “the world’s first luxury vibrator for men”. With two powerful motors and various vibration modes, the smooth silicone body hugs the male organ for enjoyable sensations. It’s waterproof and part of the click ‘n’ charge rechargeable range. Prices range from R1 100 to R1 400.
For him, for her, for both. This whisper-quiet intimate massager is couple-friendly. With a powerful motor and six vibration modes, it has a three-button interface on its smooth silicone body to control vibration and intensity. The hole in the middle allows for easy handling and manipulation for focused titillation. It is rechargeable and waterproof. Prices range from from R899 to R1 350, depending on the retailer.
Worn by him during couple sex. This love ring has six adjustable modes that create powerful vibrations for shared stimulation for him and his partner. It is rechargeable (charge lasts four hours) and it comes with a charger that doubles as a storage unit. R795 at Matildas.
Worn by her during couple sex. This new version of the award-winning toy – it has an external and internal stimulator for women – has 40 percent more power, a wireless remote control with a range of 3m and a charger base that doubles as a container. It’s waterproof. Costs R1 595 to R2 300.
For him and couples. This love ring is worn by a man but is designed to stimulate the woman too. It comes with a wireless remote with a 12m range and SenseMotion technology that allows you to change vibrations with a tilt of the remote in your hand. It is waterproof and its flexibility and smooth silicone body ensures comfort for the man. Prices range from R1 595 to R2 100, depending on the retailer.
For her and couples. The waterproof toy is so discreet that it can be held in the palm of your hand. It comes with a thin membrane at one end that you can press to make contact with the body to amplify vibration where it counts. It is rechargeable via the charging pod, and a charge gives seven hours of use. It has four vibration modes with five power levels. Prices range from R1 095 to R1 650, depending on the store.
For her and couple pleasure. This egg-like massager features Lelo’s SenseMotion technology and wireless remote with a 12m range. A discreet motor inside the remote mirrors Lyla’s vibrations to show what a partner is feeling. It’s quiet, waterproof and rechargeable. It can be used externally and internally, with a thin retraction cord attached for removal. Prices range from R920 to R1 350, depending on the retailer.
For her. This silicone toy has two motors, for internal and external stimulation, and multiple speeds. It’s smaller than usual for a rabbit-style vibrator and fits into the palm of the hand. Two push-buttons are covered by the silicone shell for safe use. It’s also waterproof, has a travel lock function and comes with a charger. Fully charged, it works for 14 hours. It is R1 249 to R1 500 depending on the store.
For her. This cute-looking toy has three balls and two powerful motors giving eight speeds. Matildas says the Yoo is stronger and more intense than any other “external” stimulator it’s reviewed. It’s rechargeable. Prices range from R839 to R1 000, depending on the store.
SEX TOY SOURCING: Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat.
wHERE TO BUY:
* Matildas: Visit www.matildas.co.za or call 0861 004 639.
* The Bedroom: Visit www.thebedroom.co.za or call 011 447 7678.
* Lola Montez: Visit www.lolamontez.co.za or call 0861 565 266. - The Star