Sex toys fast becoming world’s favourite gadget

The Star

Sex toys fast becoming world’s favourite gadget as sales soar towards 400 million (set to match sales of smart phones!)

Smartphones have long been a must-have accessory, but sex toys are quickly becoming one of the world's most popular gadgets.

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Experts believe the willingness of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jane Fonda to divulge their bedroom secrets are behind a recent surge in the sales of 'pleasure goods'.

While the UK sex toy business is now worth £250 million a year, 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 - the UK is following suit in a Channel 4 documentary 'More Sex Please, We're British'.

The hour-long fly on-the-wall set to air on Tuesday, focuses on Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer,

Originally founded in 2002 by Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst, Lovehoney the company, which offers an array of goods from adult toys and sexy lingerie, to erotic literature and games, has seen its sales increase each year to a current total of £16 millon.

Co-owner Mr 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 story.

'Suddenly ordinary women weren't afraid to talk about their sex lives and their use of sex toys.'

Lovehoney estimate that nearly half the nation owns a sex toy, while global sales of vibrators and other sex toys soared to £5.5billion-a-year and are to set to rise to £40billion by 2020 - matching those of smartphones.

In light of this, a number of high street retailers such as Boots, Tesco and Superdrug now stock erotic goods.

Mr 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.

'Now mainstream retailers like Boots, Tesco and Superdrug sell sex toys.

'Take a walk down the pharmacy aisle and you'll see vibrating penis rings and bullet vibrators alongside the condoms.'

While sales of sex toys had been held back in the past due to an association with the sleazy, male dominated pornography industry, according to the counselling service Relate, women are now 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 U.S. TV interviews screened last week.

Asked for her favourite, Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, 39, wife of Coldplay singer Chris Martin, said: 'I'm down with all of them.'

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.'

Myleene Klass, 34, is another vibrator enthusiast - buying them for showbiz pals such as Suzanne Shaw, who she sang with her in the band Hear'Say. -- Daily Mail

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