Sex toy sales have increased 65 percent since the initial lockdown, according to a report.
Bengaluru had the second highest turnover after Mumbai. The report, curated by ThatsPersonal.com, states that most of the customers are from Karnataka and Telangana.
Bobby L, co-founder of GetSetWild.com, says the lockdown forced many to think about their lives and sexual wellbeing. “Sex toys meet a basic physiological need. They could also help escape reality, ”he says. The re-prioritization of income, says Samir Saraiya, CEO of ThatsPersonal.com, is another reason behind the increase in sales.
“In all income groups, people are changing how they spend their money. You focus on domestic and personal needs. Decor, kitchen utensils, household products, and sexual wellbeing products all fall into this trend, ”he says.
Raj Armani, co-founder of IMbesharam.com, expects the trend to continue as the year progresses. “Many individuals and couples have found more time for intimacy. The consumption of porn has skyrocketed and knowledge about these products has reached more people thanks to the internet, ”he says.
What is the most bought?
Products for couples and singles are equally good in all stores. Massagers and male penis pumps dominate the sleeping place, contributing 19 and 16 percent of ThatsPersonal.com’s total sales.
Most dildos, vibrators and masturbators are bought at GetSetWild. “These are generally popular because they are easy to use and recognized by many,” says Bobby. At IMbesharam.com, Fleshlight, a toy for men, sells the most, followed by vibrators. Lubricants and performance enhancing products, pleasure rings, strokers, and lingerie are also popular.
In Bengaluru, 67 percent of all customers are male and 33 are female. Since 2014, when the first such report was published, the male to female ratio has remained more or less the same, but the absolute number of female customers has increased dramatically. Many female customers use a spouse’s or male friend’s credentials to make purchases.
The stores generate their highest sales in tier 1 cities. Disclosure and access to information are given as grounds.
“Smaller cities are surrounded by a heavier taboo cloud, which poses a dilemma for those exploring their physical desires,” says Armani.
However, affluent people in small towns can be more adventurous. “We’re seeing tier 2 consumers trying our more unique products. Take, for example, our sybic sex machine (masturbator for women). We sold four last year, around four lakh each, and all to tier 2 cities, ”he says.
A good 56 percent of buyers are between 25 and 34, 16 between 35 and 44 and 15 between 18 and 24. Factors such as age, gender and even relationship status determine what people buy. Adult games are not very popular with older groups, but they are very popular in the 18-24 category. Romantic products like edible body paint or massage oil are popular with the younger crowd. People over 40 usually choose products that can medically promote their sexual wellbeing.
Growth was mapped by comparing sales for the last 43 days of the second quarter (May 18 to June 30) with the first 43 days of the first quarter (January 1 to February 12).
This method was used because the company’s warehouse was closed from March 20 to May 18 and there were no deliveries due to the nationwide lockdown.
Nokia cell phone preferred
Forget the phone for sexting, many women in India rely on their phones for masturbation aid. According to a 2017 survey by Agents of Ishq, the old Nokia 3310 was the most popular sex toy among women in India. The high prices for products for adults drive many women to alternatives. The survey found that toothbrushes, shower nozzles, pillows, ice cubes, and vegetables were other popular options.
Online versus offline
There has never been an adult toy store in India. People buy these products online more conveniently as this automatically guarantees them privacy. An online store introduced a customer pick-up option in 2014, aimed at those who had difficulty getting packages at home: students and young professionals living with their families and couples with children at home.
Legal or not?
The sexual wellness market in India is booming. However, there is still uncertainty about the legal status of such products. The law states that “profanity” is a criminal offense, although there is no clear definition of what “profanity” means.
In Section 292 of the IPC and in Section 67 of the IT Act, “profanity” is understood to mean anything that is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or when it leads to people being depraved and corrupted. There is no legislation on the sale and purchase of sex toys in India. However, sex toys that closely resemble a human body part cannot be sold. Another online store says that all of their products are imported, genuine, and dutiable. The stores use discreet packaging and generic labels, and offer customers the option to collect themselves.