Buying vibrators, butt plugs, cock rings and lube used to require either ordering by mail from the back of a catalog or taking a trip to a sex shop (ah, the old days). The Internet changed all that, sweeping up sexual wellness products along with books, movies, music, and food. So today the “sexual wellness market” is very big business, and according to a new study from marketing research firm Arizton, it’s expected to grow by nearly 7% in the next few years, reaching a predicted value of $39 billion by 2024. That’s a lotta lube.
Sex toys, aids, and equipment kits are easier to get than ever, with the advantage of discretion: these things can be shipped in an Amazon box straight to your home, and your neighbors will never know. Who’s buying most of this stuff? The report cites rising demand from first-world markets like the US, China, UK, Japan, and Germany.
Better Sex Through Technology
It’s not just the marketplace that’s changing; the products themselves are evolving. “The Global Outlook and Forecast” report notes advances in condom technology, along with new experimental materials — all designed to heighten couples’ pleasure and prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancy.
Hexagonal condoms, for example, are made of interconnected latex panels and allow for a better fit and sensitivity. These were introduced two years ago by a company named HEX. The next iteration will use graphene, a super thin yet strong material that is being developed for everything from water filters to bullet-proof vests.
These Are Not Your Father’s Toys
The report also found that nearly half of the growth of the sexual wellness market can be attributed to the demand for sex toys–everything from vibrators to RealSex dolls. Arizton cites the 50 Shades of Grey franchise and Showtime’s Masters of Sex series as two examples of the growing global interest in what once would have been dismissed as “too Twenty20” for standard heterosexual marriage.
But who wants a “standard” marriage these days, anyway?
(Hat Tip: BusinessWire)