We were in Holland last week at a trade show trying to keep on top of the latest and greatest in sex toys. We have loads of new products coming on stream in the next week of so which we are really looking forward to. But we also had a great chance to chat to a load of people in the sex toy industry in Europe and discuss what they were doing and how they see it going.
We also noticed the trends in the industry that seem to be picking up pace.
- Rechargeable is definitely in. Your days of fiddling with batteries are coming to an end as nearly all the new toys we saw were rechargeable and where rechargeable used to mean expensive that is also gone.
- Silicone is still the predominant material for that luxury feel but I just got the impression with the arrivals of loads of variety in shape this is slowly beginning to change and the reemergence of choice in material is a good thing in my book.
- Suction is going to be big. The arrival of the Womanizer and Satisfyer last year has sparked a whole slew of copycats and some of them are incredible. Still very much niche but we saw (and ordered) loads of incredible suction sex toys that really do offer a whole new experience. I can’t wait for you to see them. They are beginning to add suctions to whole ranges of sex toys.
- Fifty Shades might have come and gone but it has left a legacy and that is the explosion in Bondage brands. Unlike 5 years ago where price was king and quality be damned now it is all about quality. Brands like Bound are really changing the game and we have ordered a couple of new Bondage brands that are absolutely brilliant in terms of quality and price. Customers have learnt that if you buy a bondage kit for a tenner it is not going to be of the highest quality and will likely be disappointing. So spending that little bit extra will totally transform the experience.
- Vibrators in every shape and size are coming. We literally had a few moments of “That is a vibrator???” Even only 5 years ago a vibrator was generally penis shaped with or without an attached clitoral stimulator. We saw and again ordered vibrators that to me looked like stones, jellyfish, hairbrushes etc but they all offer incredibly focused stimulation so if you need a certain kind of stimulation to climax there is a vibrator for you.
- The Noughties are dead, The generic looking plastic vibrator is gone. As the price of the new silicone rechargeable vibrators has dropped it has really taken over the generic simple affordable vibrator segment from the cheap plastic sex toys that used to be everywhere. Good riddance.
Finally the last thing I learnt was that in Ireland we have a bit to go to catch up to mainland Europe in attitudes to sex toys. In Holland and Finland and Germany it is just a normal part of everyday life. The discussion and advertising of sex toys is the same as perfume would be in Ireland. People who sell sex toys are respected business people with normal lives, imagine that they are normal people!. Sex Toys are normal, fun and definitely nothing to be embarrassed about sure everyone uses them.
We are a long way from this in Ireland but it is inevitably where we are going. If 30 years ago you suggested that every supermarket in the country would be selling pregnancy kits and condoms there would have been total shock. We need to just grow up a bit in Ireland, we all masturbate, we all have sex, so why should the purchase of sex toys be anything but normal and everyday?
Think about it for a second what exactly is there to be embarrassed about? Your friends and neighbours already know you have sex and masturbate and they do too.