This article originally appeared on VICE US.
The stress of the current situation seems to be driving half the population into an anxiety-induced state of absolutely never thinking about sex, and the other half toward a place of unbridled horniness. Which is a shame for anyone who doesn’t have a live-in partner or who hasn’t yet started boning their roommate, because, as the New York Department of Health hath decreed, the safest sex partner in a pandemic is: Yourself.
It seems plenty of people have already been on that wave. Online sales for sex toys and sex toy accessories saw significant increases throughout the month of March, according to business owners who spoke to VICE.
Sales for at least five major sex toy brands have seen significant increases throughout 2020, seemingly in step with instructions to stay inside and avoid other people. A rep for WOW Tech Group, which owns the sex toy brands WeVibe and Womanizer, told VICE that both brands had already exceeded their monthly sales projections by more than 40 percent as of March 25. They also noted that sales for Womanizer, which mostly makes toys designed for masturbation, were especially high.
Sales throughout March were also up for COTR, the company that owns b-Vibe, Le Wand, and The Cowgirl. Alicia Sinclair, CEO and founder of COTR, told VICE online sales across all three brands were not only about three times higher than this time last year, but that buying habits also seem to have significantly changed.
“It reminds me a little bit of grocery store hoarding, like buying things you might need in the future but maybe only bought rarely in the past,” Sinclair said. “When someone's coming and buying five accessories, or three or four different sizes of butt plugs, it does seem like people are investing for the long haul.”
As long as everyone who’s panic buying sex toys is washing them properly—with unscented soap and water, before and after each use—using a bevy of vibes and butt plugs to stay entertained throughout lockdown is a fine and good idea. Sinclair also mentioned that one item, in particular, has been the “sleeper number one selling product” for all of March: A pocket UV sterilizer pouch, designed for sex toys, that’s been available through b-Vibe since August 2019. “We had somebody buy four of them,” Sinclair said. “My belief is that people are repurposing them for keys, phones, goggles… They're sterilizing household objects.”
Nothing about this situation is ideal and everyone—especially those on the front lines—would love for it to be over, as soon as possible. Following all the rules for social distancing and safe pandemic sex and dating is a good way to make sure that happens. But in the meantime, whether your quarantine sex partner is another person or yourself, there’s no reason against using this time to finally introduce anal toys or play around with your new collection of fancy vibrators. (Both COTR and WOW Tech said they’ve implemented safety measures, like reduced hours and providing protective equipment, at the shipping centers to mitigate the risk of getting sick.) Honing a rockin’ sex toy collection is a perfectly fine quarantine task: It’s not overly productive, has nothing to do with developing abs or a freaking bread starter, and will probably make you feel good. And most importantly, it encourages staying the hell home.
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