How sex toy habits changed in the pandemic (especially demand for quiet ones)

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You would be forgiven for thinking that everyone was masturbating more during the pandemic.

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Adult content subscription service OnlyFans went mainstream, and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Dakota Johnson, Lily Allen and Cara Delevingne released their own sex toys (Goop) or partnered with existing companies (Maude, Womanizer and Lora DiCarlo). while taking stigma-breaking steps. , respectively) to support stylish, often expensive pleasure products. Companies around the world have recorded a dramatic increase in sex toy sales since the start of the pandemic; According to The New York TimesWow Tech Group, the parent company of We-Vibe and Womanizer, saw a 200 percent increase in online sales between April, 2019 and April, 2020. Similarly, the Los Angeles Times informed of Stockholm-based luxury sex toy brand Lelo saw a 60 percent increase in internet sales in March 2020. and a 2021 study. published in the Journal of Psychosexual Health Note that sales of sex dolls, lingerie and sex toys have increased during the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia, the UK, Denmark, Colombia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, France, India, North America and Ireland, possibly due to the same panic. Because of impulse. Which inspired the hoarding of toilet paper.

It’s not that people are buying more sex toys—they’re behind special toys. Online sex toy seller Lovehani says Canadians were particularly interested in cool sex toys, which led to a 25 percent increase in sales of products like the Whisper Quiet Classic Vibrator. It’s understandable—with few viable ways to distract yourself from the panic, then pandemic monotony, it’s no wonder self-love emerged as an option. But if you were one of the 1.5 million young adults who moved back home with their parents, according to a recent Finder.com SurveysOr if you lived with a partner, kids, or roommates who were always, well, there, it became very important to avoid that telltale buzz.

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LoveHoney ambassador and sex-tech expert Bryony Cole says, “If last year proved anything about home life, it means you’ll not only see what it means to be in close proximity with others, but also hear that. How does a person live?

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But this is only part of the story. The way Canadians engage in self-love has also changed—in fact, some experts say the pandemic has affected our overall affinity for masturbation, a change that could last for years to come.

In a study conducted between April and August, 2020, and published this year in the International Journal of Sexual Health, researchers from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology asked participants about their levels of solitary sexual desire and solitary sexual behavior. asked, and while they found that interest in masturbation remained unchanged as restrictions were eased, people were actually less inclined to masturbate, “suggesting that there may be factors unrelated to desire that contribute to the decrease in masturbation.” are responsible,” according to the article.

“You would think that as restrictions are eased, people will engage in more sexual behavior because we are ‘going back to normalcy’ and the tension has subsided. But we didn’t get that,” says UBC’s Sexual Health Laboratory Lori Brotto, MD, professor in the school’s department of obstetrics and gynecology and lead researcher on the study.

It is important to note that most study participants identified as straight, white cisgender women, so these results may not reflect everyone’s experience of the pandemic. As Toronto sexual-health educator Samantha Bitti points out, culture, religion, gender, and sexuality play huge roles in shaping our relationships to masturbation, so it’s hard to make a blanket statement about how everyone is self-conscious. Contact with Anand. However, she thinks that masturbation habits of many people changed during COVID-19 due to various reasons.

“There are a number of factors that would contribute to why people’s affinity for masturbation has changed – the dynamics of their living situation, if they were moving back in with family or were a young university student in a dormitory. Whether or not you are a partner is a factor. But the most important factor, which extends across gender, sexual orientation, and age, is that we all have a different relationship to stress. When you’re under stress, does it matter? Do you feel more sexual? Or does it make you feel less sexual?” She says, noting that sexual feeling isn’t the only reason people masturbate. “The idea that the only reason we masturbate is because we have sexual energy is an illusion.”

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Broto agrees. Her study deliberately looked at sexual desire and sexual behavior separately for that reason. “Sometimes people will masturbate to deal with anxiety or to sleep or to change their mood, not necessarily because they feel sexual or have sexual desire or want to have sex with a partner,” she says. Huh.

In short: Masturbation can be a form of self-care. Bitti says it can be a way to practice mindfulness and meditation as you are breathing deeply and spending quality time with yourself. This is an opportunity for creative thinking. And, it’s good for you physically: Masturbation in general is a stress-buster that can provide relief from depression and anxiety, and orgasm has wide-ranging health benefits.

“They help with everything,” says Dr. Dreyan Burch, an American gynecologist and founder of Momentum, a company that sells sexual-health products, including condoms and lube. He’s only exaggerating a little; according to a 2016 Michigan State University StudyOrgasms trigger the release of oxytocin, which has been linked to lower levels of stress and anxiety — and even better heart health. Meanwhile, a 2019 Study The study published in Frontiers in Public Health found that 50 percent of those who had intercourse before bed reported better sleep quality and latency (the amount of time it took to fall asleep). There has even been research on the pain-relieving benefits of intercourse. a 1985 Study It was found that orgasm can increase a woman’s pain tolerance by about 75 percent.

It’s not like masturbation is about climax, or even that much.

“When we think about masturbating, we think ‘Okay, it’s about our genitals and orgasms.’ And it puts so many people out of the conversation,” Bitty says. “People who don’t have sex with their genitals or their bodies, people who don’t use their genitals. I think a lot of people learned during the pandemic that their relationship with masturbation isn’t just a living thing. It’s actually a worthwhile way to develop a sense of their sexuality and their relationship with themselves. And I believe it will carry over into our post-pandemic lives. “

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