If you're shy about your sex toys, you might hide your collection in your sock drawer or beneath the bathroom sink. But increasingly, sex toys are becoming mainstream, rather than something to blush about. You can now find a wide variety of sex toys online, ranging from sex toys for beginners to luxury sex toys designed for the advanced user.
While your grandparents' generation may have found sex toys taboo, recent studies suggest that vibrators and other sex toys are positively regarded by most men and women. Back in 1953, Alfred Kinsey estimated that "less than 1 percent" of couples used vibrators. Now, the sex toy market is predicted to reach $52.7 billion by the year 2026.
In this sex toy blog, we look at some of the reasons why the popularity of sex toys has skyrocketed since the 1950s -- and how sex toys are being used by individuals and couples to enhance their pleasure in the bedroom.
The History of Sex Toys
Electric vibrators, long distance sex toys, and other electronic contraptions might be a new invention -- but sex toys are far from a novel invention. In fact, the use of sex toys dates back to the times of the ancient Romans and Chinese.
Bronze dildos and jade butt plugs have been discovered in the tombs of aristocrats, buried there thousands of years ago; however, it's thought that some of these devices were used not as sex toys, but to seal off the bodies of corpses during the embalming process. In Ancient Greece, bread was frequently fashioned into dildos to be used as a sexual aid by men and women alike.
It wasn't until American physician George Taylor invented the Manipulator that vibrators came into being. The Manipulator consisted of a hand-cranked dildo attached to a steam engine. But unlike the modern vibrator, the Manipulator was used to treat female "hysteria," rather than to produce pleasure.
After the Manipulator, many vibrators entered the market passed off as beauty tools. It's impossible to know how many of these devices were used as intended or for sexual pleasure. What we do know is that by the 1970s, powerful electric vibrators had been developed -- and widely known as sex aids in the mainstream.
By 1983, a Japanese manufacturing company had brought us the luxury sex toy known as the rabbit vibrator. The show Sex and the City popularized its use when the character Charlotte famously used it.
We've come a long way from bread dildos to the rabbit vibrator! Now, luxury sex toys are available from the best materials we have to offer. The Internet has made it easy to purchase sex toys online, with electro sex toys, long distance sex toys, and other sophisticated, modern gadgets discreetly shipped to your door.
Why Luxury Sex Toys Have Become So Popular
In 2017, a Canadian study estimated that more than half of individuals are using sex toys, including vibrators, butt plugs, BDSM toys, and even household items repurposed for sexual pleasure. It's clear that luxury sex toys have skyrocketed in popularity since Kinsey's survey in the 1950s -- but why have sex toys become so popular?
For anyone who's ever used a vibrator, it's no secret that these little sex toys pack a powerful ability to enhance pleasure for individuals and couples alike -- especially for women. The sexual liberation movement in the 1970s brought increased attention to the clitoris and other epicenters of female pleasure, contributing to the popularity of vibrators.
Back then, sexual educators led consciousness-raising sessions where they used vibrators to teach their fellow women how to masturbate. Without this movement, sex toys may never have gained mainstream popularity as a tool for enhancing female pleasure in the bedroom.
But vibrators aren't just being used to achieve orgasm by oneself. Of those who have used a vibrator, 81 percent of women and 91 percent of men reported using one with a partner.
Sex toys are popular with couples for a variety of reasons, not least of all because they can introduce novelty into the bedroom. Psychology Today shares that women and men who are satisfied with their relationships are more likely to have used a sex toy together.
In the age of online dating, there's also an increased interest in virtual sex, especially among long distance couples who want to be intimate while they are apart. Long distance sex toys have been developed for that very reason; these vibrators or other devices can be controlled by a partner from afar using an app or remote control, allowing partners to feel connected wherever they go.
The increased acceptance of diverse sexualities may also have something to do with the increased popularity of sex toys. Eighty-six percent of women who have sex with women report having used a vibrator -- and experiencing increased sexual satisfaction because of it.
Gay or bisexual men are also more likely to have experimented with sex toys than those who identify as heterosexual, despite the fact that men who use sex toys score higher on measures of erectile function, orgasm function, sexual desire, and sexual satisfaction.
Whether you're looking for a beginner sex toy or a luxury sex toy for the advanced user, you can rest assured that vibrators and other sexual devices are more widely accepted now than ever. With the increased availability of sex toys online, discreet shipping can bring sex toys right to your door -- allowing you to introduce novelty and increase satisfaction in the bedroom, whether by yourself or with a partner.