Sex toys are those that may enhance sexual health and also sexual pleasure. Sex toys are gaining popularity due to the increasing acceptance and use of these products. Most of these toys are designed to resemble human genitalia. Sex toys are widely available globally for both men and women and include dildos, vibrators, and sex dolls.
The major factors that contribute to the growth of the sex toys market include increasing awareness and acceptance of such toys for sexual pleasure and increasing use of these amongst couples and the LGBT community. However, various government regulations and low government approval of sex toys products in emerging economies such as India and South Africa with regards to the sale and distribution of these toys due to the taboo related to the use of the products is a major factor that is expected to affect the growth of the sex toys market.
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The vibrator segment is expected to be the most dominant among product types and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. According to the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality, the vibrator segment accounted for 19.2% of total online sex toys sales in 2017. Among distribution channels, the online channel is expected to be the most dominant segment during the forecast period. Online channels provide the benefit of privacy along with added features such as discussions on the product performance via forums which help drive sales. Among end users, women dominated the sex toys market and are expected to continue to do so during the forecast period. According to the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality, around 44% of women aged between 18 and 60 years have used a sex toy in 2017 as compared to 20% men who have used a sex toy in the same age group.
Global Sex Toys Market Outlook
The North America sex toys market is expected to be the most dominant during the forecast period. This is mainly due to the wide scale acceptance of sex toys in North America especially in the U.S. According to the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality, the U.S. accounted for the highest number of Google searches for sex toys, standing at approximately 100 searches per 1000 people. The U.S.-based company Comingle launched the Mod in 2014, a vibrating dildo that could be customized and can be set to vibrate according to the requirement, level of excitement, amongst others. Factors such as these are expected to drive the growth of the sex toys market in the region.
Challenges in the sex toys market
A major factor that is expected to affect the sex toys market is the low government approval of sexual products especially amongst the emerging economies in the regions of Asia Pacific. For instance sale of sex toys is illegal in India. Sale of sex toys is a punishable offense under the section 292 of Indian penal code, as sex toys are considered an “obscene” product. However, the online sale of sex toys is not illegal and could prove to be a major driver for the growth of the sex toys market in India.
Apart from this, currently there are no safety regulations that exist in the sex toy industry. These toys are sold as novelty items and do not need to comply with any specific regulations that include reporting the chemicals and materials such as phthalates and chemical plasticizers levels used in the product. However, regulations such as REACH do exist, and some sex toys are compliant to this though, there is no obligation for manufacturers to comply with these regulations.
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The wide scale acceptance of sex toys has resulted in the rise in number of manufacturers of sex toys and online channels adding numerous new products in their product portfolio. The National Association for the Advancement of Science & Art in Sexuality (NASAAS), was established in 2013, which is the first trade group that exists in the sex-toy industry and has around 700 member companies. Manufacturers are integrating innovative technologies in their products in order to strengthen their presence in the global sex toys market. For instance, Honk Kong-based Lovense launched Max and Nora the first app-based, Bluetooth sex toys in 2013
Some of the major manufacturers in the Global sex toys market are BMS Factory, Doc Johnson Enterprises, LELO, PHE Inc, Aneros Bad Dragon Enterprises, Inc., Beate Uhse AG, and Tantus, Inc.