by Marcus Leach
There was a time when the world of sex toys was considered taboo, confined to seedy shops in Soho where people would do their best to enter incognito for fear of being seen.
But that was then and this is now. It would seem we, as a nation, are far more relaxed and open about subjects that were once acknowledged but never really spoken about, not to mention the buying of said toys being a more everyday thing now.
It would appear, according to Durex at least, that the change in mindset centres around making the subject one for couples, and thus breaking the stereotype of sex shops and anything pornographic being the domain of men.
Britain behind closed doors: Gone are the days when sex toys were the reserve of the kinky extrovert, today using sex toys is no big deal. A far cry from the traditional view of Britain as a reserved, even prudish nation, it seems attitudes to sex and specifically sex toys have changed. A considerable 82% of Brits agree that they think using sex toys regularly is more acceptable than it used to be.
Tight lipped not pillow talk: Despite a new found acceptability, Brits are still maintaining their traditional decorum when it comes to spilling the beans on what they get up to in the bedroom. More than a quarter say they avoid conversations about using sex toys and confided that they may have bought a sex toy earlier in life if they’d felt more comfortable to discuss it with friends first - 26 is the average age for purchasing your first sex toy; the new coming of age, perhaps?
Men - they live to give: In the Durex survey, the top reason given for buying a sex toy is based very much on our partner’s enjoyment. 59% of men said this was the main reason for purchase. Also a staggering 62% of men rank pleasing their partners as the most important factor when considering a sex toy, suggesting that men perhaps aren’t the selfish lovers depicted in the stereotype. Ladies are increasingly more likely to get a sex toy than a bunch of flowers as a surprise gift.
"It’s a common misconception that women turn to sex toys because they’re single or because their partner no longer satisfies them. This survey shows that sex toys are much more the couple’s domain than they are for single people. It’s great to see that Brits are opening up to the possibilities and benefits of introducing something a little different into the bedroom," Durex sex and relationship expert Susan Quilliam said.
But what about the single man? Well it would appear that our views on sex dolls have also changed according to sextoys.co.uk.
"After compiling the data of over 4,000 participants it was abundantly clear that the attitudes of people had really shifted positively towards sex dolls; showing 40% of people responding with 'That’s Fine' when asked the question 'What would you think if you found out a lover had/used a Sex Doll?'," Emma Podmore, Marketing and PR manager for the retailer, said.
"More intriguingly, a whopping 26% of those asked responded with 'Let’s use one together!'. It was also very interesting to find that although 77% hadn’t ever bought a sex doll, 47% of the same participants also responded with 'I want to try one', when asked 'What’s your opinion of Sex Dolls?'. Of those who had admitted to already owning a sex doll, 46% claimed that it was 'Better than masturbating' and 37% confessed that it 'Stimulates fantasies'. So as you can see, there’s clearly more than meets the eye when it comes to the popularity of inflatable lovers!"