Adult toy sales experience record boom during 2020 due to COVID-19

The sex toy industry experienced record sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sex toy industry experienced record sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Getty Images

While many businesses saw a downturn in 2020 due to COVID-19 others benefited, experiencing record highs - and with the masses locked up inside, the sex toy industry was one that experienced some serious popularity. 

For Adulttoymegastore, 2020 was a record year for sales.

Owner of the Wellington-based business Nicola Relph says she has never seen anything like it.

"What blew us away was it was mostly first-time customers. I've been in this business for more than a decade and I didn't see it coming."

Relph puts the success directly down to the COVID-19 pandemic: "Lockdowns definitely had people at home wanting to try new things - from baking bread to trying toys. I think that it also came at a time when conversation and discussion about sex has become much more open."

New Zealand's sex toy sales tripled in the 48 hours leading up to the beginning of the strict level 4 lockdown on March 25, with Adulttoymegastore experiencing noticeable boosts in sales following significant news announcements about COVID-19.

The trend continued elsewhere with sales doubling in Australia on March 22 when Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced bars would be closing and in the UK on March 21 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the same. 

As an essential service providing condoms, lubricant, menstrual cups and sex toy disinfectant Relph says it was the "strangest" year but is grateful for the huge support the retailer received from its customers. 

"I'm very grateful for the way our customers supported us and as a small Kiwi business, it really showed we can take on the world. Our staff worked so hard, that can-do attitude that was seen all over the country was really inspiring."

And the list detailing the most popular toys for the year has been released with "phenomenon" Satisfyer Pro 2.0. Next Generation taking out the top spot.

Relph says it's no surprise the toy came out on top, it was crowned as the country's favourite toy earlier in the year and its popularity has only grown. 

In second place was the Bullet Vibrator which Relph describes as "reliable and old school." 

The full top ten of most popular adult toys are as follows:

  • Satisfyer pro 2.0. Next Generation
  • Bullet Vibrator
  • Share Satisfaction Kama
  • Satisfyer Pro G-spot Rabbit
  • Rocks Off Every Girl
  • Jackit Stroker
  • Optimale ring set
  • Amore by ATMS Silicone Beaded Chain
  • Basix Suction Cup Dildo
  • OVO L1 Loveballs