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Coronavirus: Danes, New Zealanders snap up sex toys amid lockdown

  • Published at 03:27 pm April 9th, 2020
Snow covered mountains rise above the harbour and town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018 Reuters

Sales of sex toys double in Denmark, triple in New Zealand ahead of coronavirus lockdown

Right before lockdown, nationals of many countries started stockpiling toilet paper amid the coronavirus crisis. However, Denmark and New Zealand witnessed a different scenario as sales of sex toys skyrocketed in these two countries.

In Denmark, sales of sex toys have more than doubled after Danes were told to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters citing Sinful, the country's biggest retailer of the merchandise.

In New Zealand, the nation’s largest retailer of sex toys, Adult Toy Megastore was quoted by The Guardian as saying sales of its products tripled after Jacinda Ardern announced a month-long lockdown.

"It makes me happy that we are doing something good during this difficult time, when people feel vulnerable," said Mathilde Mackowski, co-owner of Sinful, the biggest sex toy seller in the Nordics.

In the first week of April, sales at Sinful rose 110% in Denmark, where it estimates it commands three-quarters of the total market, reports Reuters.

The country's biggest sex toy review website Eroti.dk said traffic has more than tripled during the lockdown compared with the same period last year.

In particular demand for sex games and toys for couples has spiked. Sinful said sales of a 10-day love challenge for couples rose more than four-fold since mid-March compared with the same period before the lockdown.

"I think it's only natural that when we spend more time together we want to have a little extra fun," said Mackowski.

"We take better care of each other in this difficult time and that also reflects on our sex lives," she said.

Each day the retailer ships out some 1,500 packages to online customers in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Across the region, sales doubled in the first week of April compared to the same period last year.

Danes are famed for their 'hygge' - a word roughly meaning "cosiness", for being among the happiest people in the world and for their progressive laws such as the legalization of pornography in 1969, long before most of Europe.

Sinful said that the main spike in sales had come in the last seven days, after they actually slipped immediately after the lockdown was announced on March 11.

"It was probably because we all panicked a bit and were more looking to buy toilet paper and toothpaste and those kinds of things," said Mackowski.

Sales triple in New Zealand

New Zealanders were warned by the authorities against stockpiling toilet paper or flour. But that is not all they have been hoarding, The Guardian citing Adult Toy Megastore reported.

Logo of Adult Toy Megastore

The national shutdown generated mirth on social media about a possible baby boom nine months after the stay-at-home rules lifted, and worried family planning specialists as access to various forms of birth control dwindled.

The restrictions also prompted a tripling of sex toy sales in the 48 hours before the lockdown was imposed on March 25.

The prospect of a boring month indoors seemed to have prompted New Zealanders to stash adult products that they might not have tried before, said Adult Toy Megastore, a New Zealand-based company.

“We’re selling a lot of beginner toys ... all our beginner ranges are very popular,” said Emily Writes, a spokesperson for the business. “It definitely looks like people are saying: ‘I’ve got time, I might try something new.’”

Sales of condoms, lubricant, and menstrual cups were among the other purchases that spiked after Ardern announced the lockdown, as well as adult board games and sex toy cleaner.

Adult Toy Megastore told the Guardian it had experienced a number of significant sales boosts in recent weeks, all coinciding with major news announcements about the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand, Australia, and Britain.

Purchases tripled in all three countries on the day the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on 11 March.

Sales for the site doubled in Australia on 22 March when Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced bars would close, and in Britain on 21 March when Boris Johnson announced the same.

“Looking at what people were buying at that point it was all sex toys,” said Emily Writes. “It was like they were thinking, ‘We can’t go to bars, we can’t pick up, we can’t go on dates.’”

Adult Toy Megastore was deemed an essential service by New Zealand’s government and was allowed to continue operating during the shutdown because it sells condoms and medical items. All staff are working from home.

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