How Fifty Shades Changed Sex Toys

How Fifty Shades of Grey changed sex toys

Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has introduced more couples to the idea of trying bondage in sex in the same way that Sex and the City lured many women to experiment with vibrators.

So says Matthew Curry, the marketing mind behind Lovehoney, one of Britain’s biggest sexual toy websites.

Since the book’s well publicised success, a lot of new customers came onto the site searching for terms like “whip” and “nipple clamps” he told Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

And in response to the influx of “newbies” who were scared off by “hard core” packaging, Lovehoney “ended up having to make and sell much more sanitised and normalised versions of sex toys to avoid scaring them off.”

All About Wands

While the Rabbit vibrator (the best known version of which is Ann Summers’ Rampant Rabbit) was once the uncontested champion of the sex toy world, it’s no longer the UK’s biggest selling vibrator. These days, it’s all about wands.

“It started with the Hitachi Wand, which was marketed as a personal massager. Our biggest seller is the Deluxe Magic Wand which plugs into the mains and is incredibly powerful,” he says.

The trend for super-powerful vibrators, which began in the US, can go too far though. Curry continues: “We used to sell a toy called the RockBox. It was billed as the world’s most powerful sex toy. Essentially it was a power tool. Image a sander with clitoral stimulator. We discovered that was too powerful and could be actually damaging.”

Meanwhile, Lovehoney has just closed its latest sex toy design competition. It’s been holding the contest since 2009 when the winner was a product called The Sqweel.

Curry explains: “It’s essentially a wheel of 10 silicon tongues that’s meant to simulate oral sex. That’s done very, very well. The guy who submitted the idea has made so much money he was able to move to Canada.”


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