Move over, smartphones. Sex toys are about to take top spot in the race for world's favourite gadget according to a study by British market research firm, Hewson Group.
In the report, Global Sex Toy Index, researchers found that sex toys, while still balked at by some groups, have lost their stigma.
"These items are frequently the subject of media hysteria or manufactured outrage but the reality is that over half the women in North America and Northern Europe own one — necessarily acquired from an almost universally unadapted supply side," write the researchers.
Canada is ranked number 8 out of 20 developed countries with 40 per cent of women aged 18-70 as sex toy users in 2011.
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The Daily Mail reports that global sales of erotic accessories are set to reach 400 million.
The recent surge in sales of "pleasure goods" has been linked to celebrities like Jane Fonda and Eva Longoria opening up about their sex lives. Eva Longoria reveals that she owns two sex toys and I has a Rabbit one.
"I give that as a gift all the time. It's the best gift to give — an orgasm," Longoria tells the Daily Mail.
The gifting suites at the 2009 Oscars showcased the rechargeable couples sex toy, We-Vibe, created by an Ottawa company. Founds Bruce and Melody Murison hand-delivered the product to visiting celebrities.
We-Vibe has since become the most successful branded sex toy since the Rotating Rabbit gained fame on "Sex and the City" reports Canadian Business -- adding that the $150 We-Vibe outsells its competitors by three to one.
"It helps that it doesn't look like a penis, too," says Charlie Glickman, education program manager for San Francisco sex shop Good Vibrations. "It looks like a Bluetooth earpiece."
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Neal Slateford, co-founder of Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer, lovehoney.co.uk, agrees that "Sex and the City" was the biggest catalyst for sex toy sales in general.
"It all started with "Sex In The City" — which was incredibly liberating for women, especially after Charlotte became a virtual recluse after buying a rabbit vibrator at New York's famous Pleasure Chest sex story. Suddenly ordinary women weren't afraid to talk about their sex lives and their use of sex toys."
Canadian Business reports that the easy accessibility of sex toys— the We-Vibe is available at major retailers, not just in traditional adult novelty stores — has made them less intimidating for discreet, monogamous couples.
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