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the truth behind the sex toy industry

The truth behind the sex toy industry, sex habits and celebrities spending a guap on vibrators

Because so many people of both genders still find it difficult to openly discuss sex toys and how you use them, let along own up whether they actually use them we don’t even know how many people actually use sex toys.

In this article we are going to discuss the sex habits of people from different countries as a way of getting an understanding of how many people are actually using them.b

We are also going to look at how some of the stigmas of sex toy use are being demystified by celebrities who either use sex toys or have alluded they do so.

How big is the sex toy industry?

In 2015 website “Statista” published an estimate of the sex toy market world wide at US$20.82 Billion. Yes, you read that right; Billion. Furthermore, they estimated significant growth through until next year; 2020 at a staggering US$29.07 Billion. Now that is a growth industry.

Janet Burns, “Forbes” (15 July 2016), took this estimate further and shared the following comment; “AMNE co-founder Susan Colvin in an event release. “Now it stands as a $15 billion market segment, with projections that it will surpass $50 billion by 2020.”


How many people use masturbation toys?

The male perspective

In an article in “The Independent”, 10 June 2015, by Samantha Evans and titled “Sex Toys for Men: Why Is It Still A Taboo?” she discusses; “Despite the ongoing stigma, male sex toy sales have risen by 1,000 per cent in the past 10 years.”

Evans also shares some very detailed statistics where, in 2014 FHM conducted an online male sex toy debate of 5,000 men to find out their views about buying male sex toys and found:

  •  51 per cent of the men own a sex toy with cock rings being the most popular toy (30 per cent) followed in popularity by Fleshlight, prostate massagers, penis pumps and stamina rings.
  • 78 per cent of the men said that they would consider buying a sex toy for solo use. 22 per cent said “no way”.
  • 70 per cent suggested that they should be allowed to buy a male sex toy without embarrassment.
  • 69 per cent would be happy to let their partner use a male sex toy on them.
  • 60 per cent of the men who replied said they had used a female sex toy on their partner and had enjoyed the experience.
  • Only 4 per cent said it was weird.



Who are the men that use sex toys?

On 16 May 2014, Dr Justin Lehmiller wrote the article “Is it normal for guys to use vibrators” on the “Sex and Psychology” site. In that article he states; “recent surveys suggest that it’s actually not that uncommon for guys to use sex toys. For instance, a national survey in Australia found that about 12% of the men surveyed reported having used a sex toy in the last year.

In addition, a national U.S. survey focusing specifically on men’s vibrator use found that 24.2% of guys reported having used a vibrator in the last year. The U.S. study also revealed that if you look at whether men have ever used a vibrator in their entire lives, the numbers are even higher, with nearly half (44.8%) saying they have done so.”

Lehmiller also provided interesting data on the sexuality of the men using vibrators; “Research suggests that these men are more likely to be married or living with a partner; in addition, they tend to be less religious and less politically conservative.

Also, while some people might assume that vibrator use is primarily driven by gay men, that’s not the case. In fact, large numbers of heterosexual- (44.5%), bisexual- (66.7%), and gay-identified men (50%) report having used a vibrator before.”


male personal information


In Pink News of 11 February 2016, writer Joe Williams gave some interesting facts and statistics in his article titled “A surprising number of straight men enjoy using sex toys to masturbate”. He writes; “A recent study has revealed that more straight men are using sex toys when masturbating.

Almost a quarter of men – both straight and gay – have used sex toys including dildos and butt plugs while masturbating, a new survey has found.

Presenting her findings at a sexual science conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico last November, psychologist Allison Kirschbaum asked hundreds of men about their habits of self-pleasure according to Mel Magazine.”

Williams also continued with statistics on how the men surveyed used sex toys; “It was found that 24% of all men, both gay and straight had “inserted an object” into their anus, while 35.3% had engaged in nipple play and 32.2% had used a vibrator.

In addition, just over two thirds (66.4%) had rubbed their genitals on a surface while almost half of respondents (47.7%) had used a shower jet. Statistically, if 6-10% of men identify as gay or bisexual, the findings would point to at least 14-18% of heterosexual men agreeing they enjoyed anal penetration during masturbation.”


a female persepctive on sex toys


The female perspective

In the 17 November 2014 “Mic” article titled “8 Facts Put the Biggest Myths about Sex Toys to Bed” by Amanda Chatel we discover the following interesting statistics about sex toy usage among women:

“Worldwide, the sex toy industry rakes in $15 billion a year, with 19.2% of sales being vibrators and 16% being dildos. Fifty percent of women start using sex toys in their 20s. Twelve percent of women use a sex toy at least once a week to masturbate, and, because we know you were wondering, New Zealand is the No. 1 country as far as vibrator ownership goes.

Thirty-five percent of Kiwis have at least one in their possession. Whereas only 1% of women in the ’70s used sex toys, roughly 53% do now.”

Chatel also shared her findings that sex toys are for everyone; “People of all relationship statuses use sex toys. In fact, 78% of women who use them report being in a relationship. They’re also not just for straight women. There are plenty of toys out there for same-sex couples, as well as toys for men.”


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Chatel also stated that some women really do need to use sex toys; “Getting a woman off is big business, and as women have orgasms only 64% of the time, it’s also important business. A 2009 study found that a whopping 75% of women do not orgasm during sex without the assistance of a toy or manual stimulation. The same study also found that 10-15% of women never achieve orgasm at all.”

Chatel also shared comments from Vanessa Marin who said; “The majority of [sex toys] can be used by either gender. Anal plugs and vibrators, restraints, whips, paddles, ropes, clamps, blindfolds and electrostimulation toys are all technically ‘gender neutral,'” Marin said”.

There are also plenty of couples toys, like the We-Vibe, Lelo Tor, and Jimmyjane Hello Touch that are designed to be used together.

Dr Ava Cadell made some fascinating remarks about empowerment in women when they blindfolded their partners, as shared by Amanda Chatel; “”It’s even better for the ladies to blindfold their men, because that gives women more confidence. I’ve had so many clients that told me that once they blindfold their lover, they can do things and say things. They’re 10 times bolder than they’ve ever been. It liberates them,” says Cadell.”

From an Australian perspective, radio station KISS 1065 posted the following on 15 May 2017 in the lead up to National Masturbation Month; “As a part of National Masturbation month this May, online sex toy retailer Love Honey surveyed over 1,000 Aussies about their sex toy use & the results might surprise you! 22 percent of Australians have over 11 sex toys – most of which are owned by women, who say masturbation lasts longer than sex with a man.

What is perhaps most surprising is that 64 percent of those surveyed said they prefer solo sex over sex with a partner! Australians own at least five sex toys, while two percent haven’t bought one at all. The most popular toys were rabbit vibrators, followed by bullet vibratos and dildos.”

Use of sex toys has become so strong that one British website, “Bustle”, gave a fascinating insight into the number of women who actually take their sex toys on vacation with them, as shared by Lea Rose Emery in her article of 19 August 2016. She wrote; “According to a new survey of 1,100 adults by lingerie and erotic retailer Ann Summers, 85 percent of British women report traveling with sex toys.”

Emery also shared other results from the Ann Summers survey; “So 85 percent have brought it (a sex toy) at least once, but an amazing 56 percent do it on the regular.” The Ann Summers survey found that vibrators were the most common bought sex toy, but added “And I get it, you can get them (vibrators) really compact and they still pack a punch — plus they’re fun for everyone. But anal beads, cock rings, and more were mentioned, so people are literally shoving anything in their suitcase.”



Awareness through discussion about celebrities and sex toys

Thanks to celebrities talking about sex toys there is greater awareness about what is available, how to use them and the pleasure derived from using them.

Dejana Pilipovich, shared details of Celebrity Sex Toy usage in her article titled “11 Celebrities With Sex Toys” for “The Frisky” of 12 November 2018. This is what her article had to say for those 11 Celebrities:



Eva Longoria and her vibrator

Eva Longoria

During one interview, she shared: “I didn’t begin enjoying sex until I started masturbating. Before that, I really wasn’t sexual. I bought my first vibrator three years ago. It’s a shame I didn’t discover it sooner. Now I give Rabbit vibrators to all my girlfriends. They scream when they unwrap it. The best gift I can give them is an orgasm.”



beyonce and her vibrator

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

They gave almost $6,000 for some line gold-plated sex toys from Babeland a well- known sex shop in New York City.



halle berry and her vibrator

Halle Berry

She declared that she often goes to The Pleasure Chest, a sex toy shop in L.A. “You can’t forget your sexuality — that’s not good. You can still embrace your body by going to the gym or going to the Pleasure Chest.”



Taylor Momsen and her vibrator

Taylor Momsen

During an interview with Disorder Magazine, while being 16 years old, she confessed that she thinks of her vibrator as her best friend, and shocked quite a few ‘traditionalists’.



victoria beckham and a vibrator

David & Victoria Beckham

David gave an extraordinary $1.8 million for a platinum vibrator with a $10K diamond-encrusted base that is connected to a $16K diamond necklace for his wife, Victoria.



Alicia Silverstone and a vibrator

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia supported The Leaf, a vibrator made from eco-friendly and non-toxic plastics, and she said: “I like that they look natural and feminine…like leaves and flowers…not scary,” and ridiculed phallic-shaped toys.



Miley Cyrus vibrator usage

Miley Cyrus

On her Tweeter account, Miley shared photos of her vibrator, whom she calls “Adonis.” That is, in fact, a mannequin-sized plastic hand designed for fisting.



Madonna and her vibrator


While married to Guy Ritchie, the couple was seen exiting a hotel with a Penetrator in a transparent bag.



Kate moss and her masturbation toy

Kate Moss

Kate owns a $350K 24 karat gold vibrator from Jimmy Jane. It is silent, waterproof and eternal, which she enjoys very much.




Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande

Ariana shared a photo by mistake on her Instagram account a selfie photo of a black phallic thing on the floor behind her.




Maggiem Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal

She shared that while doing the movie Hysteria, which is about the invention of the vibrator, she went crazy about them. She firmly declared that she has an amazing collection, and occasionally lends them to her friends.



The list of celebrities grows with the article titled “15 Celebrities Who Love Their Sex Toys: Barbara Walters, Jennifer Lawrence & More” by Amy McCarthy in “Bustle” dated 19 February 2014.


In that article were the following comments:


Jenniferm Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

“In a 2013 interview with Conan O’Brien, goofball actress Jennifer Lawrence may have over-shared when she told viewers that a hotel housekeeper found a box with “copious amounts of butt plugs” and other sex toys under her bed. Lawrence claims that the toys were given to her as a joke, but we’ll bet she decided to try out a few before tossing them in the trash.”




Carrie fisher

Carrie Fisher

“In her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking, Fisher admits that her first vibrator was given to her by her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds.

“[One] Christmas my mother bought both my grandmother and myself vibrators! As unusual as a gift like this sounds, you have to admit that they are ideal stocking stuffers. I mean, you can fit the vibrator into the long top part of the stocking and still be able to get another cute little gift in the toe!”




Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart

She may be known for her classic scowl, but Kristen Stewart is probably a lot of fun. The Twilight actress told Jay Leno about visiting a “weird” sex toy shop in Japan, and purchasing a clear plastic mask and other sexy items. Stewart wouldn’t divulge what else she bought, but we’re guessing it was some kinky stuff.






When Rihanna sang “I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it,” she wasn’t lying. On a trip to Paris a few years ago, RiRi reportedly dropped over $1,500 on assorted sex toys. Sources told the New York Post that within five minutes, Rihanna had picked out massage candles, sexy lingerie, and — gasp — a pair of handcuffs. The singer was photographed later in the day holding another one of her purchases, a book full of graphic, sexy images.


The truth about the royal family members owning a vibrator

Even British Royalty gets a mention regarding sex toys in memoirs of Ken Wharfe, former bodyguard to Princess Diana, as reported in the “Independent” on 10 August 2017 by writer, Toby Jones.

Wharfe’s memoirs are reported to reveal;

“A small sex toy is the unlikely lucky mascot Diana, Princess of Wales insisted on taking during official foreign trips, her former personal protection officer has revealed.

And Diana was left in a fit of giggles by the sight of an un-named member of staff putting a blown-up condom on his head.

The vibrator, dubbed Le Gadget, was left behind when Diana travelled to Nepal in 1993 for an official visit, but the Princess gave orders for it to be dispatched to the capital Kathmandu.”


Wharfe’s memoirs continued with further commentary:

“The small vibrator, bought as a practical joke after a staff night out in Paris during Diana’s official visit there the previous November, had become her lucky mascot.”

The object personified Diana’s sense of humour that was provoked by the unusual, absurd and unexpected during the long official visits.

When the vibrator arrived in a diplomatic bag, a Gurkha aid of the King of Nepal insisted on delivering it to the Princess’s equerry Captain Ed Musto just before a press reception, in honour of the visit, at the British ambassador’s official residence.

Mr Wharfe said: “Musto, a self-effacing officer who towered over everyone present, not quite knowing what to expect, foolishly opened the packet and removed the offending item in front of everyone in the room (but, mercifully, not the press, who were starting to gather outside).

“There was a stunned pause (and a few bemused glances from Embassy dignitaries), until the silence was broken by Diana, who said, ‘Oh, that must be for me,’ and began to laugh.”

While it would appear that Princess Diana’s comments were done with a sense of humour it is also an early example of someone in the public eye bringing awareness simply by speaking about sex toys.




The sex toy and sex aid market has had massive growth in recent years and is still a growth market estimated to be worth between US$29 Billion and US$50 Billion in 2020.

People from all walks of life, cultures and genders, including celebrities are users. Users came from all sexual preference groups. Statistics showed only a small percentage of people found sex toys and sex aids to be weird.

Despite some celebrities being open about their use of sex toys, there can still be a reluctance to discuss this topic among the general public. However, the projected growth in this market suggests that people are more often likely to purchase their toys through online means rather than through a store front.


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