Horny for the Holidays
Carol Queen, Good Vibrations staff sexologist and chief cultural officer, said that with the holidays being all about gift-giving, the social pressure brings out the kinky side in consumers because they’re given the permission to purchase a product that can revive their erotic connection with partner.
“Then there’s the stress of the holidays,” Queen said. “Retreating into sensuality and eroticism is a really nice antidote to family visits and endless (eventually exhausting) parties. In our business it’s pretty common for a gift-buyer to pick up a little stress reliever for her- or himself while shopping for others, too! And of course there’s the week between Christmas and New Year, when young adults spend the holiday money that Grandma gave them. For the past couple of years, too, the economy has played a part both in peoples’ stress levels and in the likelihood that a sex toy will be a special addition to a ‘staycation.’”
Babeland Marketing Director Anne Semans said that holiday-themed “spoof toys,” like the Big Teaze Toys’ I Rub My Santa Duckie do well in the last couple weeks leading up to Christmas. “This type of toy does well if it’s a lower price point, since people buy them as stocking stuffers or ‘whiteelephant gifts’ for their holiday party (an excellent contribution, always!)”
Good Vibrations purchasing manager Coyote Days said that the popularity of the “sexy stocking stuffer” has inspired a complete shopping guide. “Small items like edibles and lickables, massage oils and lotions, Screaming O items … things that are small enough to be perfect for a combination yet are also super fun to use, are perfect. Of course we believe the Form 2 is the perfect stocking stuffer!”
Among the manufacturers of holidaythemed products is Pipedream Products, which offers the Santa’s Lil Helper Vibe, Adult Mistletoe and Xmas Plush Cuff Set.
“Pipedream Products remains the largest manufacturer of adult themed Christmas products in the world,” Pipedream Products CEO Nick Orlandino said. “We usually start shipping Christmas-themed inventory in September and nearly sold out this year!”
Additionally, XGen Products recently added 20 more styles of Pornaments, full-colored hand-blown glass x-rated ornaments, which are sold adult and mainstream stores.
“We did very well with them last year across the country and into Europe,” XGen Vice President Andy Green said. “We were in Berlin last month and they were super popular again. They are perfect for those who want to add humor to the holidays. Though the concept may be funny, these ornaments are hand crafted and very detailed.”
Nevertheless it’s not just the funny naughty “XXXmas” themed gags and novelties that get all the attention, said Kevin Johnson, Pipedream Products’ public relations and marketing manager. “People buy pleasure products as gifts for their lovers or a surprise when its time to turn out the lights. It’s with this in mind that we anticipate our new Sex Therapy Kit for Lovers to do very well during the holiday season all the way through Valentine’s Day.”
Good Vibes’ Dr. Queen echoes the sentiment from a retailer’s perspective, “in our business, the holiday season really lasts through Valentine’s Day.” And similar to mainstream shoppers, the biggest presents are the high-end luxury products.
“Holidays give the opportunity for people to treat that special someone to an amazing luxurious product that they may have been holding out for all year,” Castle Megastore marketing director Jasen Bartlett said. “The most popular items are the premium and luxury products including LELO, We-Vibe and Liberator. Mainstream, quality pleasure objects are the staple for the holiday purchase, and really exclude themed items.”
Semans said, “The big winners each season are typically luxury vibes for her and these will be anything from Jimmyjane and LELO — elegantly designed, high-quality vibrators. We’re anxious to see whether the Ultra-Luxe toys we added this year, ranging from $300-$1,000 will pique the interest of high rollers!
“And tech toys, as always, find a home at the holidays. We expect OhMiBod’s new Better than Chocolate (skype-compatible) will do well with couples, and the We-Vibe will do superbly over season. We’re also seeing a lot of promising sales for the Cobra Libre (by Fun Factory USA), a men’s sleeve that is perfect for that toy-positive, car-loving gadget guy.”
Orlandino said that Pipedream’s higherpriced items do very well during the holidays as well. “Our Love Lounger, Fetish Fantasy Bags and Kits as well as the Fuck Me Silly Mega Masturbator all did very well during the holidays last year. Items like these make great gifts for your significant other.”
Days said that it is the couples-friendly luxury products that get the most attention during the holidays. “Liberator being one [of the most popular couples-centric brands], a lot of times people are shopping for a couple (be in them or another) and this is the perfect positioning item to spice it up a little … trying something new!”
She added that the new products from LELO’s accessory line, as well as Incoqnito, and Jimmyjane, are the hottest brands that are catching people’s eyes for Christmas, as well as the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. “I think Je Joue and OhMiBod have some winners with their new releases as well!”