High-end Adult Retail Hits Australia

Stephen Yagielowicz
SPRINGVALE, Australia – Adult boutique Sexyland is taking suburban Melbourne by storm, offering discriminating consumers and curious couples the latest adult novelties and other items in a comforting and helpful atmosphere.

"Most couples come in looking for an idea," Rebecca Grech, Sexyland's sales, promotions and marketing manager, said. "They want to create some form of fun, be it rebuilding their sexual relationship, or initiating something new, or sparking some new life into their bedroom."

Sexyland boasts a strong female customer base, which it claims illustrates the growing acceptance among women for the need to spice things up within the bedroom.

"Women have always wanted a safe place in which to explore their sexuality," Grech said. "The female market is growing hand over fist and we think women now make up nearly 50 percent of our customer base."

According to the company, much of this growth can be attributed to the appeal of clean, brightly-lit, well maintained and accessible adult boutiques the feature knowledgeable, female sales staff.

"They want to be able to purchase a product without embarrassment," Grech said. "They ask our staff woman to woman questions they would never be able to ask anyone else."

These educational efforts impact both male and female consumers.

"In terms of products for women, it is still mostly vibrators, but the nature of those vibrators has changed," Malcolm Day, CEO of AdultShop, said. "Years ago when men weren't so informed they would go out and buy the biggest donger they could find for their wife or girlfriend. Now they are getting to know a woman's orgasm better, so they will look to the smaller items like the Rabbit, which (the television series) Sex and the City made the hottest item in the world when it mentioned it."

Penetrative devices aren't the only option in today's novelty market, however.

"It is still a bit of a lack of education and understanding that women still have about what is available out there," Grech said. "When we talk to them and their partner about what they are really after, it often comes down to them being more comfortable using 'external (clitoral) stimulation' models like the Butterfly, which means both partners can be more involved."

Day said that while the company's novelty item sales are up, DVD sales still account for the bulk of male-oriented purchases.

"If you stripped DVDs out of the equation most adult retail businesses in my view wouldn't survive, because in reality sex toys just don't sell enough," Day said.