BATH, U.K. – Researcher Jon Millward published a study of Lovehoney’s 1 million sales over a five-month period "to shed light on people's sex lives in a way that's never been done before."
Dispelling the myth that most sex toys are bought by young, single women, Millward’s study shows sales were split evenly between the sexes, and 75 percent of female purchasers were in a relationship and an even higher 79 percent of male purchasers were attached.
Millward, known as the Ideas Detective, specializes in unearthing quirky data and using inventive ways to help people picture it.
Among the findings from Millward's study, called “Down The Rabbit Hole”:
- 88 percent of small condoms were bought by men
9 percent of male purchasers of lifelike sex dolls bought condoms with the same order
- 18.5 percent of people write “leave with neighbor” for their delivery instructions.
- All the batteries sold in a year have the potential to aid 3 million orgasms or power a vibrator for 28 years
- 900,000 condoms were sold – women have a 5 percent chance of becoming pregnant from an unprotected sexual encounter, so that's enough condoms to prevent 43,650 pregnancies. This is the equivalent of preventing every birth in Northern Ireland hospitals for 1.7 years, or every birth that occurred in New Zealand during the first eight months of 2012
- Lovehoney sells enough lubricant in a year to fill 268 bathtubs (26,800 liters). Or, alternatively, to supply a continuous lube shower for 52 hours
- 119,200 penis rings are sold in a year – if these were combined into one giant ring, it would be 1.4 miles across, big enough to encircle the Empire State Building 20 times
- 66 percent of sex toy reviews are written by women who are 64 percent more likely than men to use the word “love” in their reviews
- Men use twice as many explicit words as women in their reviews
- If you built a tower with all the dildos, vibrators and butt plugs that Lovehoney sell in a year, it would reach all the way from Earth through the stratosphere and out of the other side of the ozone layer.
Millward said: "Down the Rabbit Hole uses the sales of one million sex toys at Lovehoney over five months to shed light on people's sex lives in a way that's never been done before.
"The contents of hundreds of thousands of bedroom drawers can now be known with absolute certainty."
His 53-page report is reportedly the biggest study of sex toys sales ever published. He also analyzed 45,000 product reviews and 60,000 customer profiles. All the data was anonymized and no identifying data was provided to Millward.
Millward did a similar study on the porn industry last year, which looked into the careers of 10,000 porn stars.
The report, called Deep Inside, revealed that the most popular name for a porn actress was Nikki - and she was most likely to be a 5ft 5in, 8st 5lbs, Caucasian woman with brown hair and a 34B bra size.
Neal Slateford, Lovehoney co-owner, said: "Jon's report is a treasure trove of interesting facts on the sex toy industry. He has a brilliant eye for detail and comes up with the funniest statistics on sex you'll ever read. We loved Deep Inside which is why we were so keen to work with Jon so that he could paint an equally fascinating portrait of Lovehoney sales.
"Nothing like this has ever been done before. It's the biggest report on sex toy sales ever produced,” Slateford said. "It is great to shatter the myth that toys are most frequently bought by single people. In fact, most sales are to couples looking to enhance their sexual happiness and share the toys together. That sends out a great message about our industry."
The full report is entitled Down the Rabbit Hole - What One Million Sex Toy Sales Reveal About Our Erotic Tastes, Kinks and Desires and can be reviewed at Lovehoney.com and JonMillward.com/blog/rabbit.