Rise in sex toy sales make for satisfactory self-isolation

Rise in sex toy sales make for satisfactory self-isolation
Operations Manager Lisa Phillipson working on getting things ready for the re-opening of the storefront section of Industrial Luv. Industrial Luv is still currently making sales online. Photo by Ethan Butterfield

Amid the Government of Saskatchewan’s update of the Public Health Act, asking businesses to close their doors to help flatten curve, one industry that continues to thrive are the erotic adult store businesses set in Regina.

Lisa Phillipson, the operations manager of the Saskatchewan-based Industrial Luv, said the store had one of its best weeks during the height of self-isolation.

“I guess yes and no, so there was a definite push not this past week, but the week before.” Said Phillipson. “The weekend of the 16 to 20 [of March], somewhere in there, there was definitely a big push. We actually had one of our best weeks, especially for the springtime, which is not known for being super good …”

Industrial Luv putting it’s products on display. The store has won the “Best of Regina” adult shop category on numerous occasions. Photo by Ethan Butterfield

“Usually everyone’s done all of their romancing on the February 14th weekend, and are now tired.” continued Phillipson “So, usually, March is a little bit slower. We did notice a big influx of folks at that time to, kind of, stock up for per se, and find some interesting doodads that they were wanting to try out, basically going “well, I’m gonna be stuck inside a whole bunch so I guess we’ll find some fun things to do.”

In a press release sent out by Emerge Limited with regards to the high rise in sex toy sales, globally, Canada and Italy lead the charge with increased sales numbers of 135% percent and 71% respectfully. UK-based sales have also seen a 13% increase in sales.

“Store sales were doing pretty good all the way up until the 25th,” said Phillipson “And then since the Sask. government closed down the storefront part of the store.”

Although the storefront section of Industrial Luv is closed, people can still access their products for delivery on the Industrial Luv website.

Phillipson also spoke about what it was like the run the store from online, versus helping people in person.

“It’ll be a much more organic search for stuff once they’re in the store,” said Phillipson. “So finding that online, I think it’s a little trickier, because you don’t have that kind of gut instinct as much, because you’re just looking at thumbnails on the internet, so I think it’s a little bit of a different shopping experience and when we are here and there’s customers in the store, we will help them try to narrow down the selection as well.

“Which is a good portion of our job is helping guide people through that process and when they’re on the internet, it makes it a little bit harder for us to be with them at that time, shopping with them.”

Meanwhile, the storefront to LovePlus, another Regina-based adult store, is evidently open. When reached out for comment, LovePlus was unable to reply.

Holly Worby, a Psychology student at the University of Regina, said there are mental and physical benefits that come along with sex toys. 

“I do believe that it will be beneficial, absolutely.” said Worby “I think there’s a lot of people out there who are dissatisfied with their sexual lives and would see a serious increase in well-being using one independently or with others.”

Just a few of the many products that reside within the Industrial Luv adult store. The shop is still making online deliveries during the pandemic. Photo by Ethan Butterfield

“For example I found when I started using them that I got way better at asking for my needs to be met,” said Worby. “Which translated into other areas of life as an increase in my ability to communicate and set boundaries. There’s many benefits that you wouldn’t think of for something with so much stigma against it, but I encourage people to do the research on the benefits and consider that the only risk is you might like it too much to go back.”

Worby also hopes the increased purchase in sex toys with eliminate the cultural stigma that surrounds them.

“I hope it will, but I doubt it will for a while.” said Worby “I believe to change a stigma people have to be open about their true experiences, which is hard in a culture that shames the deviants of social norms.

“I believe that once more people take the step to include sex toys in their sexual lives, their criticisms will grow quieter as their questions grow louder, and we’ll be able to replace stigma with education.”

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