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Sales of face masks and hand sanitizer aren’t the only things selling well these days — retailers across the country say sales of sex toys have spiked over the last year, as people look to self-pleasure as a new form of self-care.
Online sex toy retailer, Ella Paradis, reported a 200 percent increase in sales on its website since the coronavirus outbreak forced people into quarantine. Among their bestsellers: waterproof vibrators, remote-controlled couples toys, and the site’s popular “Battery-Operated Boyfriend.”
“Our goal as a company has always been to deliver pleasure, and people need some pleasure right now more than ever,” says Tino Dietrich, CEO of Ella Paradis.
According to Dietrich, the idea that sex (or sex toys) can be good for stress isn’t completely unfounded. “During orgasm [the hormone] oxytocin is released from the brain, which could aid in stress relief,” he says, citing data from the National Institute of Health.
According to sex toy manufacturer TENGA’s 2020 Self Pleasure Report, Americans say masturbating is one the most “stress-relieving activities” they can do. The report found that more than 80 percent of respondents use masturbation as a form of self-care, up from just 54 percent five years ago, with 71 percent saying they found that sexual pleasure (whether solo or not) helped them “feel better” during the quarantine.
The TENGA report also found that more than 10 percent of Americans bought a sex toy during the quarantine, and 37 percent say they’ve increased their frequency of self-pleasure during self-quarantine.
As we settle into the reality of at least another few months of stay-at-home orders (if not longer), studies say a little self-pleasure could also benefit us in other areas as well.
Research has shown that the release of oxytocin could help to strengthen our immune systems. We already know that masturbation can help increase libido and energy, but according to documents published on the NIH website, a study by German researchers found that men who masturbated to orgasm were also able to increase their white-blood-cell count. Conclusions remain to be drawn, but the study does offer a little more incentive to do a little corona-related caressing.
For Chris Cicchinelli, CEO and President of Pure Romance (a direct seller of “relationship enhancement” and intimacy products), sales of the brand’s sex toys are up 88 percent since the first week of March 2020, with even the “bondage” category seeing a small uptick in sales. “Statistically, it is not uncommon for couples to turn to sex for comfort and advancing their relationships,” he says. “Who says there’s no sunshine after the rain?”
Whether you’re just starting out with sex toys or skilled at the art of stimulation, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular devices and accessories that people are buying right now.
1. Ella Paradis Better Love Rabbit Lily
This unisex vibrator features 10 different speeds and dual motors. Turn it up for a more intense experience, or keep the vibrations slow and smooth, depending on your mood. Either way, it stays superquiet. The Rabbit Lily is 100 percent waterproof and features a soft silicone tip that can be inserted up to four inches deep.
2. We-Vibe Chorus
Designed for couples, this vibrator offers dual stimulation with more than 10 different modes. The vibrator is supersoft and flexible, to adapt to the different curves and crevices in your body. The touch-sensitive remote reacts to human touch. The harder you squeeze, the more intense the vibrations.
3. TENGA Easy Beat Eggs
Designed by the Japanese firm, Tenga, these eggs are all uniquely textured inside for a more heightened masturbatory experience. “Crack” the egg open and slide it over your shaft to enjoy a surprisingly arousing sensation. This six-pack contains six different suction styles, from “wavy” to “tornado.”
4. Emojibator Eggplant Personal Massager
This “Emojibator” is a fun and accessible way to get into sex toys, without any intimidation. This unisex massager is 100 percent waterproof and lets you choose from 10 different vibration speeds and settings, from gentle to intense. It runs on a single AAA battery (included).
5. LELO SONA 2 Cruise
A uniquely shaped device designed for clitoral stimulation, the Sona 2 offers gentle waves that ripple along the body both inside and out. A wider surface area and large mouth provides plenty of options for play, while the silicone absorbs the sonic waves and transmits them back to your clitoris, for a deeper yet gentle sensation. The harder you press it against your body, the more powerful the stimulation.
6. LELO TOR 2
This vibrating ring is worn by men but enhances pleasure for both partners. With six different settings and a snug (but not too tight) fit, the vibrator gently titillates while helping to control his orgasm, for longer sessions in bed. Take it out of the bedroom too — the Tor 2 is 100 percent waterproof, making it a great toy for the shower or tub.
7. SKYN Thrill Massager
This rose-gold massager is great for solo play or use with a partner. The Thrill features three speeds, is water-resistant, and USB-rechargeable. A single charge lasts up to one hour. This mini vibrator is from the condom brand SKYN – a company that knows a thing or two about pleasure.
8. TENGA Flex White
One of the most popular products in Tenga’s lineup, the Flex White is a sleek, streamlined masturbation cup, designed to add new sensations with every stroke. It’s lined with a soft and flexible rubbery material that loosens and tightens like a spiral every time you move the device up and down your shaft. The rippled outer layer ensures a comfortable grip.
9. Better Love Tap Dancer
One of the most popular sex toys on the market, this unique vibrator targets your most sensitive areas, adding a special “suction” sensation in addition to pulsating sonic waves (there are six different modes in total). A single charge gets you up to 70 minutes of continuous use. It’s also fully waterproof so you can use it in the shower or tub. The portable massager is ergonomically designed to fit in the palm of your hand for comfortable and safe handling, whether you want to get a quickie in during your morning shower, or plug it in to last all night.
10. Club Vibe 3.OH Hero
From the popular sex-tech brand, OhMiBod, this “Club Vibe 3.OH” vibrator reacts to ambient sounds and sends a corresponding wave pattern that “grooves” and pulsates to music and noise. You can also choose from five pre-set pulsations or use “tease” mode, which lets you or a partner manually control the sensations with the included wireless remote. The mushroom-shaped head is designed to stimulate the prostate. A single charge gets you up to an hour of play.
11. Pure Romance “Dream On” Massager
Is this a device for soothing sore joints or an adult play toy? Pure Romance says its “Dream On” massager functions as both. The spherical silicone massager delivers seven different vibrating speeds and pulsing patterns that can be applied to both sore — and sensitive — areas of the body. The simple shape is designed for easy use for both men and women.
12. Satisfyer Men Masturbator
Guys: Get a better grip the next time you self-stimulate with the Satisfyer Men masturbator cup. The device may look intense but it’s pretty straightforward to use. The Satisfyer slides easily over your shaft, with a silky-soft “cyberskin” sleeve mimicking the real thing. Use the grippy sides to control the pressure, from soft to strong.
Satisfyer’s “air cushion” technology cradles your shaft without clinging, letting you work your way around the different contours and sensations inside the sleeve. A simple twist-off cap at the top lets you release everything when you’re done, and the entire cup can be run under soap and water for easy cleaning.
13. Dame Products Arc G-Spot Vibrator
Want something with a little more reach? The long, curved handle of this “Arc” vibrator from Dame Products helps you hit those hard-to-reach spots to relieve tension and stimulate. It’s made from a medical-grade silicone that’s safe for “internal” and external use, with five different patterns and intensities (think everything from a rocking motion to diving in and out). But it’s the user-friendly design that really helps this vibrator stick out (no pun intended). The curved handle is easy to maneuver, while the “beaked tip” is surprisingly realistic.
14. Tilt Dual Vibration Warming Plug
Unlike a vibrator, which you need to control with your hands at all times, this vibration plug stays put once inserted, freeing your hands up to roam. The sculpted design helps it slide into all the right places, while the warming technology heats the device to just above body temperature (about 104 degrees), to simulate the feeling of having a partner next to you (or inside you).
This warming plug is designed for everyone too; Lora DiCarlo says it’s “versatile, vibrating, and not just for vaginas,” simultaneously stimulating the G-spot and clitoris, or the P-spot and perineum.
15. Arcwave Ion
The classic fleshlight gets a modern upgrade with this motorized masturbation sleeve. To use: Apply lube to the inside of the device, turn it on, and slide inside. The Arcwave uses changing patterns of air pressure to target your pleasure receptors, resulting in a surprisingly realistic (but mess-free) experience. Choose from eight intensity levels, and use your hand to guide the device, or let it work its magic on its own. And while the Arcwave is motorized (a charging cable is included), it’s not so loud that you’ll wake up your partner, or alert your roommates to what you’re doing in your room.
16. Hide & Play Lipstick Vibrator
Even if you’re not the adventurous type, everybody should at least keep one of these lipstick vibrators on-hand, whether for self-pleasure or couples play. Either way, the discreet lipstick-sized device delivers a lot of punch for its package. Get eight vibration settings through the uniquely-angled tip. It’s waterproof too. Use this while you’re stuck at home for awhile, then slip it into your cosmetics kit or toiletry bag to take with you on your next trip, once we’re finally allowed out again.
17. Plus One Personal Wipes
You can certainly wash your devices with a little soap and water, but to really keep your sex toys squeaky clean, we recommend these Plus One Personal Wipes. The sanitizing cleansing wipes are made from an all-natural, alcohol-free formula and ensure a more thorough cleaning than soap and water alone. The wipes are hypoallergenic too and safe for use on even sensitive areas of the body. What we like: Each box contains 12 individually wrapped wipes, so you can keep a few in your wallet or bag and stay clean whether you’re playing at home or taking your fun to go.
BONUS FOR HIM (AND HER): Prolong Device
This isn’t a sex toy per se, but rather a “training” tool designed to help men last longer during sex. Prolong is the world’s only FDA-cleared device to help address premature ejaculation. It’s super easy to use too, with a gentle vibrating device (and a little lube) that trains your body to control climax using a “start-stop” technique. Unlike other treatments, there is no pill to take, no weird sprays and no prescription needed. There is zero pain or uncomfortableness either.
The handheld device is discreet and easy to use. Prolong says users have reported more than nine extra minutes of playtime before climax, and the company says you can train yourself to hold off for even longer. Still unsure? Prolong offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with results.