Is 2016 the year of male toys?

In the previous issue of EAN, Lovehoney’s Commercial Director Ray Hayes said that 2016 would be the year of the male toy, and many developments in the market support his optimistic prediction. However, there are also some valid counterarguments that could dampen this euphoria.

matze_pc_webMatthias Poehl

Anybody who strolled through the halls of eroFame in the past two years can attest that, apart from high-tech toys, there is another big trend coming our way, namely: sex toys for men. Sure, they have been around forever, and several of the leading brands in this segment have been doing fine for many years, but given the sheer number of new products catering to men, it is quite obvious that there’s something big on the horizon.Ultimately, it is secondary if this product category has its big breakthrough in 2016 or maybe the year after. What matters is, this breakthrough will come, and soon. And the great thing: Producers, distributors, and wholesalers of this industry are already well-prepared to meet the growing demand for male-oriented toys. So now that the female audience has mustered enough confidence to freely embrace and live out their sexuality – which has been the result of several coinciding factors such as social changes and media influence -, it’s time for men to have their turn. Taboos and rigid, deadlocked perceptions will fall, attitudes will change, and a large share of men will come to understand the advantages, the fun, and the satisfaction of using male toys.

The motto is: If women can do it, men can do it, too. There is one big difference, however: It still remains to be seen if the media get on board and help this product category achieve its full potential. The way things look right now, it seems as if producers, wholesalers, and retailers may have to fend for themselves. That makes it all the more important that they work together to create awareness for their products among the male customers. In our day and age, most people know enough about sexuality to see that self-gratification contributes to sexual wellbeing, and that this is just as true for men as it is for women. So why not give it a try and buy a masturbator, the new Sqweel XT, or another product?

There are many factors that will help male toys reach another level of popularity, most prominently among them the fact that the market has already been focused on couples as a key audience for years. Yes, we may shake our heads at the some of the products that are advertised as couples toys, but there is a clear tendency – sex toys are often bought by couples. It is pretty obvious why this could have positive effects on the sales of male-oriented sex toys. After all, if a couple is open enough to enter an adult store or visit an adult online shop together, and they come upon a fair and appealing product for male pleasure, why wouldn’t they buy it? Here’s the thing: At the end of the day, products for men can also be used together, just like you can use female-oriented toys with a partner. As long as both parties are into it, anything goes. It will definitely be interesting to see how this product category develops throughout the next months, and to see if 2016 will truly be the ‘year of male toys’. The stage is certainly set.