Economy Sucks But Sex Is Booming! Jan 7, 2009 10:54:46 GMT -5
Post by Bozur on Jan 7, 2009 10:54:46 GMT -5
Economy Sucks But Sex Is Booming!
news.com.au — THOSE strapped for cash may be spending less on restaurants and entertainment during a downturn, but not necessarily on the quality of their sex lives. More… (Business & Finance)
Sex industry making it through hard times as recession bites
By Christopher Varmus / Forbes
January 06, 2009 08:34am
* Sex industry booming in tough times
* More investing in 'inexpensive entertainment'
* Grow your own: more Business Owner
THOSE strapped for cash may be spending less on restaurants and entertainment during a downturn, but not necessarily on the quality of their sex lives.
One industry is positioning itself to be recession-proof in the downturn, with manufacturers of sexual aids broadening their lines to meet the demand.
Entrepreneurs are flocking to the sex trade with even once conservative manufacturers like Philips Electronics and Hitachi have joined in the vibrator business.
"We're much more open now to experimenting sexually," says Louis Friedman, chief executive of Liberator, a maker of sex toys in the US.
"We’re seeing countless new products being sold to a much larger audience than people realized. Even the more conservative retailers have begun to come around."
Poor as we all may feel lately, it seems there's at least one bright spot in having to hunker down at home.
"This industry is shielded in a way," says Katy Zvolerin, director of public relations with Adam & Eve, another sex toy maker.
"It does seem people use us even more heavily in bad times."
Chad Braverman, director of product development and licensing at Doc Johnson, a widely renowned sex retailer, takes a more sober approach to the coming months.
"I don't know if I'd say our industry was 'recession-proof,'" he says.
"We need to be proactive in creating a quality product that's going to sell - and there's a lot more competition than there was 20 years ago."
"Of course, there's concern about the economy, but right now our sales are growing," says Michael Trygstad, founder of Wet, a lubricant manufacturer in the US.
"We've grown 30 per cent this year alone. We've had to completely automate our factories to meet the tremendous demand. People are deciding to stay at home and engage in inexpensive entertainment."
Slick marketing - and the ability to shop anonymously online - helps, too, which could be a lesson for all business owners.
Liberator markets itself as "relationship care," and advertises in mainstream magazines such as Men's Health and Rolling Stone.
Meanwhile, K-Y (which sells its lubricants at supermarkets worldwide) is playing the intimacy card with a line called Yours+Mine.
Interactive DO you think the sex industry is ‘recession-proof’? Tell us below.
"The emphasis has gone from family planning to sexual well-being," says Mr Friedman.
"It used to be that you had to go in and give a wink to the pharmacist, who would open a drawer behind the counter, put the condoms in a brown paper bag and slide them over to you without a word.
It took AIDS to really bring condoms out into the open with a sense of urgency. And now the fun is coming back."
Subtly packaged fun, that is. "We're seeing a shift to women's products and a change in packaging," says Erica Heathmann, managing editor of AVN Novelty Business.
"Gone are the porn stars of old. Today's products have a more classic, clean aesthetic."
When it comes to marketing sexual aids, one person's vibrator is another's "personal massager." says Katy Zvolerin, director of public relations with Adam & Eve, another sex toy maker.
And just as farmers and grocers are able to charge more for organic apples, so, too, are sex-toy makers grabbing customers with health-conscious pitches, such as sexual aids that are "phthalate-free." (Phthalates, often used in plastics, have been tenuously linked to certain kinds of cancer.)
But who needs fancy packaging and marketing mumbo jumbo when you can get killer product placement?
When the Charlotte character on Sex and the City waxed on about her Rabbit vibrator, sales of that item went through the roof.