Sex Toy Business: A Booming Industry? [2022 Statistics]

The sex toy business has never been better, and in this article, we’ve gathered all the stats you need to know about this growing industry. Read on:

sex toy business

Sex toys have become a far more common way for people to enjoy themselves and their partners in recent years. 

This trend, along with the wide acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and an increase in understanding of sex toys, has led to an unprecedented boom in sex toy sales. 

Top Sex Toy Business Statistics You Should Know:

  • The sex toy business is a $30.48 Billion industry globally.
  • The industry is expected to grow at an 8.4% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 2022 to 2030.
  • 63% of sex toys were sold via e-commerce platforms and online retailers in 2021.
  • 69% of sex toys are bought by women globally. 
  • Couples are also increasingly buying sex toys such as vibrators for mutual pleasure.
  • Dildos currently account for 25% of the global Sex Toy market.
  • Sex Toy sales in the US were estimated at $7.1 Billion in 2020. The US accounts for 28.92% of all sex toy sales globally.
  • Gay, lesbian, and bi people spend 13.4% more on sex products annually than straight people.
  • High-quality sex toys can be made of silicone, glass, metals like stainless steel, and even certain treated woods.
  • Some sex toy materials have been linked to long-term health problems. For example, phthalate plasticizers have been linked to breast cancer, developmental delays, decreased fertility, congenital disabilities, and obesity.

The Worldwide Rise of Sex Toy Businesses

The sex toy business has been growing rapidly in the last few years and is on track to grow even more. This growth has been fueled by a few factors, including increased sex toy use in the LGBTQ+ community and a wider acceptance of toys by everyone. Here are the stats:

  • The sex toy business is a $30.48 Billion industry in 2021 globally. (Grand View Research, 2017-2020)1
    • The industry is expected to grow at an 8.4% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 2022 to 2030.
    • Novelty adult products have gained more mainstream acceptance in the sexual wellness industry, and their popularity is growing among all age groups.
    • The biggest drivers of this growth are acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and growing interest among women
  • The sex toy market is expected to grow from $27.17 billion to $52.7 billion between 2019 and 2026. It is expected to reach a value of $80.7 billion by 2030. (Statista, 2022)2
  • Another study believes that the industry will surpass 45,767.2 million by 2026 with a 7.9% CAGR, growing from $24,929.0 million in 2018. (Research Dive, n.d.)3
    • The Asia-Pacific market is expected to have a higher growth rate of 8.3% CAGR.
      • This higher growth is due to a large increase in online retailers in developing economies such as China, New Zealand, and Australia.
    • Sex toys are becoming more accepted in Japan and China, and coupled with the manufacturing capabilities of China, growth in this market is expected to increase significantly.
    • North America is the largest market in the sex toy industry, and is expected to continue to grow. 
      • The North American market is predicted to account for $12,906.4 million of sex toy sales in 2026.
  • The Adult Vibrator market will expand by 5.4% CAGR in the USA, Canada, Japan, China, and Europe.
    • These markets accounted for $7.8 Billion in 2020 and are expected to grow to $11.2 Billion. 
    • China is among the fastest-growing region for sex toy sales.
    • Countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea are driving growth in the Asia-Pacific sex toy market, and sales are forecast to reach US$4.9 billion by the year 2027.
    •  Latin America’s sex toy market is expected to expand at a 7.1% CAGR. (GlobalNewsWire, 2020)4

Channels/Distributions of Sex Toys

Sex toys are sold both online and in person, but online sales have soared with the growth of e-commerce businesses over the last decade. Here’s how most sex toys are sold, according to the data:

  • 63% of sex toys were sold via e-commerce platforms and online retailers in 2021. (Grand View Research, 2017-2020)1
  • Online sales of adult toys increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Grand View Research, 2017-2020)1
  • Another study found that 63.2% of sex toys globally were sold online via e-commerce in 2018. This segment is expected to continue to grow significantly. (Research Dive, n.d.)3
    • Consumers reportedly prefer the comfort and privacy of buying sex toys online, contributing to the global growth of online platforms.
    • E-commerce stores also create easy access for regular purchases of sex toys, which is expected to boost growth.
    • Mass merchandisers accounted for $1,869.7 million in sex toy sales in 2018 and are projected to continue to grow.

Global Sex Toy Market Trends

The global sex toy market continues to grow, and trends of specific products and uses have begun to emerge in recent years. Here’s what the data shows:

  • Sex toys have become increasingly more common, and this increased exposure is expected to have a positive impact on the growth of the industry in the coming years. (TechNavio, 2022)5
  • The majority of sex toys sold are for women. (Research Dive, n.d.)3 
    • Sales of sex toys for women are expected to grow at a rate of 7.9% CAGR and are anticipated to account for a significant amount of revenue in the future.
    • 69% of sex toys are bought by women globally. 
  • Rubber vaginas and adult vibrators have seen an increase in demand due to the changing perception of sex toys. (TechNavio, 2022)5
  • An increase in access to the internet has also increased awareness of certain types of sex toys. (TechNavio, 2022)5
    • This also allows easy access to information about new products and developments in the sex toy industry, such as clitoral vibrators, which use sonic waves and pulses. 
    • Couples are also increasingly buying sex toys such as vibrators for mutual pleasure.
  • Increased media attention on sex toys such as vibrators and dildos has also increased awareness and adoption of sex toys among people across the world. (TechNavio, 2022)5

COVID-19 Impact on Sex Toy Businesses

COVID-19 had a major impact on businesses globally, and the sex toy business is no exception. Many online retailers, including sex toy stores, saw a massive increase in sales during the pandemic.

Here are the stats on sex toy businesses throughout COVID-19:

  • Global sales of Sex Toys were estimated at $24.5 Billion during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. 
  • The industry is expected to reach a size of $36.1 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2020-2027. (GlobalNewsWire, 2020)4
    • Sales of dildos are expected to grow at 5.5% CAGR for the next 7 years due to the economic implications of the pandemic. 
    • Dildos currently account for 25% of the global Sex Toys market.
  • The sex toy market grew by over 26% from 2019 to 2020. The market was expected to be nearly $29 billion in 2020. (Grand View Research, 2017-2020)1
    • Customers shifted towards app-enabled sex toys and Bluetooth-powered toys during COVID-19.
      • These toys are also known as teledildonics and were popular as a way to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals in sex toys.
    • Personal massagers, vibrators, flashlights, blindfolds, handcuffs, and bondage items have surpassed the estimated sales for the last 3 months compared to 2019.
    • Lockdowns resulted in an increase in sexual activity, which in turn increased the usage of sex toys such as vibrators, dildos, and massage products.
    • Regulatory changes for LGBTQ+ relationships have resulted in an increase in the usage of sex toys, including penile rings, anal toys, and vibrators.
  • Online sales of sex dolls, lingerie, and sex toys have increased during the COVID-19 lockdown. (Journal of Psychosexual Health, 2021)6
    • Sales doubled in Australia on March 22, 2020, when the impending shutdown of bars was announced.
    • An increase was also noticed in the UK after the announcement of the same on March 21, 2020.
    • The sales of sex toys tripled in New Zealand after the declaration of a month-long lockdown in the country.
      • This was prompted during the 48 hours before the lockdown, which was imposed on March 25, 2020, in New Zealand.
    • Sex toy sales in Italy, Spain, and France have outpaced projected targets by 124%, 300%, and 94%, respectively, in March 2020.
    • Sales of sex toys and other adult products have increased 65% in India after the lockdown.
      • Over 22 million visitors were surveyed, which resulted in about 3,35,000 orders and just below 5,00,000 products sold.
    • North America saw a 30% increase in online sales in March and April 2020.
    • Sex toy sales in Ireland increased by 177% during lockdown compared to the same time period of the previous year.
    • Exports of sex toys from China have increased by 50% to the biggest consumers like the US, France, and Italy.

Percentage of Americans Who Own Sex Toys

The popularity of sex toys is soaring, and the North American market is one of the core drivers of that growth. According to some studies, the vast majority of American women own toys, and many have more than one! Here’s the data:

  • Sex Toy sales in the US were estimated at $7.1 Billion in 2020. The US accounts for 28.92% of all sex toy sales globally. (GlobalNewsWire, 2020)4
  • Vibrators are the most popular type of sex toy in the US,  with about 47% of those surveyed having one. (Statista, 2022a)7
    • Anal toys and lubricants ranked second and third, respectively.
  • 82% of American women own at least one sex toy, a slightly higher percentage than male respondents. (Statista, 2022b)8
    • Sex toys are most common among people aged 25 to 29 years old.
    • Approximately the same percentage of people aged 40 to 44 owned sex toys.
  • How much do Americans Spend on Sex Toys?
    • 50% of those polled (54% of males vs. 45% of females) say their sex toys cost under $20. (PR Newswire, 2020)9
      • 34% of the respondents (31% males and 37% females) spent between $20 and $50 on theirs.
      • Just over 13% (12% of males and 14% of females) paid between $50 and $100 for an adult toy.
      • 3% said they spent over $100.
    • American women were asked how much in total they have spent on sex toys in the past 12 months: (Statista, 2017)10
      • 17% answered $0 or no expenses
      • 13% up to $25
      • 23% up to $50
      • 23% up to $100
      • 24% more than $100
  • The US States that Sell Most Sex Toys:
    • According to sex toy retailer Lovehoney, The city with the most sex toy purchases is Elizabeth, New Jersey, which saw a 500% increase in sex toys and accessories bought during lockdown. (She Knows, 2020)11
      • Providence, Rhode Island was up 482% and Moreno Valley, California was up 452%, coming in second and third, respectively.

    • 10 States that spend the most on sex products: (Bespoke Surgical, 2020)12
      • Connecticut – 36.7%
      • California – 28.1%
      • Nevada – 23.8%
      • Arkansas – 15.2%
      • Illinois – 12.2%
      • Mississippi – 11.9%
      • Massachusetts – 7.4%
      • South Carolina – 7.4%
      • Texas – 7.1%
      • Washington – 3.9%

    • 10 States that spend the least on sex products: (Bespoke Surgical, 2020)12
      • Missouri – 26.0%
      • Alabama – 23.8%
      • Indiana – 16.1%
      • Idaho – 15.4%
      • Minnesota – 15.1%
      • Oregon – 14.7%
      • Ohio – 14.5%
      • Nebraska – 14.5%
      • Pennsylvania – 13.7%
      • North Carolina – 11.4%
    • States that buy the fewest sex toys (Bespoke Surgical, 2020)12
      • Pennsylvania – 40.4%
      • Ohio – 34.7%
      • Florida – 31.3%
      • Oregon – 31.3%
      • Indiana – 30.6%
      • New Mexico – 30.6%
      • New Jersey – 29.6%
      • Iowa – 29.2%
      • Massachusetts – 29.1%
      • Alabama – 28.9%
    • Facts about sex product spending across the US: (Bespoke Surgical, 2020)12
      • 44.2% purchase fetish gear annually.
      • Single people spend 3.5% less on sex products annually than people in relationships.
      • 22.3% of people don’t purchase lube or other sex care products.
      • 30.9% spend less than $50 annually on sex toys.
      • 41.9% of people spend $0 on contraception annually.
      • Gay, lesbian, and bi people spend 13.4% more on sex products annually than straight people.

Biggest Sex Toy Companies

There are a wide variety of sex toy companies globally, all focussing on different aspects of the industry. Here are the top 10: (TechNavio, 2022)5

Fun Factory

  • Fun Factory is a German company with a global reach. After being founded in 2003, they have become Europe’s largest producer of silicone sex toys.
  • Fun Factory’s goal is to develop high-quality adult products made from 100% medical-grade silicone and body-friendly plastics. They offer dildos, vibrators, pulsators, and other toys and have won awards for their product designs.

Lelo

  • Lelo is a luxury sex toy manufacturer founded in 2003, focusing on aesthetics and innovation. Lelo is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has offices worldwide.
  • Products include internal and external vibrators, anal toys, kegel products, and condoms. Lelo also offers a budget line of sex toys under the brand Picobong.

Lovehoney

  • Lovehoney was established in 2002 and has become a leading online sex toy retailer in the UK, with sites that serve Europe, North America, and Australasia. They also manufacture and distribute their adult product lines, including vibrators, lubes, bondage pieces, lingerie, and others.
  • Lovehoney produces the official line of Fifty Shades of Grey products, as well as other lines developed in conjunction with popular brands.

Tenga Co., Ltd.

  • Tenga was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. They design, manufacture, and sell sex toys, and their products are sold in over 60 countries.
  • The company is well known for masturbation sleeves but also offers lubricants and vibrators. Tenga aims to develop products that look stylish and aesthetically pleasing.

Adam & Eve

  • Adam & Eve stocks a large variety of adult items, including lingerie, curve-hugging teddies, and bra and panty sets in a wide range of sizes. They also sell a variety of high-quality lubricants and oils at stores across the country.

BMS Factory

  • BMS Factory is a Canadian company founded in 1983 as a retail store. It grew into a wholesale business in 1988 and later moved into sex toy manufacturing.
  • Today, the company manufactures and sells adult toys globally, with 9 stores, a warehouse in Canada, and a factory in China. The company’s products include the PowerBullet, the LEAF luxury toy collection, and the LUX line of vibrating products designed for men.

Maude

  • Maude creates minimalistic vibrators that are pleasurable and aesthetically pleasing.
  • The brand’s mission is to support inclusivity and sex education for all. They want to make “intimacy better” for all people. They also have a bath and body collection that’s geared towards self-care.

Doc Johnson

  • Doc Johnson is an American sex toy manufacturer founded in North Hollywood in 1976. It has created some of the industry’s iconic products, such as the Pocket Rocket and rabbit-style vibrators.
  • Doc Johnson manufactures over 75% of its products in the US and has a catalog of over 2,000 different products. They offer a variety of toys, including anal toys, dildos, vibrators, bondage gear, masturbators, and more.

We-Vibe

  • We-Vibe designs and manufactures couples and solo pleasure products. They claim their designers work closely with sexual wellness experts, doctors, and consumers to design products that work in sync with the human body.
  • We-Vibe focuses on ergonomic design and high performance while remaining eco‑friendly and body-safe.

Crystal Plugs

  • Crystal Plugs manufacturers glass butt plugs, dildos, and other sex toys and focuses on using high-quality materials.
  • They prioritize the quality of materials used, safety and enjoyment, and the beauty of the glass and its adornments.

Global Sex Toy Market Hurdles/Challenges

While the sex toy industry is growing significantly, it still faces some hurdles to overcome. The biggest is perception, stigma, and taboo around sex and sex toys. Here are some of the industry’s biggest challenges:

  • Negative social perceptions, including the perceived risk of addiction, around sex toys can be detrimental to the market’s growth, as these perceptions may discourage people from purchasing these products. (TechNavio, 2022)5
  • Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, still have prohibitions on the purchase and use of sex toys. This affects the availability of these products, especially in brick-and-mortar retail stores. (TechNavio, 2022)5
    • This can make it difficult for vendors to establish their presence in these regions and can make education and awareness efforts challenging. 
  • The rise in e-commerce sales has helped to overcome these challenges and allows buyers to remain anonymous. However, the negative perception from society about sex toys largely remains the same and poses a major challenge to the growth of the sex toy market. (TechNavio, 2022)5

Regulations of the Sex Toy Industry

The sex toy industry is a notoriously unregulated market in the US, leading to many having negative experiences with sub-par toys. Some have called for an increase in regulation due to the potentially dangerous ramifications of a toy made with low-quality materials.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for testing and approving medical devices prior to being sold in the United States. However, sex toys are not under their jurisdiction. (The Columbia Chronicle, 2016)13
    • Some sex toy experts believe they should be, as many sex toys can be made of porous materials capable of retaining bacteria or plastic containing phthalates, a chemical material linked to cancer.
    • High-quality sex toys can be made of silicone, glass, metals like stainless steel, and even certain treated woods.
  • The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) only regulates sex toys listed as “medical devices.” In an effort to avoid stringent medical device regulations, many manufacturers label their products “for novelty use only.” (Public Health Post, 2020)14
    • This labeling loophole allows sex toys only to be subject to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) novelty regulations. These regulations do not require extensive testing to ensure they’re safe for prolonged mucous membrane contact.
    • Some sex toy materials have been linked to long-term health problems. For example, phthalate plasticizers have been linked to breast cancer, developmental delays, decreased fertility, birth defects, and obesity.

Conclusion

The Sex Toy industry is a strong one and is growing fast. 

With the rise in online sales, a decline in negative stereotypes, and more high-quality products becoming available every day, this trend looks like it may continue. 

However, some are concerned about the lack of regulation in the sex toy business, which has caused health issues for some who purchase low-quality toys. Be sure to use only reputable brands for your purchases!

For more interesting sex studies and statistics, head over to our guide here.

Footnotes

  1. Grand View Research, 2017-2020. Overview study of sex toy market size, share, and trends analysis report.
  2. Statista, 2022. Global statistics on the size of the sex toy market worldwide from 2016 to 2030.
  3. Research Dive, n.d. A forecasting study on global sex market in 2026.
  4. GlobalNewsWire, 2020. A global study of sex toys market trajectory and analytics.
  5. TechNavio, 2022. A study on Sex Toys Market by Product, Distribution Channel, and Geography – Forecast and Analysis in 2022-2026.
  6. Journal of Psychosexual Health, 2021. A study of Sex During Pandemic: Panic Buying of Sex Toys During COVID-19 Lockdown.
  7. Statista, 2022a. A study of 1,760 respondents on the leading types of sex toys in the US.
  8. Statista, 2022b. A study of 1,760 respondents on the share of people who own sex toys in the US.
  9. PR Newswire, 2020. A report from Adameve.com on how much Americans spend on sex toys.
  10. Statista, 2017. A study on 630 American women 18 years and older on the amount spent on sex toys.
  11. She Knows, 2020. An article on US Cities That Spent the Most On Sex Toys in Quarantine.
  12. Bespoke Surgical, 2020. A survey of 2,300 US respondents on sex product spending.
  13. The Columbia Chronicle, 2016. A news article on the government regulation of sex toys
  14. Public Health Post, 2020. An article on the benefits, hazards, and proper regulation of sex toy use.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

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