Chinas Millennials Stimulate $15 Bn Sex Toy Market

Demand for sex toys is increasing in China, which is already the world’s biggest exporter of bedroom aids.

Chinas Millennials Stimulate $15 Bn Sex Toy Market Photo

 This photo taken on October 14, 2020 shows manager Li Hong in front of a display of sex toys at her sex store in Beijing. – Demand for sex toys is increasing in China, the world’s biggest exporter of bedroom aids, partly thanks to the coronavirus and also a product of a wider cultural shift in attitudes towards sex by a younger and more open-minded demographic. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP)

BEIJING, China — Single and locked out of Beijing’s dating scene by the pandemic, Amy was encouraged by other women in online chatrooms to find a solution to her enforced abstinence — a sex toy.

“Before, I felt a bit scared and embarrassed to use them,” said the 27-year-old, who did not wish to disclose her real name. “Then I discovered a new world.” ADVERTISEMENT

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That is partly thanks to the coronavirus, which brought prolonged separations for partners due to lockdowns, and lengthy closures of public entertainment venues that ruled out hook-ups.

“Quite a lot of women… who are sexually active have a very open attitude towards using sex toys,” Yi Heng, a prominent sex and relationships advice blogger, told AFP.

Yi, who has over 700,000 followers on the Twitter-like Weibo platform and runs discussion groups on the topic, believes Chinese women are driving the market.

China is more commonly associated with conservative public attitudes to sex — pornography is banned and authorities have launched periodic crackdowns on “vulgar” online content.

President Xi Jinping has pushed for a “clean and righteous” cyberspace, and the Chinese government has sought to promote marriage and traditional family values as a way to revive flagging birth rates. ADVERTISEMENT

As they become increasingly empowered over what they want in the bedroom, women in their thirties and younger are getting more comfortable with the idea of using sex toys.

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