Today’s sex toys aren’t comparable with those of – let’s say – ten years ago. There have been a lot of developments in materials and technology. And those developments will continue the following years. What are the trends in sex toys in 2018? This is our personal vision.
Sex toys have become mainstream. The ‘Fifty Shades’ books and films have contributed to this. We;re no longer astound of cuffs or blindfolds and not even of wand vibrators and whips. Soft BDSM articles will sell well and you may expect that manufacturers of sex toys will develop much more products in this category. A great example are the toys of the Fifty Shades Freed series, that have been designed after the latest movie and in close cooperation with E.L. James (the author of the series).
Men have become more ‘sex toy savvy’. The success of the Fleshlight has inspired other manufacturers to create sex toys for men. Masturbators and prostate stimulators will be an important category in 2018.
You will also notice that colors will gradually change. We predict more metro sexual colors (purple, black, white) and less female colors (pink, red).
The fact that sex toys are becoming mainstream, can also be seen in the design. Manufacturers will try to address a broad market, by making their toys less intimidating. Many toys will not be identifiable as a sex toy at first sight. You no longer have to hide them in your closet, because they will perfectly blend in with your lady-shaver or your epi-lady.
This trend might also include that you will find some sex toys on the shelves of ‘normal’ retailers.
2. … versus prudification
The second trens is at odds with the first one. Yes, sex toys have become more mainstream. Almost everyone has one or two. But society is also becoming more prudent. Twenty years ago it was perfectly normal to sunbathe topless at the Dutch beaches, but nowadays you won’t find a single female nipple (except some elderly German tourists that forgot that time has past).
This prudification can also be seen with sex toys. Although you may find sex toys at some mainstream retailers, it is limited to lube and a single vibrator. Retailers where sex toys might be a logical brand extension (Rituals, Bijenkorf, Mediamarkt) will have second thoughts. Consumers don’t like to stay in line with embarrassing products. Online shops will do a better job. Manufacturers of more expensive toys will set up their own web shops, to get better margins.
The prudification will also be seen in the design of sex toys. There will be less toys with a realistic design, like we won’t admit how we use those sex toys. On top of that, prudification will take sex back to the bedroom and between couples. The couples vibrators and sex toys that you can use together will be a hit in 2018.
3. Sex toys suck in 2018
But no, like literally. Following the big successes of Womanizer, a lot of ‘me too’ products were launched, that operate on air pressure technology to simulate oral sex. At first, these products were poor substitutes, but currently Womanizer’s competitors have become much better. And to avoid patent infringement they will develop comparable technologies. LELO launched their Sona and Sona Cruise that both operate on sonic waves. Sex toys that simulate oral sex are booming business and the technology is also incorporated in vibrators (sucking and vibrating) by Satisfyer.
Sucking is one of the technological developments that influenced the development of sex toys. Less visible is the development of new materials, that can make sex toys bendable. The Crescendo of Mysteryvibe is a great example. This toy won a IF Design Award for that. And there are now also dildos that are malleable, so you can decide for yourself where it should bend, how thick it should be and where you want it to be bubbly and where not.
Furthermore you will see that innovative technologies will be applied to sex toys more often.
You may find teledildonics (sex toys that are connected to the internet to communicate with other sex toys for cyber sex), controlling sex toys with an app (to create your own vibration patterns), motion sensors (sex toys that respond to movement), etc.
We predict that porn will be the ‘killer app’ for virtual reality (like it was the case with VHS and the internet). It is an opportunity for porn producers to finally get paid for content again. With a growing supply of porn, consumers will start to buy VR-glasses (with the justification that it is for gaming). s soon as the penetration of VR-glasses (for porn) has increased, other applications will soon follow.
Is new also better?
All of these developments will continue. Mark our words. But will these new sex toys be better than traditional ones? We’ll have to see. Some new technologies will have teething problems, some new materials will fail in endurance tests and some designs might be great to look at, but will be less effective. New can be better, but that is not necessarily the case. Orient before buying. Read reviews and be critical. But above all: enjoy!