sex toy industry statistics

People are Buying Sex Toys More Than Ever, According to Data

The sexual wellness market is booming. In 2023, the market was valued at $32.7 billion. It has been steadily growing since 2019 and is expected to reach $80.7 billion by 2030. Between 2019 and 2020, it has grown by 26%, mostly due to the pandemic and its effects on singles and couples.

Single people invested in exploring and enhancing solo pleasure, and couples were also more interested in experimenting with their sex lives and relationships during the worldwide lockdown. Pandemic-inspired sexual exploration also led to people becoming more kinky and adventurous with their sex lives. 

It’s very clear that the sexual wellness industry has changed in recent years, and sex toys amongst other products like lubricants, restraints, and other accessories have become more accessible. Despite that, 73% of Americans believe that sex toys are still taboo in our society, and 66% believe that it’s taboo to talk about sex toys even with friends. 

The Evolution of the Sex Toy Industry

More People Than Ever Are Buying Sex Toys 

In 2023, more people buy, own, and use sex toys solo or with their partners than ever before. Over 160 million Americans own a sex toy, and over 56 million own more than five sex toys according to Statista. 30% of those people use sex toys at least once per week, either alone, with their partner, or both. 

Around 73% of men own a sex toy, and 82% of women own one as well. The most popular sex toys that women own are vibrators, and for men, the distribution is fairly equal between anal toys and vibrators. 

What’s also interesting is that people are willing to invest serious money in their sexual wellness and pleasure. In 2022, four in ten sex toy owners spent $100 or more on sex toys. It indicates that sexual health and wellness is becoming an essential spending category in people’s budgets.

And aside from better pleasure, luxury toys are usually made with better quality materials that are safe for the body. If you haven’t heard of phthalates yet, read what to look for in quality sex toys.

The Sexual Wellness Market Change 

The pandemic had an immense effect on people’s lives, including their sex lives. Many people report that there has been a decline in how frequently they have partnered sex, which inspired some to turn to self-pleasure as a form of self-care. Couples who were social distancing together had to fight sexual boredom, and they did so by incorporating novelty and trying new things, like new sex positions or sex toys. 

With the increased demand for sex toys, many sexual wellness brands, and retailers had to make changes to accommodate the rising demand from consumers. Many drugstores and online retailers in the United States made space for a new category – sexual wellness. 

Before the pandemic, you could buy sex toys directly from sex toy brands or specialized pleasure stores. In 2020, though, things started to change drastically. 

Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, and CVS are all important shopping locations for many Americans. It’s where most go to shop for everything, from medicine, and clothing to food. And now, they can also shop for sex toys. Of course, the change didn’t stop there. 

After drugstores and popular chain supermarkets like Target, department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom also started including some of the most popular sex toy brands in their online stores in 2021. Then in 2022, the biggest makeup retailer in the world, Sephora, also introduced intimacy products from select brands to their virtual shelves. Since then, they have expanded their product selection, stocking many different sex toy brands. 

Sex toys and accessories have never been more accessible than they are now, and people can buy a new vibrator together with popcorn, or their favorite moisturizer. 

Still Taboo?

Despite these positive sexual wellness industry changes and sexual wellness becoming a part of self-care for many people, sex toys and pleasure still remain largely taboo in our society. Many people choose to buy sex toys online (even 66% according to Statista) and discreet packaging by sex toy companies still remains one of the most important selling points.

When people were asked in a survey about the main reason that is stopping them from purchasing sex toys, the majority answered that they would be embarrassed to own many sexual wellness products. When people were asked whether they were interested in learning more about the sexual wellness industry, even 39% said that they were “very interested.”

Clearly, there is a demand for pleasure products, and the market is shifting to cater to people’s needs and make it more accessible and accepting for people in their daily lives. People are eager to learn more, to explore, and to find new ways to feel empowered with their sexuality. So, why is sexual wellness still a taboo?

The sexual liberation movement has been slow, but steady throughout the years. Starting with the first feminist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the rise of the “independent, sexually liberated, unmarried woman” stereotype that came with the 90s and TV show Sex and The City, and ending with the most recent effect on social media, which allowed many sex educators to speak directly to people. 

The release of Fifty Shades of Grey books and movies had a huge impact on people’s lives and sexuality. Celebrities like Dakota Johnson and Cara Delevingne becoming the faces of sexual wellness brands was also a step forward in breaking down those taboos. 

However, despite what we see on the screens, many people are not encouraged to explore and accept their sexuality as something that’s part of being a healthy human. The American sex education system has many flaws and focuses on “abstinence-only-until-marriage” education about sex rather than educating young people on safe ways to explore sexuality. 

That, together with people following religions that shame sexual pleasure, still has a huge impact on how comfortable people feel with exploring and owning their pleasure. 


Despite many people still thinking that sex toys are taboo, there is a huge positive change happening in the sexual wellness industry. More and more people are choosing to learn more about their bodies and pleasure, to find ways to explore new things solo and with their partners, and to take their sexual health and wellness seriously.