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Good vibrations in Northern Ireland town as sex toy sales surge during Covid lockdown


On the rise: Sales of sex aids soared last year.

On the rise: Sales of sex aids soared last year.

On the rise: Sales of sex aids soared last year.

Sales of sex toys in Northern Ireland tripled during 2020, according to the UK's biggest intimate products retailer.

Data from the online retailer Lovehoney shows there has been an increase in sales across the country but the town with the biggest spenders on sex toys is Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

The data was released through the retailer's online 'Sex Map' and gives some insight into the bedroom preferences for each town across the UK.

It shows that while across Northern Ireland, lovers have generally overwhelmingly favoured mint-flavoured lubricant to ease their antics, sexed-up couples in Strabane appear to prefer the taste of strawberry in the bedroom.

When it comes to bedroom wear, the data shows that the majority of Northern Ireland have a fantasy for schoolgirl outfits, while those in the leafy suburbs of Lisburn get their kicks dressed as French maids and butlers.

The Co Antrim town of Ballymoney spanked the rest of Northern Ireland when it came to how much its residents spend on bondage gear, with Newtownards a close second.

Fermanagh-born love and relationships expert Mark Robinson says that he is "shocked but not surprised" by the data.

The sexpert said: "Fermanagh is clearly very rural and isolation associated with the pandemic has given people a lot of alone time or time to talk to and spend time with their partners. That, or someone's got a massive collection of items.

"Fermanagh hasn't been like the rest of the country, it's hard at the best of times finding people to date so with Covid-19 I can imagine there were a lot more people alone and that free time has led to extra exercise in the bedroom.

"As a county, Fermanagh is changing. There is a sense of something new in the air here, it's unlike the bigger places but then maybe it's just catching up.

"I know a number of my friends have sex toys and they use them with their partners. Plus people have more time to be bored here and the evenings are dark. The cities even with Covid still have things to be at."

A Lovehoney spokeswoman said: "Sales of sex toys are booming in Northern Ireland and Lovehoney enjoyed the busiest year in its history in 2020. We see those trends continuing in 2021 as the country emerges from the Covid crisis.

"We have seen a huge growth in the sexual wellbeing category as couples stuck at home in Northern Ireland during the Covid restrictions look to experiment more sexually."

This is the biggest sales surge since Fifty Shades of Grey was first published 10 years ago.

Sales at Lovehoney in Northern Ireland are up between 150% and 200% over the last year.

High street retailers such as Boots and Superdrug have responded to this surge and launched new products with Lovehoney.

The spokeswoman added: "There has been a really big shift in attitudes towards sex toys in Northern Ireland. The whole taboo has dissipated and that trend has accelerated in recent years with the link between sexual wellbeing and good mental health becoming apparent. We have done surveys that show that 25% of our customers believe their sex life has a direct and positive impact on their mental health."

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