Okanagan adult entertainment shops see spike in sales amid pandemic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan adult entertainment shops see spike in sales amid pandemic

Kelowna Wild Kingdom owner Kim Williams says there's been an increase in sales amid the pandemic.
May 06, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Whether it's lingerie or sex toys, as people spent more time at home, Okanagan adult entertainment stores are seeing a boost in sales amid the pandemic.

Wild Kingdom store owner Kim Williams says couples are either “making up or breaking up” as they spend more time together at home.

Williams has been in the adult entertainment industry for 42 years and has spent 23 of those at her store’s location on Lawrence Avenue.

“It’s a difficult situation that we’re in right now because we’re forced to be together a lot... and when couples are being forced together like that, it really tests their relationship,” she said.

Overall, the store has seen about a 30% increase in sales during the pandemic compared to normal times.

Williams is also seeing a lot of new first-time customers in the store but the age of interest is all over the map. She said they serve customers from 18 to 90 years old, which hasn't changed during the pandemic.

“Don’t think that mom and dad and grandma and grandpa aren’t having some fun, because they are for sure,” she said.

More people are wandering into the BDSM and lingerie sections, and are creating more intimate nights at home, Williams said.

“People are taking care of their needs, whether they’re in a relationship or single… people are being more adventurous, they’re trying new things,” she said.

“The other thing we are selling a lot of is games. So games are great because it reconnects you and gives you something new to do."

Barbara Harvey co-owner of Libra Video and Love Boutique in Vernon said they saw huge figures in sales as people stayed home.

“We did very well and still are,” she said, adding that she’s seen an overall 25% increase in sales.

“It was significantly higher in this last year since last March,” she said, adding that she expects sales to stabilize to pre-pandemic levels.

Both stores expanded their websites during the pandemic and offer curbside pickup, which they think have made it more convenient for people to come and pick up items.

Harvey can’t point to any popular items in the pandemic in particular and says it’s an overall increase in sales.

It’s not just happening in the Okanagan, a study done in the U.K. by sex toy shop Peaches and Screams says more people are masturbating and using sex toys during the pandemic.

Out of the 20,000 buyers surveyed, 75% said they have been using sex toys more during the pandemic. Since communication is more challenging than ever, 67% revealed they had used an app-controlled sex toy with their partner. When it comes to the choice of the sex toy, most prefer a vibrator (45%), butt plug (30%) or a dildo (25%), according to the survey.

Solo-play has also become more popular. In fact, 45% said they masturbate a few times a week, while 34% revealed they do it on a daily basis.

“The results do not surprise me. People are feeling lonely, and some are separated from their loved ones. It makes sense that sex toy sales are booming now,” said Katie Lasson, a sex and relationship advisor for Peaches and Screams, in the press release.

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