What was the real effect of Fifty Shades on people’s sex lives?

The Fifty Shades of Grey book launched in May 2011 and since then attitudes towards sex have changed. Swedish luxury Sex Toy Brand LELO shows how light BDSM has acted as a gateway to happy sex toy use, with more couples than ever owning multiple sex toys.



LELO Head of Marketing, Steve Thomson says: “Attitudes towards sex have without a doubt changed as a result of the Fifty Shades phenomenon. People are more curious, exploring more and talking more with their partner about the things they can do to increase intimacy and sexual satisfaction. “More couples are open to a little light spanking and BDSM, but for many it’s a one off, rather than a regular occurrence in the bedroom. Of course, this also causes a chain reaction as they become more adventurous and look for products that they can use on a more regular basis, such as couples massagers like the LELO IDA and TOR 2 that are worn to add pleasure during sex itself.” So how did this shift come about? 2012: The Year Vanilla Turned Grey

LELO surveyed more than 10,000 women from 8 countries and discovered women wanted more! Women were becoming more adventurous. Sex out of the bedroom was on the increase, sex toys were on the increase and kinky liaisons were on the increase too. Sales of whips and teasers increased by more than 50% and sales of Pleasure beads increased by more than 200%. 58% of global sex toy owners were expected to use premium personal massagers with their partner 2013: The Kink Continues

The kinky liaisons between the sheets continued throughout the first 2 quarters of 2013 with women everywhere feeling a new sense of sexual empowerment. But by the end of 2013 LELO witnessed a shift in how women wanted their pleasure. Sales of BDSM accessories, like whips and teasers, reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2013 compared with sales of premium couples’ massagers and vibrating couples’ rings worn during intercourse, which increased by 82%. By the end of 2013 72% of sex toy owners used them with their partner.

2014: The Year of the Vanilla Revolution

LELO’s Global Sex Survey revealed women emerged from their kinky ‘Fifty Shades’ phase with liberated attitudes, finding ways beyond novelty and kink to enhance intimacy with their partners.

In 2014 LELO shows that 1 in 5 women have been involved in a threesome (double that of 2012’s findings). Similarly more than half of women in a relationship have made a home movie, and over a third have had sex in a public place. More women have lived out their fantasies over the past 2 years but a whopping 80% said their fantasy didn’t live up to expectations. Either women have become more sexually confident since 50 Shades, or they’ve become more confident talking about their sex lives.

Kinkier ‘novelty-based’ products like whips and hand cuffs have still plateaued, but are expected to take a sharp rise around the release of the 50 Shades. However, sales of couples’ massagers, vibrators worn during intercourse, like IDA and Tara have increased by as much as 82% this year and are expected to continue to rise.

2015: LELO’s Predictions

From now right through until Valentine’s Day 2015 and beyond, LELO expects to see an increase in couples becoming more open to pleasure products. We expect to see a short lived rise again in whips, teasers, cuff and of course the world’s most popular Pleasure Beads – Luna Beads.

LELO’s Steve Thomson concluded: “Our handcuffs, blindfolds and teasers are gateways to the portfolio of satisfying products LELO has to offer. We find many women would regularly use a vibrator together with their lover. This is why we have seen a massive shift in couples owning more and more pleasure products. It is becoming the norm to own a sex toy and people are more comfortable with this. Whether 50 Shades created the market, or the market already existed and 50 Shades just filled the gap, it seems that we have a perfect storm of sexual content and sexually confident consumers just waiting to be satisfied in 2015.”


Notes to Editor
Additional stats per country on sex toy usage and sex lives in general can be viewed here
Images and stats for additional countries can be downloaded here: http://we.tl/qXKrKDHxmZ