Everyone loves sex toys in Britain?

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 1

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain?

The British character is like their weather: understated/depressed/distant, though it is a typically dull impression.

Emerson said inside his The English Character: “The liner is about to dock, and the air of the English comes to the surface: their sadness, love and fear, the history and social form of England, reappear in every mind”.

The English nation is famous for its depression …… they will never open their hearts to be pecked by crows, they are calm, silent, and show off and boast is always disgusting.

Wet weekend,London Photo: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash
Wet weekend,London
Photo: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

But don’t be fooled by their pretensions; this is definitely a sultry people.

In 2014, Sweden’s top sex toy dealer LELO launched a “Sex World Cup” survey. Through a professional research company to more than 30 countries around the world 35,000 people’s sexual habits of questionnaires, these people aged between 21 to 55 years old. Through the survey, they got a set of “the world’s latest ‘sex’ data”.

In the LELO survey, as many as 94% of people in the UK have used sex toys, followed by the Dutch. The number of women who own vibrators in the UK exceeds the number of women who own dishwashers.

According to a 2012 Channel 4 program called “More sex please, we are British,” a survey conducted by LoveHoney, the UK’s most successful online adult store, nearly half of all Britons own at least one sex toy. The entire industry is worth over £250 million, which shows how developed the sex toy industry is in the UK.

Ann Summers Store
Ann Summers Store

A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure, such as an adult vibrator or vibrating massager. Many hot sex toys mimic human genitalia and are divided into two types: vibratable and non-vibratable.

When it comes to sex toys, most people think of adult stores hidden on street corners, with dim lighting and rough textures, and middle-aged, greasy men in and out of the store in a hurry to avoid the eye. But step into the store of Ann Summers, a British high street brand, and it’s a whole new world of fun/interesting.

Photo: RMC42/Shutterstock
Photo: RMC42/Shutterstock

Ann Summers, a British multinational retail company specializing in sex toys and lingerie, has over 140 high street brand stores in the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

In 1970, Ann Summers opened its first store in the Marble Arch area of London, England, and the number of stores soon increased to six as the business grew rapidly.

In 1971, brothers Ralph and David Gold bought Ann Summers and transformed it from a general sex toy store into a high street lingerie boutique. 2008 revenues were £117 million. Two million Rampant Rabbits (an Ann Summers branded vibrator) are sold each year.

Ann Summers official website
Ann Summers official website

Here we have to mention the story of Jacqueline Gold, daughter of David Gold, who is now the CEO of Ann Summers. After graduating, Jacqueline went to work for Royal Doulton; after much deliberation, she was reluctant to become a member of management and asked her father to help her gain work experience.

After the successful acquisition of four Ann Summers brand stores, her father offered the then 19-year-old Jacqueline a summer job (May 1979) – for £45 a week, less than a pantry aunt.

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 2

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 3

Jacqueline also didn’t like the atmosphere at Ann Summers, even though David Gold called it a “high-end” sex toy store. Gold said of his initial impression of Ann Summers: “The work atmosphere was not good, surrounded by men, and it felt like the traditional image of a dirty, dirty sex industry.”

However, a chance visit to a Tupperware party in an apartment in East London in 1981 turned her perceptions upside down – Jacqueline saw the huge market potential for selling lingerie and sex toys to female customers in private homes.

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 4

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 5

In 1981, Jacqueline joined the company and introduced the Party Plan, a home marketing program for sex toys that was strictly “women only. The party provided a platform for women to discuss “sex” (and other sensitive subjects) face-to-face; it was well received and is now considered a British popular culture; and the party format allowed the company to circumvent legal restrictions on the display of sex toys.

In 1987, Gold was appointed CEO of Ann Summers; since taking office, he has successfully built Ann Summers into a multi-million pound business. The sales team includes 7,500 female party organizers and had a turnover of £117 million in 2008. In recent years, sales and net profits have declined due to increased competition and other reasons.

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 6

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 7

In 1995, her autobiography Wonderful Vibrations was published (Pavilion Books); in 2007, her second autobiographical book, The Courage of Women, was published (Ebury Press). On February 7, 2008, after three pages were cut and renamed “Let It Stop”, it was published again by Ebury Press.

Her story was also made into a TV series, Brief Encounters, shown on ITV, which depicted four women selling erotic lingerie and sex toys to female customers in their own homes for pleasure and satisfaction, recreating the path of Ann Summers’ retail company at its inception.

Poster for Brief Encounters
Poster for Brief Encounters

Because of the brand’s adult attributes, Ann Summers has often faced many legal and social controversies. For example, in 2003, Ann Summers was sued for placing a job ad in a recruitment center; she eventually won the case and the ASA complaint was dismissed.

In fact, sex is one of the great universal levellers, sex is full of egalitarians, Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade said, “We eat, we sleep, we defecate, we have sex and then we die.”

Everyone loves sex toys in Britain? 8

The use of sex toys has also been around for a long time.

In 2015, archaeologists excavating the site of an ancient latrine in Gdansk, Poland, accidentally discovered a 300-year-old sex toy. Based on its construction and location, it was judged to have been used primarily for recreational purposes rather than religious rituals.

The object, which dates back to the second half of the 18th century, is 8 inches long, made of leather with bristle padding and has a wooden tip, according to news reports. The Daily Mail said the sex toy was found at the site of an ancient fencing school latrine. This discovery has caused a lively discussion: why this sex toy then appeared in the toilet, the ancient people actually used to do what? Was the object dropped unintentionally or intentionally?

Victorian England was not idle, and social relations from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries tended to be cold and even unfriendly. A considerable amount of interpersonal physical and verbal violence is recorded in legal documents, clearly showing that for all classes, men and women were quite bad-tempered. Women were so repressed that even anger was seen as a mental illness. As a result, the Victorian sex toy industry was born to treat “female emotional disorders”, which were still largely explored from a medical perspective.

The First Vibrating Machines

Entrepreneur and inventor Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville invented a portable vibrating device that ran on a 40-pound battery and was initially used to treat muscle aches and pains.

The First Vibrating Machines

Robotic Arm

Patented by Dr. George Taylor in 1869, this device was one of the early and important inventions in the history of the birth of today’s sex toys. It was originally designed to treat pelvic disorders and muscle pain. Women, however, found other uses, and according to Taylor, “women should use it under supervision to prevent indulgence.”

Home Riding

It was believed that horseback riding could be physically and mentally pleasurable and beneficial to human health. Therefore, in the late 1890s, under the influence of industrialization in Victorian England, women also decided to try “horseback riding”. The principle of its work is: the more the number of rocking back and forth, the greater the vibration of the seat. It is said to be beneficial for the treatment of emotional disorders, obesity and gout.

Automatic spanking machine

During the industrial revolution, people strived to achieve all activities done by machines. The “combined spanking machine” was born. Obviously designed for pranks, it was discovered that it could be used as a sex toy with a handle and a spring-loaded paddle.

Automatic spanking machine

These primitive tools for medical purposes were endlessly evocative and contributed to the development of modern sex toy products.

With this year’s global outbreak, online retailers have seen a huge surge in customers looking for “sexual health” – Cult Beauty searches increased 850 percent in March, the month the U.K. went into lockdown due to the epidemic. Meanwhile, the fashionable sexual entertainment brand represented by Smile Makers has seen its daily revenue double since the outbreak, with visits to its website increasing by 50 percent from February to March.

Smile Makers sex toy products

Smile Makers sex toy products

LELO reported a 40% increase in sales and Ann Summers saw a 27% increase in sales. Nottingham-based online pharmacy UK Meds saw record-breaking sales of Viagra and a 23% increase in sales of emergency contraceptives. Couples/couples in isolation at home are buying sex toys in large numbers, and related dating apps are seeing a surge in users.

More and more sex toy brand founders are now disdaining the poor sex toy shopping experience of the past (with its vulgar and disrespectful packaging) and are committed to incorporating modern technology and overturning the traditional notion that female pleasure should be judged from a male point of view, focusing on health and beauty and sending out a brand message of pleasure and fun.

Dame Sex Toys Products

Dame Sex Toys Products

According to the market research report, the Asian market is one of the fastest growing markets for sex products in recent years. We expect that in addition to the enlightening films of Cang Laoshi, our sex industry can also sweep away the previous dirty and ugly image and simple and brutal design, add some romance and warmth, so that sex toys can also be given to each other as Valentine’s Day gifts.


1. Hannah Coates, How Sex Toys Became A Lockdown Essential, 2020. 4

2. bangladeshinfo.com

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Summers

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacqueline_Gold

5. Kate Lister, “A curious history of sex”, Unbound, 2020, Page one

6. Family, Sex and Marriage in Britain, pp. 1500-1800 85


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