Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Helping Hand – NZ’s Lockdown Love Affair with Sex Toys + Three of the Best

Let's be friends!

The books we're reading, the vibrators we're using, the rants we're having and more in our weekly EDM.

There’s nothing more New Zealanders love more than making international headlines – and girls, we’ve been at it again. But this time it’s not about Jacinda Ardern, our Covid-19 response or even anything to do with LOTR. Turns out, we LOVE a sex toy – and not just when they’re being biffed in politician’s faces. How else were were supposed to get through lockdown?!

New Zealanders and sex toys have a wonderful, longstanding relationship.

There was that one glorious week in 2016 when our proud nation caused quite a, er, sensation the world over when a dildo, thrown with impressive accuracy by irate protestor Josie Butler, smacked former National MP Steven Joyce in the face during Waitangi Day commemorations.

And just last month, we went viral again (I know I know I know we need a better word for rapid internet sharing now) when one of our biggest sex toy shops announced their sales had exploded during New Zealand’s various lockdown levels.

“Sex Toy Sales Triple During New Zealand’s Coronavirus Lockdown,” blared a headline on leading British newspaper The Guardian, with the sentiment echoed across newspapers, online magazines, websites and blogs. Ah, the national pride.

“Toys have been flying out the door,” says Adult Toy Mega Store Head of Customer Satisfaction (great title) Sophie McGrath.

“It’s a sign that people stuck to their bubbles and kept safe… there would have been a lot of bubble bursting in level two with people finally getting to see their partners after up to eight weeks apart.”

Now we know why the poor couriers were so busy.

Kiwis made sure to be prepared for lockdown, with the adult store also reporting a huge rush to stockpile toys, vibrators and batteries – there’s that Kiwi pragmatism we know and love – before lockdown restrictions were enforced.

And according to Sophie, our preparations were not in vain, with a survey of 1000 New Zealanders revealing a whopping 88% of us had masturbated during lockdown.

“Sex toys are becoming more and more mainstream and the stigma around masturbation is breaking down which is really great to see,” she says. “We are pleased to see [Kiwis] have waited until level two to see their partners, and that they’ve used toys or enjoyed some self-love in self-isolation to keep safe.”

So, sex toys and self-touch were the clear, and possibly only, winners of lockdown2020 (oh, and the people who make hand sanitiser, Netflix, and Edmonds. Talk about sure to rise.)

I’m doubting people did it for any other reason to feel good, which is perfectly, wonderfully good enough reason, but masturbation is good for you in terms of other health benefits too – studies reckon frequent self-love time can boost your immune system and increase your white blood cell count. And, you know, the massive rush of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine.

Exploring your own sexuality can also help your self-confidence levels, ease stress and boost energy.

But will our adventurous, self-loving sexuality continue after bubbles have burst and we’re back to the pleasures of the flesh? Who’s really to say – but we do know that right after pragmatism comes value for New Zealanders – so we’re fairly sure that horny Kiwis will want to be getting their money’s worth out of their purchases.

And if you’re thinking about investigating some self-service options, here’s a few of the top-sellers that your fellow Kiwi women have rated particularly highly.

Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation, RRP $79.99

It kind of looks like one of those things doctors use to check your temperature in your ear… but um, nope.

Considered by many as the absolute holy grail of toys, with reviews such as “who needs men” “this little thing has changed my life” “I love it more than my children” and “sweet baby Jesus I’m never leaving my flat again”, the Satisfyer has a reputation that’s hard to beat.

It’s designed to replicate oral, with the phrase “devotes itself to the clitoris” part of the marketing material. It sits around your clitoris and uses “intense pressure waves and tingling pulsation” to get you where you need to be – and with 11 different settings, and the ability to be used in the bath or shower, your options are seemingly endless. This toy was the number-one most bought in New Zealand in 2019, and it shows no sign of being toppled of its sexy perch anytime soon.

We Vibe Sync RRP $229.99

We be vibin’… from anywhere

It’s not surprising the We Vibe was a favourite during lockdown, thanks to its app that allows your partner to control the settings from anywhere. The perfect way to retain some intimacy regardless of distance, one partner wears the device, whilst the other controls the different types of vibrations either with the remote, which works up to three metres away, or from anywhere – yes, anywhere, via the app. Apparently the vibes can also be synched to the beat of your music too.

OVO L1 Loveballs, RRP $49.99

Alien? Sperm? Ah, balls. That’s it.

Perfect for turning an ordinary day into an extraordinary one, these can be worn while you get on with life for a little stimulation and your personal “naughty little secret”. They’re also perfect for giving your pelvic muscles a Kegel workout. Inside each ball is another that moves and jiggles as you walk – and these ones are perfect for beginners.

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