Australia seems to have a an on-off relationship with sex toys even to the extent that the Woolworths chain managed to introduce then remove from sale vibrators within two weeks in September this year.
Buying a sex toy should be easy and when you can’t buy one on the high street then consumers in Australia or anywhere else are going to turn to online stores. This has certain advantages because online sex stores do tend to offer more choice than any high street sex store could do, even one as big as Woolworths. The reason? Well shelf space. Because even if a store is totally devoted to the sale of adult novelties physical space limitations mean that a store’s owners have to evaluate which sex toy makes them the most money and which ones are the best at drawing customers into the store.
Online expensive retail space is not an option and because of this even a medium size operator has an advantage over a 900 chain store like Woolworths in Australia. And because the Aussie Woolworths would only have ever dedicated a tiny fraction of its shelf space to sex toys they could never offer the choice a totally online operation could.
Woolworth’s reasons for the removal of toys from their shelves has been cited as complaints about the over sexualisation of children and the need to separate kids from overtly sexual products and images. Frankly though some might argue that a discretely packaged sex toy amongst other more brightly coloured and recognisable brands in a busy store is less of a threat to the innocence of our youngsters than a glance at the top shelf of the local news vendor or even watching some music videos.
One thing that Woolworths did have going for it was the name – a trusted brand that is inherently trustworthy, making them as at ease buying a vibrating cock ring as it does buying a bottle of drain cleaner or a set of saucepans from the store. Online things can be different because as the web is less than a quarter of a century old even the most mature online business doesn’t have the longevity of an organisation like Woolworths.
Not all online stores were started last month in the spare bedroom of an anonymous apartment some like Naughty But Nice have been trading for decades before the world wide web was even conceived and bring a reputation and customer service experience with them to the online world.
All online sex toy stores have an advantage over the high street vendors that no amount of packaging or clever merchandising can make up for. Taking your purchase to the checkout and paying for it face-to-face with a cashier can be awkward for both buyer and checkout operator, online anonymity is guaranteed.