Turkey sees boom in demand for sex toys during COVID-19 pandemic

Demand in Turkey for sex toys skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Independent Turkish reported on Dec. 21. While overall demand doubled during the pandemic, vibrators are the best-selling item in the market.

Duvar English

Turkey's market for sex toys saw a 100 percent increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an employee who uses the name Yavuz for business, the Independent Turkish reported on Dec. 21. 

"There's been a boom," Yavuz said, adding that import taxes on their products have also skyrocketed. "We pay all sorts of taxes. Cosmetics like lubricants have an eight percent tax, while other toys are at 18 percent." 

All their products are imported in "40-foot refrigerated containers," which Yavuz says include thousands of items, all of which they're able to sell, indicating the level of demand for their products. 

"This has nothing to do with just religion or sex. Everybody has a sex life. Coupled, single, gay, straight..." Yavuz said. "We import goods that incorporate fun and health into your life."

Vibrators have been the goods that propel the business forward, followed by dildos, although Yavuz' workplace carries around 1,200 different products.

"It's obviously not men buying all these sex toys. Men buy them too, surely, but women are usually more at ease with our products. Men have these conceptions that they have to 'be a man' and please their wives on their own, so they're more timid."

Meanwhile, online shopping for sex toys via large vendors has also spiked during the pandemic, and has cut prices by over 50 percent for in-person stores, Yavuz said.

Profit margins for sex toys vary between 50 to 100 percent in Turkey, a younger entrepreneur in the industry told the Independent, adding that this margin was three to five times wider in the early days of the industry.