Does New Zealand's sex toy boom mean more babies?

New Zealand is seeing increased sales of sex toys leading some to expect a baby boom.

Jordan Heuvelmans 3 minute read April 14, 2020

New Zealand's lockdown has spurred sex toy sales. Stock/Getty

In New Zealand, people aren’t rushing to stock up on toilet paper but a more sexy alternative. The Guardian reports that when the country went on lockdown, sex toy sales tripled at Adult Toy Megastore after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a month long lockdown.

The lockdown, which allows people to leave their homes for essential trips or walks during the shut down, and will remain in place for another two weeks, seems to have made people stock up on sex toys. Emily Writes, an Adult Toy Megastore spokesperson, told the Guardian that sales have been booming. Condoms, sex toy cleaners, lubricants, adult board games and menstrual cup sales all surged after the lockdown was announced. But that’s not all.

“We’re selling a lot of beginner toys … all our beginner ranges are very popular,” said Writes. “It definitely looks like people are saying: ‘I’ve got time, I might try something new.’” She added that sales have been increasing since the beginning of March after the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

The retailer is considered an essential service by New Zealand’s government as they sell condoms and medical products. Amid the shutdown, employees are continuing to work from home. This, along with the surge in sex toy sales, has people wondering if there will be a baby boom in the next nine months.

This speculation is also being fuelled by concerns about contraceptive shortages. One of the world’s top condom producers has restricted its production due to COVID-19, and the United Nations warns it could result in unplanned pregnancies or STDs.

Reduced access to oral contraceptives is also worrying. In New Zealand, The Guardian says requests for pills are running “dangerously low.” A spokesperson for New Zealand’s Family Planning organization said that some pills were already limited because of a non COVID-19 related manufacturing issue. But with the country’s location, it makes it difficult to bring essential medications in.

Despite this, some experts say that a baby boom probably is unlikely.

“Uncertainties like this tend to see delayed fertility because people feel uncertain about the world they’re going to bring a child into,” Paul Spoonley, a distinguished professor in demography at Massey University told the Guardian. “Those thinking of starting a family will probably put off that decision … I think the urge to delay will be stronger than the inclination to become pregnant, even by mistake.”

He added that some couples who don’t live together have been separated by the lockdown measures, and casual sex opportunities have disappeared for now. Economical struggles once the lockdown’s over may also dissuade many from having children for awhile as the country tries to recover.







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