Swedes Selling Sex Vibrators in China

Lelo of Sweden, a high-end sex vibrator brand, is targeting sales of 30 million yuan ($4.6 million) to 50 million yuan in China for 2011, compared with sales of 10 million yuan in 2010.

“It’s only our third year in the country, but because the market is much bigger than we expected, we’re now planning on further expansion not only by working with local dealers but also by getting into the country’s drugstores and supermarkets,” said Rachel Zhang, Lelo’s sales manager for Asia.

Zhang said the company is negotiating with Watsons, a pharmacy chain with thousands of stores nationwide, to explore the possibility of selling their goods in the company’s outlets.

The average price for a high-end Lelo sex toy is tagged at 1,000 yuan, but according to Zhang, “As these products become more acceptable, more Chinese people will buy them.”

As adult toys become increasingly familiar to many Chinese, the so-called “pleasure objects” are no longer limited to small stores hidden away in shadowy back streets.

“Nowadays people are more tolerant and less judgmental about pleasure objects, and we feel that it is much easier to do business than a couple of years ago,” said Tang Yangyang, a sex shop owner, who joined the eighth China International Adult Toy and Reproductive Health Exhibition in Shanghai.

Organizers said more than 80 brands joined the exhibition this year, a year-on-year growth of 20 percent.

Thousands of curious adults from Shanghai flocked to a sex aids trade show, which opened during the weekend at the cavernous Shanghai International Exhibition Center. The organizer, Dhang Jie, said, “We expect many more people will come to see the displays this year.”

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