After months of no casual sex, the British are preparing for a summer of love. That’s the case, according to high street pharmacies, which are reporting a boom in lubricant and condom sales as lockdown restrictions ease.
Boots UK reports that condom sales have almost doubled since last year – with a massive 98% increase in sales. Searches on boots.com are also increasing as searches are 30% more for condoms and searches for sex toys are 50% higher than last year.
Meanwhile, Superdrug is forecasting a “sex explosion” as lockdown restrictions continue to ease this summer.
The high street chain is currently seeing online condom sales up 65% and online lubricants and toys sales up 232%, and STI tests and home treatments up 44% year over year .
The picture from the pharmacies supports the results of a recent survey by the sexual wellness brand HANX, in which half (56%) of respondents expected the relaxation relief to affect their sex life, with 56% more nookies in their near future expect.
The survey found mixed feelings about contacting new partners: 26% said they want to move faster than they did before the pandemic, but 39% said they won’t change how quickly they start with a new perspective become. Some even admitted wanting to move more slowly than in pre-Covid times.
And while 53% said they weren’t worried about an STI after being banned, 58% said they would “definitely” use a condom – which could possibly explain the sales boom.
Sex educator Sangeeta Pillai, founder of the Soul Sutras network, has doubts about whether the nation will go totally sex-mad this summer.
“Boris says we can talk sexually and in other ways, but all the people I speak to through my Soul Sutras work tell me that they don’t quite rush to the nearest condom aisle,” she tells HuffPost UK.
“After a year of isolation and fear of Covid, it’s hard to forget everything we were told and to just drop your pants, so to speak. The reality is a slow, careful look at the dusty old dating diaries and websites trying to remember our last one night stand hundreds of years ago, tracking down our sexy pants from the mountains of dingy workout pants and thinking, just thinking we might want to date a complete stranger. “
Sex educator Ruby Rare believes casual sex is likely to slowly increase as we get used to spending time indoors again, but you shouldn’t push yourself to get back on the horse until you’re ready.
“I’m really excited about the boom in condom sales as it is an indicator that people are making active decisions about their sexual health in advance,” she says.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about what feels right to you, rather than trying to follow the trend. When you’re overjoyed to have sex again and you are safe, go for it! And if you take the time to get back into all forms of socializing – sexy or otherwise – that’s perfectly fine, too. “