Deprived of restaurants and forced to stay at home at night to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the French are using sex toys to spice up Valentine’s Day.
“Perhaps at a time when everything seems forbidden, sexuality will become one of our last bastions of freedom,” said Patrick Pruvot, founder of the chain of sextoys Passage du Désir.
In the three months leading up to this year’s “Valentine’s Day,” sales at the chain’s seven stores rose 68 percent from previous months. A year earlier, the increase was 12% during the same period until February 14.
Handcuffs of candy and other sex toys fill the shelves of the Pruvot store, surrounded by closed restaurants in central Paris.
“Normally we would go to a restaurant, but it will be a bit difficult. So I thought I could make her happy by giving her some attention, ”said Maryne Fraudin, 21, while researching items for a game for her and her boyfriend. .
France is proud to be a nation of seducers. Seduction not only influences relations between the French, but also the way they do business, define styles, elect politicians and enjoy food and drink, Elaine Sciolino wrote in the book “La Séduction”.
It took a long time for the French to come to terms with sex toys, a slowly falling taboo before the pandemic left couples with free time any more, Pruvot said.
“The Covid crisis has accelerated the trend,” he said.
Other countries have experienced a similar phenomenon during Covid-19 lockdowns. From Denmark to Colombia, sex toy sales exploded at the start of the pandemic, and British channel Ann Summer reported sales spikes during the first lockout.