Adult Novelty Retailers to Pique Interest of the 53% of Americans with Fetishes

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Adult Novelty Retailers to Pique Interest of the 53% of Americans with Fetishes”

A new survey conducted by adult novelty manufacturer CalExotics at Harvard Sex Week earlier this month reveals that fetishes are much more common than we think. Nearly half of those surveyed say they either have a sexual fetish or believe they have a sexual fetish, and more than 50% have told a partner about a fetish they find interesting. The survey results were gathered during an interactive "Fetishes A‑Z" course taught by CalExotics' resident sexologist, Dr. Jill McDevitt, during a keynote at Harvard Sex Week on November 1, 2018.

"As a topic that garners lots of emotional reactions, the Harvard Sex Week attendees were still able to step back and engage the material in an academic way, challenging their own biases and asking smart questions," said McDevitt. "Students at the class were highly engaged and thoughtful in their responses. They were also able to have lots of fun!"

Key Fetish Findings: 

  • When asked about attitudes toward fetishes, 22% said "yes please," and another 40% said "I'm intrigued." Only 18% thought fetishes were "kinda weird"
  • 43% said they either have or believe they have a fetish
  • 45% said that a partner has expressed interest in a specific fetish
  • 53% have told a partner about a fetish they are interested in
  • When compared side-​by-​side with a list of existing fetishes, the ones that emerged as most interesting to the students were humiliation and power

When getting into something new, Adult Novelty Shoppers tend to not go in blind. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last six months, 55.8% of Adult Novelty Shoppers used a search engine to research a product or service they were considering for purchase and 35.1% have used a mobile device to watch a video about a product they were considering for purchase. About 45% usually read reviews or comments from other who have already purchased a product they were considering for purchase, and 27.8% have seen information about products on social media that wasn't an advertisement that led them to take action

Other Survey Findings: 

  • More than 80% said they were confident or somewhat confident with their sexual abilities
  • Individuals favoring a submissive role outnumbered those preferring a dominant role two to one
  • 40% have tried anal sex before; approximately 24% had participated in an orgy or threesome
  • 46% and 37% have engaged in BDSM and role/​fantasy play, respectively

Two of the biggest takeaways cited by class participants were that they shouldn't be quick to judge others based on their sexual preferences; and no matter what, consent is most important. "If it's not hurting anyone, then it's ok," added a student who asked to remain anonymous.

Adult stores can promote the variety of products for all interests to Adult Novelty Purchasers a number of ways. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 64.8% of these consumers took action after either receiving a text ad or after seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps. In that same amount of time, 64.8% were driven to action by email ads and 62.6% clicked on text link ads on websites. TV commercials also drove 74.8% to action last year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.