When Australian fashion brand Cotton On announced earlier this year that it would be stocking a collection of female sex toys as part of its Cotton On Body range, it was met with a resounding round of applause.
But something must have changed in the collective psyche since then.
Taking to its various social media channels, the global clothing retailer once again pushed its sex-positive range with pictures of the toys alongside the caption: “Tis the season for self-love. You know what to do.”
While most comments commended the brand for embracing female sexuality and de-stigmatising adult sex toys, there were some that called out Cotton On for taking this route.
Most were concerned parents who were worried their children would come across the post on Instagram and Facebook, while others called it vile.
While Cotton On did announce that the range would only be available online, it didn’t stop the backlash that ensued.
“Keep it in the sex shops. Our kids don’t need to see this. This ain’t female empowerment at all,” commented one user.
Another summed things with the comment: “this comment section is such a mixed bunch.”
In response to the negative reaction, Cotton On told news.com.au that “they understand that our online customer is made up of all ages, and not everyone will be interested in the Self Love product range”.
“Since launching this category earlier this year, our emails to customers have been carefully segmented and distributed to people 18 and over,” a spokesperson continued.
However, Mzansi peeps had other worries, namely when the products would be available in South Africa.
Compared to previous years, South Africans now have a ferocious appetite when it comes to adult toys.
A 2017 report on the global sex toy industry released by the Statistic Brain Research Institute showed that South Africa had the third-highest number of Google searches for sex toys in the world.
And that number seems to have exploded since the beginning of lockdown.
While speaking to the Weekend Argus, Sari Cohen, owner of Allure Sensuality Emporium, said when restrictions were lifted, she was inundated with requests.
“I think in general we saw a positive approach and more curiosity toward sex toys and understanding of pleasure and sexual needs,” she said.
While Cotton On’s intimate toy range is only available in Australia, maybe it’s time they make the move to Mzansi.
There’s no judging here...