Durex’s owner, the household goods company Reckitt Benckiser says condom sales climbed by over 10% once restrictions were relaxed in the UK. Lockdowns have meant Durex, and other condom makers suffered a major slump in sales.
Restrictions also took a toll on people’s social lives—closed bars and clubs—limiting the number of intimate occasions available to singles. An end to national lockdown meant singles and couples were once more able to pick up curtailed sex lives.
And go for it they have.
Chief Executive of Reckitt Benckiser—Laxman Narasimhan, said that after a “more challenging first half of the year, relaxations of social distancing regulations resulted in improved demand for our sexual well-being products, including Durex, which saw double-digit growth in revenue”.
The Long-term Effects Of COVID-19 On Sex
Sex has suffered a serious worldwide blow (no pun intended) because of the pandemic. It’s radically changed social norms, at least short term—not only due to the restrictions imposed, but also a general fear of the possibility of contagion and death. For singles, it’s been a difficult to hook up since there have been few opportunities to meet anyone outside your orbit. Opportunities to meet partners in the workplace have been limited because of work from home, and extra-marital sex has been rendered all but impossible.
Toobin The Night Away
Sex online has blossomed thanks to the Internet and video chat, but can be challenging. Just ask CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who exposed himself and began masturbating during a business Zoom meeting, apparently believing he was on a different video call.
After there’s an effective deployment of a vaccine, a lot of work will have to be done to return to normal, and future studies will no doubt look at the psychological and social effects of COVID-19.
Cleaner Households, Less Babies
For Durex parent Reckitt Benckiser, the future is looking good—on top of an increase in condom sales there has also been big growth in the purchasing of household cleaners, disinfectant, and bleach. Sales grew by £38 million (AU$70 million) in the three months to October.
"Our performance has been led by an increase in hygiene and health volumes," said boss Laxman Narasimhan.
Households, it seems, are getting more cleaning obsessed!
Not all is rosy. Some behaviour changes caused by COVID-19 may not be so great for the company.
"There is evidence that birth rates will be further lowered in coming quarters as a result of behaviour changes related to the pandemic," it said. This trend is expected to cut demand for its range of baby formula.
Will relaxed COVID-19 restrictions mean Australia is also looking forward to a “Summer of Love”? Well, that’s really up to you. But before you go too crazy, just make sure you have a spare condom or two in your wallet or bag.