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DilDO or DilDON'T

In 2016, the world’s largest sex toy supplier sold enough dildos, that if they were to be stacked on top of each other, they would reach 51 miles into the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s seven dildo Mount Everests in case you were wondering.

The discussion, and acceptance of sex toys in everyday life is evident, especially on social media. Accounts celebrating the wonders of sexuality and sexual pleasure are popping up all over the place, encouraging the world to do it for themselves. 

Erotic short audio story creators, Dipsea, have created a successful business on Instagram around female arousal.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by DIPSEA (@dipseastories) on

Their belief in the power of female sexuality, and the effect it has on women’s physical and mental wellbeing, is artfully, and tastefully demonstrated on their social media, but advertising through Instagram and Facebook? Not likely. 

Similarly, female empowerment focused Chakrubs (rose quartz butt plug anyone?) focuses on how sexual liberty and empowerment is essential for the growth of a strong, happy woman, but their social media is limited to organic content. 

Why then, despite a classy, respectful and empowering approach to sex, can these companies not advertise to their target market?

Here’s what Facebook says about it:

“Adverts must not promote sex toys, or products focused explicitly on sexual pleasure.”

Facebook Advertising Policies 2019

Taking all the fun out of a good time, Facebook? Their regulations are some of the strictest, and even limit the advertisement of contraception as a ‘family planning’ method, and cannot mention anything related to sexual enhancement.

For example, Hanx, a condom company that has created a male condom that is gynaecologist approved (let’s hear it for the happy ladies) cannot advertise its main USP – it’s comfortable and silky fit for both parties.

These same rules apply on Instagram, and after digging a little deeper, we discovered that even major companies such as Ann Summers, Love Honey, and Durex haven’t ever advertised through Instagram, or Facebook. 

But, here’s where it gets even more sticky, sorry, tricky; the regulations we’ve mentioned above aren’t consistently enforced. Where the line is drawn between appropriate and not, is entirely up to individual administrator. So if Linda says ‘hell yes’ to crystal dildos, but Megan says ‘hell no’, that’s up to them. 

But Elleanor, you ask, how are these major, multi-billion pound earning companies making sales through social media? Well my curious friend, it all comes down to being sneaky, and very clever. 

If Love Honey posts an ad including an image of their new prostate vibrators (big no-no), with a testimonial from a very happy customer, their ad account is getting hauled over hot coals faster than you can say ‘can they really say prostate vibrator in a business blog?’ (yes we can and it feels GOOOD).

However, if an influencer with an affiliate link wants to share his thoughts on the magical device with his 60k followers, then he is more than welcome to.

 
 
 
 
 
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Affiliate and influencer advertising is the way around the tight restrictions Facebook and Instagram force on the sex toy industry. The secret to getting purchases through social media? Getting people talking.

If you’re wondering what great content in the sex toy industry looks like, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite pieces of content for you to enjoy…

Chakrubs x Ev’Yan Whitney

The feminine power and sensuality company collaborated with sex educator, Ev’Yan Whitney, to bring a series of high quality and beautifully done guided meditation videos. Gone are the days of treating sex toys as something ‘naughty’, 2019 is about liberating female sex and encouraging women to use masturbation as a form of self healing; girl power, am I right?

 
 
 
 
 
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Love Honey’s Position of the Week

Your sex life should evolve with you. It’s not a routine, wham, bam, thank you ma’am exchange anymore. Love Honey’s Position of the Week celebrates and encourages people to get creative and explore their own and their partner’s body through some (pretty wild at times) sex positions. No more laying back and thinking of the queen, it’s time to party. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lovehoney (@lovehoneyofficial) on

Though it may seem like a long, hard challenge, making a splash in the adult toy industry on social media isn’t impossible. Despite annoyingly irregular (and prudish) regulations, Facebook and Instagram are fantastic platforms for marketing sex toys.

Want a free social media audit?

To see how your social media is faring (whether selling sex toys or life insurance – whatever floats your boat), give us a call and inquire about our free social media audits.