Product Markets that directly involve sex or rely on sexual research are comparatively rare but those that exist are of considerable importance. They present complexity of a high order whether that complexity lies with behaviours or in market infrastructures and dysfunctions. The Lubricant Market is a case in point and understanding it requires the observer to go far beyond what is presented today as the market state. It is essentially a futures market because so many aspects we can see today are deeply flawed and in need of a supercession to a far more appropriate model.
The report considers the behavioural and attitudinal side that informs present lubricant use and is a critical factor in market development. It also considers what should be the appropriate market response and the product markets, dynamics and education that will be the necessary outcome.
The research into Personal Lubricant/Intimate Moisturiser is the only significant research carried out since Indiana University conducted a largescale project into the effects of lubricant use in 2009.
The research set out to look at both the behavioural impact of lubricant and the attitudes towards retail, merchandising and brands. To date, the responses from over 300 women of all ages have been analysed. All of these respondents have been self-identifying lubricant users. The research uses a scoring methodology that has never been attempted before and by using a 0-9 scale asks women to rate pleasure enhancement, psychosexual confidence and effect on sexual frequency.
An analyst on the research commented that something extraordinary is being demonstrated. “Lubricant has always had an association with a so-called dysfunction and this has masked its true value to women and couples. The scoring has been very consistent with average values of over seven being established in many of the age groups. This is really very high indeed and although it is early days with the research it already suggests that lubricant has seriously under-estimated effects on female sexual wellbeing. This is a product that should be sold with the pleasure and emotional benefits firmly uppermost and away from dysfunction or even anti-ageing labels”
According to women responding to the survey, lubricant significantly increased sexual activity and variety and most considered that arousal was notably enhanced. It's believed that it is very difficult to comprehend why the benefits of lubricant are not more widely understood and why the product is so notably under-marketed. “Lubricant is only really sold through chemists and supermarkets and also via some adult channels. No major Beauty or Skincare brand makes it, which really raises a number of questions about how female consumers are actually understood. Taking older women as an example, they are amongst the most powerful consumers on earth but they can’t walk into a department store and buy a product that may be very important to them from the brands they normally look to for Beauty, Skincare and Anti-Ageing.
The research will broaden in scope over 2017-18 and will attempt to understand issues of considerable complexity. It is not clear, for example, why the transformational effects of lubricant use are not more fully understood or even discussed and why the global revenues for this category of product are surprisingly low.
We do not know the extent to which this relates to education or to the limitations of retail adoption and a lack of brand diversity. Whilst the research has firmly established the enhancements enjoyed by ‘users’ it is far from obvious what the impact of not using lubricant has on women’s sexual lives (and particularly older women). Both researchers also strongly suggest that lubricant use has an effect on genital symptoms such as cystitis but very little clinical work has been done in this area and accelerating research is something that needs to be encouraged by wider coverage and discussion.
The Report Covers
- Market Background
- What can be learnt from the growth/static state of the sex toy industry
- Female Consumer Pragmatism
- Previous Lubricant Research
- Sexual Goods Market Dynamics
Respondents were Asked to Score Various Questions on a 0-9 scale:
- Pleasure enhancement from using Lubricant
- Psychological security from using Lubricant
- Impact on frequency of Sexual Activity
- Frequency of sexual activity
- Respondents were asked to offer opinions on the following
- Psychological effect of ‘wetness’ in arousal or activity
- Psychological effect of objects or emotive brands
- Issues surrounding the application of lubricant
- Preferred types of lubricant
Market Development and Product Issues
- The entry of Beauty and Skincare brands and associated retail
- The opportunities and threats for incumbents
- The older woman market - attitudes, dangers of ignoring et al
- Merchandising Lubricant
- Lubricant as a Loyalty Product
1. The Editor
3. Why is Personal Lubricant Important?
5. Sexual Research - An astonishing lack of reliable sources.
6. Lubricant Market background
- Market size
- Product breakdown by Outlet UK
7. Lubricant research to date
8. Hewson Lubricant Pilot Study 2015-16
9. Hewson Lubricant Main research 2017
- Respondent Rating: Pleasure and Psychological Impact
- Respondent Rating: Lubricant Influence on Frequency and Variety of sexual activity
- Median Frequency of Sexual Activity by respondent age groups
10. The Psychologies of Use and Acquisition
- Perceived Arousal from being Wet
- Perceived Arousal from Process of Application
- Perceived Arousal from associated factors
- Importance of Brand or Product
11. Female Pragmatism
- As a factor in market dynamics
- As a factor in use of lubricant and other sexually related products
12. Sexual Industry Trends 2107
13. Sex Toy Market: An essential Background Understanding
14. Potential Impact of Beauty/Skincare Brands entering the market
15. What will cause Major Brands or Retailers to enter the market?
16. Older Women: Sexual Behaviours and Insights into wider consumer issues