INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe


Sex Toy stores Unleash the Wild Side of Hong Kong's Bedroom Secrets

“I had my first orgasm in my life around 4 am with a vibrator,” said Vera Lui, owner of Sally's Toy, an adult centered store in Central which opened 11 years. ago

It is a cozily lit room filled with the smell of woody perfume and piano music. Books on sex and love pile up on the shelves on one side, while another shelf is lined with vibrating dildos of various sizes. 

Sally's toy’s shelves are filled with perfumes and books called "How to Love". Lui said she wants to educate people how to love their partner while having sex.

There are more than 18 adult stores in Hong Kong, excluding the night stalls that sell adult products in the Yau Ma Tei area.

The female sex toys market share was the largest in the world in 2021, and is expected to continue growing, according to the Business Wire research report.

Many shop owners and organizations in Hong Kong said that adult toys are not only a pleasure for the body, but also a way for people to explore their own bodies and have a more holistic view of sex.

“ I've been having sex since I was 17, but it wasn't until I was 23 that I felt my body was my own, not a tool to fulfill male needs,” said Vera Lui, owner of  Sally’s Toy. 

Lui was given her first vibrator by her husband to explore the body and it changed her mind about sex toys.

“It was the first time I used a vibrator,” Lui said. “ After I came home and searched on Google “how to use sex toys”, I understood my lower body structure,” Lui added.

After the climatic epiphany, Lui wanted to spread her experience and knowledge about sex toys to as many people as possible. Lui and her husband opened Sally’s Toy in 2010. 

Sally's Toys carries more than 30 brands of sex toys and nearly 100 varieties, including clitoral vibrators, penis rings and so on.

“You would be hard-pressed to find an adult store in Hong Kong where you could properly recognize sex toys and explore your own body in 2010,” Lui said. 

Lack of knowledge about sex and shame about being judged by others may prevent people from stepping into sex toy stores. 

“Most schools in Hong Kong did not have an open attitude towards sex education like overseas and I learned little about sex during my school years,” Lui said.

According to studies done by “Teen’s Key”, a non-profit- organization promoting sexual values among youth in Hong Kong, the number of unwanted pregnancies among teens has risen sharply in recent years, and sex education in Hong Kong is inadequate. Some underage girls are helpless during pregnancy.

Calsson Yam, opened "Spotted Dove", a multi functional sex store in Tsim Sha Tsui. “Hong Kong people are actually sensitive to sex love topics, so I set up my store as a multi-functional sex toys store that also sells coffee and wine.”  

“ I hope I can provide consumers a casual space to let more couples buy sex toys and talk about whatever they want at the same time," Yam said. 

Inside Spotted Dove, the wall is decorated with LED Light, 百屌成材. Yam said the ratio of men to women who come into his store to buy sex toys is about 7:5.

 A sample survey by Tatler Asia  shows 80% of respondents had never used sex toys before, and more than half claimed they were reluctant to try them. This opposition stems from prejudice, with 38% believing that sex toys are kinky and unsightly.

“ I would feel uneasy if strangers saw me entering a physical sex toys store, as if I would be invisibly labeled as a slut and a miscreant,” said Lucy Zhang, 48, who has never used any sex toys.

 “Regardless of my age, the image I want to be thought of as decent, so the erotic lingerie and some masturbation products may give me the wrong image.”

“ I can’t understand why some people are obsessed with purchasing sex toys and label them as fun for couples,” said Wendy Zhang, 22, a college student. 

Zhang thinks of sex as a secret sanctuary for two people, and buying sex toys is not necessary for her because it makes her feel her sex life is being spied on.

“ Some girls have body anxiety,” said Vera Lui about her customers. “They are hesitant to try on SM suits, erotic uniforms or anything else because they think that such revealing and sexy clothes are not aesthetically pleasing on them.”

Common6 is a community platform that regularly organizes lectures and sharing sessions on sexuality topics so that  people in Hong Kong can talk about sex and spread the word that sex is not an ordinary thing. 

Cleo Lo, one of the owners of Common6, said: “I think the reasons that bother women when it comes to buying sex products are not only shyness or embarrassment, but also a lack of knowledge.”

“People around me often lack knowledge about sex, so they have certain stereotypical  ideas about sextoys,” said Cleo Lo, a sex toy store owner.

She thinks more women are willing to buy sex toys in recent years.

“ If no one in their families and or their friends buy these sex toys, and they don't understand that actually some sex toys are designed for women, then they will have some prejudice,” she added. 

The attitude of some families may also affect people's exposure to sex toys. Lui said her parents think sex toys are explicit and pornographic. So in the early days of the business, she didn't really talk to them about what her store was for.

“The sex toys that I sell should be beautiful, elegant, and something that can be displayed on the counter at home, not ugly, skimpy, and weird as everyone thinks,” Lui said.

Sally’s Toy, as a veteran brand of Hong Kong sex toys, didn't do a brick-and-mortar store in the early days of the business, but rather an online store.

“My husband and I worked together to design a beautiful website at the beginning because we thought most people in Hong Kong would be shy, and they might prefer to see an online store as opposed to a physical one, “ Lui said.

But the reality is beyond the couple's expectations. At least 20 customers a day call and ask Lui and her husband how to use the products they purchased.

“I feel like a doctor. Every hour I would tell different customers what their lower body is made of, how these sex toys should be used, and which sensitive part they are targeting,” said Lui.

When online shopping wasn't the norm, there were always customers willing to take a taxi to Lui and her husband's humble warehouse and see what their sex toys looked like.

Vera Lui s teachies people on the internet because it's hard to explain in words how to use sex toys.

But now, Lui does more evaluation videos on social media and tells people how to use these sex toys. “Unexpectedly, my first YouTube video received a lot of positive reviews and reposts, which was the beginning of my career as a blogger, Lui said.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


The Wild Side of Hong Kong

Otome games: the rise of the female gaming market