by Joel Julien

Since the arrival of COVID-19 on our shores, there has been a steady rise in the sale of sex toys locally, culminating in a massive climax last week, sex therapist Giriraj “Dr Raj” Ramnanan has revealed.

Ramnanan said rechargeable vibrators, penis pumps, and toys that could be enjoyed by couples have been the top sellers.

“What I have noticed because of this virus and is that a lot of people have to be by themselves and of course people have their needs and wants when it comes to their sexual health,” Ramnanan said.

But because in this country a “deputy” is considered essential as per the calypso by Seadley “Penguin” Joseph, Ramnanan said things were affected when this country recorded its first positive COVID-19 case.

“Remember a lot of Trinidadians have what you call a deputy or they have extra sexual activities taking place, for example, visiting houses of ill-repute all that has started to cut down about three weeks ago,” Ramnanan said.

“People don’t want to interact so the only way that they could really be satisfied in whatever exploits they may have is to self indulge which is masturbation or indulge with their partner at home in a particular way that may spice things up,” he said.

This has resulted in an increase in sales he said.

“So over the last two weeks, there was a steady increase in sales with people coming to buy all their enhancers and their toys and some who are regulars in buying toys they would look for something new, something more exciting,” Ramnanan said.

“Sales increased about 10 to 20 per cent in the first week of this thing happening and within the last week there was a tremendous spike of about a hundred per cent,” he said.

“That goes to show that people want to take care of their sexual health they want to make sure that they enjoy themselves while being under this lockdown and it is nothing to be frowned upon because sexual health is very important to individuals both psychologically and physically,” Ramnanan said.

Ramnanan said he believes the call for people to stay home will help couples currently experiencing problems in their relationship.

“You have individuals who will have to spend a little more time with their partner this is going to strengthen a lot of relationships this is going to help persons to overcome the little difficulties that they may have had in the past with their partner in terms of sexual compatibility and whatnot,” he said.

He said the sales figures showed that.

“There were very little selfish toys being sold there were more toys that partners could work with,” he said.

Ramnanan said while he personally has no issue with staying home he believes he offers an “essential service” for hundreds.

“I agree with the shutdown I’m just saying that something could have been done because of the clients that we have out there who need their sexual health. I am happy to stay at home and isolate myself and that’s fine because I am abiding by the law but I also have to think about my clients that I know that are in the hundreds who have a problem,” he said.

“It’s like a Catch 22, damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Ramnanan said.

Ramnanan said he has been doing consultations via telephone and Skype.

He said his clinics stepped up their sanitisation measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Two weeks ago we were sanitizing our clinics, we were making sure that every client that came in were sanitised, we use alcohol-based wipes, even the money handed to us we sprayed going into the draw and sprayed coming out of the draw so we did a lot of internal sanitising because of the nature of the business also because we deal with health, whether it is sexual health or other health we deal with health. So we took it upon ourselves to be responsible,” he said.