Years ago buying a sex toy meant ducking into an adult shop incognito and emerging with your purchase in a brown paper bag.
Today, things couldn’t be more different with mainstream retailers like The Iconic, Priceline and now Cotton On all selling a range of sex toys.
Go on Instagram and you’ll find influencers spruiking their favourite vibrators — Abbie Chatfield even has one named after her.
Cotton On announced it would be selling a range of sex toys and vibrators via its online store in February.
The Cotton On website makes sure no one can accidentally stumble onto the page.
But it was posts to the brand’s Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday that drew ire from some shoppers.
Featuring two photos of its sex toy range the caption on Facebook read: “Treat yourself. Text your BFF. Yes, we’re serious.”
In the comments on Facebook and Instagram, the vast majority of shoppers applauded Cotton On for its “destigmatising” post on sex toys.
“Such a good idea! Self pleasure shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Good job Cotton On,” one commented.
“Well hello Cotton On,” another pleased customer remarked.
“Not only my fav clothes to wear every dam day, now this,” another commented on Instagram. “Yasssss Cotton On.”
There's a lot of pearl-clutching in the Cotton On comments.
It shouldn’t be surprising that adult shoppers can buy adult sex toys from a retailer whose primary target market is adults, but some customers still took issue with Cotton On selling them and then advertising them on Facebook.
“My 14-year-old has got you on her Instagram and more than likely would have seen these along with many other teenagers,” one mum wrote.
“I think it’s a terrible move to sell this under your brand where children’s/youth items are sold.
“I’m all for sexuality and purchasing these products if it’s what you like but as an adult not teen.”
Others agreed, saying it was “seriously ridiculous” that a store that sold children and teenager clothing also sold X-rated toys.
“My 10-year-old daughter loves shopping at Cotton On!” one concerned mum wrote.
“A shop that sells kids clothes shouldn’t sell this stuff,” another shopper claimed.
Other customers leaped to Cotton On’s defence, dismissing the concerns as “pearl clutching”.
“People complaining how this will be seen by kids etc yet haven’t noticed it already being out for a while till they posted,” another said.
“️Healthy sexuality shouldn’t be a taboo topic but an opportunity for valuable life lessons and safety.”
News.com.au has contacted Cotton On for comment.
Cotton On’s range of sex toys and vibrators are only available via its website under its “self love” section.
Before shoppers can view the retailer’s sex toy collection, which includes Abbie’s Vush vibrator, they must click “yes” in response to a question asking if they are “sure you’re comfortable” as “the following pages contain sex-related products and sexual wellness information”.
Although he retailer sells clothes for children and teenagers, its primary target market is adults aged 18 to 30.
Cotton On’s decision to stock sex toys was met with a “huge positive response”, the brand told the Daily Telegraph in February.
“We invite everyone to explore what self love and pleasure means to them. We know it’s personal,” a Cotton On Body spokesperson said.