Boulder sex toy online retailer sees a COVID-19 stimulus

One local Boulder sex toy shop sees a boost in business

By Tatyana Sharpton Apr 16 2020

While lots of businesses have shuttered or frozen with people locked in their homes, one has seen an uptick. Boulder-based online sex toy company Shaggbox. Launched in October 2019, Shaggbox reports that sales jumped 3X in March, according to owner Ryan Bashour.

However, even with a spike in sales, Shaggbox has also felt COVID’s impact on the supply side. At the moment, Ryan faces a dilemma of not being able to ship anything until April 27th due to his wholesaler temporarily closing, and orders keep coming in, with a 90 percent increase of users coming to his online store since March 1.

He’s navigated this by reaching out individually to buyers, offering them a free small gift if they stick it out.

The most popular item, says Ryan, is — fittingly — the Cell Mate App-Enabled Cock Cage, currently sold out. The toy, a chastity device, ergonomic and breathable works off of cellular or Bluetooth only and the keymaster has control over when the wearer can remove it.

Ryan Bashour with Shaggbox associate Skyler at the Las Vegas Erotica Convention this January.

For the new company to blossom in a time of economic turmoil is telling of what people are doing to stay sane right now. Ryan started the business as a way to promote awareness around sexual health; he donates 10% of all his revenue to MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault, Boulder), the city’s rape crisis center.

“As it is, there’s a big taboo around talking about this stuff socially and openly,” Ryan says. “And when it is talked about, lots of things get left out in the process. We’ll see things that are mainstream — like Sex and the City, or Fifty Shades of Grey– they’ll show vibrator, but they leave out how important consent is and what kind of stuff is actually good for our body and bad for our body.”

This has begun to change, with companies like Shaggbox bringing sex into a more mainstream light. Ryan’s store sells everything from leashes and collars to natural hemp bondage rope, wooden paddles, nipple chain clamps, glass massagers, vibrators, and books. The curious can purchase these items individually or packaged together in a box or bundle for a discount.

Header image: Rope bondage play, by Shaggbox.