In February last year, IGIHE reported on operations of a shop based in Rwanda dubbed ’Vuki Ltd’ which sells sex toys used to spice up sexual desire or during masturbation.
In an interview with IGIHE, one of managers of Vuki Ltd, who provided information on condition of anonymity has revealed the business has remarkably grown since February 2021.
“Since February 2021, the number of our products has skyrocketed. On one hand, the increase in demand is attributed to your article which brought our products to limelight but we also established clear strategies to create linkages with customers using social media and other platforms,” he said.
The shop has existed in Rwanda for two years running business online.
The shop does neither require customer’s identity, nor sell products to children under the age of 18.
Products displayed on the platform are classified into six categories : toys, lubricants, oil massage, aphrodisiac, wellness and lingerie.
As per product’s catalogue ; Toys are the shop’s main market and the product’s category which is the more demanded by women and men while Lubricants are used mainly to solve frigidity and dryness problems.
Aphrodisiac is sold for the purpose of solving some problems of sexual desire ; Oil massage is meant to enhance foreplay preliminaries and bring intense arousal of the couple.
Wellness products are particularly dedicated to women, among other cups which are used as a permanent solution for periods. These include products enabling women to urinate with a standing position.
Lingerie is there to bring colour in a relationship and stimulate the desire both of men and women.
One of the managers of Vuki Ltd has said that they mull increasing such products to meet the increasing demand among Rwandans.
“We want to increase our products to meet clients’ demand because we are convinced that providing them with desired products and satisfying their needs is our responsibility,” he said.
“We are growing constantly. Customers can expect new products and new services we want to bring to the market,” he added.
He disclosed that Vuki Ltd plans to open a physical store where customers can access products.
“We are still running operations online but we want to launch a physical store. We are assessing the feasibility and gathering feedbacks from Rwandan market informing our decision,” he noted.
Targeting potential CHOGM customers
As Rwanda hosts the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM), the management has revealed that it is a good opportunity to extend services to interested guests and make their stay a memorable one.
It is against this backdrop that Vuki Ltd has slashed prices by 20% on sex toys.
One of managers of Vuki Ltd has said that such a reduction in prices is not by accident, as it is meant to join other service providers like airlines that have offered discounts to participants of the meeting.
“Offering the discount is not by accident. We knew that many people will not be moving a lot during this time and we have always seen a change in our business over the holidays. That is why we decided to offer a discount to our customers,” he revealed.
The rise in demand during holidays is not an exclusivity of Rwanda, especially during Covid-19 pandemic where the demand for sex toys has skyrocketed globally.
For instance, the value of sex toys global market was valued at over US$ 25 billion in 2018, increased to over US$ 26.6% billion in 2019 and over US$ 30$ billion in 2020. The market is estimated at US$ 48.2 billion in 2027.
In general, women continue to represent a higher proportion of sex toys’ global consumers at 60%. In an interview with Vuki last year, the management confirmed that Rwandan women make up 60% of their customers.
“Basically, the highest proportion of our customers are women. We estimate they represent 60% of our customers even if you don’t need to precise your gender when you want to order our products. A large part of our selling is gifts for anniversary or any other occasion. For example, Valentine’s Day goes with higher demand usually.”
Local businesses making huge profits
In a bid to adjust to the local market, Vuki Ltd which has been operating in Rwanda for almost four years, plans to continue expanding its partnership with domestic businesses.
“We are still working with the IsLo Collection for the underwear and we are looking at ways to partner with other businesses in Rwanda with the new products that we want to introduce to Rwandan market,” he said.
The management has said that it also trains interested individuals not familiar with sex toys because they have not yet become popular.
“We have a telephone line that our customers can call. They can also text us on WhatsApp when they have a problem or need more help. In addition, each product on our site has a detailed description [of how it is used],” the person said.
“We abide by norms of Rwanda’s market. We try to be as transparent as possible while working with the authorities on the nature of our business. Our products are imported from France are comply with international standards. Our products go through customs at MAGERWA where they are inspected and taxed. On top of that, we don’t sell them to children under the age of 18,” he added.
No rose without thorns !
Although Vuki’s business is flourishing, there are still a number of challenges that come with this type of business.
“The main challenge we face is that our customers or the general public do not understand that all accessories including lingerie, sex toys, oils and so on, can contribute to having a great time in bed. It is normal and should not be taken as a taboo.”
He went on to say that interested individuals should not feel ashamed to use them to increase sexual pleasure.
“There is no shame in using these products to increase sexual pleasure. It is totally normal to those who are sexually active and should be discussed comfortably among mature people.”
Do sex toys affect users ?
Like many other products ; excess use is not always good. The source from Vuki has said that using sex toys in excess in harmful.
“It is not only sex toys. Even normal sexual intercourse can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health if done in an excessive way. We may not be able to tell people when to use sex toys but that is one of the many reasons we will only sell them to adults. Almost all adults are aware of the amount of sex they need and the extent to which it can affect them.”
“A good example is that we all know that drinking too much or eating too much can have serious consequences. But when you are older, no one keeps a close eye on you when you are drinking or eating too much. They assume that you are mature enough to choose the right from wrong.”
The member of Vuki’s management has said that people who think using sex toys is shameful they should first educate themselves about the subject.
“I believe everyone has the will to make their own decision. We are not forcing people to use our products, especially those who think they are wrong. However, we encourage them to educate themselves on this topic and see if they can change their mindset. ”
The source added that some users have provided positive feedback commending Vuki’s sex toys.
“We have a lot of testimonials even though they are confidential. There are people who have had problems during erection due to a certain disease, injuries and other causes, but are pleasing their girlfriends using some of our sex toys.”
Vuki’s discount on sex toys is offered between 20th and 26th June 2022.