Jul 8, 2022Read of the weekRead of the week: Lovehoney challenges sex censorship

A campaign from Lovehoney has called out Google for censoring its sexual wellness product offerings, blocking 700,000 customers from viewing their products in the space of just two months. As people congregate online to explore their sexual wellness, brands are tiring of harsh online censorship.

J’Nae PhillipsJ’Nae Phillips is a Junior Editor at Canvas8. With a background in fashion, she’s experienced in understanding how trends influence culture and play a part in shaping our human behaviour. When not working or studying for her journalism postgrad, she can be found writing for her style focused newsletter and is an avid reader.

Google made changes to their SafeSearch feature in 2021, which led to adult toy companies like Lovehoney having their products over-censored and not visible to many consumers. Tired of the online censorship that they deem unfair, Lovehoney launched a clap-back campaign telling consumers to turn off SafeSearch in order to see the brand's full range of sexual wellness products and adult toy offerings.

The sexual wellness market size was valued at $74,770 in 2019 and is estimated to reach $108,320 by 2027. On average there are 11.6 million searches for sexual wellness products every month in the US, and as people begin to explore their sexual health and wellness in digital spaces, the sexual positivity movement is suffering from harsh online censorship and is in need of a modern refresh.

In the US Maude has created organic and natural sexual wellness products and places sex and pleasure at the heart of the self-care sector, and in the UK Mojo is taking an empathetic approach to men's sexual health, Kama is an education app aiming to improve sexual pleasure, and sexual wellness and erotic storytelling app Emjoy is allowing people to explore their sexual wellness via engaging audio content.