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Dmytro Nikiforchuk, a design graduate, developed a range of sensory sex toys for the elderly

Developed by design graduate Dmytro Nikiforchuk, Dotyk (or ‘Touch’) is a range of sensory sex toys for the elderly. There are four toys in the collection, including a steel ear trumpet, a magnifying glass lens and an over-the-finger gadget with attachments, each designed to heighten a couple’s senses. The kit also comes with a series of ‘prompt cards’ that encourage intimacy. In an interview with Dezeen, Nikiforchuk said: "Most 'classic' gadgets are designed to meet the needs of the 'average middle-aged user’. Instead, I believe that in the production process of any item should focus on specific consumers considering their age and needs.” Nikiforchuk is a student at the Pedagogical University of Krakow (Institute of Design and Graphics) in Poland. 

DTC ‘sexual wellness’ products for every body and every sexual preference. Virtual, one-to-one sexual wellness coaching sessions. Sex toys for individuals with disabilities. Sex has never been more colorful, more inclusive...unless you’re over the age of 50. 

This invisibility cloak extends far beyond sex. According to research from AARP, an advocacy organization focused on older Americans, more than a third of the US population is older than 50, but the group turns up in only 15% of media images. This is clearly an oversight: the US Census Bureau projects that by 2034, older adults will outnumber chil­dren for the first time in the country’s history. In China, the country with the fastest aging population, the share of the population over 60 years of age is projected to rise from 17.4% in 2020 to 30% in 2040. 

Look a little closer and some of the reasons for these oversights become apparent: In the UK, the average age of advertising employees is 33.9 years, and just 6.2% are aged 50 or over. How can you start bursting bubbles and get people – whether that’s your employees or your customers – out of their comfort zone and open them up to new horizons? Maybe this will result in new products and services or, as many elderly people continue to remain at home due to COVID-19 related concerns, it could be a way to reduce their isolation and bring young(er) people a moment of joy. 

One final point: at TrendWatching, we’ve long advocated a POST-DEMOGRAPHIC approach to consumers, how it’s almost impossible to use traditional demographic segments (age, gender, income, family status and more) to predict consumer behavior. This is another great example of that. What consumer cliches are you still guilty of? And what can you do to overturn them in the coming months?

Stay healthy,

The TrendWatching content team