LONDON.– Bars and nightclubs in London and other British cities have begun using vending machines that sell sex toys such as mini vibrators.
The pink Tabooboo machines had previously been used in public toilets in Britain, under the assumption that such settings gave buyers some privacy.
But Geoff Todd, manager of the Alphabet Bar in London's West End area, said the Tabooboo machine it installed in the middle of the bar is used daily.
"Some people use it just because it's in the bar. Some make a special journey, maybe because they are to embarrassed to go into a sex shop," Todd was quoted as saying by Monday's The Guardian newspaper. "Some buy the toys because they are a novelty, some do it for a laugh, some buy them as presents. It's been a great success."
In addition to bars and nightclubs in London, Manchester and Newcastle, the vending machines also have begun to show up in hairdressing salons, health clubs and retail stores, Tabooboo managing director Alan Lucas said.
He said the company also has exported about 20 of the machines to Italy and about 10 to the United States.
"The younger generation isn't phased by sex toys. They don't believe they equal pornography. Vending machines allow them to buy such products anonymously without going to a seedy sex shops to do so," Lucas said.
The 11 different sex toys carried by the Tabooboo vending machines sell for an average 5 pounds (euro7.30, US$8.80) each, Lucas said.