With changing attitudes and a new wave of personal products geared toward fulfilling feminine needs and desires, intimacy is coming out into the open.

This is partially because there has been a radical shift in how-and to whom-such personal products are marketed. The packaging is generally more discreet and the products are more widely available. No longer banished to “adult” shops, the new “sexual health and well-being” merchandise is going mainstream. These products are now sold in pharmacies, retail outlets, and online stores and Web sites.

For many women, discretion is the better part of experimentation. With once taboo items now packaged discreetly and on the shelves with other everyday drugstore items, consumers should no longer feel shy about their desire to try new things in the bedroom.

According to the 2005 Durex Global Sex Survey-the world’s largest online sex survey-ownership of a personal massager increases with age, and jumps to 62 percent among respondents over 55. It is also higher for people in relationships, as opposed to singles (46 percent vs. 35 percent). “Pleasure is a great stress reliever,” said Sari Locker, well-known sex and relationship expert and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex.” “Intimacy products are a fun and easy way to experiment with adding new sensations and excitement to your love life.”

For example, the Play line by Durex is part of an emerging category of sexual health and well-being products that includes a variety of lubricants, personal massagers, condoms and other items. With so much to choose from, women and their partners can experiment and explore different ways to have an enjoyable experience.

Play is expected to attract adult women and men-particularly those who have not previously had the confidence to experiment in the bedroom. The modern, discreet and attractive packaging is designed to appeal to even the most modest user.

“Consumers are recognizing that a fulfilling sex life contributes to their overall physical and emotional health,” says Stephen Mare, Brand Manager for Durex’s Play line. “They are looking for products that enhance their intimate experiences and want a comfortable environment in which to purchase them.”

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