Dating Diaries: New Zealand’s sexiest region


Warning: This article contains sexual content.

This week I learnt something truly wild: New Zealanders purchased enough sex toys last year to build 9.8 Sky Towers. If only someone had added that extra dildo to their cart it could have been 10.

I won’t lie, the last few days have been dull: I’ve been struck down with the flu, snowed under with work and to make matters worse, I broke my trusty Yu Mei bag. But then there was a knight in shining armour: the adult toy e-store, Love Honey.

I slipped into their DMs looking for some fun and they slipped right back into mine with the goods - which surprisingly wasn’t lube. Instead, they shared a copy of their super sexy map of New Zealand towns and cities, revealing the sex toy shopping habits and kinks of the people from the Vanilla West Coast to Tie-Me-Up Taranaki.

Each year Love Honey reveals their latest data on Aotearoa’s sex trends and if the first sentence of this article didn’t set the scene, let me do it for you. They’re so spicy they needed a warning. Let me explain: you may think New Zealand is a nation of quiet towns, vanilla hamlets and some cities with concerningly high rates of syphilis, but in fact, some of our quaintest rural backblocks are home to some pretty kinky folk.

So let me enlighten you with this year’s round-up of sex toy awards for the towns and cities of one not-so-innocent Aotearoa:

Sexiest City

Kicking things off with the Sexiest City, last year’s results found that Queenstown took out the trophy. The popular South Island town proved to us all that they are as adventurous behind closed doors as they are in the great outdoors.

But this year, things have changed.

With most of the population residing in Auckland, it feels like no surprise that the Super City won Love Honey’s award for the Sexiest City and easily spent the most on sex toy products.

But they had some competitors. Coming in a close second equal were the popular regions of Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury. The four regions each won their own award but in the essence of closed doors, we’ve decided not to list them all. Some things just don’t need to be shared in the family-friendly Lifestyle section of the national newspaper, you know?

Don’t be discouraged though, we’ve still got some facts that will give you a big oh my god moment.

Kinkiest region

One thing that’s clear from this sexy map is that it seems Kiwis have a bit of a thing for kink, especially in Canterbury. Winning Love Honey’s Kinkiest Region Award for purchasing the most BDSM products and sex machines, the region that stretches all the way from Timaru to Kaikōura is also a major fan of toys that focus on male pleasure.

And they aren’t the only ones who love a bit of shade, fifty shades to be precise. The beautiful Tasman, located at the top of the South Island, appears to be the home of many Love Honey customers - their very own Christian Grey Red Room.

Earning the Mr & Mrs Grey Award, the region was found to buy the most Fifty Shades of Grey products. And if you travel further north, to Taranaki, the region won the adult toy store’s Tie Me Up Award as they were found to be the Bondage rope capital of New Zealand.

But bondage doesn’t always need to be ropes, ties and sex machines, sometimes it can be pink and fluffy. It’s something Gisborne knows plenty about. Taking out the Cozy but Kinky Award, Gisborne’s statistics don’t lie -they revealed the North Island city is a major fan of pink fluffy handcuffs.

The only thing that would make it better is some costumes to go with - but the winner of that award went to Dunedin. The student-dominated South Island spot of approximately 130,000 people gained the Most Fashionable City title for their love for fetish costumes.

We’re not quite done with the BDSM world yet. See, New Zealand is a major player when it comes to protecting the land and all our native creatures, so it’s safe to say conservation is as important to us as it is to David Attenborough.

Love Honey saw the correlations and actually gave Hawke’s Bay the David Attenborough Award as the top-selling product in the region is a snakeskin whip.

Most vanilla

And while the country appears to be thriving in its sexual positivity era, there is one region that may not have reached that point yet. The West Coast.

Landing the Vanilla Award, the South Island region was found to buy the smallest amount of adult toy products.

But while 2024 is only months away, your time to shine isn’t over, West Coast. You can still come back sexier than ever and beat Auckland in the next round.

By Lillie Rohan 

  • Lillie Rohan is an Auckland-based reporter covering lifestyle and entertainment stories who joined the Herald in 2020. She specialises in all things relationships and dating, great Taylor Swift ticket wars and TV shows you simply cannot miss out on.
  • Listen to the 'It's a Date' podcast with Lillie Rohan