As normal and universal as sex is, in India, it is usually spoken about in ‘hush- hush’ tones often accompanied by giggles and reactions like ‘oohs and aahs’.
Being the birthplace of Kamasutra, an ancient text all about sex, Indians shy away from embracing the act as it is. While it is seen as an essential part of peoples’ lives, the supplementary means to achieve sexual pleasure are often hidden under the covers.
Person driven sexual pleasure differs from object driven sexual pleasure. While sex as the act with another person is considered ‘legit’, sex with an object is often a victim of ‘sanskari’ moral policing.
In the recent times, many adult toy companies in India are disguising sex toys as ‘ordinary’ objects of daily use to escape the eye of the so-called upholders of ‘moral sexual order’.
ARE SEX TOYS ANOTHER TABOO IN INDIA?
It might come as a shock, but sex toys are being used in India since ancient times. The Kamasutra, in its section on ‘Occult Practices’ talks about the use of ‘other’ objects for sexual pleasure.
The toys range from dildos made from natural material like wood and ivory, in various shapes and sizes. Everyone could use sex toys in the absence of a partner.
However, in today’s ‘modern’ Indian society, sex toys are looked down upon. Especially in the case of women. The mere fact that women have an alternative method of pleasuring themselves that completely disregards the use of the phallus is difficult to take in.
Men who use sex toys, also bear the brunt of this moral policing.
THE DEMAND FOR SEX TOYS IN INDIA
India being the sixth most sexually active country in the world, has a raging demand for sex toys. According to Technavio, the sexual wellness market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 34.8% per year from 2014-2019.
Additionally, Lovetreats, an E-commerce sex toy venture, has stated that the number of men and women indulging in sex toys like vibrators, dildos, lubricants, Fleshlights, Cock rings etc are at par.
There is now a huge organised market for sex toys in India, predominantly as E-commerce ventures. Kinkpin, Thatspersonal, IMBesharam are some of the giants that deal with objects for adult pleasure.
WHY ARE COMPANIES FORCED TO DISGUISE THEIR SEX TOYS?
While all these companies promote the use of sex toys in a safe and healthy manner, they still end up getting the evil eye from the upholders of sexual morality who brand sex toys as ‘obscene’, ‘immoral’ and ‘unhealthy’.
A lot of these companies are now forced to disguise their sex toys as everyday objects like lipsticks, balms, paint etc. The attempt is to make the objects smaller and easier to carry, to avoid prying and judgey eyes.
“Some of our new products are disguised as general FMCG goods, so that they don’t invite curiosity or suspicion,” says Raj Armani, co-founder of IMBesharam. Their male and female masturbators resemble a chapstick and lipstick respectively.
Samir Sairaiya, CEO of Thatspersonal has said that, “As long as the product does not look obscene, does not resemble any part of the human anatomy, does not show nudity, we can sell it”.
THE VARYING DEFINITIONS OF “PLEASURE”
Sex in India as a means to reproduce holds more value than as a means of pleasure. With the changing trends in defining sex and virginity, the traditional definitions of virginity are being questioned.
Women claim to be able to take their own virginity and orgasm. Sex toys for self-pleasure have a major role to play in such a situation.
However, it is ironic to see how objects of pleasure for people are considered to be devoid of dignity. To keep sex interesting, to experiment, to provide self-pleasure, the concept of ‘kink’ becomes important.
Sex toys are a means to that end. Disguising them as ‘ordinary’ objects only promotes an unhealthy and narrow understanding of sexual pleasure.
Image Source: Google Images
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