The Future of Sex Toys in a Country That Thinks of Sex as a Taboo Looks Vivid Thanks to e-commerce, even intimate products are available in abundance

By Komal Nathani

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All Indians who have visited colorful stores abroad selling intimate toys ranging from sex dolls to vibrators often end up with one question in mind - Do we get sex toys in India?

Things considered to be a taboo are surprisingly the most thrilling for everyone. This is the promise that answering this question gives us.

Though the India's originated ancient treatise Kama Sutra is well-known and the most followed book in the world when it comes to sex satisfaction, the people in India still hesitate to talk about it openly. In small quarters in India, sex is still something blasphemous to talk about but that doesn't fade the interest in the subject among fellow Indians.

Buying adult lifestyle products in the market is definitely not a comfortable situation for most of the people in India, as here sex sells but when it comes to bedroom buys, it's labelled as anti-cultural.

The market for intimate toys is still at an undecided stage in the country. Here's a glimpse into the thriving market of these products secretly revered.

Where to get it from?

Oh don't u worry, everything that's under a tight control is closest to us all the time. From pornography to sex toys, the Indian Capital's very own Palika Bazar (where one can get everything from a t-shirt to duplicate Chinese gadgets) is one such place. Another popular hub is Mumbai's Crawford market.

Besides, Palika Bazar and Crawford, today the Indian consumers have gotten a new destination to shop for sex toys - the internet. Despite stringent laws for the sale of intimate toys in India, a number of public platforms have forayed into the Indian market with an aim to battle the taboo.

If on the sly?

When Samir Saraiya launched ThatsPersonal.com in 2013, he was unsure of what the market for his 'sexual wellness' website would be.

'One set of people told us that the major market would be the people who lived in metros, those who had lived abroad and had already tried these products. Another set of people said that our market was going to be the smaller towns since they are the ones who didn't have much entertainment and are going to need these products. We really had no idea,' he says.

Once the business took its plunge, the major market contribution came from metro cities says Saraiya.

Similarly when Raj Armani of IMbesharam.com started up with a digital platform, he had to battle with a lot legalities to sell sex toys in India, but his indomitable determination helped him achieve his goals slowly and steadily.

"The smartphone and internet penetration opened the doors to the dormant desires of more fulfilling lifestyle of adults in India, and that's how we brought our platform to India," says Armani.

Entrepreneur India reached out to two of the major players of the sex toys industry to know how this market is developing from a nascent stage to a one of the emerging face of ecommerce in India.

Listen to the entrepreneurs explaining how the increase in consumer demand is giving a push to the business of the adult lifestyle products and what is stopping this e-commerce section to grow legally in India.

Stay tuned to Entrepreneur for the release of video soon.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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