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
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

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. 

Latest

Matt Horn on Finding Purpose in Family and Flames

In-depth interview with CEO, pitmaster, and James Beard Award Nominee Matt Horn about growing his global food brand with social media, operating multiple restaurant concepts, and why he decided to "burn the boats."

This Entrepreneur Believes the 9-to-5 Work Week Is Dead. So She Created a Platform That Matches Talent With Project-Based Work.

The founder of NuuWork shares how her company will help people navigate the future of project-based employment.

How This Company Is Helping Ecommerce Brands Scale and Grow

The co-founder of 8fig shares how his platform is helping online sellers plan and execute their growth around their supply-chain needs.

Eitan Bernath on Becoming a Teenage Food Entrepreneur and Social Media Star

In-depth interview with cookbook author, food personality, and content creator Eitan Bernath about starting an entertainment career as a child, teaming up with Drew Barrymore, and building an inspirational business empire before his 20th birthday.

Ask Marc: Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Facing Challenges, Bringing on Co-Founders and Growth

In this episode of our new series 'Ask Marc,' the serial entrepreneur and mentor offers advice on how to get started.

3 Science-Backed Ways to Break Bad Habits

Become powerfully productive with these three patterns.

Meet the Co-Founders Making Conscious Shopping Easier

Goodbuy's Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Telander Fortin share how their browser extension helps consumers buy products with both their wallets and values front of mind.

Nina Manchev of Forte Tapas on Engaging Customers with Social Video

Interview with Forte Tapas owner and entrepreneur Nina Manchev about connecting with social media, learning to be confident on video, and appearing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

This CEO Believes We Need More Women In Crypto

Jaime Leverton, head of NASDAQ-listed Hut 8 Mining Corp., talks the future of digital currency with 'Entrepreneur.'

How to Create Your Path to Profit

Financial expert and author Michelle Jacobik is on a mission to help people be profitable, so she created the EnVision + Thrive Academy. She shares her journey to success, business tips and what you'll learn in her new book.

Toast CEO Chris Comparato on Why Restaurants Need a Tech Partner That Cares

Interview with Toast CEO Chris Comparato about leading with the customer in mind, having a digital-first mentality, and how technology like Toast is helping restaurants thrive.

The Science of Visualization: Maximizing Your Brain's Potential

In this video, we discuss why visualization is so effective and offer four tips to harness it.

How One Company Is Creating a New Financial System to Help Today's Workforce

The founder and CEO of DailyPay shares how his company is creating a new financial system to help today's employees get paid faster.

Ask Marc: Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Staying Motivated, Morning Routines and Setting Priorities

In this new installment of our 'Ask Marc!' video series, Marc Randolph offers inspiration and insights to new entrepreneurs.

How Tech Entrepreneur Angela Homsi Leverages Sustainable Innovation to Bridge Global Boundaries

Born between two worlds, the Ignite Power founder is helping ensure universal access to essential services.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • How many times have you been told “that will never work”? Probably not as often as Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph. The veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur provides a healthy dose of humor, and actionable advice that will benefit founders - and would-be founders - at every stage of their business journey.
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.