Recently, when Hindustan Latex tried to market Crezendo, a condom with a ‘vibrator’, there was a public outcry. Reason: Crezendo was more a sex toy, less a condom. And not only are sex toys banned in India, they would also corrupt ‘Indian-ness’.
But, in Indian metros, sex toys are being given as a “coming of age” gift to those turning 18 or 21. “It’s the done thing these days,” says Kanika Verma, a 1st year student of Delhi University.
“I recently bought ‘Rock Chick’ online for a friend, a silicon filled toy, which stimulates pleasure. Sellers maintain discretion and deliver the products at your doorstep.” Mehul Shah, a 20-year-old student, adds, “On a trip to Amsterdam I bought an inflatable doll.”
A shop-owner in GK-I says that there is no law that prevents an Indian from buying a sex toy abroad and bringing it home.
“We traders get as many sex toys back as we can whenever we go to Bangkok,” he says. At the airport, they are allowed to carry the booty back by marking them “For personal use” only.
Many sex toys even resemble daily use items. “My vibrator looks like a lipstick. I bought it from Thailand and it was no problem getting it through customs,” says Kanika. “And my parents can never find out what it is!” she adds.
Dr Rajan Bhonsle, Mumbai-based consultant in sexual medicine, says the most commonly used toys among Indians are vibrators. But he believes that such toys create physical dependency and can harm the person emotionally.
(Some names have been changed)