KOLKATA: Conservative Bengal is fast coming out of the closet. Demand for sex toys is surging and women are proving to be bolder than men while visiting shops or ordering the contraptions online. And such is the booming market that most condom shops have begun stocking up on vibrators and dildos.
The buyers of these toys cuts through age and social barriers --- college students, housewives and even those past their prime. And if you are shy to buy the goods from a shop on Moti Seal Street or Khidderpore, order them online.
“It is safe and adds spice to an individual’s life. For a person like me I do not need to take the risk of a relationship or pregnancy. Yet I get the feeling of satisfaction. My friends too use it. Some with their husbands which makes making love interesting after long years of marriage. Sometimes I even buy for my friends,” said Neha Acharya (name changed), a middle-aged housewife from Behala.
Most shops selling the adult toys claim they deal in medical equipment or family planning tools. “Business is good. I have nothing to complain about but we have a tough competition from online portals. From college-goers to married women, all are our clients. Many of them just walk in and ask for a dildo,” said Paramesh Roy (name changed), who runs a shop on Moti Seal Street.
“There is a section of educated women coming from urban pockets who are exploring their sexuality and independence like never before. Women are understanding ways of satisfying themselves without actually being in a sexual relationship,” said Ruchira Goswami, sociologist and teacher at National Institute of Juridical Sciences.
“Plus there is the urge to know the unknown and experiment. The market is unregulated and undercover and therefore one can buy these toys online and maintain secrecy. Kolkata is getting more and more cosmopolitan…Women who have been in other cities and aboard are more exposed to sex toys and when then come down to Kolkata, they buy it here too,” Goswami added.
Online portals even offer home delivery of sex toys not only in Kolkata, but other small towns like Barasat, Howrah, Siliguri, Burdwan and Durgapur among others. “Every month I make close to Rs 40,000 in profits. The demand in other cities like Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai is high, but Kolkata is also not lagging behind. These days, more women call us online than men,” said Rajbir Singh, who deals in these adult toys online.
The cyberspace is teeming with sites like kolkatasextoy.com, Artificialsextoys.in, mysextoy.in and adultworldcart.com, all of them catering to Kolkata. Such is the competition that most of them offer huge discounts.
“But now-a-days some sites have come up who dupe customers and we get all get a bad name. One should choose carefully before placing an order. Dildos of different sizes, shapes and make sell the most, even vibrators (battery operated). Anal dildos, vibrators, gels and creams, edible underwear, massagers there are hundreds of varieties for women. Toys for men too are sold. We even sell fancy handcuffs and other stuff,” added Singh.
The price range of products vary from Rs 3,000 for a simple dildo made of silicon rubber to more costly battery operated vibrator and rotator dildos ranging around Rs 10,000 to Rs 15000. Sex dolls range from Rs 12000 to Rs 20,000.
Most of these adult toys are imported from the US and China. Domestic manufacturers are highest in Mumbai.