Experts speak: Do sexual aids really help Indian couples spice things up? | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Experts speak: Do sexual aids really help Indian couples spice things up?

Walk down certain streets of a big European city and you’ll see rows of sex shops. But while we’re more than a few years, and several mindsets, away from allowing such shops openly on our busy thoroughfares, the interest of the average couple in such products seems to be on the rise.

sex and relationships Updated: Dec 18, 2014 14:43 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Online-retail-has-brought-adult-products-and-sexual-aids-within-easy-reach-of-urban-Indian-couples-HT-Photo
Online-retail-has-brought-adult-products-and-sexual-aids-within-easy-reach-of-urban-Indian-couples-HT-Photo

Walk down certain streets of a big European city –– such as Quartier Pigalle in Paris (where the famous Moulin Rouge stands), or Spuistraat, next to Amsterdam’s famous canals and infamous red-light windows –– and you’ll see rows of sex shops. They’re all lit up with flashy neon signs, sometimes two-three stories high, going about business with the matter-of-factness that a gift store or a fast food stall would in India. But while we’re more than a few years, and several mindsets, away from allowing such shops openly on our busy thoroughfares, the interest of the average couple in such products seems to be on the rise.

Times are changing
Relationship counsellor and psycho-sexual consultant, Dr Pavan Sonar, says, “The number of queries I receive about the use of adult products, especially via email, has increased drastically.” What’s aided this is the online retail boom, and the rise, on the fringes, of Indian websites (such as ohmysecrets.com, masalatoys.com and thatspersonal.com, to name a few) selling products ranging from massage oils and lubricants to toys and bedroom games. According to Samir Saraiya, who heads thatspersonal.com, “Our research shows that five to 10% of the global searches for erotic products come from India. Additionally, almost every sex survey tells us that Indian couples want to spice up their sex life. According to various sources, the Indian market for adult products is projected to be worth approximately `10,000 crore by 2020.”

How it’s aiding the urban couple
A city-based sexologist, Riddhish K Maru, shares that one common relationship problem in our hectic, career-oriented, urban lives is that “no one has time for sex”. He elaborates that “careers are more important than anything else. And after a hectic day at work, all one can think of is having dinner and calling it a night, because, tomorrow, you have another hectic day ahead.” And when sex has gone out the window, because you’re either too tired for it, or not looking forward to it enough, such products can act as catalysts, adding that bit of proverbial spark, if you will. Dr Hitesh Shah, sexologist and wellness consultant, says, “Sex is a powerful binding force for couples. And these adult products are serving as a trigger to revive that force of attraction if it’s been lying dormant. In short, they are helping people improve their monotonous sex lives.” Maru adds that a fair number of couples who come to him, and who show interest in adult products, have been married for years. “People’s sex lives are changing because of these products, especially those who have been married for many years. If nothing else, they bring in the much-needed change in people’s sex lives.”

We were just willing to experiment: A first-person account of how adult products aided a young couple
We’ve been using sexual wellness products for a year-and-a-half now. There was no specific reason to start buying them, nor were they recommended to us by a doctor. We were just willing to experiment. I happened to learn about these products through a friend, and, truth be told, I found them interesting. We started off by using basic products like lubricants, and now we’ve graduated to using adult games and edible products, among other stuff. I wouldn’t say they’ve necessarily improved our sex lives, but they’ve most certainly helped keep things spicy in the bedroom. The bottom-line is that maintaining a good sex life is very important in a marital relationship, so I strongly believe that such products help.”
— Nitin Sahney (name changed on request)

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