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April 02, 2019

Sex Toy Market In India Taking Off, Driven by Women's Purchases

In India, a country of more than 1.3 billion that has recently banned internet porn, the online sexual wellness industry is now “thriving,” according to a report by The Week, thanks largely to “the privacy associated with e-commerce [that] has taken the shame out of shopping for products that enhance sexual experience.” Raj Armani, the sexual e-commerce entrepreneur who is styling himself as  “the Indian version of Hugh Hefner,” according to SIFY Finance, estimates the potential market for sexual wellness products in India at $3 billion. A surge in women purchasing sexual wellness products online, according to Armani, was sparked last year by a scene that appeared online as a viral video from the Netflix Bollywood film Lust Stories, in which popular actress Kiara Advani is shown masturbating with a “bullet” style vibrator as her husband and mother-in-law look on. As a clip of the scene circulated online, sales of vibrators—the bullet in particular—“shot up,” The Week reported. On ThatsPersonal.com, India’s first adult e-commerce site, even though men visit the site more frequently, women do more actual purchasing, according to My Nation, spending 18 percent more per “shopping cart.”  According to Samir Saraiya, founder of ThatsPersonal.com, the online porn ban has not necessarily affected sales of sex toys online, because the two markets have different needs. "In India, people don’t want to publicly acknowledge their interests and choices when it comes to sex products. But at the same time there is a rise in uncensored online content not tied down by the usual constraints,” he told My Nation. “There is a lot of creative freedom in discussing sex and sex products. Thus, I think that we will be unaffected by the ban on pornography.” According to a 2017 study carried out by ThatsPersonal, personal lubricants are the top-selling sexual products in India, with 18 percent of purchases, followed closely by vibrators at 16 percent.  Delay sprays—penis desensitizing liquids purported to prolong male sexual performance prior to ejaculation—come in third, with 14 percent of sexual wellness product purchases, though whether women or men are purchasing more of the male orgasm-delaying sprays was not made clear. Photo By Eric/Wikimedia Commons

 
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