When it comes to ‘Sex Toys’, its not just the society, even the laws in India are unclear about their sale. Just two years back, sex toys were not so easily available in India, but since past few months number of ecommerce marketplaces including Snapdeal, Flipkart etc have added Sexual Wellness to sell sex toys, kits, edible lingerie, lubricants and condoms, etc, online. Not only these, but there are a number of other players who have come into the picture, dealing specifically in the sale of products under this category and making huge profits.
But it seems now sale of such products will not be an easy job for these online retailers because if reports are to be believed, online marketplace Snapdeal has been dragged to the court for selling sex accessories including anal lubes and massagers. Snapdeal is not the only one, another ecommerce player, Ohmysecret is also one of the accused. Though Ohmysecret.com had shut shop last month.
According to a Quartz report, Suhaas Joshi, an advocate at India’s Supreme Court, has filed a complaint against Snapdeal.com and Chennai-based Ohmysecret.com for abetting gay sex and for exhibiting obscene products.
Products such as anal lubes and massagers violate Section 377, and Sections 292, 292 A, 293 and 294 which prohibit obscenity in public.
As a result of the complaint, the metropolitan magistrate at Delhi’s Tis Hazari court, in its order dated Feb. 05, has now asked the police to immediately investigate the matter and submit a report.
While browsing through the Snapdeal website we found that the ecommerce player sells sexual products under the health, medicine and wellness section. According to Doshi’s compliant products such as Anal Eaze (a lubricant) and Le Reve ribbed massager were being sold openly on these websites. For instance product named “The Pleasurepillar” was available on the website yesterday but however, now it has been discontinued.
As per the laws, vibrators that can be used for anal sex violate the Indian laws and hence websites should not be selling them. “I am not against homosexuality… There is a lot of confusion. Companies are selling products which are used for same sex activity, but at the same time, Indian government says such acts are illegal,” Joshi told Quartz.
“Snapdeal.com is an online marketplace which provides a platform to connect buyers and sellers,” a spokesperson for Snapdeal said an emailed reply. “We understand that at times sellers may list products which may be inappropriate, we take down such listings upon being notified of the same.”
The sale of sex toys, etc. have come into question last month as well, after an email complaint was made by Harit Kumar against few websites “openly promoting and selling objectionable products illegally and showing objectionable content on their websites”. The crime branch of the Delhi Police had even asked the information & broadcasting ministry to look into this.
Sexual wellness market is expected to reach a INR 8,700 Cr. mark by 2020. Apart from Snapdeal, Flipkart, Healthkart and other players including IMbesharam, thatspersonal, Kaamastra, Shykart also sells products are also dealing in this space.