Indian Women Deserve To Have Options When It Comes To Exploring Their Sexuality
- IWB Post
- April 18, 2019
While women worldwide have fought for equal pay, better treatment, comparable job placement, and balanced political voice, it might seem like a public outcry for vibrators is frivolous. But few have had to fight for modern sexual representation like the women of India. Following colonial rule in the country in the late 19th century, attitudes about women and their sexuality changed.
Adopting a more puritanical attitude towards sex, sexual pleasure became relegated solely to the marital bed, and largely governed by the men themselves. With this conservative view becoming the norm in modern-day Indian society, an overtone of patriarchal society has also embedded itself in the general population. Partly due to the rise of sex-selective abortions from the 1970s on, and partly because women are not allowed a voice.
Sex Toys in India
Discussions of sex with any gender in India are likely to lead to uncomfortable pauses and awkward silences. “Sex is just not a topic of discussion in India,” says a spokesperson for the online vibrator retailer Adult Products India, who hopes to see these attitudes change for the better. “I firmly believe that once people become more comfortable discussing sexuality, all of the hate that has been pent up will begin to dissolve.”
Adult Products India has been selling sex toys in India since 2010, after their founders were fed up with the lack of options that most Indians had to explore their sexuality. “We joke that we are saving the lives of vegetables, but I think that we are really saving our own lives,” the spokesperson says. The company promotes body positivity and healthy sexual expression in a country where it’s illegal to shelve an item that displays even suggestive nudity. “It’s very difficult to know what to do with your body and your urges when you are taught that they are shameful. It creates a dark place for many Indians.”
Before the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, Indians were forced to either get creative at home or go in search of poor quality and sometimes dangerous products in dank and bustling marketplaces. “It’s just not an environment that supports open and honest conversation. You feel like you’re doing something wrong.” What’s worse is that most products that were available were designed only for a man’s pleasure and blatantly exploited and demoralized women. “For a very long time, there was no way you would be able to find a vibrator that was designed for a woman, let alone have a choice between several models.”
Vibrators Are Not Just a Toy
Adult Products India hopes to encourage the discussion of women’s pleasure and enjoyment. The company has a massive array of products that were built specifically with women in mind. Where even the most progressive shops struggle to offer much more than lube and lingerie, API offers vibrators, dildos, massagers, clitoral pumps, anal toys, handcuffs… the list is exhausting, but also encouraging. “We want to see women exploring their own bodies and becoming empowered by their own sexualities in the same way that we hope to see them come together with their partners and explore mutual joy,” the spokesperson says. Encouraging female sexuality will not only further women’s rights movement in India, but also promote personal health.
Opening the discussion about breasts, vaginas, clitorises, vulvas, and all those other dry biological terms may help promote an overall wellness that far surpasses just an orgasm. “There is nothing shameful about being a woman, just as there is nothing shameful about healthy sexual desire. As long as no one is getting hurt or abused, we should be able to explore ourselves and our relationships in the ways that make us happiest,” says the spokesperson.