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Is it legal to buy sex toys in India?

The short answer is YES. It is completely legal to buy sex toys in India as long as you are buying it ONLINE, and we have been selling them since 2013. In fact, now even the marketplaces like SnapDeal, Flipkart, Blinkit, and Zepto have caught up. Very soon you will be able to buy them at local departmental stores, airport shops, and even your neighborhood medical store.

The reason many assume buying or selling sex toys may be illegal is because either they assume that in India, which is a traditionally conservative society and has a heavy influence of morals in our daily life, buying or selling toys for pleasure would be prohibited. On the contrary, it is NOT. It is only our assumptions.

As per Section 292 of IPC, if the product is obscene (as defined by the Indian constitution - a book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure, or any other object shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect, or (where it comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt a person), sale, marketing, and distribution of that product is illegal.

This law dates back to the times of Independence, before the Internet and before e-commerce... it was meant to regulate obscenity in books and paintings. The fact that this archaic law is still around is an absolute joke!

The misunderstood fact of the matter is that there is NO LAW governing sex toys in India.

In the case before Calcutta High Court, it was categorically held that import of articles relating to adult use or pertaining to sex cannot be held as obscene merely because of its nature. In the court’s words, “In our opinion, an article or instruction suggesting various modes for stimulating the enjoyment of sex, if not expressed in any lurid or filthy language, cannot be branded as obscene. Acquisition of knowledge for enjoyment of sex through various means is not by itself a prohibited activity, provided it is not done through obscene language or pictures. The concerned items are meant for adults and as such their importation for restricted sale to adults only should not be considered to be on the wrong side of the law”

There was a case earlier where certain e-commerce stores were taken to court over products said to be “aiding or abetting” activities forbidden under section 377. Essentially, they said that adult toys are promoting an activity which is illegal under the Indian penal court, namely, gay sex. However, as of September 2018, the Supreme Court declared that any consenting sexual activity between adults is not a criminal act, which means that sex toys can no longer be said to “aid or abet” an illegal activity. THANK YOU, SUPREME COURT. Better late than never!

The products sold on IMBtameez are categorized as multi-function devices, massagers, and wellness products. The products are shipped discreetly, and the packaging does NOT have any nudity or obscenity.

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