Sales of sex toys in India have risen by 44%.
After films containing sexually intimate masturbation scenes were released close together in India in June 2018, the result seems to be a rocketing increase in sex toy sales.
Adult stores are attributing this boost to the recent big film releases in India such as Veere Di Wedding and Lust Stories which feature acts of masturbation.
Released on 1st June 2018, Veere Di Wedding has been labelled as the Indian version of the popular series Sex in the City. The comedy tells the story of four female friends and their lives. Starring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania as the main characters.
The female buddy comedy film attracted a mixed array of responses to the sexual references that it contains. Just one of these references is found in the scene in which Swara uses a vibrator sex toy for sexual pleasure until she orgasms.
However, Veere Di Wedding is not the only film to have recently featured scenes of a similar sexual nature in India. The Netflix film Lust Stories followed up the buddy comedy with another masturbation scene.
Directed by Bollywood heavyweights, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee, the film released on 15th June 2018 and follows four different women and their views on love, sex and relationships.
In particular, there are two separate scenes in Lust Stories which show Kiara Advani and Neha Dhupia’s characters also enjoying sexual pleasure by using the sex tool. Combined, it is thought that these films have caught the attention of Indian women.
This is the first time that Bollywood filmmakers have shown a woman enjoying an orgasm so openly on screen. As the scenes also use such well-known and distinguished actresses, their popularity may be another aspect that has fuelled sex toy sales.
Whilst some people have celebrated the masturbation scenes as women empowerment, other viewers have labelled them as obscene and crude. Either way, it seems that Indian women are becoming more curious about sex toys.
According to International Business Times, sales of sex toys in India have risen by 44%. IB Times added that the adult store IMBesharam witnessed a huge increase in sex toys for women in the month of June. June sales of women’s sex toys soared compared to previous months.
By way of illustrating, from January to May the online store achieved sex toy sales for women of Rs 1,78,99,775. This contrasts with the dramatic sales in June alone as they achieved similar numbers with a sale of Rs 1,18,99,346 for women’s sex toys.
Raj Armani, the COO and Co-founder of the adult store IMBesharam, told IB Times:
“What Lust Stories, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Veere Di Wedding did in recent times is throw light on a very volatile and controversial topic about Women’s sexual preferences and choices and that it is OK to cater to this natural and organic physical needs.
“For the longest times, society has put a virtual curtain on their needs while living in oblivion and denial that even exists. Thankfully today Cinema is empowered to talk and bring that to the eyes of millions, possibly for profit purposes but at same time it lends a mirror to the changing times of our culture and society.”
“While this revolution is happening in India, we are proud, honoured and grateful to the Indian audience for having embraced us as their most trusted and favorite destination to procure the tools, aids, devices and objects of pleasure that bring to them pleasure and satisfaction in the long run making happier relationships and less stressful individuals.”
Despite female traffic on the website only increasing by 1%, their spending rose by a mammoth 44%. Interestingly, the highest sales on the website from female traffic during this month happened from June 15th. This follows right after the release of Lust Stories.
It seems that the exposure to films of this kind is piquing the sexual interest in Indian women. With masturbation being so freely written about in scripts and acted out on the big screen by popular names, the act of self-pleasure is coming out of the shadows.
Whilst public opinion on these films remains divided, it’s clear that films of this kind are leaving a big impact on Indian viewers.