New Delhi: In India, a sex toy is a tool for the right people.
The sex toy market is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with sex toys for sale in retail stores and online and many other brands on offer.
The sex toy industry is in dire need of reform and is a key pillar of India’s growth story, said Jyotiraben Singh, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a research organization in New Delhi.
Sex toys for women are a luxury, which should not be sold at a time when many Indians are trying to deal with the effects of sex addiction.
The need for better education, awareness and treatment is pressing, Singh said.
The International Centre for the Study of Drug Addiction (ICESDA), a research institute in Delhi, published a study this month showing that sexual abuse in India accounts for one in five women’s deaths each year, the highest rate in the world.
Anecdotal evidence from a survey of women living in Delhi’s sex-segregated slums showed that the sex industry is also a place of trauma, trauma that can be easily ignored, said Ramesh Sharma, an expert on sex-related crimes at the Institute for Women’s Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Sex workers are often seen as second-class citizens.
But as women become educated, and as more women participate in the workforce, the sex-trade is changing.
Sex toy sales are rising, Sharma said.
“The sex trade is a very rich market, where people can get a lot of money,” he said.
India has the largest sex-trading community in the global market, according to research from the International Federation of Sex Work Professionals.
India, a world leader in the use of sex to satisfy a desire, has an estimated 6.5 million sex-trafficking victims, according the report, and the number of sex-slavery cases in India is the highest among the world’s most populous countries.
The world is witnessing a global surge in sex trafficking and violence against women, said Mihir M. Bhanu, an attorney and an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Management, who specializes in women’s issues.
The prevalence of sex trafficking in India, as well as the fact that sex trafficking is a major crime, makes it even more imperative that government and the police tackle it, Bhanus said.