Story By
Reema Behl

Mr Arjun (name changed) was not a wee bit startled when a young girl of seventeen came to his shop in a posh colony in South Delhi and asked for a pair of handcuffs laced with pink fur. Reason? He owns a one of its kind shop in the area that sells kinky stuff that has garnered immense popularity in the pre-wedding bachelor and bachelorette parties.

"Usually people confuse all this with porn and think that I am selling pornographic DVDs and will probably give them the contact number and details of a stripper that they can call for their parties. My shop is selling things for party decorations and to tease your friends by gifting them such things. The idea is to have fun with it," Mr Arjun claims.

Well, fun it is that the young Indians are having. Since the idea of organizing a pre-wedding bachelors party is restricted to the upper echelons of the society, many others might not even be aware of it.

Ms Sonika (name changed) is a salesperson at a popular lingerie and cosmetic store in the GK1 M block market of south Delhi. She reveals that once a revered godman from the neighbouring state of Haryana visited their store. It was ordered to be closed for the duration that he remained in the shop."He purchased a lot of things that I cannot even think of telling you," Sonika says.

At the rear end of the shop a lot of merchandize including edible thongs, chocolate spreads for the intimate parts, playing cards with nude pictures etc are kept hidden from the public eye. But the regular customers know where to head to. According to Sonika, people get to know about the shop generally from their friends. “But this is something that is kept under wraps," she adds.
When asked why, Sonika claims apologetically," All this is essentially the excess surplus from Bangkok and by blatantly displaying it; one can jeopardize the name that the store holds in the market."

The reason for these apprehensions may be probably due to the fact that the Indian law is not exactly on the shop’s side. Chetna Aggarwal, (B.S.L.-LL.B.), former Associate at Lakshmi Kumaran and Sridharan, states, “The sale of sex toys is banned in India. Under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, sale of products considered ‘obscene’ is a punishable offence but the intention of the legislature must be understood here. While the use of such toys to corrupt minds is wrong but its use inside one’s bedroom is something personal. The law is not against that.The definition just varies on a case to case basis.”

Surprisingly the fact that sex toys are banned in India has not really acted as a deterrent and the industry is thriving, surreptitiously at some places and overtly at others. Sonika claims that most of the clients demanding such erotic and kinky products are middle aged men and women while Mr Arjun says that most of his clients are young boys and girls.

If not such shops, then there are innumerable sites on the internet where access to these 'naughty things’ is just a click away.