Pinki Goes Kinky

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Plastic, leather, electric, glow-in-the-dark. Are sex toys bringing zip to the Indian bedroom, asks Aastha Atray Banan
ISN’T SEX a natural desire?” Pinku of Sai Electronics, a roadside stall in a busy lane near Flora Fountain in Mumbai, asks nonchalantly. It’s a great sales pitch for the hoard of vibrators, dildos and sex creams he sells openly alongside cheap radios and pirated movies. “What kind do you want? German? Remotecontrolled? Finger vibrators? Latex? Speak freely. Nobody feels shy anymore. Young girls, boys, aunties, uncles, middle-aged couples — all come and ask for this stuff freely. Then what’s the sharam for?” he smiles as he gets back to professional haggling.

Illustration: Anand Naorem

Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines the term ‘obscene’ makes the sex toy illegal and its sale and distribution, consequently, criminal. But where the IPC has fallen behind the times, Indian couples haven’t and where there is a demand, the enterprising Indian trader is not far behind. Now you can buy finger vibrator in New Delhi’s Palika Bazaar or the battery- operated ‘rabbit’ (Rs 5,000—Rs 10,000) in Mumbai’s Crawford market. And for those with a taste for S&M — whips, masks and naughty outfits from the backrooms of lingerie shops. These are all appropriate gifting options now, especially for couples getting married or from one spouse to another on Valentine’s Day.
In India, the customers are surely not spoilt for choice, but are trying to make ends meet whatever way they can. As psychologist Seema Hingoranny puts it, “Indians want to experiment and they are doing so, but they still feel that if they admit to using a vibrator, that means their sex life was horrible to start with.” But newly-married Samiya Shakeel, 22, regards that as hogwash. She often dresses up as a dominatrix and uses a whip on her husband, and he is certainly not complaining.
“I buy these whips that small lingerie shops in Bandra sell and then I often role play as a dominatrix or a naughty nurse who likes to spank her patients. This whip gives a nice whack on the tushy,” laughs the PR executive. “You have to move with the times. I want to keep my sex life alive. And these toys help me. I am surprised they are banned.”

‘Nobody feels shy anymore. Young  girls and boys, aunties, uncles — all come for this stuff,’ says a dildo seller

Namita Gupta, a 24-year-old singleton from Delhi, often buys her fix from a chemist next to her house. “Durex has come out with these finger vibrators, which are too much fun. They also sell cock rings, which your man can wear and double the pleasure.” she says.
Bhavik Shah, a writer from Mumbai, agrees, “My girlfriend and I have tried glowin- the-dark condoms, which themselves make the act so much fun. She also wears this shiny outfit that has a whip attached as a tail. What fun!”
The dildo — dismissed as a “masturbatory machine for sexually dysfunctional females” in The Journal of Popular Culture in 1974 — could be a sign of the slow, silent but rapid sexual revolution taking place in our metros. Indians are edging towards sexual maturity, their growth halted by an anachronistic government. As Elton John once said, “People should be free to engage in any sexual practices they choose; they should draw the line at goats though.”
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