It’s no secret that we, Indians, do not like talking about sex. We’re a country with the second-largest population in the world, which means that we are, in fact, pretty active sexually. So, why are we still so shy to talk about it?
The subject of sexual wellness and pleasure is still taboo and this is also one of the major reasons why there’s so little awareness about sexual health in the country.
While the issue affects us all adversely, the most negatively impacted sections of society are women and LGBTQ+ people. A study conducted by Durex India in 2021 revealed that 70 percent of women do not experience pleasure during sex. And we don’t need any study to know that sex education that’s inclusive of queer identities is virtually non-existent on public platforms, unless it’s to talk about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
But over the past few years, there has been a slow and steady growth of homegrown brands that have started tackling the issue head-on.
Indian Sexual and Wellness Brands
From breaking taboos around sexual intimacy to empowering people to take pleasure in their own hands (literally), these brands are changing the sexual wellness landscape in India one discreetly-designed sex toy at a time…
Started by married couple Anushka and Sahil Gupta, this homegrown brand is on a mission to change the way Indians approach intimacy. The brand is at the forefront of the tidal wave that’s banishing taboos around pleasure in India. For now, they offer a limited range of high-quality products, including massagers, candles, and lubes.
That Sassy Thing
Sachee Malhotra’s brand is more about wellness than pleasure. That Sassy Thing’s range of products has been designed, in the founder’s words, keeping “humans with vaginas in mind”. So you can browse through their self-care focused products that range from period cramp relieving rollers to an all-natural, pH-balanced water-based lube.
This Mumbai-based brand does not shy away from advocating how they’re all about sex. Founded by polyamorous throuple Shweta Sangtani, Tanisha RK, and Aashish Mehrotra, Sangya Project is all about inclusivity and pleasure. They have an extensive range of non-generic sex toys, lubes, and massagers.
An unfortunate incident involving the toxic side effects of a regular condom led Komal Baldwa on a journey to release India’s first non-toxic, vegan condom brand. The focus of this Hyderabad-based brand is on healthy pleasure and it works extensively with NGOs that are spreading awareness towards AIDS prevention.
You won’t be mistaken if you thought Vikas Bagaria’s Pee Safe is all about toilet hygeine and safety. But the brand has come to offer a wider range of sexual health and wellness-related products like menstrual cups, panty liners, breast pads and more. However, their most well-known and unique product is the Domina, a condom for women. Made from natural latex, the product is comfortable, puts the woman’s sexual health and safety at the forefront, and is easy to use.
This brand has easily one of the widest selections of toys and wellness products amongst others in this category. The name of the brand is clever wordplay as it translates to ‘a thousand rubs’ in Japanese and ‘consent’ in Urdu. Founded by Aastha Vohra and Ritesh D. Ritelin, Manzuri offers a safe space to explore your sexuality.
Bengaluru-based Ute Pauline Weimer and her partner Balaji wanted Indians to have “tools for sexual empowerment” so they decided to set up Love Treats where you can get the best toys from the best brands from around the world in one place.
Aruna Chawla wants Indian people to partake in safe sex while also keeping the environment in mind. This is why she has introduced a one-of-its-kind vegan condom that has been made using rubber sourced sustainably from the country’s rubber forests. The packaging of the condoms is also natural and recyclable. It also puts 15 percent of the profits towards organisations that are promoting sex education in Indian schools and colleges.