No Country For Sexual Pleasures: Vibrator Not Given Patent In India Coz It's "Obscene"

The decision to not give the patent to the vibrator also refers to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises gay sex

In Karan Johar’s segment in Lust Stories, Kiara Advani’s character experiments with a vibrator because her husband is unable to sexually please her. Lest she knew, in the eyes of the Indian Patent Office (IPO), the character dealing with sexual matters would be considered “an offensive or disgusting way by accepted standards of morality and decency” as she is using a product which it considers illegal.

The IPO, in a decision last year that has surfaced recently, refused to approve the patent for a vibrator because it considered the sex toy to be “obscene”. The decision stated that the vibrator was an “immoral” invention and reasoned:

“..sex toys (sexual stimulation device), also known as adult toys are banned on the premises that they lead to obscenity and moral deprivation of individuals. These are toys that are not considered useful or productive. Mostly these are considered to be morally degrading by the law. The law views sex toys negatively and has never engaged positively with the notion of sexual pleasure.”

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We-Vibe vibrator was rejected by IPO on the grounds that it’s “obscene”

The basis for rejection of the patent was that the commercial use of sex toys goes against the concept of “public order” and “morality” and is considered “morally degrading by law”. The decision not only states that sexual pleasure is “morally abhorrent” but also finds such sex toys to be “useless” and “unproductive”. Furthermore, the decision also refers to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises gay sex, saying that it “bans any sort of sexual intercourse that is termed to be unnatural biologically”.

Named ‘We-Vibe’, the sex toy is meant to be used by women during sexual intercourse. As per the website of the applicant, the U-shaped device offers extra stimulation to the clitoris and G-spot while engaging in sexual intercourse. The device can be operated and controlled through an app.

Currently, India is the six-largest market for sex toys, having grown at a rate of over 30% in the last five years. The highest sold products are intimate massagers for women and lubricants for men.

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