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Sex Toys: A Revolutionary Step Towards Sexual Liberation, Growth and Redefining Pleasure!

Sex Toys: A Revolutionary Step Towards Sexual Liberation, Growth and Redefining Pleasure!

Sex Toys A Revolutionary Step Towards Sexual Liberation, Growth and Redefining Pleasure! - Hashtag Magazine

Mehak Walia In an interesting conversation about sex toys with Aastha Vohra, the founder of Manzuri and Aashish Mehrotra, the founder of Sangya Project. 

India, the birthplace of the most ancient manuals of sexual pleasure, Kamasutra, is not unbeknownst to the wonders of physical pleasures. However, with time, we seem to have evolved in the wrong direction. Instead of understanding and appreciating the value of pleasure, we started attaching the notions of indecency and shame to this natural and essential process. Thankfully, the time has evolved and we seem to slowly be moving out of the shadows of this dark age and breaking out of the boxes created by society to appreciate the value of pleasure, once again. Along with this development and westernization, the world is also getting more and more integrated via the magic of the internet and through the same, we are getting to know all about various means to pleasure ourselves from around the world. Whether it’s porn or sex toys, pleasure too has evolved with time. While porn was quickly accepted by Indians and became a secret source of pleasure for most of us. Sex toys are still trying to make space for themselves in the country. 

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This is mainly due to misinformation and distrust, Ironically, more than half the people around the country still believe that sex toys are illegal. To date, there is no legislative provision in India that expressly bars or permits the sale of sex toys. Thankfully, these tables seem to have turned during the lockdowns when people were compelled to stay indoors. They learned more about these magical tools and turned to sex toys for satisfying their desires. Thus, the e-commerce sector experienced a boom in the sales of sex toys, which brought them out from dark alleys and shady websites. Now that sex toys are finally coming into the limelight, a lot of legit, appreciative, inclusive and genuine businesses are showing up to replace the old, awful and shady businesses that used to cheat people in the history of sex toys. Alas, their growing acceptance is still at an individual level, and society as a whole still isn’t ready to accept them as something natural and essential. It is time to take action against this and make sure that sex toys get the space and appreciation they deserve in society, isn’t it? 

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After all, it is essential for our modern Indian society to also focus on sexual well-being and sex toys play an undeniably important role in this. They not only help in awakening our libido but also have many health benefits, both physical and mental. Sex toys also help treat the symptoms of certain disorders, like erectile dysfunction, genital arousal disorder, hypoactive sexual disorder, and orgasm disorder. They can also provide relief to menopausal women with various issues. On top of this, they can also help lower your stress level and relax you. You see, sex toys can be the saviors that our sexual health needs and deserves. Therefore, we as a society need to stop shunning them but create a buzz and start appreciating sex toy brands. 

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Meet Aastha Vohra, The Founder of Manzuri

Manzuri is one of the brands that are trying to redefine pleasure. ‘Manzuri’, the word in itself translates from Hindi to ‘consent’. But the lesser-known meaning of this term in Japanese is ‘female pleasure’. This is a beautiful term that is solely dedicated to denoting female orgasm. These are the bedrocks that Manzuri wants to bring out in the open. Manzuri’s founders Aastha and Ritesh live in Pune. Aastha found her passion in exploring gender inequality and the myriad of ways it impacts our ability, no matter the gender, to be authentic to ourselves. She started with herself, and set roots that felt genuine and sincere. Her sexual liberation was the key to her own journey along this path- She felt ready to build a world that helped everyone to find the person they were meant to be, and allowed them the freedom to make that transformation fearlessly.

Aastha exclaimed, “the mission of our organization is to say the word ‘sex’ out a lot so that it gets normalized. You should be able to discuss this natural topic openly. Furthermore, very few people are aware of the fact that 70% of women can only orgasm through clitoral stimulation, this has somehow, been kept a ‘secret’ for ages that has been guarded. We aim to change this, this is why our community i.e., @get_cliterate exists.”

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Aastha strongly believes that various studies state that the more women orgasm, the more money they make. There are a ton of studies talking about this correlation. This is something that she has personally discovered from her journey of sexual exploration and she believes that it has been quite a ‘ride’. This has allowed her the freedom to take control back from a lot of aspects of her life. She explained, “You see, a lot of women around the country deserve this chance. If you allow yourself the freedom to be, everything can change for you. This openness to pleasure has a butterfly effect and rubs off on the other aspects of our life, it’s very essential.”

Aastha further added with a smile, “People in the masses need to understand that if you hand a vulva owner a vibrator, they are going to hand the entire information about what works for them and their bodies to their partner. This recognition of their pleasure points can be very advantageous. Sex toys can never replace the touch, feelings and intimacy but they can increase them and improve your sex life as a whole- Collaboration, not competition, it’s very essential to understand that.” 

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Manzuri is also actively trying to break the stereotype that sex toys aren’t affordable. Sex toys and pleasure should come at a cost that you can afford.  Manzuri has products starting from Rs. 399 just to make sure that all parts of the masses are catered to. 

Aastha strongly believes that brands can play a very essential role in this the industry’s progress. She said, “We live in an era where the sky is the limit in terms of people wanting to educate themselves on any topic. If you go on a journey and learn more, there is an uncountable amount of information. Still, cumulatively, our society is in a negative when it comes to sex toys and basic information. At Manzuri, we try to bring this to zero from the negative. A point where people are receptive to education and information on this topic. Every Saturday, we host #AskWithManzuri and the number of anxieties, curiosities and questions that we receive each week, is shocking. The reason why people are sending these questions to us instead of researching them is that they trust us. This trust needs to be increased in the market.”

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She further adds, “When Nykaa started their operations, nobody knew about skin care. But now, everyone is aware. This is because Nykaa started by creating a lot of educative videos and that’s how people got to know about skincare and Nykaa. This is what brands need to be able to do. They need to put out information and help people start their explorative journeys. Furthermore, as brands, we also need to be aware of this information-related gap in society and we shouldn’t create misinformation on these subjects to make sure it doesn’t increase.”

Meet Aashish Mehrotra, The Founder of Sangya Project

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Another brilliant brand working towards a similar mission is Sangya Project. Sangya Project is a sex-tech startup founded by a queer and poly family. They are currently the only brand to manufacture sex toys in India. This includes the Sangya S6 Strap on, the Omega Series of butt plugs, the S6 Dildo, and more. The founders Aashish, Shweta and Tanisha live in Pune, India. Aashish is a writer, producer, director & Erotic artist with 15 years of experience in multi-media. Having struggled with his sexuality as a bisexual man, Aashish dreamt of an India where literature & tools for discovering one’s sexuality would be more accessible. He hopes to achieve that dream through Sangya Project.

Aashish exclaimed with a smile, “with our brand, we aim to create destigmatized, trauma-informed and kink-affirmative education that continuously makes room for new stories and new perspectives— where people’s needs will always come first.”

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Aashish strongly believes that sex education in India has always been abstinence/biology-based and not pleasure based. With social media and access to quality pleasure-based education, people are understanding themselves a lot better and require the appropriate tools on that journey of self-discovery. Understanding yourself leads to a better quality of life concerning physical and mental health. This is very essential. Sex toys and fetish gear need to be looked at as tools to enhance your sex life. It is not a competition for your partners but something to make your sexual life better and more fulfilling.

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With Sangya Project, you can get handcuffs for as low as Rs. 1200, butt plugs for Rs. 1400, a dildo for Rs. 2200 and vibrators within the range of Rs. 1100 – 5500 with 1-month warranty and customer service. This is just the beginning; they are also striving to up their manufacturing which will lead to products being more affordable and accessible which counters the beliefs of the masses.

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Aashish thinks that the we as a society need to put in the work to achieve sexual equality and curb the orgasm gap. He believes that this can be achieved by, “Making sure sex education is not only abstinence/biology-based but also pleasure based. Understanding that these products are tools to enhance your life, understand yourself better and your wants. Education & awareness like this can’t be restricted to English-speaking social media and needs to expand to written material. We need to be open enough to speak about it to our friends, our circles and not look at it as something that needs to stay hidden.”

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It’s about time that we let the magic of sex toys enhance our lives and bring the much-needed revolution to the country’s concept of sexual health. This will not only help the masses avail their benefits but also cast away the shame attached to pleasure and sex. While brands like Manzuri and Sangya Project are taking much-needed steps in this direction, we, as a society, need to do our bit too. The first step towards doing so would be normalizing the conversation about sex, pleasure and sex toys. Remember, only together can we encourage each other to shatter the boxes of shame and begin to explore, learn, and grow! 

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