India Officials Outlaw Vibrating Condom

Anne Winter
MADHYA PRADESH, India — Authorities have banned the sale of Crezendo condoms, which come with a vibrating ring, on the grounds that they promote sexual gratification, rather than family planning and the prevention of sexually transmitted disease.

Kailash Vijayvargiya, the state's public works minister, told British publication The Times that if there isn't yet a law against selling toys for sexual satisfaction, he will make one.

Madhya Pradesh, governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, recently banned sex education in schools — promoting yoga as an alternative curriculum — because teaching materials were considered too graphic. Five other Indian states followed suit.

This conservative attitude, coming from the country that presented the world with Kama Sutra, conflicts with recent acceptance of sex among Indian youth. The country's first condom bar opened in Punjab this month, and health officials on the west side have been handing out free condoms to adult movie theatergoers.

Crezendo, a relatively new company, advertise their vibrating condoms as "vibrating pleasure" for both the man and woman, according to its manufacturer Hindustan Latex. The company does not, however, believe their condoms are sex toys, and argue that they help combat HIV and AIDS. According to the United Nations, approximately 5.7 million Indians have tested HIV-positive — reportedly the highest rate in the world.

“Lack of pleasure is cited as a major reason for not using a condom and the importance of increasing condom usage cannot be overemphasized in the present context,” a company statement said.