New Delhi: China is shedding its conservative garb and turning to adult sex toys and products more openly these days.
"We now have equal number of male and female purchasers in Beijing. Our sales have kept increasing, with an annual increase of 30 percent over the past decade," Li Fang, CEO of Juse, one of the biggest sex shop chains in China, said.
There are about 200,000 sex shops throughout China chalking up annual sales, excluding oral aphrodisiacs and contraceptives, of at least 10 billion yuan (1.47 billion dollars), reports the China Daily.
It seems that Chinese are becoming more and more open about their sexual needs and wants.
"Several years ago, people would feel very embarrassed to come into our shop and would even leave their change after buying something as they wanted to get out quickly," said Wen Jingfeng, owner of Adam & Eve Health Centre.
"But things have changed, many customers will now bargain with us over the price."
And surprisingly, women are as frequent in shopping, as are men.
"About 60 percent of the products sold in my shops are used by women, but in many cases men come to buy for their partners," Wen said.
There are a few hitches such as recruiting staff and promotion problems, though.
Some are worried that young girls may develop an inappropriate approach towards sex that could even be damaging to their health.
Online sex shops booming
More and more Chinese are going online to buy sex toys and products these days.
"Many Chinese want to buy sex toys but cringe at the thought of entering sex shops," Li Yinhe, a sociologist and sexologist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.
"Online sex-toy shopping can avoid such problems since consumers don`t have to reveal their real names," Yinhe added.
Taobao.com, China`s largest online shopping destination has about 4,500 sex shops registered and raked in about 60 million yuan in transactions of adult products in June, reports the China Daily.
"Sex toys, especially blow-up dolls which cost a store 10,000 yuan, can sell for 40,000 yuan," said Tao Ran, the public relations manager of taobao.com said.
Moreover, customers can find ‘better’ sex toys and products online than they find in stores.
But some still prefer the conventional way.
“I never shop online, especially for something like adult toys, because I don`t think all the products would pass quality control," said a consumer at a sex shop in Sanlitun, one of Beijing`s busiest areas.