Monday, August 9, 2010

Sex Toys profitable market in Vietnam

LookAtVietnam - Sex may be a taboo subject in conservative and family-oriented Vietnam. But it has not stopped the country of 86 million people from being a profitable market for sex toys and aphrodisiacs despite a ban on them.
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People looking to spice up their sex life can find a wide variety of toys and drugs being sold by online shopping sites, hawkers in narrow alleys, and even shops.
Everything is available: vibrators, dildos, sex dolls, lubricants, condoms, handcuffs, aphrodisiacs and stimulants to improve the libido.
“Sellers from northern Vietnam smuggle most of the goods from China and supply 90 percent of the sex toys available in the country,” Cuong, an online seller, told Tuoi Tre.
“They are cheap products; those of better quality are brought to Vietnam by air travelers from the US and Europe.”
A small sex doll is sold for VND800,000 (US$43.32) while life-sized items can cost more than VND15 million ($812.34).
But sex toys can also be found at so-called condom shops all over Ho Chi Minh City, with many of them, in fact, making their profits from these items rather than condoms.
“All condom shops in HCMC sell sex toys nowadays,” a shop owner in Go Vap District, said. “They would earn next to nothing if they sell only condoms.”
Sex stimulants also attract curious customers despite their dubious origins and ingredients.
A condom shop in District 1 sells a banned aphrodisiac which the shop owner claimed takes effect on both men and women within just two minutes of consumption.
Hawkers wander around the city selling aphrodisiacs, even entering public buses and vans to sell their products.
The hawkers, usually active from afternoon to midnight, claim their products are imported from China, Malaysia, the US, and Japan and demand prices of up to VND400,000 ($21.66) per tablet.
A large number of tobacco vendors in Cho Lon have joined the lucrative trade of selling aphrodisiacs and sex toys, with some hitting upon the ploy of using prostitutes to market their products.
Sex toy trade rooted from growing demands
But the booming trade in these items reflects a growing demand for them in the country.
Some seek them out in the hope of fixing their problems or improving their performance in the bedroom. Others consider them a way to spice up their romance or fulfill fantasies their partners do not satisfy. Sex toys are also an option for married individuals to avoid cheating on their spouses.
“My wife often faces lots of stress at work,” H., a resident of Go Vap District, said.
“So we often have trouble achieving orgasm. So I buy the drugs for both of us.
“My concern is the drugs are sold illegally and there is no way to control their quality.
“I think we should allow shops to openly sell the products while tightening control over them.”
A District 12 resident, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “Drugs and sex toys that are harmful to humans must be strictly banned. But the trading of sexual aids is not a big deal as long as they are not banned.”
Sex is an important factor in keeping a family happy, Dr Pham Huu Quoc, an inspector at the city’s Health Department, said.
“Sex toys and aphrodisiacs are being sold widely. It means there is an actual demand for them.”
But he said though their widespread use has caused people to have heart attacks, erectile dysfunction, and other health problems, most remain ignorant about the risk of using items of unknown origins.
“The devices and medications must be registered and used according to prescriptions,” he warned.
While sex toys and aphrodisiacs of dubious quality are found everywhere in Vietnam, the government has yet to regulate their trade.
Those caught selling such items are merely fined and their goods are confiscated.
Source: Tuoi Tre
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