Normally around this time of the year, it is time to pack your suitcases and hop to some exotic tropical places on your bucket list. Unfortunately, this year, the pandemic makes it nearly impossible to travel with all the lockdowns and travel bans imposed on different countries. It becomes an extremely frustrating and daunting task to navigate where you can go and what you can do for a vacation, no matter if you are planning a romantic getaway with your partner or craving an adventurous self-discovery venture to recharge yourself.
In the last few years, we have witnessed the soaring popularity of people traveling with sex toys and making sex toys a must-have in their packing list. People are becoming more open and accepting of traveling with toys, particularly among solo female travelers.
However, if you plan to travel with your toys, there is some critical information that you should research in advance, depending on the country you are going to. Beware that sex toys are still banned in some nations, do your research before you jet off will save you from derailing your entire trip.
Without further adieu, let's dive into this list of countries where sex toys are still banned.
When we think of the Maldives, we associate it with tropical islands with the blue turquoise water, white sandy beach, and warm breeze, making it one of the top destinations for a romantic honeymoon. However, according to the Maldives Customs Services website, sex toys are prohibited. In fact, all Pornographic material, including sex toys, books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs, and software, is prohibited. Therefore, make sure not to pack any sex toys if you are heading there and simply enjoy what the Maldives have to offer.
Another topical heaven that might raise your eyebrow is Thailand. It is hard to make sense that Thailand is among the nations where sex toys are banned, as it boasts of having one of the most thriving sex tourism industry in the world. But you read it right, Thailand is very serious about banning carrying sex toys. According to the local law and legislation, sex toys fall under Thailand's list of prohibited goods. They are considered "obscene objects," therefore are strictly banned from being brought into the country. Salinee Chumsawan, Director of the Office of Culture Monitoring at the Culture Ministry, stated to the press that sex toys should not be legalized as they are against Thai society's views and offensive to most Thais. If caught, the consequence might range from confiscation, deportation, and jail punishment.
It is not surprising that Saudi Arabia is less friendly to sex toys, given its ultra-conservative reputation worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, sex toys fall under the bracket of pornographic material and are banned under Islamic law. If discovered, sex toys will be confiscated.
United Arab Emirates
When thinking of The United Arab Emirates, most of us relate to it as a premier destination for luxury getaways. Although cities like Dubai, known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture, and a lively nightlife scene, have made their fame with a more open and secular image, there is no compromise and zero-tolerance regarding sex toys. Therefore, make sure that you do not include them in your Dubai trip.
Vietnam is another hot destination for many backpackers over the years. Without a dominant religion in place, it is considered that sex toys are part of "cultural activities that promote debauched lifestyles or go against tradition." According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, "The objects will be kept and returned to the passengers when they exit Vietnam. If the sex toys arrive in Vietnam as gifts or in checked luggage, the passengers must arrange to re-export the goods or the customs officers will destroy them."
It's no secret that sex toys are readily available for purchase in Malaysia, especially online. However, the Malaysian government made it contraband. The Malaysian Penal Code states firmly that anyone who sells, distributes or possesses "any obscene book, pamphlet, drawing, painting representation of any figure or any other obscene object whatsoever...shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years, or with fine, or with both. The message is clear, don't try bringing any vibrators with you if you're off on holiday there.
It might seem somewhat contradictory that India, as the birthplace of the Karma Sutra, an ancient Indian Sanskrit text acknowledging sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment as one of life's proper goals, is banning sex toys. According to Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, any book, drawing, figure, or object shall be deemed obscene if it fuels any lascivious or overtly sexual thoughts and behaviors. Section 67 of the Act makes that law also applies to online businesses. Interestingly, since the pandemic, India has seen a spike of 65 percent in the sale of sex toys, showing that people in India are more open to experiencing sex toys.
Alabama is the only U.S. state where a law prohibiting the sale of sex toys remains on the books. According to the 1998 Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act, the sale of adult toys has been criminalized. The act deems a sex toy as any device designed or marketed as useful for human genital organs' stimulation. Exceptions apply for bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purposes.
To conclude, if you're heading to those places, then you'd be wise not to include any sex toys in your suitcase. Besides, part of being a responsible and respectful traveler always pays attention to the local culture, tradition, and limitations. Try to be present, taking the most out of what that country has to offer. And trust me, your toys can wait.