Indonesia Burns Over 400 Sex Toys Over Violation of Laws

During this COVID-19 pandemic, several losses were seen in several sectors. But not every industry is drooping. Different industries have seen an increased demand for their products and this includes the sex toy industry. 


A surge in the sales of sex toys, as well as condoms and other contraceptives, was visible in many parts of the world, during the pandemic. The government of Indonesia has destroyed hundreds of sex toys as demand for the prohibited device has spiked amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Indonesia is a country situated in Southeast Asia between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, with almost 225 million Muslims, and is one of the most conservative countries. 


Indonesian officials have declared war on toys this pandemic. Indonesia has been running sex toy raids since 2015. But despite government prohibition, sex toys are a lucrative business in Indonesia. 


Reason for Spiking Demand for Sex Toys


The pandemic and lockdown have left people more stressed, disconnected, lonely, and bored. So, to bring some excitement and to endure their boredom, adults are using sex toys. Sex toys are one of all the important tools for a couple or singles for experiencing pleasure.


News reports have suggested that the sale of sex toys have spiked as schools and workplaces started closing down and people were asked to stay at home. With many stuck at home in lockdown, people and primarily couples have felt the desire to use sex toys. Therefore, the pandemic has seen a rise in the sale of sex toys. 



Indonesia: A Conservative Country 


Sex toys are considered illegal in the conservative country, where officials claim the products are a threat to public morals. Some conservative countries like Indonesia consider adult sex products are illegal to purchase or acquire. 


So, when Indonesian customs officials find sex toys, they seize them and destroy them. Sex toys are mainly for private consumption. The use of sex toys is inhibited because they believe that sex toys have various negative impacts on health on those who are single and also on those who are married and are expected to have children. 


According to the country’s government, sex toys are considered unethical. This is the reason why orders which contain such items are regularly stopped by customs officials and are destroyed.


In their most recent news, a total of 442 sex toys were burned in Bandung, the capital of the Indonesian region of West Java. Indonesian customs are destroying the ordered sex toys but they have not been able to clamp down all the sex toys entering the country as they are not imported in bulk and usually ordered in less quantity.


Sex toys, which fall under the section of "pornographic materials" are banned under Islamic law in some countries. The banning of pornography has been a debatable area of law in Indonesia which has drawn the attention of both the Islamic community and activists who promote freedom of expression.


Though such a law was made by saying that these laws protect citizens from pornography and ‘pornographic acts’ but critics say that it just gives the power to authorities to crush human rights.


Over the past few months, Indonesia has seen a big increase in sex toy seizures. Once the officials seize the products, they are burned. Indonesians who order sex toys from toys to magazines and videos online are confiscated by customs officials.


Later, buyers receive a message that tells them about their shipment which has been destroyed because it violated the law. However, not every order is found. Some products have reached customers.


Sex toys are mainly imported from China which produces 70% of sex toys sold in the world. Chinese professional companies say they have noticed an increase of 50% in demand during the pandemic. In February, customs confiscated many sex toys received from China at Medan - Kualanamu the International Airport of Indonesia.




The rising demand for sex toys has been a global phenomenon in this pandemic. The use of sex toys can not only enhance sexual pleasure and orgasm but can help people to sleep, boost immunity, relieve pain, reduce stress, and boost brainpower. 


It has become more significant and its uses have been amplified since the start of the pandemic. Not only in Indonesia but in New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, and the United Kingdom also seeing the increased demand for these products. 


Even many other Muslim countries are there which does not have such misconception about sex toys. So, burning sex toys cannot be regarded as a logical step served by customs officials of Indonesia.


This is a great time to embrace the idea of a sex toy and alleviate all these myths about sex toys. Sex toys are not unethical, and today's many countries are accepting this and this is evident by the exponentially rising demand for sex toys all over the world.


Written by - Supriya Singh


Edited by - Christeena George