Democrats in Thailand get naughty: Pledge to legalize sex toys for the greater good
The Democrat Party pledged its commitment to the legalisation of sex toys in Thailand, arguing that such a move would bring about numerous benefits beyond the realm of sexual pleasure. This stance highlights the party’s determination to establish a thriving and regulated sex toy industry within the country.
Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek, also an executive of the Democrat Party, clarified their position by explaining that the primary goal is to ensure the safety of consumers. To achieve this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) would be responsible for the quality and safety standards of these products should they become legal.
According to Rachada, a reclassification of sex toys is necessary for them to become controlled goods under regulation rather than being deemed prohibited under Section 287 of the Criminal Code as they currently are. This change in classification would enable consumers aged 18 and above to purchase these products freely, reported Bangkok Post.
With many countries such as Japan, Singapore, Germany, and the Czech Republic recognising sex toys as legal items, it is apparent that this industry has the potential to generate significant revenue. Previous attempts to legalise sex toys in Thailand, however, have encountered debate and ultimately been disregarded.
Despite the current illegality of sex toys, demand remains high, resulting in smuggling efforts to bring these items into the country. As Rachada highlighted, this means that the government is not only missing out on potential tax revenue but is also susceptible to corruption, as some state officials may capitalise on the situation by accepting bribes in exchange for turning a blind eye.
Beyond the economic benefits, legalising sex toys could have wider societal impacts. It is suggested that such products may help to reduce the occurrence of sex crimes and provide a solution for married couples experiencing sexual issues, potentially preventing divorce in some instances. Citing official statistics, Rachada stated that about 4,000 rape cases are recorded annually in Thailand. However, a study also shows that an estimated 87% of rapes go unreported, suggesting that the true figure may be closer to 30,000 cases per year.
Globally, the sex toy market has seen exponential growth, increasing by 7% each year since 2019 and generating more than 300 billion baht, or around £7.3 billion, annually. This figure is based on a UK study, emphasising the potential value of this industry for countries such as Thailand.
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