Democrat Party backs decriminalising sex toys
The Democrat Party supports decriminalisation of sex toys and instead wants them classified as “controlled goods”, a party executive said on Monday.
Ratchada Thanadirek said her party believed that decriminalisation of sex toys would have more pluses than minuses for the country.
Earlier, sex toys could be purchased from certain major online trading platforms but they were all removed after some critics cried foul that it was illegal and sex toys violated the “good morality of Thais”. Some feminist activists have campaigned unsuccessfully for liberalising sex toy sales.
Ratchada on Monday admitted that sex toys were prohibited goods in Thailand and they are viewed as pornographic items that are deemed detrimental to society and public morality.
Sex toys have been interpreted as illegal objects under Article 287 of the Criminal Code and such goods are prohibited from being imported under Customs Act BE2560, Ratchada said.
However, as there is a demand for sex toys in Thailand, the goods have been smuggled in and sold secretly, and the government has been losing a lot of revenue in taxes, Ratchada said.
She said the illegal sales provided a channel for some corrupt officials to demand bribes from sellers, while there was no way to control the quality and safety of sex toys.
Without legal standards, sex toys sold in Thailand are dangerous because of the possibility of short circuit and causing infections to users, Ratchada added.
She said sex toys should be viewed as tools to reduce stress or as recreational tools that could help rehabilitate people with sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction.
Ratchada said she was confident that the use of sex toys could reduce the transmission rate of sexual diseases and could help reduce prostitution and prevent divorce due to unbalanced sexual desires of married couples.
Most of all, she said, sex toys can also help reduce the rate of sex-related crimes.
She said during the past five years, an average of 4,000 cases of rapes were filed with police and arrests were made in about 2,400 cases. She said a study found that about 87% of rape victims did not file a complaint with police, so there were an average of 30,000 rape cases in the country each year.
Ratchada said sex toys could also be an industry that could generate a lot of income for the country. She cited a market research report by UK-based Technavio that said the sex toys market was growing at 7 per cent per annum globally, worth over 300 billion baht.
Ratchada noted that Japan, Singapore, Germany, and Czech had legalised sex toys.
She said the Democrat Party supports promoting the sex toy industry. She added that the Food and Drug Administration and the Thai Industrial Standards Institute should be agencies to control quality and certify the safety of sex toys.
She said the Democrat Party supported the removal of sex toys from Article 287 of the Criminal Code and instead include them as controlled goods that can be sold to persons aged 18 and above.