Twenty eight-year-old Reema Kapoor has been in a live-in relationship with her boyfriend for close to five years now. While they lead the life of any normal couple, for a while now, they have been looking to bring some fun and a different kind of intimacy into the bedroom.
“We have a decent and regular sex life, but we are looking to spice it up a bit. The problem is, in a country like India, getting accessories and toys that can spice things up. There are a few stores, but they are few and far between,” says Reema.
In a country where the open expression of sexuality or sexual behaviour is still frowned upon, many who want to explore sexuality are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The world of intimacy
Nevertheless, in recent years, there has been a growing number of e-commerce retailers in the sexual wellness and awareness space, like IMbesharam.com of Besharam Adult Store, That’s Personal, Shycart, PrivyPleasures, Its Muah Life, Lovetreats and Team Sexpiration.
Now, Kinkpin, an online destination for adult lifestyle products and accessories, has joined the fray. Conceptualised under the parent company Zabava E-Retails LLP, Reetinder Singh and Mritunjay Berry started Kinkpin in June 2015.
“We created Kinkpin with a simple thought — the online space has a market for every conceivable product or service, so why are intimate lifestyle products ignored, more so in the Indian web space?” asks 36-year-old Reetinder.
He adds that Kinkpin isn’t about boasting of a bolder lifestyle; its core emphasis is on helping people explore more aspects of an intimate lifestyle. The team claims that all the products on their platform are 100 percent legal.
Working on a marketplace model, Kinkpin procures the products from leading brands across the globe. The team searches international marketplaces for intimate lifestyle products and accessories, and handpicks those that seem most reasonable and apt for the Indian mindset.
A large assortment to solve the demand and supply gap
“No Indian online store matches our assortment of playful toys, seductive art, high-end body massagers, kinky collections, pleasure enhancement accessories and intimate body care products. From erotic lingerie to lubricants and condoms to passion-igniting massage oils and everything in between, we have it all at Kinkpin.”
When Reetinder got the idea of Kinkpin, he contacted his friend Mritunjay. The duo had been working at a leading software company for 12 years. When they saw the market, they realised that the category had huge potential- it was a fairly new but rapidly growing business in India and had an immensely large gap between demand and supply.
Kinkpin also assures confidentiality for their customers, from browsing to shopping. The goods are smartly packaged using unmarked/unbranded boxes and customer data is a well-guarded.
A warily rising market
However, the concept is still new and evolving in India, so it is a challenge for the team to educate the customers. Reetinder however adds that the demand for these products is gradually increasing and the market here has immense scope for evolvement.
“We believe this particular segment of niche products will see a supersonic rise in demand over the next couple of years. We envision Kinkpin as a leader in our particular industry in the Indian market within the next few years while also expanding its reach globally,” says Reetinder.
The team is active on social media and works towards spreading more awareness on the topic by blogging and running awareness campaigns. They focus on educating people about why the products are good and how they can improve their relationships.
They claim to see a 50-100 percent month on month growth, and within the first year, they had over 100 orders per day, averaging about Rs 800 per order.
A new world of sexuality
Over the past couple of years, the world of sexuality, sexual awareness and sexual health has started becoming more mature. People are opting for online modes of shopping, and Kinkpin, with its focus on products and accessories, is just one of the many players catering to the various niches of this sector.
There are platforms like Cupid Care that work on ensuring that people can easily and freely discuss any sexual problems they face. The world is also becoming more open to the idea that people have an active sex life, with platforms like OYO Rooms even opening a ‘Relationship Mode’.
Globally, sexual wellness is a highly lucrative market; the revenues in the US are estimated to grow to $52 billion by 2020. The sexual wellness market in India is growing steadily and is estimated to be worth Rs 1,000 crore in the years to come.
However, in India, intimate lifestyle products stores face several legal issues and grey areas. Considering the ambiguous legalities associated, many big e-commerce sites like Flipkart have removed their sexual wellness category. This was done after police received an email complaint about Flipkart and four other sites.
Bringing a difference
While the number of online players is on the rise, Reetinder says that retailers like them need to cope with growing competition as well as engage in constant innovation in their line of products to warrant enhanced customer satisfaction.
To ensure this, the team has collaborated with some of the finest internationally acclaimed European labels, including PARAH (with designs carrying an Italian heritage of 50 years) and JOLIDON, adding glamour even to the basics with Swarovski, to name just a few.
Kinkpin currently lists around 97 international brands having the longest years of experience, expertise and research in the adult lifestyle industry, all of which are imported from the US and Europe, including five international boutique lingerie and swimwear brands from Europe.
“We are moving forward with a very clear thought in mind, and that is to create a global presence for ourselves with the launch of two new brands and a completely new venture by the end of this year. We would like to see ourselves as leaders in this particular industry within the next few years,” adds Reetinder.