Manish Poudel: the sex-toy king of South Asia

A Nepal businessman does a service to the working classes: smashes prudery and gives them  opportunities for safe sex while away from their spouses.

Two years ago, Manish Paudel, once involved with a USAID safe-sex project, decided to open Nepal’s first sex shop in New Road, Kathmandu’s busiest business locality. It’s a practical and safe solution to cope with the needs of migrant workers, dissuading them from casual sex, and it’s a commercial success as well.mannep

‘Sweet Secret’ is doing brisk business. With three new outlets in other towns it is Paudel reaps the benefits of his “unique” business idea.

“I didn’t face any opposition from my family when I decided to start my shop in 2011. But nearby shop owners were sceptical and scoffed at the idea,” Paudel told a local newsperson.

A marketing graduate with nine years experience as a medical representative, the idea of opening South Asia’s first licensed shop selling sex toys sprung from a sense of social service. Paudel started importing premium condoms in 2005 and was involved for nearly four years in a USAID-funded project on making condoms and other family planning tools accessible across Nepal.

While working on this project he decided on starting a sex shop to provide a safe sexual outlet for migrant workers, handicapped persons, those afflicted with STD and the old and lonely.

A detailed 12-page proposal was submitted to the government and to his surprise he got the license to start business. Paudel maintains that his company’s objective is to educate people about safe sex and discourage sex with multiple partners and strangers.

Nearly 10% of Nepal’s total population of around 30 million, most of them young men and women, reside outside the country as migrant workers leaving behind spouses.

A sizeable number also leave their homes in villages and migrate to urban areas like Kathmandu and other towns in search of jobs. It is this group and others that Paudel wanted to target.

At present he has a dedicated customer base of more than 14,000 across Nepal. Most of his customers are men and women in their 30s. Significantly, nearly 60% of his customers are women.

“Initially we were worried that we might not get female customers. But several married women and girls come to our shop and ask for a sex toy,” said Paudel.

But there are customers of other kind too.

“We have a client who came looking for a masturbation cup for his 20-year-old son who is suffering from cerebral palsy. He still comes every 2-3 months looking for new sex toys to gratify the sexual needs of his child,” he said.

Nearly 90% of his clientele comprise of Nepalese people. Since sex toys are ‘banned’ in India Paudel also caters to Indian tourists who want to have some fun with their partners while visiting Nepal.

Dildos and artificial vaginas are the most sold items in his shop. There’s also a heavy demand for sex dolls, condoms, perfumes, oils and imported lingerie, mostly of them are imported from China.

For shy customers, Paudel has  a website where they can select products and order online. Products ordered by women customers are delivered by women.

He has started another shop  in the tourist town of Pokhara, as well as in Itahari and Buwal.

“The response in those places has been very good. We plan to expand further in other towns and start a 24-hour condom shop in Thamel, Kathmandu’s hub for foreign tourists,” said Paudel.

“In fact we want more such shops to start operations. Besides creating awareness about sexually transmitted diseases, it will expand the market and help business,” he said.

And judging by the number of items his associates unload from the big cartons it is easy to assume that business of sex is flourishing in Nepal. But Poudel is clear about his motive.

“We don’t aim to mislead or encourage bad habits. Our main aim is to teach and spread the idea of healthy and safe sexual activities,” he said.

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Posted by on August 21, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,Nepal,SOUTH-ASIA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Manish Poudel: the sex-toy king of South Asia

  1. Prabin Dhakal

    October 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Great Job.Nice n Naughty also promotes safe sex in Nepal.Wide Varieties of Condoms are available here to reduce sexual transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.

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