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Nepal’s First Sex Shop

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Download In Nepal, abortion is legal.

Prostitution is illegal, but widely available in the capital in different forms such as in massage parlors.

And same sex sex marriage was also recently approved by the Nepal government.

But buying condoms or other popular contraception can be hard even in the capital.

Yubraj Neupane is challenging the culture of silence around sex with the countries first network of nationwide sex shops.

Rajan Parajuli paid his Kathmandu store a visit.

 

This is where people come to buy clothes and shoes in Kathmandu but now there is a new attraction.  

A yellow sign with a picture of smiling, waving condom welcomes visits to “Condom House”.

33-year old former health worker Yubraj Neupane is the shop’s owner.

“My plan is to make this store as a meeting point to talk about sex. So I have everything that people possibly need during sex. Here are different varieties of condoms. This pleasure condom is a Korea-English collaboration. This French kiss is actually a Japanese condom. I also have American and Malaysian brands. These are cock-ring, lubricants and condom sprays.”

Until now buying a condom in Kathmandu is one of the hardest things to do.

30-year old Rameshor Bohara married this year.

"It's so difficult. One time time I have waited for 15 minutes to ask for a condom at store because I was waiting for other people to go so I can ask freely. I was speechless. Can you believe it!"

“The shopkeepers make you feel so uncomfortable when you ask for condoms or any contraception. They give it to you secretly and look either side when they are doing it. It’s like they are involved in a criminal act!”

Q. Why is buying a condom a big deal for us?

“It's because we don't talk about sex. In my whole life, I have never talked about it in my family. My brother who my age, I never asked anything related to sex to him. No one has complained but I think our whole upbringing is like this. We don’t think that sex is bad, but it’s just a secret and too personal.”

Sex shop owner Yubraj says it was not easy to get permission to open the store.

“I went to the Government office to register my shop. The government officer who met me was a woman. She looked at me angrily and asked, "Can’t you find any good name? I will not register it!" I asked her why I need a new name. I said I am not starting a mango store or any other. I am selling condoms. So what's wrong with the name? She finally signed the document. I imagine, if she has difficulties to write condom, how will she use it?”

Yubraj says promoting the store was tough as well.

“At first it was difficult find a shop. Wherever I went, once the people hear it was a sex toy shop they didn’t want to know about it. To promote the store I would often sat on the road out the front and handed out free condoms. I also put up posters on walls around the city. Many people, even young people, threw away my pamphlets in front of me saying that I am ruining society and said "How dare you put posters like these here?"

But over the last two years since the store opened, things have changed.

A large number of young generations of Nepal have gone abroad to work or study.

After returning back to home country, they become the changing society.

Yubraj says around 100 people visit the store in Kathmandu every day. Many customers openly share their sexual need and problems with him.

Yubraj now runs fourth sex toy stores in cities across Nepal.

Yubraj says the shop is fulfilling a need.

"I have sold lots of dildo for women. As you know many Nepalese men have to go abroad for work, they give dildos to their wives. Everyone is different. They need different types of condoms for pleasure. This is a shop where people never hesitate to ask about sexual problems and how to get sexual pleasure. My dream is to open a condom shop at every city in Nepal.”

Last Updated ( Monday, 31 October 2011 11:46 )  

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