The Democrat Party has pledged to push for legalising sex toys, saying it will bring more benefits beyond sexual pleasure.
The party made clear its stance towards supporting establishing a sex toy industry in Thailand, with the primary aim of making sex toys safe products for consumers, said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek, in her capacity as an executive of the party.
She said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) would control these products' quality and safety standards if they become legal.
In legalising sex toys, these products will be reclassified as controlled goods and regulated instead of being classified as prohibited under Section 287 of the Criminal Code as they are now, Ms Rachada said.
If sex toys become controlled products, consumers aged 18 and above can buy them freely, she said.
Sex toys are recognised as legal products in many countries such as Japan, Singapore, Germany and the Czech Republic, which can help generate substantial income, she said.
In Thailand, a previous proposal to legalise sex toys stirred debate between supporters and opponents, she said.
While sex toys are currently illegal in Thailand, they are being smuggled into the country due to demand, Ms Rachada said, adding that this means the state is losing a chance to collect taxes while some corrupt state officials demand bribes in exchange for turning a blind eye.
Sex toys are also believed to help reduce sex crime cases and save some married couples from considering divorce over an imbalance in sexual desires between them, she said.
About 4,000 rape cases are recorded each year, while the actual number of rapes is believed to be around 30,000 annually, she said, citing official statistics and results of a study which found 87% of rapes aren’t reported to the authorities.
The global sex toy market has grown 7% annually since 2019, generating more than 300 billion baht annually, she said, citing a UK study.