Sex in India

Want to know more about sex in India?

Birthplace of the ancient Hindu text, the Kama Sutra, India is often believed to be an overtly sexualised nation. In many ways, the country is traditional and conservative, yet the effects of globalisation combined with the exposure of Western pornography is resulting in a sexual revolution in many parts of India. As the second largest nation on Earth by population, it is hard to distil the complex social culture of sex in India but we are going to try.

In this guide, we take a look at the prostitution and pornography laws of India as well as discovering more about the adult entertainment industry, its porn stars and the best sites to watch Indian sex. We also look at the casual dating scene and review the country’s LGBTQ rights.

Sex in India

India has a population of around 1.324 billion people and is second only to China as the largest nation on Earth. The country itself covers a land mass of 32.8 million square miles and stretches 1,822 miles from Bangladesh in the east to Pakistan in the west and 1,997 miles north to south. It is an immensely diverse country that has a complex social structure, rich history and a vibrant culture.

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India is a busy modern country yet its culture is still very traditional in any aspects. Image via Pixabay.

Though fast becoming a major influencer on the economic stage, India is still classed as a developing nation. The workforce in India is a largely unskilled or semi-skilled one and though there are some great universities and schools, education (on the whole) is regarded globally as being quite poor. The judicial system suffers from a lot of corruption and also has a high degree of complexity and contradictions within its laws.

Indian society has been influenced by many factors including 200 years of British colonialism, its famously numerous and divergent religions and a highly pervasive, but discriminatory, caste system.

Historian, Edward Palmer Thomson once said of India that “all the convergent influences of the world run through this society: Hindu, Moslem, Christian, secular; Stalinist, liberal, Maoist, democratic socialist, Gandhian. There is not a thought in the west or east that is not active in some Indian mind.”

So, summing India up is a hard task, particularly when it comes to such a universal topic like sex.

Generally speaking, views of sexuality in India are traditionally conservative though globalisation is affecting a more liberal view and the country is currently experiencing a Western-style sexual revolution. With greater access to education via the internet, increased personal wealth and more exposure to western culture, India’s younger generation, in particular, are increasingly becoming more liberal minded and are opposing much of the conservative culture in which they were raised.

It is perhaps contrast which most aptly defines India’s relationship with sex and is not only evident between generations but in its arts, culture and history as well as laws, morals and attitudes.  Strange to think that in parts of India, holding hands before marriage can be frowned upon yet erotic (and sometimes explicit) depictions of sex may freely be seen in some Hindi temples.

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Graphic depictions of sex abound Indian cultural sites yet talking about it remains taboo. Image via Pixabay.

However, tradition is still a major part of Indian culture with marriage and family being at the heart of this. Sex before marriage is discouraged and women especially are meant to remain virginal until their wedding night. Sex, even within the union of marriage, is not widely celebrated or discussed with some Hindu saints being cited as advocating sex only once during a lifetime for procreation only. Traditional marriages in India take place when couples are young with more than 50% of Indian women being 18 or younger when they took their vows; of this figure, 90% were virgins.

The sanctity of marital sex is such that almost 4 out of 5 Indian men said they would not marry a woman who was not a virgin. Again, there is a generational divide with millennial Indians not taking such an extreme view. In fact, it is this age group who are far more likely to experiment and be adventurous with their sexuality. 43% of the younger generation believe it is acceptable to have sex with someone you have no plans to marry.

However, monogamy and morality are common and married Indian men are less likely than men from other cultures to be unfaithful to their partners. This trait may well be a leftover from the colonial days and is lumped together with some other ‘Victorian’ morals and attitudes that can be applied to Indian culture.

Anal sex is an uncommon practice in India owing to restrictive laws on sodomy that were inherited under British rule. Though the laws are generally applied to homosexuals, the acts of anal intercourse and even oral sex (fellatio and cunnilingus) are not commonplace. The greater exposure to pornography is changing this and, in recent years, sex workers have reported more requests for these practices from clients.

Talking about sex is generally taboo within Indian society and outsiders observe that relationships appear quite repressed. This can be quite damaging within partnerships where there are sexual dysfunctions such as ED or premature ejaculation. Some larger cities have clinics aimed at offering men with a discreet and private place to discuss these matters but they are not generally popular.

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The culture of sex in India is very much bound to the institution of marriage. Image via Pixabay.

India has many of its own sex customs, beliefs and rituals but these vary by region. In some areas, men are turned on by feet, in others they are easily seduced by rubbing their backs and in others sex is governed entirely by the time of day. However, there are several sexual practices and beliefs that pervade the more general conscious, one of which is the erotic importance of the ‘brother-in-law’.

An ancient custom known as ‘Nigora’, which dates back to the Rig-veda times, allowed a widow to have sexual relations with her dead husband’s younger brother. Though the practice of a man marrying his brother’s widow to spare her from the funeral pyre has long fallen into disuse, the ancient tradition has become embedded in the psyche with in-laws being high on the porn viewing trends (see below).

When it comes to sex education in India, despite high rates of HIV, the subject is not covered in any school’s curriculum. Instead, the primary source of information on sexual health, relationships and contraception comes from siblings, peers, magazines, books and the internet.

As a result of the poor levels of education, low rates of contraception and early marriage in adolescence teen pregnancy rates in India are high with around 12 million teenagers falling pregnant each year.

Contagion rates for common STIs are also high with the most common sexually transmitted infection being genital herpes followed by syphilis, chancroid and chlamydia.

Overall, sex in India can be described as a landscape of two halves; a traditional and conservative older generation that adheres to cultural stereotypes where sex is a taboo subject and a younger, more modern, generation that is more liberal minded and experimental.

Adult Industry in India

The laws on pornography in India are a little confused but can largely be defined as:

  • Watching and possessing porn is legal.
  • Distributing, producing and publishing porn is illegal.

The definition of pornography is more difficult with softcore content being widely available and consumed in Indian popular culture; certainly, some Hindi films contain the mild use of pornography.

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Mainstream films in India have no hardcore sex but Bollywood is famed for its erotic scenes including lewd thrusting, semi-nude actresses and story lines involving prostitution. Image via PXHere.

Known as ‘blue films’, pornography in India are classed as those that contain ‘obscene’ depictions of sex yet are widely available despite the laws against distribution. In cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata you can easily find adult stores that sell XXX-rated movies and printed porn.

In most parts of India, pornography is a taboo subject and is regarded by most with distaste.

As a result of cultural and legal restrictions, the adult film industry in India is not a professional one. Though there are companies and individuals that produce pornography, there are no large studios or networks operating from India. However, major players in the US, recognising the demand for porn in India, have been expressing an interest in opening operations in the country. Though the Indian government has yet to consider any change to its pornography laws, there will no doubt be an abundance of interested suppliers if they do.

When it comes to print media, magazines like Debonair, Chastity, Royal and Fantasy have been in print for many decades and are widely available.

Despite there being no major pornographic film industry in India, there are plenty of stars of adult films who have risen to global prominence through amateur networks as well as via foreign studios.

Top Indian Porn Stars

According to XVideos, the top ten porn stars from India (by rankings) are as follows:

Performer Total Video Views Asian Ranking World Ranking
Horny Lily 533,069,747 2 81
Priya Rai 391,873,980 3 94
‘FightAgain69’ 4,451,309 38 1,644
Gaya Patel 27,546,525 48 1,848
Neha Nair 25,577,147 105 3,162
Swan220 1,467,740 130 3,732
Anjalia Kara 995,929 145 3,846
Jhazira Minxxx 5,588,638 162 4,181
Jazmine Star 2,203,496 165 4,250
Shruti Bhabbi 137,478,581 169 4,320

Priya Rai is an Indian born porn star who was raised in America. She started her career in 2007 after being a successful stripper for 12 years. She is one of the most popular and well-known porn stars in India and across Asia. She retired from the film industry in 2013 though apparently still tours as a feature stripper across the United States. She worked for the Bang Bros. Network as well as Brazzers where she made a name for herself as a bit of a squirter Her back catalogue includes a lot of gonzo style porn as well as watersports.

Considered the first mainstream Indian porn star, Nadia Nyce was hugely popular in the 1990s. Born in England, her specialism was allowing male co-stars to cum in her face. She was known for swallowing and this earned her a reputation for being cock hungry and giving great head. Her first film, in 1995, was shot with the ‘King of Cream’, Rodney Moore, whom she worked almost exclusively with during her carer. Moore claimed on the Howard Brown Show that he had shot his load with Nyce over fifty times in the first six months. Though she continued to work until 2003, she only worked with one other male porn star, the legendary Ed Powers. Her other film work was mainly shot with other women or featured solo performances.

Though Sunny Leone is credited as being of American/Canadian descent, there is no doubting her India heritage. According to Pornhub (see ‘Porn Viewing Stats’, below) Leone is the most searched for porn star in India. Initially working for Vivid Entertainment in 2005, she starred in hundreds of titles alongside stars like Bree Olson, Sasha Grey and Jenna Haze. She was voted as one of the Top 50 Coolest Desis in 2004 and, in 2011, famously starred in Season 5 of India’s Bigg Boss. The appearance boosted her appeal in the Indian market where demand for her back catalogue has been on the rise. Interestingly, Leone has made the crossover to Bollywood showing that porn stars (albeit retired ones) can be accepted by the traditionalists!

Other popular and more famous porn stars include the English based Indians, Leah Jaye, Jayde Jewel and Destiny Deville and Goan beauty, Asha Kumara.

Some other names that may be familiar to Indian porn fans include:

  • Reshma
  • Shazia Sahari
  • Rakhee
  • Sahara Knite
  • Madhuri Patel
  • Jazmin Choudry
  • Ariana Mistry

Prostitution Laws in India

Prostitution is partially legal in India and the sale of sex in exchange for money can be carried out in the private residence of either the client, prostitute or others. However, running a brothel, soliciting and advertising as well as pimping is not. It is also illegal for prostitutes to use a hotel to conduct their business.

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Though getting an escort in cities like Mumbai is easy, technically it is illegal to do so in a hotel. Image via Wikipedia.

The law is a little grey in places but as long as the solicitation, act and payment takes place in private (and no less than 200 yds from a public place) then it is not covered by the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA). There are moves to formally legalise prostitution in India in an effort to clamp down on trafficking and coercion as well as improve health conditions for sex workers.

See more: A country-by-country guide to prostitution laws in Asia.

Despite many aspects of the trade being illegal, the prostitution industry in India is estimated to be worth around $8.4 billion a year and is thought to be the 7th largest market of its kind in the world. However, the number of prostitutes makes the country the second largest with over 3 million thought to be operating.

Though they are against the law, you can find many brothels in the larger cities including Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. These are mainly situated in the red-light districts which were originally established under the British Empire. During this period, women from rural communities were recruited, and paid for, directly by the military to provide bordellos for their serving personnel. Licensed by the British, these brothels were known as chaklas in which a dozen women were kept per thousand soldiers. Though no longer sanctioned, brothels are largely ignored by local authorities and are deemed a necessary part of social structure.

The majority of prostitutes working in the country are thought to be Indian but there are also women from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Russia. There are also some European prostitutes though they tend to be working mainly in the larger cities and can command higher prices as escorts.

Prices for sex in India vary hugely and the services of a prostitute can be procured from as little as a dollar or you can pay over $1,000 for sex with a virgin. Escorts in the city can charge around $50-$100 per hour.

India Porn Viewing Trends

The majority of porn consumed in India is via the internet and recent studies show that over half of all IP addresses in India have accessed porn via a mobile phone. In urban areas, as many as 70% of youths regularly access pornographic sites. It is believed that more than 50 million Indians watch porn on a daily basis.

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Home of the most famous porn in the world, India’s appetites for watching sex are now more modern. Image via Wikimedia.

Each year the tube hosting giants, Pornhub, release statistics about the porn viewing trends across their site. In 2017, India was the third most frequent visitor to the site behind the UK and the USA, overtaking Canada for traffic volume.

As the third most popular adult website the stats behind this ranking are just a small proportion of India’s porn viewing trends but let’s take a look at the stats.

Porn Viewing Stats

The top twelve search terms for 2017 in India across Pornhub showed a penchant for local content with all but one being ‘Indian’ specific:

  • Indian wife
  • Indian college
  • Indian Bhabhi Devar (sister in law)
  • Indian
  • Indian teacher
  • Indian Bhabhi (sister in law)
  • Indian with Hindi audio
  • Desi (Indian)
  • Cheerleader
  • Indian aunty
  • Indian homemade
  • Indian actress

Most of the porn viewed from India in 2017 fell into the categories of ‘MILF’, ‘Big Dick’, ‘Lesbian’, ‘Babe’ and ‘Threesome’. Searches for ‘Lesbian’ porn was a big mover for India with the country leaping 13 places in the rankings for this term; India is now ranked the 19th most frequent view of girl on girl content globally.

Relative to the rest of the world, Indian’s were 165% more likely to be searching Pornhub for adult content tagged the word ‘Arab’. Other searches that are more popular in India than the rest of the world include:

  • College – 101% more frequently searched in India.
  • Celebrity – 97% more frequently searched in India.
  • Rough Sex – 92% more frequently searched in India.
  • Babe – 49% more frequently searched in India.

2017 saw some changes in porn viewing trends across the globe but these were the big movers in India compared to the previous year.

  • Cheerleader – search traffic up 2513%
  • HD Hindi Video – search traffic up 1822%
  • Indian HD Sex – search traffic up 1273%
  • Indian Desi XXX – search traffic up 874%
  • Story Movies – search traffic up 288%
  • Tamil Aunty Sex – search traffic up 184%
  • Celebrity Sex Videos – search traffic up 160%

The top five most searched stars also includes some Indian pedigree and include the English Bollywood star, Katrina Kaif:

  • Sunny Leone (American-Canadian-Indian)
  • Mia Khalifa (America-Lebanese)
  • Katrina Kaif (English Hindi actress)
  • Kim Kardashian (American)
  • Dani Daniels (American)
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The British actress, Katrina Kaif is hugely popular in India and has made the top most searched stars on Pornhub for 2017. Image via Flickr.

Female visitors to Pornhub from India increased the most out of all nations and 2017 saw a 129% increase in the number of women visiting the site. They now represent 30% of India’s total audience which is greater than the global average of 26%.

India just misses out on the top spot for the highest proportion of visitors using a mobile phone to access porn. In South Africa, 87% of people use this method and in India it is 86%.

Of course, Pornhub is only one of the most visited adult sites in India with the following sites also ranking in the country’s 50 most popular internet destinations:

  • XNXX – 5th most popular website in India with more annual visits than Instagram or Amazon.
  • XVideos – 6th most popular website in India with more annual visits than Yahoo or Wikipedia.
  • Pornhub – 14th most popular website in India with more annual visits than Twitter or Quora.
  • XHamster – 24th most popular website in India with more annual visits than WhatsApp, LinkedIn or Pinterest.

Want to watch live cams instead?

See our guide to the best Indian cam sites.

Best Indian Porn Sites

With over 1.3 billion people, it is little wonder that India has many of its own porn sites and you can find plenty of websites that cater for people who love Indian porn

For premium Indian porn, the following sites offer exclusive content that is mostly filmed in HD which you can download or stream. Subscriptions vary by site but are mostly around $30 per month with some offering cheap one day trials:

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Though premium sites can be costly, the quality is so much better than amateur tube sites. Image via website.

The following sites are all free but with varying degrees of quality:

  • Desi XNXX – Watermark free Indian porn, mostly amateur presented in tube style. The site gets over 2.5 million visitors each month mostly from India, the USA, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Indian Porn Videos – Another amateur site styled around the popular tube sites. The site gets over 5 million views each month and is ranked in the top 1000 sites in India. Content is homemade and covers a range of styles but most featuring Desi porn.
  • Sextube Desi – Amateur tube hosting site that specialises in homemade Indian porn. Receives between 300k and 500k visitors a month.
  • Free Sexy Indians – Tube style amateur site that gets over a million hits each month. Good range of content but not exclusive.
  • Antarvasna Sex Videos – Another free tube site with mostly amateur content although there is some studio stuff here too. Receives between 300k and 750k visitors a month.
  • Suck Sex – Apparently the #1 Indian Sex Magazine you get more than just videos on this site but also photos and stories. The selection is pretty standard but the clips are mostly of a good quality. Receives over 2 million hits each month.
  • Premium Indian – A newish tube site that has started climbing the rankings since December 2017, it now receives over 350k visitors each month. A fairly typical selection but mostly of a good quality.

Of course, you can also find plenty of Indian porn hosted by all the major tube sites, including those that are popular in India:

There are also a few Indian cam sites, with the most famous being Delhi Sex Chat (DSC).

LGBTQ in India

The LGBTQ community of India faces far more discrimination and risk of personal and physical attack than in many other areas of the world. The country offers very few laws to protect anyone who identifies as anything but heterosexual and gender binary.

A largely conservative country with strong religious influences on social opinion, the prevalence of honour killings, torture, beatings and attacks on lesbian, gay and transgendered individuals is, sadly, not uncommon.

Homosexuality is illegal in India despite a brief period between 2009-2013 when it was decriminalised. The reversal came about after opponents of the legalisation of same-sex activity declared that in 150-200 years when homosexuality was against the law, only a few hundred people were ever charged with this crime. Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that India has reverted its decision and with some particularly ‘choice’ language. The Supreme Court of India recorded the view of the government that same-sex activities constituted ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. The law now states that offenders can be punished with up to 10 years in prison.

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LGBT Indians flying the rainbow flag at Kerala Queer Pride 2016. Image via Wikimedia.

The law is currently under review and will be re-examined by October 2018 following a ruling (by the same court) in 2017 that privacy in the home was a fundamental right. The recognition of this right has sparked hopes in the LGBTQ community that sexual orientation can be judged a privacy issue.

There is no recognition of same-sex relationships though there is a draft bill under review which could change this situation. The Uniform Civil Code was put together in 2017 and clearly defines marriage as being:

the legal union as prescribed under this Act of a man with a woman, a man with another man, a woman with another woman a transgender with another transgender or a transgender with a man or a woman. All married couples in partnership entitled to adopt a child. Sexual orientation of the married couple or the partners not to be a bar to their right to adoption. Non-heterosexual couples will be equally entitled to adopt a child.

The only discrimination protections afforded to the LGBTQ are the same as those available to all Indians and form the basis of the Constitution of India. Article 15 of this document states that discrimination on the grounds of sex, caste, race, religion or place of birth is prohibited.

Transgendered individuals have long been recognised in Indian culture as a third sex and are referred to as hirjas. In 2015, a bill was passed in the Upper House of parliament to which would effectively allow them to change their legal gender without the need for surgery as well as guaranteeing rights and entitlements to employment, education, welfare and legal aid. The bill has still not been passed; however, there are alternative provisions in place at a state level with Kerala and Tamil Nadu both having a transgender welfare policy.

Public opinion on providing protection against discrimination for the LGBTQ community is polarised with 35% being in favour, 35% being against equality and the remaining 30% undecided. The pro-camp is mainly made up of under 21s showing a generational gap in liberal mindedness.

LGBTQ supporters and activists have much to campaign for in the country and most of the major cities have regular events to boost awareness of their demands for equality. Attended by minority groups from across India, Asia and the West, Pride demonstrations, festivals and marches are an important way for the community to be heard, be seen and to celebrate their diversity. The first such event was Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk in 1999 which was also the first march of its kind to be held in South Asia.

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India has a long way to go to achieve equality for its LGBTQ community but change is on the horizon. Image via Wikimedia.

Overall, the situation in India for LGBTQ rights is a precarious one and has resulted in a clandestine community. Being ‘out’ in India brings with it many challenges and anyone who does not identify as male or female and heterosexual runs the very real risk of discrimination and/or violence.

Top Classified/Personals Sites in India

Casual dating in India is not common though is becoming more prevalent, particularly in urban communities. The social norm of marrying at a young age to form a good match as agreed upon by the wider family is not as widely practiced but in some areas is still expected. However, it is becoming more normal for young Indians to ‘play the field’ and find a partner for love rather than by arrangement.

The top dating sites in India highlight this polarization of India’s single scenes with some being aimed at marriage and serious dating with others being used for casual encounters.

  • Shaadi – ‘Meet Someone for Keeps’ this premium dating site is for those singles looking for a serious relationship.
  • Jeevansathi – This Indian site is primarily geared for people looking for marriage and gets almost 8 million hits each month.
  • Free Hook-Up Affair – A popular international site with 20% of its users being from the USA, Free Hook-Up Affair is a classic casual dating service. Globally, the site attracts over 75 million visitors a month with around 3.5 million of these being from India.
  • Kerala Matrimony – A dedicated site for meeting a partner for marriage.
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Many popular dating websites in India are aimed at serious relationships. Image via

Free Classified Dating India

There are plenty of other sites which offer less serious dating opportunities including classified personals. Most of these sites offer free listings although some are available on a ‘freemium’ service meaning you can register an account without any charge, but the best features are only available to paid-up members.

Premium Dating Services India

Other dating services which offer good coverage in India but charge a subscription fee for its members include:

Featured image via Pixabay.