Where Are Sex Toys Illegal? The Complete List Of Places You Can't Pack Pleasure

Curious about where sex toys are illegal? From Saudi Arabia to Alabama, find out where you can’t pack pleasure.

Published Feb 21 2024 8 min read

Sex toys are widely accepted in many parts of the world, so it's easy to overlook that certain places and countries have laws prohibiting them. If sex toys are essential to have when traveling, it's crucial to be aware of which places and countries they are considered illegal. So, where are sex toys illegal? To help you navigate where you can pack pleasure, we've put together a comprehensive list of places where sex toys are banned.

Wait...are sex toys illegal?

Sex toys are illegal in certain places. (Phew!) Buying and using sex toys can be considered a criminal act in some parts of the world due to cultural, religious, or legal perspectives.

In certain countries, there's a significant stigma around sex and sexuality. This leads to the perception of sexual expression and sexual pleasure as taboo or shameful. As a result, items like sex toys may be banned due to cultural beliefs about morality and decency.

Religious beliefs may also play a role in sex toy bans. Some religious doctrines see sex toys as immoral or contrary to their teachings, so they may be prohibited, especially in regions where religion heavily influences laws and societal norms.

The sale and use of sex toys can be restricted due to different laws on obscenity or morality too. These laws vary by country, which makes it tricky to establish a universal standard for sex toy legality. In some regions, they're considered "obscene articles" or "immoral goods," leading to bans. The reasoning behind some of these bans can be unclear, with wording being ambiguous, giving authorities some flexibility in enforcement if they see fit. So, you see, the legality can be a little convoluted and not so straight-forward.

Countries where sex toys are illegal

We researched the places where owning or bringing a sex toy is illegal and found some countries with strict anti-sex toy laws. So, if you want to avoid any legal trouble like getting arrested or fined, it's probably wise to leave your sex toys at home when visiting these places:

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a country where Islamic law significantly influences the legal and cultural scene. This means that adult content and personal items are subject to strict regulations. The production, distribution, and consumption of pornography are strictly prohibited, with penalties ranging from confiscation to imprisonment or even execution. As a result, sex toys, which are considered "pornographic materials," are not allowed in the country. They are included in the list of items that are prohibited at airports or any other entry points in the country. The same restrictions apply to other items related to sex, as well as obscene material and literature such as pornography. This includes pictures of people in revealing clothing, fashion magazines featuring undergarments or swimsuits, and massage devices presented inappropriately. If you are found in possession of these items, they may be confiscated.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), another country governed by Islamic law, sex toys are a big no-no. Possessing them can have severe consequences under the UAE's legal framework, reflecting its cultural and religious values. Travelers and residents' risk having these items confiscated and face legal prosecution. Bringing or ordering sex toys into the country is strictly prohibited.


Sex toys are illegal to buy and sell in Thailand as they are considered "obscene objects". They are included in the list of prohibited items by the Thai Customs Department. Penalties for buying, selling, or possessing sex toys can include up to three years in prison, a fine, or both. Thailand is often seen as a sexually liberal country because of the presence of a sex industry, but it has quite conservative laws. While sex toys are sold in many districts in Thailand and their sales have been on the rise, visitors are advised to leave their sex toys at home to avoid any legal troubles.


The General Department of Vietnam Customs has a policy against importing sex toys. Although not explicitly banned, they fall into this restricted category. This restriction reflects the Vietnamese government's view on decency and morality. If you enter the country with them, customs might confiscate them. However, you may get them back when you leave. But hey, if you're planning a visit, it's probably best to leave your sex toys at home.


In Malaysia, the sale of sex toys isn't officially approved or licensed by the government. However, according to the Penal Code Section 292, selling, distributing, or possessing any obscene object is against the law, and what's considered "obscene" can be subjective and vary. Having or dealing with objects classified as "obscene," including sex toys, can lead to legal consequences like imprisonment for up to three years, a fine, or both. These laws apply to local and international trade, including import and export. While the enforcement may not be consistent, these laws give the government significant authority to act against perceived violations of public morality.


India's take on sex toys reveals a complex legal landscape. Currently, no specific law explicitly allows or bans their sale. However, Section 292 of India’s Penal Code can be used to restrict their sale, display, promotion, import, or export based on obscenity. It is advisable to leave sex toys at home when traveling to India due to the subjective and varying definition of "obscene."


If you're planning a romantic getaway in the Maldives, it's essential to be aware of the country's strict laws regarding sexual materials. The Maldives Customs Service prohibits the import of "pornographic materials," such as films, books, magazines, videos, DVDs, software, and sex toys. These legal restrictions go beyond mere possession. According to Section 617 of the Maldives penal code, producing, selling, importing, or disseminating pornography is illegal and can be seen as criticism against Islam. Violating these laws can lead to severe consequences, including confiscation of items, potential delays at customs, or even a jail sentence of up to six months. To avoid any issues, tourists should exercise caution and refrain from bringing sex toys to the Maldives.

Places in the United States where sex toys are illegal

While more than half of U.S. women and a good number of men use vibrators, it's illegal to sell sex toys in three states:


Did you know that selling sex toys is illegal in Alabama? It's a unique example of how law and personal freedoms intersect in the United States. The 1998 Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act explicitly targets the sale of adult sex toys, defining them as anything “designed or marketed for the stimulation of human genital organs”. This means that their sale is effectively criminalized within the state. Producing, distributing, or even possessing obscene materials with the intent to distribute them is also illegal in Alabama. Offenders can face fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to one year. Repeated offenses can lead to even harsher penalties.

While enforcement of these laws is not that frequent, both residents and visitors need to be aware of the restrictions. Interestingly, tourists can bring their sex toys into the state, but buying them within Alabama's borders is quite challenging.


Sex toys are illegal to sell in Mississippi. Under state law, it is unlawful to distribute or sell devices designed for stimulating human genital organs. The wording is similar to Alabama’s state law, and while enforcements for residents and visitors is infrequent, you may be out of luck if trying to purchase a sex toy here.


In Texas, the law on sex toys is complex. The Texas obscenity statute, introduced in 1973 and last updated in 2003, initially prohibited the sale of sex toys. However, in 2008, a U.S. District Judge declared the law "unconstitutional and unenforceable".

The 1973 statute defined an "obscene device" as a device, such as a dildo or artificial vagina, mainly designed for stimulating human genital organs. This is a case of a law remaining on the books long after it’s been rendered obsolete, and “unenforceable”.


As we've explored places where sex toys are illegal, it's clear that legal frameworks, cultural norms, and individual freedoms all play a part in shaping how sex toys are regulated. The rules on selling and owning sex toys can vary a lot depending on where you are in the world, which is why it's important for travelers to stay updated on laws to avoid accidentally breaking them. But despite these restrictions, there's a global trend towards accepting and normalizing sex toys, which gives hope for the repeal of many outdated and prohibitive laws.

For those intrepid travelers who plan to bring your sex toys or vibrators with you, these tips for traveling with your vibrator will make sure you can check your pleasure through to your final destination.

Frequently asked questions

Are vibrators illegal in Dubai and the UAE?

Yes, sex toys, including vibrators, are illegal in Dubai and the whole United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country's laws prohibit their importation, possession, and use. Bringing them into the country or ordering them for delivery could result in confiscation and potential prosecution. Respecting local laws when traveling or living in these regions is essential.

Are vibrators illegal in Alabama?

The sale of sex toys, including vibrators, is illegal in Alabama under the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998. This Alabama statute criminalizes the distribution, possession, or offer of obscene material or any device primarily designed for stimulating human genital organs for profit. The law has faced extensive litigation and sparked national controversy.

Are sex toys illegal in Nevada?

No, sex toys are legal in Nevada. Nevada is famous for its laid-back laws on adult entertainment and is the only state in the U.S. where certain forms of prostitution are legal.

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