Are Sex Toys and Sex Dolls Legal in Singapore?

Last updated on February 8, 2023

woman hands holding a sex toy

Have you ever wondered whether sex toys and sex dolls are legal in Singapore? Given the nature of these items, you might be curious about the potential legal implications that may arise relating to the use of sex toys and dolls.

This article will cover the legality of sex toys and dolls in Singapore and shed some light on the prohibitions and legal issues surrounding these objects. It will discuss:

Are Sex Toys Legal in Singapore?

Sex toys are objects used primarily for the purpose of sexual stimulation. They can also serve a medical purpose for individuals suffering from a sexual dysfunction or other related medical conditions. Some common examples of sex toys include vibrators and dildos.

Generally, there is no law prohibiting the purchase and use of sex toys in Singapore, and sex toys are being sold in retail stores like Watsons.

However, do note that age restrictions typically apply to the sale of sex toys. This is reflected in section 293 of the Penal Code, which states that it is a criminal offence to sell an obscene object to minors below the age of 21 years—offenders will be imprisoned for up to 1 year, fined, or both. Sex toys are also likely to fall within the definition of an “obscene object”. In line with this, Watsons requires customers purchasing adult toys at physical stores to produce ID proof of their age. As for purchasing adult toys on Watsons’ online store, customers generally need to be 21 years old and above to create an account and shop on the platform.

Furthermore, additional guidelines and prohibitions may apply to the sale of sex toys. For instance, while sex toys are permitted to be sold on Lazada, vendors are not allowed to display real/realistic-looking private parts of a person or the sex toy in the product listing, and must therefore fully cover up private parts with stickers.

There are also visual guidelines and standards provided by the platform for vendors to adhere to. However, these guidelines do not apply to all retailers, with each platform having its own set of guidelines and restrictions—for instance, online marketplace Carousell completely prohibits the sale of sex toys, while Shopee allows for the sale of sex toys subject to a set of general rules for adult items. Examples of such rules include not allowing a demonstration of the use of the sex toy in the product listing, as well as the need to properly censor private parts.

Can Sex Toys be Imported Into Singapore?

The law remains unclear on whether sex toys can be imported into Singapore, but sections 292(1)(a) and 292(1)(b) of the Penal Code prohibit the import of any obscene object for the purposes of sale, hire, distribution, transmission, public exhibition or circulation. Hence, while it appears that sex toys cannot be imported into Singapore for sale, bringing a sex toy into Singapore for personal use is likely not prohibited.

Furthermore, according to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website, obscene articles, publications, videotapes, videodiscs and software are prohibited goods that cannot be brought into Singapore. However, there is no mention of other obscene objects such as sex toys, which again suggests that there is likely no restriction on sex toys brought into Singapore for personal use. 

Are Sex Dolls Legal in Singapore?

Sex dolls are human-like, life-sized and anatomically accurate dolls that are often used for sexual purposes. However, sex dolls are not used only for sexual functions—they can also be used as social companions or partners, hence they are also commonly known as “love dolls”.

At present, there is no law that explicitly prohibits the purchase, use or import of adult sex dolls in Singapore. However, this is not the case for child sex dolls, which are strictly illegal in Singapore. Section 292A(2) of the Penal Code defines a child sex doll as “an anatomically correct doll, mannequin or robot, with the features of, or with features that appear to a reasonable observer to resemble a person below 16 years of age and intended for use in sexual activities”. Hence, it appears that the main difference between child and adult sex dolls is visual—child sex dolls resemble individuals below the age of 16, while adult sex dolls resemble older individuals. The anatomical structure of the dolls would also differ accordingly. 

Under section 292A of the Penal Code, whoever “imports, exports, conveys, sells, lets to hire, distributes, puts into circulation, makes, produces or is in possession of a child sex-doll” will be found guilty of a criminal offence.

Unlike adult sex dolls, child sex dolls are banned from online shopping platforms. For example, Lazada, while allowing the sale of adult sex dolls, has expressly banned the sale of child sex dolls. The platform also prohibits listing descriptions implying that the doll is a child, such as listing the doll as “14 years old”, describing the doll as a “child sex doll” and including descriptions of children’s clothing which would indicate that the doll is a child (e.g. school uniforms and backpacks).

As with sex toys, bringing an adult sex doll purchased overseas into Singapore for personal use is not illegal. However, the situation is entirely different for child sex dolls—as earlier mentioned, section 292A of the Penal Code prohibits the import of child sex dolls into Singapore. Offenders may be fined, imprisoned for up to 2 years, or both.

To conclude, the purchase of sex toys for personal use is generally not prohibited in Singapore. Sex toys brought into Singapore from overseas for personal use are also likely not prohibited. However, it is illegal to sell sex toys to those under the age of 21.

As for sex dolls, the important distinction lies in whether the doll is an adult sex doll or a child sex doll—the purchase and import of adult sex dolls for personal use are generally not prohibited, but child sex dolls are strictly prohibited in Singapore and ownership of a child sex doll could result in criminal liability.

In the event that you are facing a charge under any of the offences that have been discussed in this article, you may wish to consult a criminal defence lawyer for advice on your case.

Do refer to our list of highly rated criminal lawyers in Singapore.

Alternatively, you may use our Find a Lawyer service to assist in your search for a criminal lawyer that best suits your needs.

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