A few months ago my friend Nancy*–who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada–decided to do something nice for me by offering to send me something I wanted (not needed). I live in India, a country where sex toys are not easily available; so I asked them to send me a vibrator. They had me pick one out on Amazon and a few days later they told me that they’d sent me the vibrator in the mail.
It never arrived.
At first I blamed it on the mail system–sometimes packages just don’t turn up–and moved on. About a month later, I received a notice from the Port Authority of India: my package was examined and confiscated. I was charged under Section 124 of the Customs Act with improperly importing a sex toy, which bans the sale of ‘obscene objects’ under Section 292 of the Indian penal code. I was advised to appear in court to defend myself.