4 min article

Adult items policy

There are legal restrictions on the sale of some adult items, and other items may be restricted on eBay, even if they’re legally permitted.

Buyers of sexually oriented adult material on eBay must be 18 years or older.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the restrictions on selling adult items?

Most adult items are subject to some form of restriction or prohibition. Please read our full policy guidelines for complete details, but some to be aware of include:

  • All adult items are restricted to buyers 18 or older
  • Adult items listings and products photos and descriptions can't include profanity, sexually explicit, or overtly sexual content
  • Only pre-approved sellers can list in the category Sex toys, Fetish items, and accessories

Do these restrictions apply to nudity within fine art?

Frontal nudity is allowed within the Art category, when it is considered Fine Art, such as Michelangelo's David. However, the description of any art containing nudity can't contain explicit or overly sexual content. You must also include the specific attribute “Subject: Nudes” in your listing and products.

Read our full policy

Adult items policy overview

Sexually-oriented adult material is meant for people who are 18 years and older. We allow the sale of this material, but you can only list these items in the Everything Else > Adult Only category.

You can find which items are allowed on eBay in the What are the guidelines? section below. Additionally, you need to follow any applicable laws or postal restrictions for adult material and adhere to the laws of the countries you are posting to.

Make sure your listings and products follow these guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.

What are the guidelines?

Adult anime items

Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • Sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi, and computer games can only be listed in the Adult Only category
  • The following items can be listed outside the Adult Only category if the seller meets the below requirements:
    • Anime-style artworks must follow the nude art section of this policy
    • Action figures of characters from sexually-explicit anime can be listed in the appropriate doll or action figure categories as long as the listing or product doesn't include nude images or sexual content

Sex toys and sex accessories

Restricted Allowed in some situations

These categories are restricted to pre-approved sellers

Seller accounts are automatically reviewed for pre-approval at the time of attempting to list in these categories.

Sex toys and sex accessories such as vibrators, male masturbators, sex dolls, and bondage and fetish accessories are allowed in these categories as long as they meet the following guidelines:

  • Items must be new, in their original packaging
  • Listings may not offer international postage
Bondage and fetish accessories, with exception of nipple clamps, penis rings and genital jewelry, may be listed outside those categories as long as the item is not modelled and the listing and product meets the guidelines above
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Descriptions of violence
  • Images of nudity or sexual content
  • Listings or products in violation of our profanity policy
  • Listings or products containing material that would be considered R18+

Clothing (new or used)

The following guidelines apply; please also see our Used Clothing policy page for more information.

Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • All used clothing items must be properly cleaned and must include a statement that the item has been properly cleaned
  • A listing or product may be deemed inappropriate and not allowed based on the overall content of the listing or product, including the description and images
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Used underwear can't be listed on eBay even if it's clean. This includes, but it is not limited to, boxer shorts, panties, briefs, diapers, athletic supporters, and socks. Bras are not considered underwear
  • Listings or products that include any information about the person modeling the item
  • Language or images that fetishize the item such as personal statements or items being modeled

Images of nudity and nude art

eBay defines nudity as male/female genitalia, anus, or female breasts where the areola or nipple is visible. Butts (male or female), bare male chests, or female breasts where the areola is not visible aren't considered nudity. We won't determine if an item constitutes art, but we'll review the content of the listing and product description, images, and categories to determine if an item is allowed.

Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • Nudity and sexually-oriented material are only permitted in the Adult Only category:
    • Any visual representation of human genitals presented in such a manner as to suggest sexual activity
    • Any visual representation of any form of sexual intercourse
    • Any materials designed to sexually arouse
    • Any items which depict sexual characteristics in a degrading fashion
    • Photographs of wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends (even if there is no nudity)
  • Frontal nudity is allowed in the Art categories when the item is considered fine art, such as Michelangelo's David, vintage pin-up art, Renaissance-style paintings and nude cherubs
  • Descriptions of items containing nudity can't contain explicit or overtly sexual content
  • Nude art listed in the Art categories must include the item specifics attribute Subject: Nudes. This includes listings and products in:
    • Collectibles > Paper > Pin Up > Vintage (Pre-1970)
    • Collectibles > Postcards > Risqué
    • Collectibles > Photographic Images > Risqué > Vintage & Antique (Pre-1940)
  • Post-1970 pin-up art or photographs can only be listed in the Adult Only category
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Any items depicting bestiality, rape, incest, sadism, masochism, graphic violence or degradation

Magazines and books

Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • Adult magazines, nudist publications, or adult anime/manga that include sexually-explicit content, nudity, or sexual stories can only be listed in the Adult Only category
  • The following Magazines and books are allowed outside the Adult Only category as long as the listing and product don't contain nude images or explicit content
    • Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair and Penthouse magazines
    • Romance novels
    • Books on sex, relationships, sexual education and self-help

Adult media

  • Unrated movies that originally had an MPAA rating, or unrated versions of an MPAA rated film (like director's cuts) are permitted outside of the Adult Only category if the content of the film isn't sexually explicit
  • Profanity that's part of the original title and description of a DVD or CD is permitted in the listing and product
Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • Films related to sex education, self-help, relationships and sexuality are generally permitted outside the Adult Only category, but the listing and product can't contain nude images or explicit content
  • Films described as "strictly for 18+" or "over 18s only" are generally not permitted outside the Adult Only category, unless it is a mainstream film such as "Striptease"

The following items can only be listed in the Adult Only category:

  • Films and video games with a rating of X, XXX, R18 or created for an adults-only audience
  • Unrated films containing explicit sexual content
  • Amateur videos which have been produced by a legitimate studio where all actors were compensated for their performance
  • Adult only video games
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Hidden camera videos


Not allowed Not allowed

Child pornography is illegal and not allowed on eBay. eBay may use broad discretion when removing items that depict minors, even if the content is not sexual in nature.

  • Images of minors that are not fully clothed or the item is described based on their clothing
  • Underage modeling photos are generally not permitted even if the subject is fully clothed
  • Items using the words "child," "children," "young girls" or "young boys" to describe an item containing nudity or sexual situations is not allowed. Items with those words or phrases can't be listed even if the performers are 18 years or older or the words are part of the product title
  • Items described as "teen," "teens," "teenager" or "Lolita" if they are used in a sexual context and there's no indication that the performer is 18 years or older
  • Minor anime such as Shota-con and loli-con items

Other adult items

Restricted Allowed in some situations

Any adult content item must be listed in the Adult Only category:

  • Adult-oriented domain names

The following items may be listed if the item does not contain explicit nudity or sexual content:

  • Playboy, Playgirl, and Penthouse merchandise such as calendars and clothing
  • Nude playing cards or trading cards
Not allowed Not allowed
  • At our discretion we may remove adult items not mentioned in this policy
  • Links to sites that contain adult items
  • Digitally delivered adult content

Illegal and obscene items

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Obscene materials, while not easy to define, aren't allowed. For some guidance, at our discretion we prohibit items depicting or describing bestiality, necrophilia, rape, scat, and incest (real or fictionalized)
  • Services that include any sexual/adult activity. This includes the suggestion of any form of prostitution, escort service, sexual relationship or other adult-only activity, including "virtual" boyfriends or girlfriends

Additional information

Is profanity allowed on eBay?

Most profanity is prohibited. But we do allow media titles and descriptions (film titles, CD names or track lists, for example) containing profanity as long as the original production company title or description also contains the profanity. For more information, see our profanity policy.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from accessing them.

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