Dr. Andrew Scheinfeld, a New York OB/GYN, said he was inspired to diversify his business after personal and professional interests came together.
Researching ways to add zing to his own marriage, Scheinfeld, 54, said he was embarrassed shopping for sex toys in stores.
"I was very paranoid, thinking everyone was looking at me saying, 'Look at the old guy with the sex toy in a briefcase,'" he said. "Here I am, an OB/GYN. If I felt that way, how a woman might feel going into a shop like that would be very difficult."
Also frustrated at being unable to solve some patients' problems, Scheinfeld started offering products for sale at his midtown practice.
"For many years, women have been coming to my office with all sorts of sexual complaints, concerns about sexual health, decreased desire and problems with arousal," Scheinfeld said. "I listened but could never really relate to it.
"I've sent patients to psychologists and sex therapists, and when I followed up, [I found that] they don't go. It costs too much. I have a lot of hard-working women as patients, and they can't pay $200 a week to talk [to a therapist] for half an hour."
Before launching his side gig, Scheinfeld surveyed 200 patients about his sex-toys-for-sale concept, with, he says, only five offering negative feedback.
Quizzed by AOL News, several women claimed they'd happily discuss sex products with their OB/GYN but were unsure about the commercial implications.
"I wouldn't be uncomfortable discussing the matter with a pro," said Kim Simmons of Manhattan. "After all, isn't that what they're there for?"
But Charlotte King, also of New York, was not entirely convinced.
"I'd happily take advice from my OB/GYN on the use of sex toys, but I wouldn't buy them from my doctor directly," said King. "That's something icky. Not because they're sex toys, just because they're selling merchandise."
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is ambiguous about Scheinfeld's entrepreneurship. Asked to comment, an organization representative forwarded a discussion paper on "Commercial Enterprises in Medical Practice."
The report concluded it's unethical for a doctor to sell "therapeutic agents ... not accepted as part of standard medical practice," but it's OK if "no other facilities can provide them at reasonable convenience and at reasonable cost."
Some states, including Mississippi and Alabama, ban the sale of sex toys. Louisiana, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Georgia only recently lifted similar restrictions.
"I make a little bit of income from this, but when you think about my malpractice insurance -- which is about $150,000 a year -- this doesn't really help very much with that," Scheinfeld said.
"At this point of my life, you don't care so much what people think. As physicians, we are a very conservative group," he said. "Sex is like any other biological function. We have to get away from the associations with pornography. This is a health product."