Trojan's TV Ads, and Sex Toys for Couples

I've been watching TV a bit while blogging (usually CSI, actually) and I normally don't pay a whole lot of attention. I just like background noise. But recently, I've been fascinated by a particular ad- TV ads for Trojan's Twister vibrator, which has aired both during the school day and late at night. Here's the ad:

Now, I've seen an increase in ads for, say, lubricant and condoms, on TV, and that's been cool. It's nice to see something as important as safer sex products being advertised as a positive sexy thing that can bring extra oomph to a couple's sex life. But the thing with condoms is that there's a health, element, right, and you can argue that's true for lube too. They're sexual necessities.

This ad feels a little different, despite the women being feminine. First off, the two women talking about the toy are doing so in the street. They're not ashamed. It's not a back alley sex toy store, it's a suburban neighborhood. The woman who bought the toy is in fact thrilled to get it in her mailbox and can't wait to tell her friend about it, rather than guiltily opening it in private from a discreet package. That seems kind of cool, actually.

My boyfriend is rather fond of sex toys.

Secondly, the two women discussing the toy are not talking about how amazing it'll be for their (assumed) male partners. There's no implied or overt concern that bringing a vibrator into the bedroom will scare a partner off, but rather, that it'll be a fun thing to use for their own pleasure. In 2011, this should not seem subversive, but I feel like in the fairly restrictive, enforced heteronormativity US, it's a big step.

Thirdly, and best of all in my opinion, is when their neighbors, a couple, walk up hand in hand. The two women are discussing how the vibe will "blow your hair back", and, when asked how they are, the couple turn to look at each other happily, saying how they couldn't be better. This move, of course, shows their hair blown back, suggesting that this couple has this toy and yes, indeed, it works pretty well. Again, on the surface, cute, but what is it saying below the surface?

My reading of this ad was that both members of the couple had enjoyed the benefits of this vibrator, which is, btw, not a vibrating cock ring, but a phallic shaped object made mainly for clitoral and vaginal stimulation. But his hair is blown back too, suggesting that just maybe he's gotten to try it out himself. The idea of men using vibrators is still novel to some, so to see it legitimized on TV is kind of awesome.

Not only that, but there's the assumption that they've used it together, as a couple, and it's been super sexy and fun- and that's accepted with a wink wink nudge nudge. He's not threatened by it, they're not worried about it, they just like having a vibrator as part of their sex life.

That's really, really cool, in a world where women still ask, concerned, that their partner might feel intimidated by such a toy, or that having one means that they (or their partner) is a massive sex addict, or that sex toys will ruin their sex lives for anything not involving a toy.

Maybe we are moving forward- one happy vibrated clitoris (or glans) at a time!

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