Sex Isn’t Sexy

After thinking a little more about it, I’ve decided, yes. I do have more to say on the subject. (If right now you’re scratching the back of your head, please report here: to the previous post.)

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Last night Bubba and I were laying in bed with huge bowls of popcorn wedged into our laps — our usual end-of-the-day reprieve — and we found ourselves doing something really wild and crazy. You ready for it? You sure? Okay, prepare to be blown away. We watched . . . a commercial.

If that wasn’t even one teeny-weeny bit funny, then probably you don’t have TiVo. Yep, moving on.

The commercial opens with a man coming home early from work to surprise his wife. He opens the front door, smiling, a bouquet of flowers in his hand; then, as he notices the trail of discarded clothing leading from the foot of the stairs up, and hears what are certainly the sounds of adults mating, his face crumples.

What was this commercial advertising, you ask? Carpet cleaner.

. . . . . I turned to Bubba and I said, “When did this happen? When did people start accepting sex in their commercials?”

Bubba’s not as easily stirred as I am. It isn’t that he’s tolerant of pandering to humanity’s baser forms of interests; it’s just that he pays such little attention to things he considers a waste of time that, for him, it’s almost like they don’t exist. It’s one of the reasons I married him. You can’t have two zealots in the same family. They’d drive each other nuts. That I do become passionate at the slightest bit of injustice or depravity is one of the reasons Bubba married me. Kinda neat how that worked out.

I could hardly believe it when the next commercial was also about sex.  Two in a row, really? The product? Shampoo. Would you believe me if I told you the third commercial, too, used sex as a portal? This time they were selling chocolate. The actress — a woman clothed in a silken brown robe — had her eyes shut, her head tilted back; and with a look of sheer intoxication, she placed the bite-size piece of chocolate on her tongue. Then she began to moan.

But why? I wondered.

Raise your hand if you don’t like chocolate. Okay, I’m looking around and there’s not too many of you. I LOVE chocolate. I mean, for goodness’ sake, it’s one of the basic five food groups. I don’t need to be convinced! I don’t need anyone to suggest a piece of candy might give me an orgasm. I’ve eaten enough of it to know that it won’t, but that I will eat it anyway because it tastes wicked-awesome. The end.

Advertisement companies and TV execs, can I talk to you for a moment? Now, I’m not a complete idiot. I do understand a few things. I understand there are about a thousand different brands out there, all vying for the number one spot, each trying to sell their chocolate and their shampoo and their carpet cleaner, and all you’re trying to do is give your brand the best shot. But I can just be honest with you? Your commercials turn me off. I’m disappointed at the lack of ingenuity. You’re telling me that your leading team of marketers, savvy strategists and business majors, all likely earning six-figure salaries, couldn’t come up with a better proposal than prostitution? I don’t believe it. I don’t! I think you’re smarter than that. I think there’s some laziness at hand.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a prude. I love sex. A lot. I love that God loved his kids so much that He created it. But it’s private. It’s something I share with my husband, just him and I. And when you market your product using sex as a medium, you not only objectify it, but you misrepresent it completely. Sex isn’t sexy. Sex is the result of sexy.

1) When my husband returns the DVD to the Redbox center so I don’t have to – sexy.

2) When he takes Bella outside to go potty when it’s late and neither one of us wants to get out of bed – sexy.

3) The time Bubba held me in his arms while I sobbed, danced with me in the middle of the kitchen, after the twelfth doctor told me he couldn’t figure out what was making me so sick – SEXY.

Essentially, what you’re doing, is telling people sex is no more special than eating chocolate, washing your hair, or cleaning the carpet. I think we both can agree that sex is more special than all three. I think we can also agree that through marketing and research you’ve realized people will pause for shock-value, and what better form of shock than to put what is pure and intended for Good in a forty-five second advertisement.

Please . . . I come before you and implore you to stop. Do you know what’s happening? Today I stumbled onto a blog titled “The Book Whore,” and another website called “Food Porn”. . . .  People are catching on. They are figuring out if they entice people with a racy picture or provocative words, their numbers go up; only, what they don’t know is that the ones lured in through these methods aren’t the most loyal of fans or customers. They’re not. They will follow you, sure, but they will do it in the dark, where no one can see them.

Don’t you see? This is not an isolated event. It’s spreading. It’s an epidemic. I know some of you must have children. You are mothers and fathers and you have sons and daughters, and they are watching you. They are watching you. If not taught otherwise they will grow up under the false belief that sex is ordinary and common — just like chocolate and shampoo. And they will use it — just like chocolate, just like shampoo.

Find another way, please. How about animals? Nobody can resist a sweet, snuggle puppy chasing after toilet-paper. Truth: I watch every Snuggle commercial. I don’t care that the bear’s animated. He’s frickin’ adorable. Or better yet, make me laugh! Give me a positive reason to remember you when I’m at the store shopping. If you do, I promise — though I am just one voice, one woman, with a humble following of faithful readers — if you find a better way to sell me your product, I will do everything in my power to make sure people buy it. I will Tweet and Tumble my butt off. I’ll send out the annual Christmas card modeling your brand. I’ll be you for Halloween. I will do that, because you will have earned my respect, and my loyalty for LIFE.

And I promise I am not the only one who feels this way. Others will notice, too. It won’t be easy. It may take a little time; we’ve been moving backwards for so long now that up is down and wrong is right, but we can get there, to a place where things make sense again. We can, I’m sure of it, if we agree to stop selling sex.

Thanks for listening.

***

Hey Lights, will you pass this on?  Reblog it, tweet it, lean your head out the car window – carefully – and shout it. I’m holding myself accountable here. I’ve become used to just rolling my eyes or turning it off when I see something I don’t like, but this doesn’t fix the problem. I need to pray more and do what I can.  I’ll be reaching out to some of my favorite blogs and writing to a few using their positions and loud Voices for Good. But first I’m starting here, with me and you.

Thanks, guys, you’re the best!

Lighting it up,

~ C

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12 thoughts on “Sex Isn’t Sexy

  1. “Essentially, what you’re doing, is telling people sex is no more special than eating chocolate, washing your hair, or cleaning the carpet.”

    THIS. I’ve heard so many augments about this issue, but never this one, and man-oh-man is it poignant.

    • It pains me; I, as an adult, can watch a commercial as a whole, and came away with a whole understanding; but a child cannot. Their eyes are simply holes for things to pass through. That is where God invented the parent’s role – to explain things, help them process and determine between right and wrong. But many children sit for hours before the TV, simply absorbing its malnutrition, or the busy parent steps away a moment, and they see this, and they think . . . ? There is a better way, and that’s the part that pains me.

  2. Intimacy! It’s not intimate anymore! Although a very different light has been thrown on intimacy through the sexualization of everything, you have created a rainbow from the steam. What I want to see instead of the OLD pendulum that swung from the “prude” setting on the right to the “exhibitionist” marker on the left to the “sex is science” position in the middle–is a NEW pendulum! Seriously.

    How about one that swings from “breathless” on the left to “poetry” on the right and “wink-wink-smile” in the center?

    • Yes, Mary, you’re so right. Obviously I agree with you that very little is sacred and intimate these days. And I am continue to process through this, I am finding that even conversation amongst friends is barged by the everpressing technology. Much of what seeks to intrude on our lives can handled and dealt with, if only we take the time to see it as an intrusion and not an expedited means to our connecting to the world. I am guilty of checking my phone much too often; of turning away from lively conversation and seeing if yet “so and so” has written back. I need to remind myself of what matters, what’s most important, and above all remember that connection happens face-to-face.

      Thanks for these thoughts, Mary!

  3. Intimacy, connection, anticipation, shared laughs, even “dang, you look good” over meatloaf and mashed potatoes. That’s sexy–when it’s between two adults who love each other and connect on more levels than horizontal happy between the sheets.

    If I see one more commercial with a long-haired beauty making orgasmic noises while supposedly washing her hair in an airplane restroom…

    Okay. I didn’t finish that sentence b/c it would have involved violence against an innocent television.

    Great post and position on the issue, Cara!

    • “Intimacy, connection, anticipation, shared laughs, even “dang, you look good” over meatloaf and mashed potatoes. That’s sexy–when it’s between two adults who love each other and connect on more levels than horizontal happy between the sheets.” – Gloria, I love you, and I love this.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. Your voice, as humble as you think it may be, is more powerful than I think you can imagine. One voice is how revolutions start 🙂 I love you and am so proud to know you!

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