Women's Tame "Arousal Gel" Ads Are Dissed But Explicit Viagra, Extenze Ads Air Often

Can you sense the double standards here? Every night  during prime time we get bombarded with those ads for Cialis and Viagra--you know the wacky ones with the couples relaxing in separate outdoor tubs--and even the absurd ads for "male enhancement" product Extenze.

But let a pair of entrepreneurial women try to market a similar product to their peers --with an ad that features a diverse group of women talking euphemistically--and it's deemed too hot for prime time-even on Oxygen, whose centerpiece of programming is "the Bad Girls Club."

According to this article in theSan Francisco Chronicle, the women behind "Zestra" oils have been stonewalled: "a few [stations] will air them during the daytime, and others only after midnight. There is no nudity, sex, or mention of body parts, unlike ads for men's products referring to 'erections lasting more than four hours.'"

So what gives? It's the difference between television showcasing female sexuality, which we witness all the time, and female sexual pleasure and agency which are apparently too risque for television.

"When you see naked women bounding around in any music video or open a magazine and see ads for cars or cosmetics, half-naked women are everywhere."That is not women's sexuality," >Laura Grindstaff, an associate professor of sociology at UC Davis, told the Chronicle. "What you see is completely bound up and constructed by male ideas of what women's sexuality ought to be. An ad like Zestra's, with no men in it, about women's pleasure for the sake of pleasure, is threatening, I guess. What other explanation could there be?"

Read more at SFGate.com.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 15, 2010, 6:09am

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