The Mix

Walmart gets randy

K-Y's new middle America-marketed 'massage oils' are flying off the superchain's shelves -- and making 'em even richer.
Despite the abundance of horrifying headlines from Pakistan, Iraq, and the American Gulf, today's blog post will focus on something a bit more petty and a lot more salacious: s-e-x.

OK, so Walmart won't sell racy magazines, cuss-ridden records, or emergency contraception. But, interestingly enough, the ultrachain has no problem shilling KY-brand personal lubricant (innocently dubbed "Touch Massage" oil).

The store's actually getting rich off the stuff -- according to Advertising Age, K-Y Touch Massage oils have "hit the list of top 10 new health and beauty products of 2005."

Quelle surprise: K-Y is manufactured by conservative megacorp Johnson & Johnson, which last year decided to boost marketing efforts to sexually frustrated middle-American consumers by focusing on "enhanc[ing] intimacy between committed partners" (borrrring. Just kidding!).

Other companies -- like Trojan condoms' Church & Dwight Co. -- are getting friskier, too. C&D recently launched Elexa, a new line of "sexual health" products marketed towards women. The line includes sexually healthy sundries such as vibrating condom rings -- which, for the record, are banned from stores in eight states.

Laura Barcella is an Associate Editor at AlterNet.
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