“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

‘K, Y Stay Free when you don’t have to?

Posted by direwolff on January 24, 2005

In my first blog posting back in October 2004, titled "Cialis, Viagra, Levitra…oh-hey!", I talked about the dichotomy between what I will call, for lack of a better term, "sex drugs", and the cannabis plant. Really, it was more about the absurdity of one being advertised on TV and the other being illegal punishable by prison terms, one being made available for men to get erections while the other being deprived from terminally ill people who need some relief from their pain. As it turns out, it's beginning to seem a lot more like it's about sex pure and simple.

So tonight, after a long day into the night at the office, I came home after picking up a thin crust pepperoni pizza at the neighborhood spot, and posted myself on the couch to watch some mindless TV while eating, before getting to a book I've been trying to finish. Didn't take long for a commercial to catch my 'absurdity meter'.

The camera zooms in on an attractive well-groomed woman telling us how relationships take work, how they're not easy. Her significant other sits behind her reading a newspaper apparently ignoring her, if only to prove her point. She then turns to a bottle that she's holding of K-Y® Brand Liquid Personal Lubricant. She tells us all about its gentle warming sensation, which instantly raises the attention of her man with a sly look, as she smiles to us and says, "you see". We get the voice-over saying "discover a whole new world of intimacy", as the happy couple smiles knowingly at each other. If you follow the above link to that site you're also treated to the following line: "K-Y® Brand Warming Liquid is water soluble and compatible with latex condoms". In the words of Kyle Broslovski's mom (from Comedy Central's South Park), "WHA-WHA-WHAT?!!!!".

So let's see if I understand the gist of this commercial by answering a few questions.

1) What's K-Y® best known for?

Being a lubricant.

2) Lubrication for what part of the body is it most famous for?

The vaginal or anal areas.

On #2, it's also known as a jelly lubricant for all sorts of applications, but as far as between a couple, anal sex would likely rank the top vote getter on uses for K-Y®. Which now brings us to the next and more important point. Was TNT allowing an advertisement in support of anal sex on TV during what I understand to be a very popular show, "Law & Order". Holy shit (pardon my language), there was an ad promoting anal sex on TV!!! Whoa!

So what's so amazing about this? Well for one, there are still sodomy laws in several states. But even more, at least half the people (men and women) I've ever discussed the subject of anal sex with in general, have said they would never do it. So will someone explain to me, how this subject makes it into a commercial without any one making a peep about it. No mother's groups trying to shut down the company or the Web site. God forbid that Howard Stearn says "ass" on the radio, and the FCC is all over him, but a large corporation talking about K-Y® goes unnoticed by the great puritan unwashed masses.

It couldn't stop there however. Moving into more of the disgusting side of things, two commercials later came a Stay Free maxi-pad commercial, but unlike the general sort of mild tampon commercial, this was full on about odor and how women can smell badly at different times of the month, and really digging in to the whole freshness and odor thing over and over. Amazing.

So from all of this one might begin thinking that I have issues with these messages, but actually I don't. It's just that in our prudish society I once again find it hard to understand why some things or drugs are OK, but others aren't. The lines are so blurry but yet so arbitrary. It always seems like it's about following the money to find out what's good and what's bad, right and wrong, where of course the corporate powers are good and right ;-) There's an inherent hypocrisy here that I have a difficult time understanding, not so much for what goes undiscussed or uncelebrated (good or bad), but rather for those issues where attention is raised and judgments are made. Why does it seem necessary to bring up the idea for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, while not saying a word about K-Y® advertising Liquid Personal Lubricant in prime time on national televion. Why?!

Anyway, this is more about questions than answers, but it just seemed like a point worth raising…again.


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