Sex Symbols

Elizabeth's picture

On sex toys and salt shakers

oooms homepage

I saw the delftware dildo on Audacia Ray's Naked City and then followed the links to the reviews by Tess at Urban Gypsy and by Always Aroused Girl, but I really wanted to know about who made the thing. So I followed links to the Oooms home page and the collection above is what I saw.

Can I just say I think it's really cool that a company selling tables and chairs and salt and pepper shakers isn't afraid to put anal beads and dildos amongst its other merchandise? In fact they almost get lost in the picture, which is a shame really given how beautiful they are. But if you look closely you'll find them. There they are in the center near the bottom. How appropriate :) (Click on their image to see a larger photo.)

Elizabeth's picture

But do they need condom ads in Europe?

I'm staying with friends over Independence Day weekend and they showed me this European condom ad. Very effective, I imagine: cute dad, terrible child, horrifying supermarket scenario.


But it did raise this question: with birthrates in Europe falling, do they really need to advertise condoms? It's hard to imagine that people are having a lot less sex so they must be pretty good at contraception. But then of course there is a need to do STI prevention, and contraception and STI prevention are two different matters. It's interesting to think about how public health policy and population/family policy can be in conflict. Imagine the tension between giving incentives to couples to have children while trying to encourage condom use to prevent disease.

Chris's picture

Family Planning Advice You Can Use

There's a lot to say about the ineptitude and lack of foresight involved in the creation of this sign, but ultimately, the message gives some good, solid advice for those who don't want to accidentally reproduce. (via)

Elizabeth's picture

More Billboard Family Values from my Midwest Trip

Another billboard values series:

Monogamy(100) ad image

I've now seen this image on several billboards in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, but again, I wasn't fast enough to capture them myself. This image comes from the Hearts On Fire web site, where I also learned that this is not actually a midwestern phenomenon, but that the campaign has been featured on the Ellen Degeneris Show, the Martha Stewart show and other national media.

It's interesting to think about what monogamy does for people and what diamonds do for monogamy. According the Hearts on Fire TV ad monogamy itself is potentially pretty boring. Yet passionate, interesting, and romantic people also need monogamy so they need something that brings it alive. Apparently that something is not their own sparkling personalities, but rather that something is diamonds.

Elizabeth's picture

"Kentuckiana" Anti-Porn Campaign

I was shocked when I saw this billboard on I 65 near Jeffersonville Indiana. (Jeffersonville about two hours south of Indianapolis and across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky). The photo above isn't mine - I wasn't quick enough - but is an image of the same billboard from the sponsoring organization's web site. The organization is called Reclaiming our Culture (ROCK) and their mission is to fight adult businesses in southern Indiana and north central Kentucky ("Kentuckiana" in their parlance).

The ROCK web site explains:

The focus of this billboard’s message is the threat pornography and the sex industry pose to our most vulnerable citizens – our children.

As you might expect, their web site offers no specific evidence of harm to communities and no specific data on porn addiction.

Chris's picture

SITPS Beaver Shot of the Day

There's typically few things more crass and disturbing than tampon ads in the United States. Honest to god, the coy manner of most menstruation product advertising is only one step away from openly calling it "the curse." This ad for U Tampons from Australia is a refreshingly playful approach to the vagina and its myriad functions. It makes me appreciate the old Aussie saying even more: "Thank god we got the convicts and the Americans got the puritans."

everlasting love

elizabeth and i have found this amazing and inspiring Virgin ad campaign showing elderly, naked couples...why would anyone assume that gran and grandad are not "initmate"????

i would think and see in public, older couples being extremely connected...holding hands, walking arm in arm...i celebrate their ability to give and recieve love and affection

your thoughts?

does anyone feel offended by images of mature people engaging in intimate relations?????

Chris's picture

Barbie Porn

I have it on good authority that most of my female friends who grew up with Barbie dolls eventually let Barbie have adventures that weren't really envisioned by Mattel. Sooner or later, Barbie wound up losing those fancy clothes and bumping uglies with Ken. In other words, while I was helping my friends to dig through their garages for two-dimensional porn, the girls were making the 3-D variety themselves. This isn't totally inappropriate, given Barbie's origins. A lot of grown-ups have kept playing adult games with their Barbies, as the music video below shows:


Trisfe Pornografia - The best bloopers are a click away

Chris's picture

Sex Symbols: Condoms Go Bollywood

"I am the condom friend ever useful to you."

Below is a public service announcement encouraging Indians to use Nirodh condoms, a brand distributed by the Indian Department of Family Welfare. As silly and cheesy as it looks, my first thought looking at it is that I wish we could get condom ads this good in the United States.

Elizabeth's picture

New Feature: Sex Symbols

I'm using this photo to inaugurate what I hope will be a cool new feature on Sex in the Public Square. It's called Sex Symbols (unless someone suggests a better name for it) and it'll be an examination of material culture connected to sexuality, sex norms, gender roles, and so on.

I'd like this to have a fairly standard format so that it is recognized as a series across the site. The format could look like this: First a photo of the object (here it's a t-shirt but it could be anything that is tangible), then "What" (a brief description) followed by "Where/when" (a brief note about where/when the object was found) and then "Why? Discuss!"

The idea is to talk about what these bits of culture mean, how we feel about those meanings, what kinds of competing messages are out there, and so on.

Below is the first in the Sex Symbols series.


Walk of Shame Tshirt


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