Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Exchanging Sex for Monetary Gain

By Krystina Johnson

Women will only have sex for money. Meaningless sex happens for women when money is not involved. With the new involvement of using sex for marketing, women become disappointed when commodities are lacking in any sexual act. Woman have been told that “good” girls do not have sex and if they do have sex then they do not enjoy it so this change in the way sex is viewed is problematic for traditional gender roles this causes the gender roles to be seen as confining and outdated. The outcry for sexual freedom causes the conservative culture to battle with the raunchy culture. Since “sex sells” is there a moment when sexual appeal does not work for the commodity? Has sex lost its emotional appeal due to the transition to the raunch culture? Is it dangerous to challenge the gender roles through sex? Sex will only have emotional attachment if it is connected to monetary gain, making sexual acts comfortable and used for the advancement of wealth, although sexual innuendos aids marketing there are moments when the product is not recognized due to an overabundance of sex.

Emotional attachment comes in several forms of desire, shame, addiction, embarrassment and calculated moves for advancement. The disgust appears to come from the society deeming any sexual acts as “bad” and “gross.” Debra Curtis says in her article, “Commodities and Sexual Subjectivities: A Look at Capitalism and Its Desire,” that often “a part of sales pitch” for sex toys or any other commodity, capitalism uses sexual innuendoes (Curtis). Majority of commercials that are selling anything to the public uses the powerful marketing tool of sex appeal. One current commercial that uses a big amount of sex appeal is the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes. In this commercial the camera is so focused on the woman’s body describing how her body became toned from wearing the shoes, but the model is lounging in a chase wearing nothing more than her underwear and the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes.

Here is the link for the commercial: Reebok EasyTone gym shoes

This commercial uses so much sexual innuendoes to increase the worth of the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes that viewers cannot help but desire those gym shoes to increase their own sex appeal, “desire is produced through the sexualization of commodities, tapping into the consumer’s fancies, appetites, and needs” (Curtis). The popular society shows that to be considered sexy, women must be thin and toned because of this vantage point of sexy and desirable work out clothing and exercise technology are sexualized to answer the need for sex appeal.
Normally marketing executives know when sex appeal can be used to sell items and when sex appeal has no place in the commercial. The worst use of sexual innuendo was used by Boost Mobile to sell one of their unlimited calling plans during the Christmas season. In this commercial Mrs. Clause is shown having an affair with a snowman while Santa is out delivering toys.

Here is the link for the commercial: Naughty Mrs. Clause

This sexy commercial although using satire and humor fails at selling any plans due to making several beloved childhood characters racy. According to Curtis, Boost Mobile is attempting to “establish an emotional bond between not only the product and the consumer but, more importantly, between themselves and the consumer” by placing a new twist on a childhood memory but is highly unsuccessful in doing so (Curtis). Once this bond is formed between the consumer and marketer, the consumer will “feel” comfortable buying the product in the present and possibly in the future regardless of the product’s sexual implications. Proving further that sex still has an emotional attachment that can be transferred to commodities.

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