Sex In Consumer Culture

Does everything have to be sexualized? In the consumer world today it seems that most things have to possess that sexual appeal so that people will be attracted to and eventually purchase it. A good marketing strategy today will employ media content to promote their products. Erotica has gained worldwide popularity since it is considered to be more soft compared to hardcore sexual images or orientations. Erotica has been used by magazines and that has proven to improve sales for both the magazine company and people who have posted their advertisements in the particular magazine.

The practice of erotica in marketing involves the use of models or celebrities to act like the cover of a magazine. Other forms of erotica are paintings and sculptures which are normally in the art line of work. Most individuals in the music industry and movie producers have embraced the use of sex to promote their brands; the use of models in music videos has gained fame and has proven to make the music videos the most watched in case gorgeous bodies are in the scenes. Some hardcore sex stars are even making the move to mainstream entertainment. In most case studies there has been a point taken whereby consumers tend to watch more of something with erotic content compared to something educative.

Advertising today contains more erotic images than ever. There is a beautiful person scantily clad selling everything from cars to video games on every channel. However this is not a new phenomenon; sexual images have existed for thousands of years. There is a papyrus which has been dated to approximately 1292 – 1075 B.C.E. which illustrates sexual positions, although it is thought to be more of a “how-to” manual than any type of advertising. Sexual images in advertising for fragrance have proven to be profitable by tapping into the viewers sexual fantasies. Beautiful women attracted to cars have been an advertising scheme geared towards men for decades. And who can forget a young Brooke Shields in her skin tight jeans proclaiming that first she buys her jeans, and then she pays the rent?

Advertising using sexual images has proven to work, so it is doubtful that it will be abandoned anytime soon. In some regards it’s a downright shame, because it takes what should be an exciting moment (the reveal of skin) and makes it a common, everyday occurrence.


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