Group Media Analysis Diablog Group 5, Section 2 - Condoms

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This commercial for Trojan sends overall a great message about safe sex practices. The men in the ad all appear as actual pigs in a bar, trying to pick up women unsuccessfully. When one gets a condom from a vending machine, he is transformed into a human, attractive and suddenly attractive to the women. This is a very effective message saying that what separates us from animals is the ability to have protected sex. However, where the ad is problematic is that it puts all the responsibility for wearing a condom on the men. The use of the pigs makes out that men are the only ones roaming the room looking for a sex partner, so obsessed with their goal that they would do so without protection. This furthers the association that men are only ones responsible for having a condom handy and to some extent puts the women on display as objects. Of course, in my mind, any ad trying to spread the message of safe sex practices is still a positive thing. Life Style Condom Ad This commercial makes me ask where our sexual pleasure comes from, ourselves experiencing/envisioning the physical action or from the other member involved (do you actually need to be pleasured by another person or can you pleasure yourself)? Also it makes me wonder how much influence the "performance" of sexual acts influences our own way of performing/experiencing sex. The commercial depicts a sexed body re-creating the moment of orgasm in her potentially new bedroom as she's browsing apartments. She is able to fully put herself vocally back in the state of reaching an intense sounding climax in front of the man who is showing her the apartment--he makes an attempt to interrupt her but she continues and doesn't stop until she's reached her climax and listens to receive information on how her potential neighbors might take it. At first the commercial puts sexual power in the hands of the woman--she's able to make herself reach climax but then at the end of the commercial when the brand name is displayed its on a cartoon condom fully shaped. The tag line is "Get Ready for More Pleasure" but it insinuates that the only way a woman can experience pleasure is through the insertion of a penis into her vagina and excludes all other types of sexual relationships between different sexes and genders. • Is sex a necessary commodity to live in our culture? • Is sex acceptable as a communal act? This ad teaches us that bodies are made to function sexually. The characters are balloon bunnies; bunnies are a common symbol of mindless sex, and balloons are often rubbed up against each other to make a squeaky noise. By representing people with this double image, it is sexing bodies in a very extreme way by saying we are designed primarily for sex. That these two very familiar and rather humorous images are used plays with our emotions so that what the rabbits are doing seems like a lot of fun. This ad seems to normalize homosexual behavior but only in the presence of a female. The third (male) bunny joins the party by having anal sex with the first male bunny. Immediately afterwards, however, he receives oral sex from the female bunny. In a sense, homosexual behavior is permissible, but only when regulated by a heterosexual presence. This ad implies that anyone who is not having sex or chooses not to have sex is not having fun. It also implies that homosexual individuals cannot be assimilated into the mainstream until they comply the heteronormative standard by engaging in heterosexual acts as well. I argue that the ad advertises sex, not condoms. Is there a difference between "public" and "private" displays of sex/sexuality/gender? What do these differences say about our culture as a whole? This ad is what I like to call "sex positive". It applauds healthy, protected sex in a public setting. In this ad there are people from all different classes, age groups and genders applauding these two people for using condoms. It's almost as though using a condom was the expected move in this situation, thus creating acceptance from those in the community. While this ad is "sex positive", it also has some basic, underlying tones. The two characters highlighted in the film appear to be of a higher class than the rest of the people in the commercial, they are also young and beautiful. While this is a really great way to make condoms seem sexy, it also reinforces the idea that ads are targeting the rich and beautiful. It is also a heteronormative commercial with only focusing on one man and one woman. This is great for heterosexual couples, but it leaves out those who are not targeted in these ads. It ignores those who identify as homosexual, queer, bi, trans, or anything other than heterosexual. It doesn't implicitly say that condoms should only be used with a man and a woman, but in general, that is the message we are getting. In our group analysis, we chose to focus on condom commercials specifically. What better way to talk about "sex" than to talk about the physical act of intercourse, or "having sex." While it is pretty obvious how our condom ads talk about "sex" and "sexuality", what is not so apparent is the heterosexual undertones in each and every one of our commercials. They all involve men and women, and although the bunny condom commercial does involve three "people", it only allows for two men to be present if there is a woman also present. Also, our ads have a male focus, meaning the ads seem to be directed at men. The man is expected to have the condom, or provide the protection. Another theme common in these ads is the idea that sex is healthy, and that protection is good. Even if it is aimed at only heterosexual protection, it is still spreading the idea that sexual health is important and people should be practicing safe sex. With regards to racial and class boundaries, these ads definitely favor the middle to upper class. The woman who is having her "fake" orgasm is looking to purchase a seemingly pricey apartment, and the trojan pig commercial is in a nice bar with somewhat expensive looking drinks...and the commercial with the african american couple shows them being of a higher status than those around them because their clothes and demeanor seem to say so. The durex bunnies commercial doesn't necessarily deal with class but racially, the bunnies are different colors, and whether that is supposed to signify gender or race, it definitely is sending some kind of message. In general, while sex and sexuality are huge parts of our society, they are even more present when discussing condoms and condom commercials because of the direct correlation to the act of sex itself.

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