Sex Sells, but When It Comes to Female Pleasure, the New York Subway Isn’t So Sure

Sex Sells, but When It Comes to Female Pleasure, the New York Subway Isn’t So Sure

Riding the New York City subways is not exactly a wholesome experience. There are rats skittering across the platforms, men constantly spewing lewd and crude comments, and the ever-present stench of urine. By comparison, the ads that grace train cars and station walls are tame, even the ones that are more adult toy manufacturer

There are advertisements for condoms, breast augmentations and the Museum of Sex, some of which include images of bare or nearly bare body parts, particularly breasts.

And then there are those memorable ads from Roman and Hims for erectile dysfunction medications — posters that included a close-up photo of a man’s crotch and shots of droopy or rigid cactuses (get it?).

But when it comes to showing female sexuality, there appears to be a different standard.

In December, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s subway system, rejected an ad campaign by the sex-toy company Dame Products, which featured its small, colorful vibrators along with the tagline: “Toys, for sex.” Why? Because Dame is “a sexually oriented business,” the M.T.A. told the company.

Dame, which is among a recent surge of products that embraces feminism as part of its marketing, announced this week that it was suing the M.T.A., citing censorship and sexism in its complaint. Dame also called it a “ridiculous double standard.”
“There’s plenty of space for erectile dysfunction drugs, but none for innovators making sex enjoyable for women,” Dame said on its website in a post about the lawsuit.

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