By Shruti Singh:
Are you still looking at Sunny Leone, wearing a corset, inspiring you in that orgasmic voice to have sex with your partner on a staircase? Or that girl who is turned on just by the thought of a condom and cannot help touching her partner as they take a bike ride (no pun intended)? It is amazing how conveniently these TV commercials remove men from the portrayal of a sexual relationship.
Advertising condoms and protected sex has been a challenge for long. In the early 1990s, Kama Sutra TV commercials were banned from airing. They were “too bold”; as if our country experienced population explosion only through worshipingÂ the different variety of deities. Since the youth bulge took place in India, advertising and marketing tools have grown fairly well. They use below the line techniques and attempt to engage with more consumers. However, condom manufacturers have had a quintessential strategy- use a “sex bomb” to suggest just how much women wish to have sex. It is a condom ad- where are the men?
Durex has always had interesting ads which usually trend around Father’s Day. That was their international team working on witty marketing strategies. On 23 April, Durex India launched a short ad film featuring Ranveer Singh which went viral on the day it was uploaded on the company’s YouTube channel. The reasons are many. The song is catchy. They made good use of a flamboyant Bollywood celebrity who’s been confident about his sexuality. They finally included a man in an active role, and most importantly, the adÂ celebrates sex. When you have great sex, you Do The Rex. The signature step, ‘the Rex’, suggests the elation a man feels after a greatÂ intercourse. The campaign has taken social media by storm. But what can we, as common people who will increase the video’s views in the next two days because it’s attractive, gather from it?
In a country where most of us are young and many of us are sexually active, do we feel comfortable about it? Are we able to discuss our sexual desires with our partners? And most importantly, are we using protection? Since the time our current generation- the large number of people who are the focal point of politicians- have gained conscious thinking powers, we have been saying the same things like a broken record. Why is sex a taboo in India? It is no rocket science to understand that. It’s the double standards that our society has been thriving on for centuries now. The land ofÂ Kama SutraÂ cringes at the sight of the wordÂ sex. The next time you’re teaching your kids, younger siblings or friends about that literary device, this is the example you should cite. If it is our older generations that have made it a taboo, then we too share the blame. If we have been conditioned in a particular way to glorify sex as a special attraction of the wedding night, then we are the biggest hypocrites of the era, because we still like watching condoms’ TVCs. We are a bright nation, which understands the dynamics of the hormones. Why is it that we are unable to translate our thoughts to verbal communication?
Talking about breaking taboos and stigmas is fairly easy. It is time to walk the talk. In its intelligent ad campaign, Durex is sending out a message that each one of us need to decode. It is perfectly alright to be sexually active. It is your body and your sexuality. You have complete right to it. We need to demystify sex and stop giving it undue seriousness. It is great. It is beautiful and everybody owes it to themselves to have great sex. And when you do have it, you should be able to celebrate it. It is our responsibility to have protected sex, not just to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but also to keep ourselves safe from sexually transmitted diseases. There are many more than HIV/AIDS. Sex is the big elephant in the room- everybody knows that it’s there, but nobody acknowledges it. Lets accept the elephant and give it some space. If you can read sex (Fifty Shades of Grey) and can watch BrazzersÂ in your incognito Chrome window, then you have the courage to speak openly about it. As Chuck Palahniuk said in Choke, “Sex pretty much cures everything.”
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