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Ranveer Singh And Durex India Want You To Celebrate Sex In Their Latest Ad

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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 worshiping 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 ad celebrates sex. When you have great sex, you Do The Rex. The signature step, ‘the Rex’, suggests the elation a man feels after a great 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 of Kama Sutra cringes at the sight of the word 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 Brazzers 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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  1. vishalbheeroo

    Brilliant article, Shruti about sexuality and our hypocrisy on repressing sex as a tool of expressing oneself. It’s a brilliant ad that should promote and celebrate sex. There is too much hypocrisy surrounding sex in life and let’s face people don’t have sex just to procreate but as a means to express emotional intelligence and bond with one’s partner. As you rightly pointed out, we belong to the land of Kamasutra,watch Sunny Leone or porn as well as read Erotic novels such as Lady Chatterley yet we fume calling sex Paap. Time for us to accept the obvious:)

  2. testedbrain

    Again, something rhetorical and nothing to add.
    It is taboo not only in India or Indonesia, but in US, UK, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland too (the last five nations have a high rate of ant-depressants, sexual stimulants and suicide). Just go to their streets, classrooms, and if possible bedrooms. High rates of teenage pregnancies, assaults and STIs in these nations reflect nothing healthy about it.
    Something available in the market for money does not make it non-taboo. Even animals cannot make it public and easy, if that is what some people might like.

    Learn more about biology, psychology and neuroscience of sex, before putting pen to paper.

    Kamasutra, and other texts are not about sex exclusively, did you even read the original text (or can you, if you are literate in that language)?

  3. Kiran George

    Amen ! GREAT article !
    @testedbrain, The high rates of teenage pregnancies, STD’s have absolutely NOTHING to do with anything else but lack of awareness about safe sex. And that’s what condoms are for. About time you got your brain tested, because knowing about the intricacies of neuroscience and psychology has absolutely nothing to do with understanding sex and why it’s the rage. We’re all sexual beings. Lack of acceptance of the act in society either has us doing it behind close doors, or perhaps resorting to masturbation which I am quite positive you engage in as well. Sex is a biological need that is present within us from the moment we are born, and doesn’t just spring up after you are married. Society has created a little box for us to live in, and people such as yourself choose to glorify the box and invite others to live within its confines just the way you do. “Kamasutra, and other texts are not about sex exclusively, did you even read the original text (or can you, if you are literate in that language)?”. The essence of Kamasutra is to celebrate the act of sex, and not abhor it of speak about it in hushed whispers, and I sure as hell don’t need to be a biologist or a neuroscientist or a psychologist (lol) to be able to tell you that.
    Go get some fresh air, and perhaps a progressive perspective.

  4. Sneha Roychoudhury

    I feel very strongly about what has been said in this article and the short film itself. I come from a background of staunch convent education. For the better half of my life, I have seen deluded women caring more about how we are all off springs of God than teaching us what exactly the dynamics of reproduction, and more importantly sexual instinct, are. There is no way we can avoid something as fundamental to the human nature as sex. There is also no reason for us to. Not acknowledging the existence of it merely increases curiosity in the matter. And why must one cringe at the very mention of a physical instinct as normal and instinctive as hunger or thirst, for that matter? Which law in India bans sexual desire, or consensual sex over the stipulated age? Then why the “hush hush”?
    And whoever lashes out against talking about sex must in fact, then be rather hesitant in bed as well. What happens in other countries in not the prerogative of a nation fighting it’s own innumerable issues, thank you very much. The idea of talking about sex is not just the prevention of teenage pregnancies. It is much more than that. It the need to realise that sexual intercourse is not a social taboo and one’s sexuality or the awareness of it is not cringe-worthy, if that’s even a word. Sex education and being comfortable to discuss sex is a problem in itself. Why must that be ignored by a generation of Indians who need to definitely broaden their perspective?

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