The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 August 2005

He fears/she fears

Rather a lot of advertising boils down to "Use our product/service and you will get laid more often." However, you apparently can't use the same approach for men and for women, as Lindsay Beyerstein explains:

I've recently gotten paid to write posters suggesting to men that Viagra may help them lead a more fulfilling life — but we wouldn't dare suggest that anyone actually needs Viagra. Oh, no! Marketing to men's sexual insecurities is all about "you're wonderful, but you could be extra-personally-fulfilled." When marketing to women's sexual insecurities the message seems to be "You are vile, but you could be acceptable."

I don't have any particular sexual insecurities — one of the most secure bets on earth is that my dance card will continue to remain blank — but she's quite right: you let a guy think, even for a moment, that John Thomas won't be up to the task, and you've got the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I admit, though, that I don't understand why women would respond to a pitch that tells them that basically they're undesirable and unappealing and generally worthless. Columnist Cynthia Heimel once claimed, "We have no faith in ourselves," and proposed this test:

Walk up to any woman on the street and say, "You know something, sweetheart? You'd look an awful lot better if you lost fifteen pounds. And do you really think that hair style is becoming? Don't you know anything about bone structure? Anyway, with ankles like yours, I wouldn't bother to leave the house."

Instead of the proper response, which would be to deck you, nine out of ten women will apologize, burst into tears, and run away.

I hasten to point out that I have not tried this experiment, and don't plan to do so.

Posted at 8:30 PM to Table for One


"John Thomas"? I would think "John Henry" would be a more apt descritpion...you know, the rock-hard flaming f--- hammer!! Gadzooks

Posted by: paulsmos at 9:04 PM on 14 August 2005

At least it isn't John Hancock.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:13 PM on 14 August 2005

I guess I'd be that one out of ten.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 11:19 PM on 14 August 2005

I came to the conclusion long ago that the people who market what supposedly makwes women more attractive, must secretly hate women.

French fashion designers, of course, are incapable of keeping a secret...

Posted by: McGehee at 1:01 PM on 16 August 2005

Viagra is being touted as an aphrodesiac, but for men who have Diabetic neuropathy or whose pudendal nerve was injured (such as one sees after prostate surgery) Viagra is indeed "theraputic" for a married man...

Maybe they should just be honest and say: 20 percent of men with diabetes suffer from a complication that destroys their marriages, and viagra could help?

Posted by: Nancy Reyes at 6:47 PM on 16 August 2005