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MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE: BRANDS BREAKING SEXUAL TABOOS

1/7/21
Martina Vercillo

Feminism, along with other progressive movements, is all about uprooting old-fashioned, common misconceptions and openly addressing themes that have been kept silent so far. One of them is, without any doubt, regards women and their sex life.

For many centuries, women have been expected to be pure, immaculate, untouched, and even when they were allowed to have sexual intercourse, it was mostly aimed at procreation. Therefore, very little light has been shed on fundamental matters such as the female reproductive apparatus, and sexuality in general. 


Luckily, thanks to a gradual process of female empowerment, women of today are no longer seen -or at least they should not be- as merely sexual objects, created for the sole purpose of pleasing their partners. 

Hence, the increasing interest in female pleasure, not only as a topic to be discussed more openly, but also as a business opportunity that many entrepreneurs are trying to take advantage of. 


Durex®, for example, has been a pioneer in that sense, promoting sexual education on their social media platforms, in a form that is both light and appealing to the younger generation. However, while Durex® targets a wider segment of consumers (and yet, more than two-thirds of their customers are men), many others have decided to focus specifically on female clientele, often judged for their sexual preferences despite the recent progress.

A prominent example is My Secret Case, an Italian on-line sexy shop. Their motto “We want a world in which women are not sex toys, but can own them all” fully reflects a feeling of women empowerment. Indeed, just by having a glance at their Instagram page (@mysecretcase), one can see how, apart from successfully promoting their products, they are very much keen on providing information about topics such as masturbation (male and female), gender fluidity, body acceptance, and other so-called “taboos”, that would have been frowned upon until some time ago.

These brands, along with many others that followed the same path, have in common one great key to success: customers’ engagement. In fact, their aim is not just limited to selling and making profits, it is more a matter of how they do it. Of course, such business experiences are relevant and provide for many insightful marketing strategies. Nevertheless, they make it possible to combine two aspects that are often regarded as incompatible with one another, that is economic growth and social welfare, by raising awareness within consumers.

Their contributions have been and still are of immense value to the feminist movements: on the one hand, they prove that things are changing, and mentality is evolving with time; on the other, they can help to move even further, towards a reality in which young people do not need to surf the web to learn about such “prohibited” matters, but are taught them properly (at school, within families). In the meantime, we will continue to applaud these brave initiatives and give them well-deserved praises, supporting the underlying businesses and, at the same time, shaping society.