Conservatively Repressed America Presents: SEX! Played by Marriage and Heterosexuality

Oh sexually repressed America, why can’t you just admit that people have sex? For decades people have been engaging in sexual activity irrespective of marriage, heterosexuality, and penis-vagina penetration, yet our advertisements for sexual products continue to dictate on how sex can be performed and who it can performed by. This is apparent in the commercial above, which is one of a four part commercial series Trojan is using to introduce their new line of personal lubricants. In all four, a man and a woman are engaging in foreplay, automatically endorsing heterosexuality. There are also elongated close-up shots of hands, fondling one another’s bodies, adorn with wedding bands framing sexual relations within the structure of marriage all to the background music of Elvis swooning “I’m in love, I’m all shook up”. This set of commercials supports Gayle Rubin’s assertion in “Thinking Sex” that sex is only condoned in the “charmed circle” of approved binary behavior. This is why the lubricant is used during sex instead of singular masturbatory use, or monogamously rather than in deemed “promiscuous” ways, or heterosexually rather than homosexually. In associating all sexual behavior outside of the “charmed circle” as deviant and negative, American condom/lubricant companies are stunting the development of a brand that has the potential to promote a healthy sex life.


Rubin, Gayle. “Thinking Sex.” Deviations: a Gayle Rubin reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. n/a. Print.


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