I Need To Write More About Sex

In case you missed the comments on the last entry, What EXACTLY About This Ad is Offensive?, I suggest taking a look. In 240 blog posts over three years, it’s the most interesting comment thread I’ve ever hosted. Of particular interest:

  • Most men seem extremely offended by the ad and view it as rape. Most women seem either entirely unoffended or at least more forgiving of the imagery. This result is entirely counterintuitive and points to the theory that the ad really is aimed at women.
  • This post seemed to make its way around in a way most of my posts don’t: over email. It really wasn’t linked to from anywhere except Buzzfeed but many commenters seemed to be first time visitors. I honestly expected the post to be linked to pretty heavily but for the sake of the conversation, I’m glad it didn’t. A Dugg version of that comment thread would not be pretty. :)
  • I don’t think there is enough public, interesting discussion about creative advertising these days. I subscribed to AdFreak a little while ago but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

Anyway, that’s about it. I normally don’t write posts about other posts, but this one just keeps getting more interesting with each comment.

22 comments on “I Need To Write More About Sex”. Leave your own?
  1. Bradley says:

    Yeah, I was going to shoot you an e-mail to the effect of, “Way to bring in the traffic.”

    But I didn’t want to be smug.

  2. LustyLioness says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps women aren’t as easily offended by sexual abuse, rape and/or submission as men because nearly all women have received some form of sexual abuse or at least unrelenting coercion at some point in their lives.

    As a secondary explanation, women don’t see themselves as some virginal, virtuous ideal dressed in pink and white lace and perched on a pedestal. They know that they desire sex just as much (and maybe more) than most men.

  3. Sage says:

    Actually, that phenomena is more common than you would think. For example, Lisa Lampanelli likes to point out that physically handicapped people get angry at her if she doesn’t make fun of them in her routines, because then they feel left out or victims of PC ideals. There seems to be a parallel between that and the responses you got from the female readers.

  4. wow yeah you defiantly hit onto something hear Mike….

    in regard to “LustyLioness” comments (that would have to be a made up name just for her comment, hey???), I once heard that 8 out of 10 women have been abused in some way before, so she may be onto something….

    and I will let the comment about women wanting sex more than men go through to the keeper….

  5. Kevin C says:

    “because nearly all women have received some form of sexual abuse or at least unrelenting coercion at some point in their lives.”

    Hold on a second there — WHAT!?

  6. Tigerblade says:

    I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Mike, but your article made it to Newsvine too. Currently stands at 40 comments.

  7. Dan A says:

    240 posts over three years… so thats one post every 4.5 days or so.

    These days my feed reader is usually piled high with posts, but never from Mike Industries.

    If you’ve never congratulated yourself allow me to do so, because sometimes less is more.

    Oh and I agree, posts about posts are a bit indulgent.

  8. chris sivori says:

    Many men may be uncomfortable with their own rapacious sexual urges (or lack thereof) and seek to moderate this innate aggression with affected alarm and apoplexy. The ad may be for women, but the confusion is intended for men.

    You can learn a lot about a person by what offends them. The piety and outrage seems a bit disingenuous to me, since the ad is ambiguous. Ambiguity breeds uncertainty and provokes thought and maybe this is not expected in advertising. I think it is a brilliant piece given the reaction.

  9. Jim says:

    One theory for the response balance you’re seeing – we (males) have a strong societal pressure to be outraged by degradation of females. Especially in the self-selected demographic that reads blogs.

  10. chris sivori says:


    I believe you may be right with one caveat. I think this pressure is imposed by less aggressive men and more aggressive women. IE., anyone who does not benefit from the ‘classic’ sexual dynamic. I don’t believe in major differences between the sexes per se, however many relationships contain the active / passive – aggressive / receptive relationship. It is difficult to maintain a relationship in which both parties are aggressive or receptive. Nature seems to demand a harmony.

  11. Chad says:


    Have you at all noticed if the Google ads have changed due to the recent content of the posts?

  12. Mike D. says:

    Kevin C: I think the second part of that is more common than the first. I have no problem believing that the majority of women have been through some sort of attempt at sexual coercion at some point in their lives.

    Tigerblade: Yep, of course. Haha… forgot to mention that. :)

    Dan A: Yeah, it kind of comes in spurts for me, but 3-5 posts a month usually feels about right for me.

    chris s: Totally agree.

    Chad: Good question. I just checked and they all seem pretty normal except one of them — “Older Man Married Women… Free to Join. 1000’s of pictures of Handsome Single Older Men”. Hmmmmmm.

  13. Ryan says:

    Perhaps this is a sign that you should write about more controversial stuff, not just sex and advertising. Clearly the ad was something that piqued your interest, so if you come across something like that again, don’t hesitate, just post. Clearly it gets people talking, and communication is the true meaning behind a blog, is it not?

  14. Willi says:

    It was a surprisingly engaging topic – I actually had to force myself not to go back after about comment 70 something because I had work to do (I’m knee deep in startup stress right now).

    What’s interesting is that between your post and what I read on other blogs (and newsvine), I did not come away with the impression that “Most women seem either entirely unoffended or at least more forgiving of the imagery.”

    Even if we took the time to go and put all the responses in a “reaction matrix” (any volunteers?) I doubt we’d get the real story. Sexual topics/conversations, especially on the phone or online, tend to bring out gender posers en masse.

  15. Willi says:

    chris s: “I don’t believe in major differences between the sexes per se, however many relationships contain the active / passive – aggressive / receptive relationship.”

    And many don’t. I just ran through a list of married friends in my head and came up with about and equal combination of pass/pass or agg/agg compared to agg/pass.

    I think what impressed upon me most in this last post was the amount of global statements. Which is ironic since really what we were all talking about was – “do you like this piece of art?” But we all felt compelled to support our own opinions (subjective) with some sort of objectivity.

  16. Jeff Scott says:

    According to Wikipedia over a third of women have had a rape fantasy (10% of women find it their favorite). I think this is a miscategorized however. The fantasy is about being ravaged. It is about a situation not getting out of hand and yet not being controllable. The sexiness of this ad and its attraction to women is obvious then. The revulsion of men is apparent too. We, growing up feminist are overly sensitive to burdens put on women. we have lost a lot of our sexiness; something these men have retained.

  17. sam says:

    i think that, rather, the men are more concerned with seeming politically correct while the women are trying to rebel from their perceived role as easily offended and thus are seeming to be more “open minded”.

    but that’s just me.

  18. Brian Ford says:

    I see this sort of seemingly “counterintuitive” response on Newsvine fairly often:

    I think it’s because you get men who are saying what they think women want to hear them say, and then you get women who are eager to not be pigeonholed into a more traditional viewpoint arguing the opposite.

    So it goes:

    1. Men express disgust to please women.
    2. Women express that it’s not a big deal to.
    3. Men agree that it’s not a big deal.

    And, looking up, I realize that I’ve said the same thing that Sam said.

    So, uh…I agree with Sam.

    I was going to check the Newsvine thread, but Newsvine is down which means I must now hope that 1) the tournament bracket is getting set up or 2) the redesign is going live.


  19. Kevin says:

    well I for one was not offended, rather interest was piqued.

    I once saw a bumper sticker said, “9 out of 10 women are battered, I prefer mine plain”, I laughed out loud , my wife shot me a raised brow. I said, “what, its funny, offensive – yes, but funny.”

    I guess people really need to not be wrapped up in PC mentality and work to view things in a more objective light even if their views are subjective. As a society though, we are still grappling with trying to reconcile our morality and ethics within the context of a heterogeneous society making this a challenge.

  20. Mike says:

    I think if women believe that only women are battered/abused they are ignorant or just refuse to believe that verbal and mental abuse are just as painful. As a former therapist, I continue to talk to men who tell me that women are viscisous when it comes to the way they talk to men and apparently do not believe that good, fair communication rules apply to them.

    The ad — seemed more like an unnessary state of sexuality. It is sexual. It’s not meant for kids and doesn’t drive me to the product.

    Oh wait — it’s supposed to drive to the product. I forgot that part.

  21. KW says:

    Well Amen to Mike (post 21 Mike). I know this thread is dead and I’m way late to the “party”, but I just couldn’t help commenting. Be careful Mike, you may loose your job if anyone finds out there’s a therapist out there with such “unorthodox” perceptions. Other comments on here are mostly a load of psychobabble. Here’s a thought…maybe women are not offended by this ad because it’s from an entity they already worship. Kind of like the same sort of denial the women in church go into when they find out that the handsome young preist is “taking advantage”. And the men are more offended because the women aren’t. They know that if this ad appeared in a different context, the outrage would be there. But something like that never happens. The BS posts here make much more sense.

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