I like people more or less as much as the next guy. I am not particularly effusive in my affections but I’m not exactly cold either. I consider myself well adjusted, proper without being prudish and basically easy to get along with. On the whole, most people tend to respect those basic kinds of boundaries quite well, seeing as most usually have similar ones in place themselves.
Lately though, it does seem more and more that certain boundaries have been expanded. I gotta say in some cases it’s starting to become downright uncomfortable. Folks seem quite easy in asking the most intimate of questions, and acting surprisingly shocked or even offended when you decline to respond. Maybe it’s just me noticing this, but I doubt it.
I can remember watching movies with my folks when I was a kid and a curse word or maybe a “naughty scene” would let fly. I could feel the embarrassment rise up inside like a tide. Amazingly, even with increased age that feeling never really went away. I can still sit with my folks watching a movie and feel a surge of discomfort over certain language or situations. I tend to think the reason is that deep in our hearts we generally know what’s over the line, and what’s not. Having mom or dad there just means we can’t lie to ourselves about it.
Well, I’ve seen an ad on the tube that makes hearing a few curse words in front of mom seem about as harmless as Jack Nicholson beating a car with a Nerf golf club.
I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to even describe this commercial without offending anybody. It’s not like AdFool comes with a warning label. As it sits, the commercial hits right out of the blue so I might as well do the same.
Scene opens on a couple out to dinner at a nice, intimate restaurant. Both go to place their folded cloth napkins on their laps when the woman realizes that under her napkin there is a small gift box. She looks up at her date who indicates quite clearly that he put it there, urging with his eyes for her to open it. She lifts it up and displays clearly that it is indeed a ring box, “the” ring box. It is telegraphed perfectly that this is the gift we think it is – even though there are more than a few odd, and slightly off-putting, ticks and smirks coming from the gift giver. While the woman seems appropriately excited the guy just has a sort of weird look on his face. And it is not a look of “innocent expectation” but one of something else. Something a little edgy and maybe a little creepy. She opens the box and smiles broadly, saying “yes” as happy and as relieved as can be. Then, she looks cool guy right in the eye and with a decidedly wicked and now very sexy look says again “Yes, I do.” Thus completing what seems a slightly bizarre yet more or less normal restaurant marital engagement.
Then we get to see what was actually in the box.
It’s a ring all right, but it’s not really for your finger. It is for a digit though, his. And ladies and gentlemen guess what? It vibrates. Well, hello Durex.
My mouth hit the floor. Did I really just see an ad for what I think I just saw an ad for? Oh, I did, ‘cause that ad played more than seven times over the span of the next hour. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen it now. It’s on all the time.
Have the now seemingly routine ads for condoms, Viagra, Cialis and the whole ED train of pain finally softened (ahem) us up enough for the next wave of mass market sexual innovation? It would seem so.
There are some I’m sure that welcome such frank and in your face presentations of sexual lifestyle. We are of course adults, meaning anyone offended is surely repressed, and obviously stuck inside some mid-century view of what happens when the lights go off.
Well, I know what happens when the lights go off. I have kids. What I also have is a fairly good sense of boundary, and space. Women don’t wear wedding gowns to other women’s weddings and guys don’t mac on their best friend’s girl. Why? Because some things are just sacred, that’s why. Taking something as traditionally special as the “pop the question” moment to sell a man-brator trivializes it, and kind of suggests most relationships are little more than a series of ins and outs anyway. That’s kind of sad. I can see why Durex wants it though. They got a lot of latex (and apparently accessories) to sell so the more time we all spend between each others legs the better.
Maybe it is just a personal boundary issue. I’m probably overreacting to the whole thing, making a tent out of a….well. Thing is, if this is the direction we’re headed in sex-wise I really don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up.
As things stand I’ll need a drug to harden it, a jacket to protect it, some lube to move it and a battery to make it sufficiently exciting. Do I even want to know what comes next?
If I thought my personal boundaries were being rubbed up against before I better get ready for the next generation of polite dinner conversation. I fear I may never be able to leave the house again…….