Dame works hard to connect with you, so we can make sexual wellness accessible to you. Recently, our exciting new ad campaign with the MTA was rejected — a 180 from their initial agreement to work with us. The result: plenty of space for penetration drugs, but no voice for innovators making sex enjoyable. Here’s our story.
This July, we reached out to the MTA to run an ad campaign on the subway after our friends at Unbound got the MTA to approve their ads. In September, we got our first approval; they were interested in working with us! We were going to show the world just how happy people can be when they embrace their own pleasure and seek out tools that add value to their sex lives.
After initially agreeing to work with us, the MTA gave us direct feedback on how to refine our ads over several months. We worked hard on developing a tasteful, balanced campaign that they would be comfortable with, featuring testimonials from customers who love our toys and want to tell people about it. We submitted these final ads (below) on November 2nd, and then… we waited.
And waited. We didn’t hear a peep until after Thanksgiving, three weeks later. Three weeks of complete silence, after months of working on a campaign that they had already greenlit. Suddenly, our campaign was rejected citing “updated guidelines” preventing “sexually oriented” businesses from advertising. This made us wonder: why are pharmaceutical and supplement companies like Hims, Hers, and Welleco still allowed to advertise on the subway?
Toys for sex are regularly prescribed by doctors as a drug-free, affordable solution for low-libido, arousal disorders, and sexual function issues for those recovering from abuse, cancer, and more.
If we tie “health” to the ability to have penetrative sex, but treat sexual pleasure as immoral, then we are promoting bad sex for vulva-havers.
But really, this is more than just about some guidelines. Over half the people with vulvas in the US have used a vibrator, and the benefits of doing so are many. But if vibrator companies can't advertise, then those people won’t know what options are available to them. Advertising, legislation, the media, internet platforms — these facets of public life taken together represent and shape our values as a society. We don’t think a state transit agency should wield so much de facto power over whether we can bridge the gap between the health perks that vibrators offer, and the people who stand to benefit most from them.
We hope you’ll share our story and help us do the work that the MTA, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and many others are unwilling to do. Please use the hashtag #PleasureIsHealth, and mention @dameproducts and @MTA (@mtanyctransit on Instagram) to spread awareness. We’re just trying to connect to people like you to make the world a happier place, one vulva at a time.