do ads for erectile dysfunction really corrupt youth?

According to SF Sexual Health Examiner, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) has introduced a bill to ban ads for medications for erectile dysfunction on broadcast TV & radio from 6 am-10 pm because he thinks that the ads are indecent, have become “an intrusion into our daily lives, and should be restricted to times when youth are less likely to see them.

Now, I agree with him in as much as I would like the ads for Enzyte and such to go away. But not because they’re indecent. I want them to go away because they perpetuate the idea that sex = intercourse, which requires a large, hard penis. (doesn’t it?) I want them to go away because they play off of men’s insecurities, they limit our notion of what sex is, and they use coy euphemisms. I think that euphemisms reinforce the habit we have of not talking about “down there” and when we talk about “those parts” instead of penises, vulvas, vaginas (or even cocks and pussies), we reify sex-negativity by sending the message that those are the “organs which shall not be named.” In essence, euphemisms recreate and transmit shame and there’s enough sexual shame in the world without adding to it.

But indecent? Well, only if you’re so ashamed of sex that you can’t tell a child that “ED is a medical condition that some men have and this medication helps with that.” Check it out- an age-appropriate (at least for some ages) way to talk about Viagra without mentioning penises or using euphemisms at all. Now, is that so difficult? Well, Jim Moran thinks so and he seems to want to be protected from having to deal with it. And he’s sure that everyone else needs to be protected, too.

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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