An Insiders Lament: Sexual Intimacy and Relationships Under Siege by Lorne Caplan

Thursday, October 20, 2011

...and therein lies the difficulty that we all have as proponents and educators of healthy sexuality and sexual health. When we lose touch with the vast majority of people who aren't comfortable discussing sex in or out of their relationships and we focus only on those who come to us, contact us, listen to us at conferences and trade shows or on any other medium.

My point is that Playboy along with what we in the industry (Adult, couples or related industries) call "mainstream" aren't mainstream to the vast majority of the population that don't discuss anything related to sex in their partnership. Note to self; This is one of the reasons why the divorce rate is so high! People don't talk about sex in their relationship. They'd rather talk about sports teams, the need to renovate the house or cleaning issues than their intimacy! While we in the industry may feel comfortable saying Playboy is mainstream, versus a Hustler which also may be considered mainstream, the tiny minority that has even seen, practiced or heard of what we consider hard-core would be an extreme example of an outlier to the rest of the population. That is what Playboy I believe, finally understands as well as other companies like K-Y that have brought their messages to the masses, which Playboy has only done with it's reality series with Kendra and the twins at the mansion (oy!). K-Y on the other hand, is selling the You and Me product with humor all over the television and print. Unusual and aggressive, but successful for an adult product and kudos to them for doing that!

Rather than relegating itself to the black covered category of adult on the news-stands and pay per view, they wish to elevate their message and ideally their product and service offerings to the super-majority of the population that is uncomfortable talking about or seeing anything related to sex. Need I remind you of the far right in this country that would do all it can to wipe out any healthy conversation about sex (yet their own hypocrisy eventually rolls out in the tabloids)? Shall I delineate the cleansing of New York city of it's adult and porn stores, strip clubs and other establishments to make it a more "family friendly" city. This is happening in San Francisco and in other large cities across America and when we don't see it, the shrinking of our constituency, we will soon be made irrelevant in a culture that gets it's only information on sex from the insanity of the celebrity world and religious fanatics. That will truly be a crisis for our kids, not seeing intimacy and romance between couples and learning about it only in books and through the media (or the street and stairwells of schools). That is not a happy thought!

I laud Playboy for making the effort to touch on relationships and partnerships and their sexual health within them and I'm sure that it will have a thin veneer of sincerity and be as tawdry as other mainstream (think prime time, versus after 10PM, versus after 12PM and FTC guidelines to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about) attempts have been. That is my concern, since platforms like Playboy could indeed do some good supporting healthy sexuality, but they might first have to offer it under a different brand as an interest in romance, passion, intimacy and desire is elevated into the mainstream consciousness. I've yet to see it though and I'm not talking just about those that are interested in improving their personal and relationship experiences, or those that are already well aware of the benefits to our mental and physical health that healthy sexuality brings. Perhaps the USA, with all of it's celebrity BS is still the Puritan country that it and it's various large minorities would have us believe. I'm inclined to throw in the towel, but our clients and industry suggest that the fight will still go on (not including the movie side of the business for at home "enjoyment". That's not what I'm talking about and that isn't my constituency) and it is very worthwhile for our own relationships if we can't "save" everybody. Amen!

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