Hearing the news about Kris Jenner’s endorsement of the sexual arousal gel Zestra filled me with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I am always happy to see sexual products in the news; on the other hand, I don’t really want to think about Kris Jenner’s dribbly vagina being slathered with copious amounts of Zestra by Bruce’s enfeebled hand. A botanical gel that’s applied to the labia and clitoris to heighten pleasure during sexual intercourse, Zestra is supposed to give women a “rush” that causes tingling and arousal within three to five minutes of application. For most women rubbing the clitoris will provide a rush within three to five minutes, regardless of whether Zestra is being rubbed into it. That’s why in a Kinsey Institute study (sponsored by Zestra), both women using a placebo gel and women using Zestra experienced increased arousal, but women using Zestra saw a larger increase in arousal. Even though I question whether a liquid containing Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin C can really lead to more sexual satisfaction, I’m pro-clitoral massage, so if purchasing this product leads to more clitoral massage, I’m all for it.
But what bothers me about using Kris as an endorser is that Kris says she uses Zestra to “keep monotony out of monogamy.” This declaration comes just days after revelations that she had a hot 18-month affair with a man a decade her junior while married to first husband Robert Kardashian. Clearly Kris found a better way to reduce the monotony of marriage, and that was by fucking someone else. As I’ve previously stated, I don’t think that sex toys can fix a broken marriage, but they can improve one that’s in a rut. I’m tired of companies promoting sex toys as a way to solve the problem of monogamy. Trojan’s new campaign for their Vibrating Twister plays off of this same theme, to an even greater degree. Trojan claims their vibrator can transform your spouse into the perfect husband, one who enjoys shopping for shoes, watching bridal TV shows, and doing laundry (see video below). Basically, they’re claiming that the Vibrating Twister can convert your husband into a gay man who also enjoys fucking you. And although that’s my dream man (if he’s over 50 and looks like Larry David), I don’t hold out any hope that a vibrator, or even a butt plug could effect this change. Not even daily pegging sessions could transform a heterosexual man into a doting gay husband.
Vibrators and clitoral lotions cannot solve the intractable problem of achieving sexual satisfaction within a long-term monogamous relationship. They should not be sold as sexual talismans. That’s setting them up for failure. They should be sold as products that can increase your sexual pleasure during intercourse or masturbation, not as products that can rescue a miserable marriage. Sexual aid companies continue to promote their products as a part of a family-values monogamy discourse because they want to normalize sexual devices. But this discourse needs to change. Singles should be featured in sex toy ads. More gays should be featured in them. It is time to challenge the narrative that the only normal way to use a sex product is in a monogamous heterosexual relationship.