An awesome sex positive safer sex campaign from Switzerland

A new campaign in Switzerland is doing a great job of promoting safer sex without pathologizing sex or moralizing about it, and with an array of wonderfully inclusive (and erotic!) messages and images. What’s more, to get to the campaign’s website, viewers need to sign on to a manifesto to love life, love their bodies and have no regrets. So far, over 54,000 people have signed on. Check it out here.

(H/t TV!)

3 thoughts on “An awesome sex positive safer sex campaign from Switzerland

  1. I actually disagree with this assessment. Here are a number of reasons why I find this campaign off the mark:

    — This is not a campaign by activists but rather a state-funded campaign. Its manifesto tells people to sign up to a quite specific lifestyle. The manifesto’s idea of the “good life” is, for example, characterized by such quotes:

    “…I live as I please and love whoever I want. After all, I only have one life. It’s up to me whether I enjoy it or not. (…) Mostly you don’t regret what you do, but what you don’t do…”

    “I need my body. I protect it”

    In other words, the state tells people to go for a hedonistic, health-oriented life-style. This excludes people who devote their life to, say, sacrifice for a certain cause (rather than enjoying themselves) or to a “live-wild-and-die-young” life (rather than a cautious health-focused life), etc.
    As a little side remark, note that the typical regrets they cite women as having about sex do not fit completely into the progressive lifestyle they would like to market: http://goo.gl/wT7QGA (One might, of course, also interpret these results as calling for further anti-pathologizing/moralizing campaigns – but it does raise the question why such campaigns should be publicly funded).

    – Advertisers know that advertising with sexual imagery has two effects: First, it draws attention to the advertisement and, second, it draws the attention to the imagery and away from the message. If the second effect dominates, nothing is gained (here: in terms of promoting safer sex). This might well be the case here (note, incidentally, that the Benetton ad photographer known for his provocative images didn’t like the campaign).

    – I am not positive about the extent of public display of erotic imagery in advertising. We live in pluralistic societies where people from all corners of society have many and various reasons for choosing *themselves* whether, when, and how to see erotic imagery; and this campaign — along with many other more commercially oriented ad campaigns — asks for no permission before imposing its (indeed beautiful and inclusive) images.

    – With its strong focus on avoiding regret, there is a risk of implicitly blaming victims of AIDS.

  2. There’s a lot I really like about this campaign, but a few things bother me. Firstly, there’s obviously absolutely no racial diversity, and little body out class diversity. Also, it’s exclusively focused on penetrative condoms; they feature a lesbian couple, but the campaign offers nothing in the way of dental dams or really anything for people whose sexual activity doesn’t involve a penis in some way. And the campaign as a whole sticks with a purely binary view of gender, which is disappointing.

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