It's almost 2020 but the belief that in men, virginity is a disease, while in women, it's a virtue remains strong. In keeping with this ridiculous narrative, Skore India wants to help cure men of their virginity.
Men are often told that they need to keep a score of the number of women they have slept with to prove their mardaangi. They must absolutely not be virgins in their 20s or they'll be deemed the world's biggest losers. Fuelling this damaging insecurity and blatantly promoting toxic masculinity, Skore recently took out an ad in a leading daily for a magical spray that will make any woman want to sleep with any man who uses it. Because even though we have cried ourselves hoarse, our consent doesn't count and only men's sexual desires matter.
There is so much to unpack here, so take a look at what they're selling.
Cheesy, self-selecting and snake-oily as this ad may be, I’d love to see a brand take out a similar ad offering to “cure” virginity in women. pic.twitter.com/emwItRVV0M— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) September 13, 2019
Sigh. Where do we begin? So this Pheromone Activating Spray is apparently a "sex appeal booster for men (that) contains an active ingredient ‘Sensfeel’ which is proven to sexually arouse women." According to Skore's website, its "strongest effect is between people standing within 3-4 meters. Full effect occurs within 30-60 seconds."
Under a section titled 'What will the spray do', the website says, "Pheromone Activating spray will act as a sex appeal booster. You will still have to go up to the girl you like, smile and strike a conversation. However, this time, you will be smelling great, you’ll feel more confident and chances are you will be that much closer to skoring."
This spray has been launched for the first time in India, and God help us. For just Rs 300, men can now be certain that if they just smile and talk to us, regardless of how we feel about them or the situation, they can score with us.
But the most absurd part of the ad is the first few screaming words on it - Virginity can be cured*. First of all, virginity is not a disease that needs to be cured. It's nothing, actually, except for a social construct meant to make us feel bad for having sex or not having sex because we're too repressed to decide what to do with our body's needs.
Secondly, if you see carefully, there's an asterisk next to cured that leads to a truly stunning footnote, which says "this is with reference to male sexuality and not female sexuality." Thank you, Skore, for in trying to avoid backlash you just reiterated that virginity in women still needs to be kept intact, which is why you have not deigned to invent some spray to 'cure' that.
Aditya Roy Kapur launched this product in India recently, and the hashtag they used to promote it is #MakeSexidentsHappen. Who will tell them the horrifying connotations of this?
In fact, they went all out and made misguided, problematic full-blown comics to promote this.
But here's the catch. If we're talking about heterosexual people here (and you know they are) who might want to use this ingenious product, how will Skore 'cure' virginity in one gender without 'curing' it in the other as well? Men are supposed to attract women with this spray, but women aren't supposed to be out and about having sex, are they? If we stick to our double standards, as we must, who are these virgin men radiating pheromones supposed to have sex with?
Skore India's last campaign, however, was a progressive one. No one in India talks about female pleasure, but they released a gel that was supposed to intensify women's orgasms. Actress Mallika Dua was part of the promotions.
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Reposted from @mallikadua - 💋 Aunty has always fought against orjazzzzm inequality because she truly believes all you kyaut kyaut women deserve kyaut kyaut orjazmz because #SheComesFirst , Aunty is happy to partner with @skore_india who have created Skore OH! especially for women 💜 toh ja simran ja, apne orgasm ke aur pass. —- kyaut jewels courtesy @sachdeva.ritika #Ad - #regrann
Let's hope this will be a rare misstep for Skore. Because it is appalling that in 2019, we have something like this spray but also something called a revirginisation surgery, which is strictly for women and is setting us back centuries. We need better sex education, we need better ads, and we need a better mindset.
Featured Image: Instagram
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