Sex Is A Source Of Pleasure

3153 WordsJan 13, 201513 Pages
1. Introduction The vast majority of people will be familiar with the phrase ‘sex sells’, often used in reference to advertising methods. Gill (2008 p.38) states ‘the use of sex as a means of selling is probably as old as advertising itself’. The use of sex in advertising has been linked to scopophilia, where looking itself is a source of pleasure (Mulvey 1975). This was addressed by Freud (1905) who named scopophilia as one of the component instincts of sexuality. Furthermore, Freud associated scopophilia with the objectification of people, in which individuals are subjected to a ‘gaze’. Mulvey (1975) claims that due to a constructed sexual imbalance, the pleasure of looking is split unequally, resulting in an active male and passive female. The process in which phantasy is projected onto the female figure is referred to as the ‘male gaze’ (Mulvey 1975 p.11). It is said that women’s appearance is encoded for strong visual and erotic impact and they are seen as ‘the leitmotif of erotic spectacle’ (Mulvey 1975 p.11). However, the ‘male gaze’ is not without its criticisms, and recently there is said to have been a ‘sexualisation of culture’ (Gill 2009 p.138), with new and diverse methods involving sex and sexuality being displayed in advertising. Three emerging depictions of women in advertising, claimed to be distinct from the ‘male gaze’, are the ‘midriff’ (Gill 2009 p.148-151), the ‘vengeful sexy woman’ (Gill 2008 p.46-49), and the ‘hot lesbian’ (Gill 2009 p.151-153).
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