A bedroom appliance that can whip up instant orgasms at half the price of a decent food processor doesn’t just sell itself, so naturally Church & Dwight, the company that manufacturers Trojan-brand vibrators — has created a commercial to hype its latest innovation, the Tri-Phoria Personal Massager. Last year, when Church & Dwight wanted to spread the word about a similar item, the Trojan Vibrating Mini Personal Massager, it met with limited success. According to the New York Times, some TV networks agreed to air the ad, but only between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., when the audience pretty much consists of depressed insomniac beagles whose owners keep the TV on all night to mitigate their howling. This time around, network executives have been more accommodating. Comedy Central, Spike, and VH1 have all aired Church & Dwight’s latest ad in… More…

It’s odd how prudish educated people become when the topic turns to consumerism. They’re fine with the raunchiest sex talk, but bring up product talk and they get all fussy and judgmental. We’ve seen some of this in the response to the new Sex and the City movie. All the high-brow types are appalled by the film’s consumerism, but you don’t hear a peep about the sex. As I see it, it’s the sex that’s vulgar and pedestrian and the buying that’s creative and inspiring. After watching the film, I wanted to renovate my wardrobe and redecorate my house.

Paula Marantz Cohen is Dean of the Pennoni Honors College and a Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University. She is the host of  The Drexel InterView, a unit of the Pennoni Honors College. The Drexel InterView features a half-hour conversation… More…