The Sexist

When Gender Equality Goes Horribly Wrong

AdFreak has discovered these sexualized advertisements for Davidoff cigars. Each ad is accompanied by a photograph of a male model appearing to orgasm upon catching a whiff of some fine Davidoff cigar smoke. The ads read, "Every Man Has a D-Spot."

Finally, you may be thinking. Men reduced to sex objects in order to sell phallic shit, and not women this time around! [See female "O" faces in advertising: Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and a bonus nonconsensual orgasm ad in Exhibit C]. So is this gender equality? Is it regressive? Or is it just icky?

I say it's gender-equalizing regressive ickiness, but gender-equalizing regressive ickiness that reveals an interesting dynamic in mainstream sexist advertising. In traditional sex-sells ads, women's bodies are used to grab the attention of potential buyers whom admen assume either a) desire these women or b) want to be these women in order to be desired by men. The focus, then is always on male pleasure.

And these ads are no different, as this collection of orgasm faces attests:

Still, focusing the imagery directly on male sexual pleasure is helpful for a few reasons. First of all, the ads are specifically not focusing on women/objects as a means to that pleasure. Great!

Second, this conscious inversion of the male gaze is visually disturbing enough to serve as an implicit commentary on our collective comfort with exploiting female sexuality in advertising. We're comfortable looking at the boobs, but looking at the people looking at the boobs? Yuck!

And then, there's the whole cigar thing. If you buy into the idea that a cigar is not just a cigar, these men are getting off on the perceived sexual potency of their own dicks, and that's pretty funny. I really hope that's what you were going for, Davidoff!

Still, while I appreciate the attempt at sexist imagery switcheroo here, I'm not sure I ever want to be comfortable being persuaded to buy something by looking at a David Duchovny look-a-like experiencing a contact high orgasm:

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com Mike Riggs

    Much as I try and keep my D-spot a secret, if you were to rub a big, fat, spitty Davidoff along my upper lip, my eyes would roll way baaaaaaaack.

  • Vanessa

    I must say I found this quite interesting. The ads are ridiculous, but you can find *some* humor in them. I can't share the same sense of humor with ads that imply women are just another product in an ad. Sometimes I wish I worked in the ad industry so I could show them that you don't need to use women to sell your product, especially in the Burger King ad. Yes world, there's room for originality.

  • BobinDC

    I thought he was gasping for breath in the poisonous air.

  • http://davidoff.com Danielle Hawthorne

    These ads are NOT approved by Davidoff. They have not and will never run as advertising for our brand. We have asked that all of these concept ads be removed from circulation. Evidently someone has taken unapproved liberties by using the Davidoff logo and posting these as if they were currently running.

    Danielle K. Hawthorne
    Davidoff Brand Manager
    Davidoff of Geneva

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  • Rachel

    What a pity, Danielle. They're frickin' hilarious and totally awesome.

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