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Sex Sells In The Media

Updated on October 12, 2011

I love music. There are so many different genres. My favourites are R&B, Hip-hop, Reggae, to name several. What do they use in most music videos? Sex, and women in various state of undress appealing to the male audience. These and other media get us worked up sexually and for some people, compel them to purchase the product that is being offered.

Make no doubt about it though, sex sells. We can sell just about anything using sex. For proof of that, just take a look at every media. Let’s start with print media; newspapers are just as guilty as any other. Check out the Sunshine Girl from The Toronto Sun , April 29, 2009 for yourself since I can't copy it; that graces this paper for all to salivate over every day and to keep coming back for more. Now, if she isn’t selling sex then why put her in a bikini? Why are the Sunshine Girls so popular? It must just be their keen wit and intelligence.

What about these sexy headlines that will guarantee you won’t put down the paper in a hurry: The Naked Truth about Sex, Too Nice to Orgasm, Does Size Matter, Man on Top, so you get the idea.

Let’s turn now to magazines. Cosmopolitan’s online magazine does a bang up (pun intended) job of informing its readers about sex; Sex Tips from Guys. In the section, “Kink it Up” here’s a sample: “Never underestimate the power of stilettos. You don’t even have to walk around in them…just have your way with me in them.”- Victor 25. Bet this whole sex and love section keeps readership way up and equals revenue.

Television programming that comes right into our homes every moment of the day is no different. They have an even better way of reaching us through the various programs and commercials which are available twenty four seven. We are a totally captive audience. Don’t be fooled because the bottom line is always money. Don’t look far for shows that sex sells; Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, The L Word and commercials such as Axe deodorant.

Company for dinner: Eva Longoria and Jesse Metcalfe on "Desperate Housewives." Photo Credit: ABC
Company for dinner: Eva Longoria and Jesse Metcalfe on "Desperate Housewives." Photo Credit: ABC

According to authors Jessica Dawn Blair, Jason Duane Stephenson, Kathy L. Hill and John S. Green, authors of Ethics in advertising: sex sells, but should it? ; sex, does not sell but sexiness does. Now come on, if it isn’t useful why use it? Advertisers, it is said use sexual appeals because it is “attention getting, arousing, affect inducing, and memorable"(Reichert, Heckler, and Jackson, 2001, p. 14). That’s a no brainer. The word that comes to mind is Duh. In the wrap up of the article it is noted that “sex sells sometimes. Sexual advertisements are mainly targeted at younger groups that have a different, more open view of sex.”

Whether it is believed or not that sex sells; it is this writer’s opinion that it does. If an advertiser is going to spend time and big money on a product there has to be a logical outcome such as a return on his investments. I don’t see a big change for the future.


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    • profile image

      Oneliasse 4 years ago

      When i accustomed to get on top of life nevertheless recently I've truly accumulated the level of resistance.

    • Megan Kathleen profile image

      Megan Kathleen 6 years ago from Los Gatos, CA

      I saw the title of your hub, and then I saw the thumbnail picture. Then I had to read your hub and see which couple was depicted. Desperate Housewives, nice choice! So yes, sex is an attention getter. But I think sex only sells if it's relevant to your product. Axe deodorant is slightly relevant, as is underwear, as these are things you use to try and improve your sex appeal. Those sexy ice cream ads? Not so sure. But if sex makes your ad memorable, it is probably worth your money.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Wait a minute! Now - you're saying that "they're" using "sex" to sell you stuff? So it's a scam! To just sell stuff! Are you sure? This isn't some "crazy conspiracy theory"? I hope you're okay Love! One Love!

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your pen is indeed a mighty sword!! Thanks for your comment.

    • callmefoxxy profile image

      callmefoxxy 7 years ago

      Yep, sex sells, love sells, lust sells, naughty is BIG... too bad peeps act like it's such a "dirty" thing to sell ads using sex... after all we sell ourselves using sex... sexy clothes, sexy talk, sexy pics, sexy walks...

      callmefoxxy, my pen is a mighty sword!

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      farid_hossini ~ Hi.....thanks for reading.

    • farid_hossini profile image

      farid_hossini 7 years ago


    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      otterscrub ~ Lol, sure I believe you. Thanks for reading.

    • otterscrub profile image

      otterscrub 7 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Quite well researched. Nice hub. No I'm gonna go hit some internet porn.


    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Gina B.~ Sexy huh?

    • Gina Barbiero profile image

      Gina Barbiero 8 years ago from SouthEastern US

      LOL...You got my attention.

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      AMax~ I don't have the answer to that question. It's all money in the end though.

    • AdinusMaximus profile image

      AdinusMaximus 8 years ago from Asia

      Yeah, sex = money for every presentable media today. Question: Who's buying the most? Boys or girls?

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Dink96, K@ri, abinavis, DjBryle Works, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.

    • profile image

      DjBryle Works 8 years ago

      LOL!... sure thing... after all, sex is a biologic need! Thumbs up! =)

    • abinavis profile image

      abinavis 8 years ago from Bat Island

      Excellent hub. I feel happy to read this hub. I totally agree with your point and sex talks will never ended. Thanks for sharing.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Oh, I enjoyed reading this! Where those real newspaper headlines?! LOLOLOL! I must admit, I made a hub with sexy in it's title for HubMob and it is currently my second best for views. My first best is a flan recipe. Food and sex, what else! :D

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Ha!  You are SO right--I am willing to bet that your statistics indicate you've have had a lot of page views for this hub.  However, I will be the brave woman to post the first comment.  Nothing sells the American public like sex.  Baaaaahhhh.  We are a nation of sheep and with just a tiny bit of titillation, the brain goes into overdrive.  It's quite amusing, but no one understands it better than Madison Avenue. Great post!