Friday, August 10, 2012

Trojan Gives Away Vibrators in NYC But Won't Sell Them in Texas

Mmm...New York Cart Vibrators are the Tastiest
Big news yesterday about Trojan Vibrations' giant vibrator-cum-hot dog cart giveaway in New York: the company generously decided to give away 10,000 vibrators (hello, don't they know there are 149,219 more single women than men in New York?). The bonanza was shut down briefly but opened again later in the day and the toys were successfully distributed.

Some herald the public giveaway as an indicator of the growing acceptance of women's sexuality and maybe it is; but in Texas, Trojan's toys are still not for sale despite the sex toy ban having been struck down in 2008. The boner-killing message below came up when I put an item in my shopping cart on TrojanVibrations.com:
I reviewed the Triphoria almost a year ago and the device wasn't for sale in Texas then (I got mine courtesy of Babeland); what's the holdup? Perhaps we should all write to our state legislators and suggest that Texas women are just trying to comply with the forced transvaginal ultrasound law and maybe that'll do the trick?

In non-cart related news, Trojan's VP of Marketing had this to say in a press release about the event:
Research from The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University found that 53 percent of women and 45 percent men have used a vibrator in their lifetime, indicating that vibrators have officially entered the mainstream," said Bruce Weiss, Vice President of Marketing, Trojan™ Sexual Health. "We're always looking for ways to advance this effort by fostering an open dialogue about sexual health and creating unique moments that get people 'buzzing' about sex and pleasure."
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1kqRe)
 The study to which he refers was part of a series of articles published in 2009 by The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and paid for by Pure Romance, the Cincinnati-based pyramid scheme sex toy party company, and Church and Dwight, Trojan's manufacturer. In this summer of concern among those outside of academe about sources of funding for scholarly pursuit, it's worth noting that funds for research--even fun research like the frequency with which American women use vibrators and how good in-home sex toy party consultants are at doing sex education--comes from somewhere.  

In the case of corporate sponsorship of transparently PR-driven research, my question is whether the funding of such projects is tax deductible, since the "contribution" is to a not-for-profit educational institution. Considering that both the Pure Romance and Trojan studies have been used by the companies to expand business, that sounds like a shady way to write off PR expenditures, which are not tax deductible.
 

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