marketing

Vulva Is a New Product for Straight Men That Smells Like Teen Vagina Spirit. Why Not Market to Lesbians?

Vulva is a new “slightly yellow, desirable substance” that, when applied onto the back of the hand, mimics “the irresistible smell that exudes from a sensuous vagina.” Its makers say that it’s not a perfume, it’s a scent. And it’s being marketed to straight men as a way to get their masturbatory motors running. But why not lesbians?

Perhaps it makes sense not to market to lezzies? After all, why would they spend $35 on Vulva when they can just smear their own genital fluid on themselves for free? Do you know how much “free” costs? Zero dollars. But what woman (or man) wants to smell their own snail tracks covering their clothes and skin.

Which returns us to our original proposition: Why is Vulva not marketing the fuck out of itself to sex-hungry gay gals?

Perhaps the main reason is that—according to Audrey McManus, manager of the female-owned and operated sex shop Babeland—Vulva doesn’t smell like a real vagina. “I don’t know what it smells like,” she says. “It doesn’t have all the wonderful scents of an actual pussy. Vaginas smell so good and natural… but [Vulva] smells a little chemically. It’s not bad, it’s just not like a pussy I’ve ever smelled.” Unless the pussies you’ve been eating have been doused in an alcoholic astringent. And if that’s the case, ew.

In fact, Babeland doesn’t even sell Vulva, even though the product has been around for a couple of years. McManus says “we don’t carry pills or magic lotions.” After all, since Vulva’s marketing itself as something you sniff to get off, it’s basically an inhalant along the lines of poppers. And Miracle Whip.

So let’s take a look at how Vulva is being marketed. Their commercial features a male personal trainer getting all horned up as his nearly nude female trainee drips crotch sweat all over her stationary bicycle seat. The seat’s phallic knob hovers just under her dripping thighs as she pumps away—a porn twang accentuating her labored breathing as a woman moans out “I want… I want…”

When she leaves, the trainer starts sniffing the banana seat and thinking of her moist muff hovering over it. There’s no doubt about it—he’s getting a boner at work. But it gets even creepier: On the street, the trainer, now dressed in black, unzips a case to reveal that he has stolen the penis-shaped bicycle seat from his place of business, and then proceeds to rub his pervy fingers all over it so he can huff her vaginal scent in public. Their URL? SmellMeAnd.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve stolen men’s underwear and huffed it like a paint rag while spanking off. I even enjoy smelling a man’s funk in my beard after a hookup, but if a company started selling “Taint: The smell of a lumberjack’s crotch”, I probably wouldn’t buy it either.

For one, my own musty crotch smells like a clay curry pot thrown into a damp onion field and if I wanna smell like that in public, all I have to do is not bathe for a few days. Which may explain why they’re not marketing Vulva to women. When one can smell the scent of genitals on you, it rarely evokes an image of sex (unlike eau d’toilette). It normally suggests that you have poor hygeiene and possible mental issues.

Even still, I’d love to see Vulva marketed to lesbians if only because I haven’t seen a lot of marketing geared specifically towards lesbians (though a friend recently told me of a “for lesbians” porn movie which was a bit “plot heavy”). I imagine Vulva being sold in lez-bar bathrooms next to the dental dams. I imagine lipsticks and bull dykes and studs putting just a dab behind their ears or on their lower stomachs to evoke a a whiff of action. I imagine a commercial with actual sex instead of PG-13 rated Nike footage.

I asked McManus if she thinks that Vulva’s marketers missed out on a key demographic or if they simply sidestepped lesbians to avoid a potentially embarrassing conversation about the continued commodification of the female body. After all, she runs a place that sells pocket pussies and anal stimulators… a little objectification isn’t a bad thing, right?

“It’s a unique spin,” she said. “I don’t think anyone here found it offensive. The employees who saw when we got it just laughed mostly.”