Monday, December 17, 2012

Another image: What is it selling?

Here is an ad that popped up on a site I was reading this morning:

My first thought was, "If she is one of the dangers then I, for one, welcome our new female overlords".

The more profound question is, "Why use an image of a sexually aroused woman to get men to watch a video about something that is supposedly a threat to them?" It's not just that she is hot. The primary thing is that that expression screams surrender. If your dinner companion looks at you like that, you both know that she is yours for the taking.

That, by the way, is what the video the ad links to is selling: Buy our testosterone-boosting products and you can nail girls like her. That's a bit of a letdown isn't it?

She's faking the look. The giveaway is that her pupils are tiny and not dilated as they would be if she were really sexually aroused. That and the clearly visible evidence that everything about her is fake—her hair is dyed, her foundation is on as thick as Marcel Marceau's, and so forth.

There is another level of fakery at work here. That picture suggests that  she is in some sort of newsroom reporting. You think that maybe she is the one who will narrate the video. She isn't.

The people who put together this picture really know their stuff. The only thing they got wrong was her pupils . If you looked at that mouth and didn't have the same predatory thought I did, then you aren't a man. Notice also the beautiful match between her wide-open eyes and "eye-opening video". That's important because that is the real selling point. It's not about them opening your eyes—it's about you opening her eyes and other things big and wide.

The thing is this: the impulses that would lead us to click on this video are exactly the things that make us weak and malleable. She isn't really for sale and we are just a suckers for bait and switch. How could surrendering to those impulses make us stronger?

(Here's are a few rude questions: Do you spend a lot of time looking at pictures like that but very little time figuring out how to make the woman you actually desire in real life  look at you like that? Do you feel safer looking at that expression in a picture where you know that she isn't actually looking back at you? Are you maybe intimidated by the thought of actually living the experience of having a woman looking at you like that because of the expectation of performance from you she might have?)

Here's another thought, women can easily dress and make themselves up to project sexual arousal. It's easy to see why they do it: most of the time sexual status is a more valuable to women than actual sex. But why would it be in your interest to pursue a woman who is very good at faking sexual arousal? And if you turn on your critical thinking apparatus, you can look around the classroom, office and coffeeshop and quickly ascertain which women are more practiced at projecting sexual arousal.

As I've said before, you wouldn't want a woman who never does this. Women who never consciously use the tricks available to them to raise their sexual staus probably don't like or have weird hang ups about sex. That said, the other end of the bell curve is just as reliable an indicator that a woman's sexual response is not healthy. I take it that sex matters to you and not just as pleasure but as a shared pleasure that brings you and the woman you love closer as a couple? Why then would you be interested in a woman who is really good at using her body to lie about the thing you treasure? You want a woman who actually does surrender when she outwardly signals surrender.

It's easy to see what your first response to that picture would be would be and why it would be. But even a tiny bit of critical thinking should tell you that the thing inside the cereal box isn't going to be as big and shiny as the picture of it on the outside of the cereal box.

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