Heard the one about how sex should naturally feel good every time, that women are naturally “wet” 24/7, and that dryness is only ever a symptom of menopause?
Nope, you haven’t just stumbled across “Dear Deirdre”, this is the premise behind the latest instalment of Durex’s long-running “Let’s Lube” marketing campaign, devised by Havas London to destigmatise female sexual discomfort.
The Uncomfortable Truth, the follow-up to 2019’s “Ladies, Let’s Lube” and 2020’s “Moist”, aims to tackle misrepresentations of the female sexual experience and challenge stereotypes, attitudes and misunderstandings around vaginal dryness and uncomfortable sex – highlighting its ubiquity and normalising the use of a simple solution, lubrication.
You see, women can naturally feel a bit drier “down there” for up to two-thirds of their cycle – and the uncomfortable truth is that seven out of ten women have experienced discomfort during sex. Are you listening people?
The majority of women who use lube in the UK say that sex feels better but only one third of women said they would be likely to reach for lubes as a solution for uncomfortable sex.
The Uncomfortable Truth takes on unrealistic and misleading depictions of sex and the female sexual experience in the media, and challenges women to be honest with themselves – to admit when sex feels a bit “meh” and, rather than ignore or put up with it, to act on their natural need for a little lube to enjoy better sex.
At the heart of the campaign is a playfully knowing film, featuring everyday stories of female sexual discomfort…and plenty an exasperated look.
Choice scenes include a woman being “shh’d” as she points out that sex doesn’t always feel like it looks in the movies, another revealing that it is not always “oohs and ahhs” as she tries to enjoy a steamy shower with her girlfriend, and a woman masturbating – or rather, trying to – as she highlights the truth: that all women can get naturally drier days.
The spot promotes Durex’s Naturals lube range, including a new lubricated condom designed specifically for people with “vaginas in mind”, apparently, and ends with another truth: that sex feels better with lube. It urges women to get comfortable with the truth, and to get comfortable with lube.
The campaign includes a series of digital, social and OOH executions shining a light on these common misconceptions, including “all women can get naturally drier”, “Sometimes sex can feel a bit ‘meh’ (help feel mmm with lube)”, and “sex with condoms can feel a bit oof”. Running across the UK and Europe, it will also span PR activation and influencer partnerships later this year.
Durex marketing manager Lindsay Forbes said: “At Durex, we’re on a mission to liberate good sex – and for women, who can be naturally drier down there for up to two-thirds of the month, that may well involve lube. If year one of ‘Let’s Lube’ was about education, and year two about engagement, this year is all about normalising the acknowledgment of dryness as part of the natural female experience in sex [and that with] lube and lubricated products she can make to make sex better, every time.”
Havas London chief creative officer Vicki Maguire added: “Believe it or not, lube ain’t just for menopausal women and those who enjoy the kinkier side of life. But it’s societal norms and misunderstandings like this that hold people with vaginas back from having the sex they deserve – which is why this campaign is so important.
“With this campaign, what I love most is that we’ve created something honest and empowering, that loudly and proudly puts the female sexual experience front and centre. When was the last time you saw a woman masturbating in an ad?”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Let’s face it, even a few years ago, the prospect of seeing a woman having a “ménage à moi” in a TV spot would have got the tabloids hot under the collar, chomping at the bit and frothing at the mouth – possibly all three – so things are definitely moving in the right direction on that front.
Of course, in these times, you can’t say the ad is targeting just women; it is targeting all “people with vaginas” apparently. But whoever it is aimed at, it is doing a fine job and hats off to Havas London for smoothing the way for greater comfort in the bedroom, the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen or wherever else you fancy it.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A “lube up to get loved up” 10 out of 10