Dick pills, douches & predatory marketing

Or: What’s in a name? If you’re in the dick-pill game, plenty

“I need $20 on pump four, this Snickers, these off-brand headphones and some Stiff Nights and a Rock-Hard Weekend. And a dark bag, if you have one.”

My job is pretty interesting. Today, I was browsing through the FDA’s Medication Health Fraud > Tainted Sexual Enhancement Products page, and started laughing so hard at the product names I nearly fell out of my chair.

Check up above. It’s pretty easy to see why.

Why are they so ridiculous? I have a theory:

Those products are largely designed to prey on consumers’ insecurities and fears. Sound familiar?

This Summer’s Even campaign from 2010 is a good example of fear-based marketing. Click the image for a link to a scathing article discussing the campaign.

I’d be cautious against drawing a 1:1 parallel, but there are clearly similarities between ‘does my vagina smell weird?’ and ‘is my penis too small or unimpressive?’ They are fears that presumably nearly everyone has, that manage to be intimate and personal enough to isolate us and feel like lonely fears.

Advertisers and manufacturers are so eager to capitalize on those fears, they’re tripping over one another coming up with product names like ‘Cummor,’ ‘APEXXX’ and ‘Bigger Longer More Time, More Sperms’ (I wish I were kidding about that one) and pushing these products out.

We can talk about supply vs. demand, and unethical, predatory marketers and companies know they’ll never go broke leveraging consumer insecurities and fears.

By the way, if you want to take these pills: go ahead! I have. I was a skeptic, and assumed that they were all bunk or placebos before I tried them. Nope.

Most of the pills on that FDA list appear on there because their products illicitly contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Obviously, that’s not ideal because the packaging doesn’t state it (since it’s illegal to put sildenafil in over-the-counter products, they can’t advertise the fact that they’re doing so), and taking it in combination with other drugs can be very, very dangerous. Think back to every ED-drug commercial you’ve ever seen on television. What’s the rapidly-mumbled thing right at the end?

“Sildenafil should not be taken by people who take nitrates such as nitroglycerin (glycerin trinitrate), as this may result in a severe and potentially fatal drop in blood pressure.”

So no, it’s not ethically or morally great that these companies are padding their products with a prescription-strength drug they’re not permitted to use, but that is technically different than, ‘they don’t work.’

But that’s kind of besides the point. Let’s say you have a penis. What if that penis isn’t hard on command one hundred percent of the time? Hopefully, that doesn’t sound like a nightmare scenario, because that’s the reality for literally everyone with a penis that I’ve ever met.

A phrase I’ve heard used by Mystiq customers is ‘it doesn’t work,’ in reference to their penises. That’s being pretty hard (eh?) on it — if you’re still urinating properly and regularly, and you are physically capable of some degree of erection, but just can’t get ROCK hard on command 100 times out of 100, that’s a pretty high bar for ‘working.’

The relationship some owners have to their penises: ‘you better work, bitch.’ Also, on an unrelated note, has anyone ever done more with less than Britney? She’s (sort of) an inspiration.

I’d love to tell all the penis-havers out there to fear not and disregard the predatory marketing. Be less inscure! Right. Wouldn’t it be lovely?

But at least be critical. If someone tells you your dick doesn’t work, or your pussy smells weird, don’t just take it on faith. Consider all the factors, perhaps most importantly: ‘Might this person just be an asshole?’

And at the end of the day, if you still feel — as an informed, educated consumer — that you would still like to make use of some Male Sexual Enhancement, shoot me an email: I know where you can get a great deal on some Bigger Longer More Time, More Sperms.

YOU CAN TELL THEY’RE FOR MEN BECAUSE THE PACKAGING COPY IS SHOUTING AT YOU! IT’S EXTREME, RIGHT?

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