Animal Blawg is proud to present Bridget Crawford, our first guest blogger. Professor Crawford blogs regularly at Feminist Law Professors.
The design firm Süperfad has created an unusual ad for Durex condoms, a brand of SSL International plc. The video – one of the “virals” on You Tube – shows pastel-colored condom balloon animals simulating all sorts of human-like sexual activity. The still shot (above) hardly hints at the video’s content. The video link is here. The video is not one to watch at work. Don’t watch it if you’re easily embarrassed. And don’t watch if you are offended at the possibility of others finding humor in balloons made to look like animals made to act like copulating humans.
I saw the video after a friend posted it to his Facebook page, with the comment that it was one of the “most hilarious” condom ads he had ever seen. I was at home – alone – when I blithely clicked “play” to watch the video. I immediately started having nervous laughter. The sounds, the images, the “Get It On” slogan – all funny, right? I’m not so sure now. At one level, my nervous laughter expressed, “I can’t believe someone was brash enough to make an ad like this.” At another level, my nervous laughter expressed embarrassment, as in, “I can’t believe I’m watching this.” And at still another level, my nervous laughter expressed some discomfort with what I’ll call anthropornography.
If anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics, behaviors and feelings to inanimate objects or animals, and pornography is graphic sexual imagery intended to arouse (thanks, American Heritage), then anthropornography is the depiction of inanimate objects or animals engaged in human-like sexual behavior, where the primary purpose of the depiction is the viewer’s arousal.
Why do people find the ad hilarious? I’m not sure. I’m having nervous laughter right now.