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Coco de Mer and VMLY&R COMMERCE UK celebrate the power of female pleasure and sensual self-expression

The #RevealYourPleasure campaign aims to tackle censorship and eliminate taboos around women’s sexual wellness and pleasure

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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Throughout history, the idea of women’s pleasure has been a taboo. Women have been forced to repress their desires, their pleasure censored and treated as shameful. Women’s sexuality can be used to sell everything, with the exception of their own pleasure. 

Luxury lingerie and erotica brand, Coco de Mer, is working hard to eliminate this censorship and shine a light on the power of female sensuality and sensual self-expression. In its new ‘Reveal Your Pleasure’ creative commerce campaign led by VMLY&R COMMERCE UK, the brand is inviting women to share all things that bring them pleasure via the #RevealYourPleasure.  

The social movement is designed to champion female pleasure and encourage an openness and honesty around the topic. Coco de Mer has long championed the narrative around female pleasure but it’s a story that is difficult to tell as conversations remain blocked by social media platforms. 

The expression of female pleasure is often criticized or scandalized. It is little discussed nor truly understood. Female pleasure and sexuality should be celebrated, not censored

Lucy Litwack, owner and CEO, Coco de Mer

The #RevealYourPleasure campaign is driven by a social commerce and ecommerce strategy: anchored in AR, influencer marketing, DM, in-store and PR. The movement taps into the power of Instagram, inviting all women to get involved via #RevealYourPleasure. While a #RevealYourPleasure Gallery will feature on the Coco de Mer platform for momentum.

To support the campaign the brand has called upon sex-positive female influencers, gifting them each a copy of The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The book, written in 1889, tells a story of pleasure from a female perspective and was seen as a landmark piece of early feminism, condemned for being too explicit so removed from library shelves. Fast-forward to 2021 and women are still being silenced when it comes to sexual pleasure.

Inside each book is an encrypted bookmark. By holding a mobile phone over the bookmark, words from The Awakening are revealed using BlippAR augmented reality technology, providing a gateway to tell the Coco de Mer brand story.

Social Media Censorship

Restrictive social media policies and censorship when it comes to female sexual pleasure can make it hard for brands such as Coco de Mer to thrive on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. While many other startups and small businesses rely on social media for growth in the first few years, sexual wellness brands have to look elsewhere to reach their audiences. 

Social media censorship of female pleasure is far greater than that of men’s. When it comes to advertising, rules such as “you cannot advertise sex products for pleasure only health”, make it difficult to market any adult products outside of condoms.

With faceless algorithms in charge of gatekeeping ads and monitoring for rule breaks, often female products are penalised but other male-focused products like viagra manage to get approved. Regulations on ads such as this along with greater censorship of images of female bodies on organic posts makes it near impossible for female wellness brands to use social media effectively. 

“We wanted to help Coco de Mer reclaim this narrative by shining a light on how pleasure has been censored for centuries and is still censored today.” explained Explains Debbie Ellison, Global Chief Digital Officer, VMLY&R Commerce, “Our aim is to build an organic social movement which bypasses censorship to celebrate female pleasure in all of its forms.”

Tackling Taboos

Beyond social media, societal censorship of female pleasure is deeply embedded in art, culture, even in education and pornography where the female perspective on pleasure continues to take a back seat. 

“The expression of female pleasure is often criticized or scandalized. It is little discussed nor truly understood.” explained Lucy Litwack, owner and CEO, Coco de Mer,  “we are reclaiming the narrative with our new campaign. Female pleasure and sexuality should be celebrated, not censored.” 

Research from Coco de Mer shows the idea that men think about sex more than women is a myth with 80% of female respondents saying they think about sex up to five times each day. With female empowerment high on the agenda across other areas, now is the time to advocate for further openness around female pleasure and allow women to feel unashamed. 

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Women wellness