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no cheap viagra, thanks: why i don’t want your “junk” mail

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Almost every day, junk mail makes its way into my email account, and almost all of it is related to men’s junk. From requests from ‘Adriana <3’ for live sex chats to offers of ‘Free lifetime sex pass (get pussy tonight)’, there is little spam that doesn’t revolve around the male libido. I’m sick of it. Yes, I do have a junk filter and yes, I delete these emails, but being bombarded by message after message of carefully calculated scams makes me long for an asexual promise of riches from self-proclaimed Nigerian bankers.

I am sex positive, but these messages are pretty damn negative as there is a greater trend to these emails. My disgust for these messages is twofold: they reinforce the objectification of women by attempting to cash in on the insecurities of heterosexual men who feel they need to be a complete stud, and they stress constructions of gender that benefit very few people, and by that I mean those who fit a stereotypical hegemonic masculinity – you know, mainly European, supposedly sexually potent and often earning a salary that makes the working class lustful. As a communications student, it would be remiss of me, knowing what I know, not to assert that the ideology behind these messages is transmitted so effectively that everyone believes it and buys into said offers (and accordingly has their bank account siphoned or their personal details hacked.) But with a cultural background that deems the male libido as all-encompassing, thereby valuing men for their promiscuity and routinely devaluing women for theirs, I feel I can safely say many people merely delete without thinking about the implications of seeing such scum mail (not a typo) on a regular basis.

The junk mail seems symptomatic of a larger bias in many products made by the sex industry. Walk into a sex shop and the word “slut” litters the shelves, emblazoned on products targeting the straight male. For example, for shits and giggles, I thought I’d look at blowup dolls with my friends on one visit. Browsing through the range, I came across a so-called plus-sized doll and the ever so delightful product description was akin to ‘this fat slut is just gagging for your cock’. Of course, a blow up doll is an inanimate object devoid of desire, but why can’t the description be ‘this lovely larger woman knows what she wants and she has a feeling you might be able to help her out’?

These emails, and the marketing strategy used to sell the aforementioned products, stress the superiority of the male libido and the need to be longed for. In particular, it is perplexing that sex toy manufacturers reduce the status of women so readily for one segment of the market, and then indulge another for their pleasure with an array of PVC phalluses. Women’s right to a healthy sex life isn’t something I’ve seen readily circulated in spam. One could possibly link the messages containing malware of ‘CANAD1AN PHARMACY’ offering Viagra to the need to please a female partner (or male). There’s nothing specifically targeting me, the woman, who has desires and an income (just like men?) Hence, I have a propensity to highlight, mark as read and delete as opposed to fork out cash or be hacked

With such ideas of relatively passive female and overactive male sexuality trickling down from comparatively wealthy sex toy manufacturers to the online world, it is no wonder the emails I (and I am sure you, too) encounter profess a cure to “get pussy”. Copying the model of successful business lacks entrepreneurship and continues to harm women as sexual agents and men who do not conform to the role of “stud”. I am no business consultant and certainly no professor of what the rest of my sex wants, but perhaps these email scammers would get a better trade by diversifying a bit and honing in on what ladies might like.

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