With a national day or month for everything, it should come as no surprise that one has been reserved for masturbation. That’s right, in the US, the month of May is also National Masturbation Month. To celebrate this titillating holiday, K-Y has launched a new outdoor campaign in New York City’s East Village, as well as Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, to promote female pleasure.
The project features a series of billboards with witty sex-positive slogans geared towards anyone who identifies as a woman, such as ‘Let’s give ourselves a hand’ and ‘Hand up if you masturbate’. Alongside this there’s also a poster that houses a manifesto dedicated to those who ‘paddle the pink canoe’.
Created by global agency Elephant, the idea is to remove the stigma attached to female pleasure and champion the female gaze. The type-based works are funny, cheeky and, in their millennial pink colour palette, stand out against the city’s buildings.
“For this campaign to truly be impactful, we couldn’t simply nod to a calendar event; we needed to carve a space for all who identify as women,” says Nina Mourin, associate creative director at Elephant New York. “That’s why we say ‘cheers’ more than once in the manifesto, and feature a long line-up of euphemisms. The exaggeration is on purpose: if we’re going to grab the spotlight, you better believe we’re going to take our sweet time basking in it.”
The project was also a chance for K-Y to engage its audience and further establish itself as a ‘sexual wellness icon’. “We believe that masturbation deserves to be celebrated by everyone, especially women, and through this campaign, we hope to normalise any stigmas around masturbation and sex,” says Aliza Leferink, marketing director, Intimate Wellness USA, at RB (which owns K-Y). “It’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s good for you and your relationship.”
The ads will run the entire month of May and will also be accompanied by a social campaign that will amplify female masturbation and encourage intimacy and wellness.