art direction/edit: jenna josepher
photography: jesse untracht-oakner
produced by: Alex papadopoulos
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SFW began with a simple goal: to create social content to promote self-love products. The products are sex toys, and as such, the objects presented a particular challenge, albeit a fun one. Sex-toy imagery is often suggestive, triggering, and discriminatory, not to mention, advertisements for sexual products can easily make certain viewers feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, judged or excluded. Even though this is how the sex-toy industry has marketed itself in the past, we thought it was time for a change. We not only felt a real responsibility but saw an exciting opportunity to create a new breed of visual imagery within the sex-toy marketplace that was progressive, inclusive, positive, socially conscious and approachable–to all sorts of human beings.
Circumnavigating censorship rules on social media platforms is touchy, and sex-toy marketing tends to quickly alienate a wider audience. We wanted to work within the boundaries of social media censorship, with an aim to create a visual language that people would find both aesthetically pleasurable and entertaining, regardless of personal identity. And so, we decided to focus on a fundamental, unifying, SFW, and universally accessible idea: movement.
Using geometric color-blocked compositions to perform the repetitive thrust and arching cadence of sexual movement, we animated systems of objects surrounded by Memphis-style environments, each miniature landscape featuring a toy as it’s star. Like clockwork, a vibrator causes a balloon to climax into confetti. It resets. Antennae-like, a tenuous butt plug revolves between two celestial, gyrating orbs. A bobbing slinky veils a tapering scalloped totem. A yellow stimulator—attached to a Rube Goldberg-style pulley—reaches its apex, causing, on the counter-side, a little yellow bell to ring, ding ding ding ding.
Our hope, was not only to create a set of imagery that might help to dilute the stigma of sex toys but also, to create a set of visuals where toys were able to do what they were designed to do: play.
©ALEX PAPADOPOULOS, jenna josepher + Jesse untracht-oakner, 2017