Skyn's Tease of the Day: Exploring Uncensored Pleasures
Playing with notions of censorship, condom brand Skyn worked with Sid Lee Paris to make "Uncensored Pleasures," a series of intimate moments, shot home video-style, where all the genital bits are erased and replaced by—wait for it!—product placement.
We dig the details: The amateur vibe, that landline nobody has anymore, and those moments when people set up the camera and others pose for it, which implies recording consent.
As a millennial who grew up among countless stories of leaked erotic tapes, my feelings about immortalizing anything remotely sexual verge on the conservative. Once something's recorded, it can escape your control.
The climate's different today, with a dating scene dominated by swipe-left apps and businesses like intimate content subscription service OnlyFans. Even teachers and doctors are using it. Such activity may raise eyebrows. But insightful conversations develop about what we expect from folks in terms of maintaining a viable living (and the degree to which society actually appreciates these professions in terms of appropriate remuneration and time investment).
Of course, millennials are not the group growing up in this brave new intimate world. In conversations with Gen Z singles, I've encountered more lax attitudes about recording and sharing intimate content, which seem driven by how exposed we are in every sense. "So much of our data is already out there," one said to me. "My sexy stuff is drowned out by everyone else's. Who cares?"
Sid Lee's also betting that more complex conversations, driven specifically by censorship, will transform intimate content into educational opportunities and diversify what we think of as "normal" and "sexy."
"While intimacy is becoming more openly discussed in all its forms amongst people and in the media, social media censorship remains significant when it comes to pleasure and sexuality," say creative directors Céline & Clément Mornet-Landa. "This isn’t conducive to understanding all facets of sexuality and does not encourage open dialogue. Inspired by pictures on social media, censored with rectangles, we wanted to leverage censorship into an opportunity and turn what might previously have stopped conversations from taking place into something that drives curiosity."
The most salient censorship conversations are centered on Instagram's determination of what constitutes sexual content and what doesn’t. Sexy, borderline exploitative shots of women, for example, aren’t generally considered problematic.
But breastfeeding or anything betraying a female nipple—in a sexual context or not—is. That makes it hard to normalize and educate around breastfeeding, not to mention pregnancy and other nuanced conversations.
While the topic of censorship is larger than this example, it's a good illustration of how intimate censorship in social media intersects with common assumptions about morality and sex education … which is all over the place, depending on where you live, even as access to porn proliferates freely.
The economic exploitation of sexuality isn't sexuality itself. And that's not a judgment about porn. It's a fact, the same way advertising is the economic exploitation of creativity, and not creativity itself. If you can access porn easily, but the places where you get news and a sense of norms—social media—bans content specifically designed to educate you about the nuances of pleasure, what does that leave you thinking about sex?
“Uncensored Pleasure” was directed by Ludovic Gontrand of Hamlet. The film isn't meant to feel pornographic; it's meant to trigger a sensual curiosity, fueled by the censored squares. Those little product shots provide their own little education: Normalizing the use of sex toys, say, or illustrating different kinds of couplings that benefit from lubrication.
It's not work that will change the world, but maybe one or two people will stop thinking of sex toys or lubricants as forms of rejection, and view them instead as facilitating more pleasure, exploration and comfort. That’s worthy, and weirdly revolutionary.
Advertising Agency: Sid Lee Paris
President: Johan Delpuech
Head of Creation : Céline and Clément Mornet Landa
Senior Art Director: Adriana Guix
Head of Production: Laetitia Neves
Account Director: Margaux André
Account Manager: Mai Lan Nguyen
Head of Social Media: Cassandre Géron
Head of Strategy: Bruno Lee
Strategic Planner: Leah Daymon
LifeStyles - Skyn
Global Marketing Strategy Director: Marta Toth
Global Brand and Content Manager: Michele Martinelli
Production: Hamlet Paris
Director: Ludovic Gontrand
Director of Photography: Clement de Hollogne
Producers: Clément Martorell, Ella Guionneau
Post-producer: Thomas Floch
Film Editor:: Jérome Pesnel
Sound Studio: Supersavant
Photography: Felix Dol Maillot
Production Studio: Shot In Mars