No sex please, we’re British (millennials)
I have recently started listening to podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno (affectionately dubbed MDWP by my mates) and it has brightened up my commute no end.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, 20-something Jamie Morton discovers his dad (writing under the pseudonym Rocky Flintstone) has written a Porno. Yes, a porno. Called Belinda Blinked. He reads a chapter a week to best mates Alice and James who critique the erotic literature.
It’s hilarious. The perfect antidote for banishing the January blues. With lines like “her tits hung freely like Pomegranates” how can you not laugh out loud?
On one level, it’s pure entertainment, but does this alone explain its huge popularity? It’s currently the second most downloaded podcast in the UK… which reminds me of the 50 Shades of Grey storm that lashed through the UK in 2011, which incidentally is the best selling book of all time!
We know sex sells. But what is it about MDWP that is so especially compelling? It strikes me that it is the concept itself that addresses a very British human and cultural truth.
Sex is embarrassing.
Especially when you think about your parents doing it, thinking about it, and God forbid, writing about it! As Jamie (aka son of author Rocky Flintstone) put it: “sex is not something you ever want to read from the guy who taught you how to ride a bike”
As Brits… and especially Millennial Brits, it seems we are more uncomfortable than ever with the idea of sex.
As we preached with Cindy Gallop at Cannes Lions last year, despite being labeled the ‘hook up’ generation, Millennials are having three times less sex than their parents. They are expected to have less sexual partners over their lifetime, and are more likely to be virgins into their twenties than the Baby Boomer generation.
There are lots of reasons for this. Not least the fact that a quarter of Millennials still live with their parents. And surely nothing puts a blocker on sexual activity like sneaking under your boyfriend’s Spiderman themed-duvet for a quick bit of action while his parents are downstairs watching Countryfile.
But the biggest reason seems to be the sexual pressure this generation are experiencing. Watching more porn than any other generation and spending more time on social media means they are more exposed to unattainable, stylised versions of sexual success.
And MDWP tackles this tension. It reduces sex to the hilariously unsexy, cripplingly awkward, ridiculous act it is.
It makes sex less intimidating.
Brands and advertising can learn a lot from this. Most car, food, clothing and perfume brands I can think of create such allure, power and mystique around sex that they fail to de-mystify it for people. They are not relieving the pressure.
Old Spice’s “I’m the man your man could smell like” campaign is a great example of a brand bucking the trend. It takes the michael out of the idea that sex sells. If brands want to ‘arouse’ interest in their audience they must understand the funny, bizarre and goofy nature of sex in 2017.
Image source: Evening Standard
- Article by Zoe Fenn