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The Commodification of Sexual Health

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If you take a look around, you can probably see that the sexual health of women has been commodified within the past 10 years. We're confronted with images of women whispering and giggling during the commercial break of our favorite shows - that's right girls, start taking Yaz and you won't be a bitch during your period anymore!

There is obviously a difference between promoting women's health and selling it as if it were a commodity. To tell the difference, one simply needs to examine the "product." If it's a commercial for a pregnancy test, then I'd say that's in the realm of health promotion. But if it's selling procedures like Botox and laser therapy, which claim to make women "healthy" while also increasing their sexual viability, that's more of a gray area.

A few weeks ago I "won" a $300 gift certificate in a drawing at my gym. My prize was to be redeemed at a local laser office, where it was presumed that I either needed to tighten up my skin, lose weight or otherwise alter my body. At my free consultation, it was explained to me that I could solve all of my bodily "problems" simply by paying $800 - what a bargain, considering that without the gift certificate it would have been $1100!

Needless to say, I hightailed it out of there like a bat out of hell. On my way out, I was shocked to see a young woman coming out after a treatment. Apparently this office has been successful at convincing other women what I am so completely horrified by.

My point is not that women are stupid or gullible. My point is that both sexual health and sexual desire have become commodities to be bought and sold in our society. This doesn't seem to be in the best interest of the women involved, because as soon as something is given to the world of promotion and advertising, it's also ushered into the universe of profit and capital. And we all know what happens once that is involved.

I urge you to form your own concept of sexual health apart from market, industry and advertising. Physical well-being requires a comprehensive approach, not a bag full of pills, creams and products.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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