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We’ve all heard that sex sells, but how it’s sold is a lesser-known story.
Historically, sex was only sold to the cis hetero man. Condom wrappers in the 1950s used vaguely erotic images of bobbed blonde women, and by the 1970s sex toy packaging was replete with brightly colored line art of naked, placid women. When selling sex to a female consumer finally became a mainstream concern, companies came up against a central and complex issue: if women have traditionally been encouraged to hide their sexual desire, how are they going to be comfortable enough to publicly purchase anything to do with it?