Death of Eroticism on Channel 3

I am pretty sure that the brainiacs who designed all those Cialis ads on TV must hate all couples over the age of 50 and are trying to make sure they will never, ever want to have sex again. Anyway, that’s the only explanation I can think of for their miserable ads that make me want to scream and heave large objects at our TV set every time they come on.

You know what I’m talking about. Here I am, innocently watching some designated old-people show like the evening news or Sixty Minutes that has an audience with a median age of 103. My defenses are low, since I’m mired in existential gloom about endless wars, global warming, Tea Party troglodytes, the very sight of Newt Gingrich and his platinum haired, born again hussy, the floods, the fires, the drought, the gout, the pain.

(Why watch the evening news if it’s so depressing? someone like, say, my husband will ask. Because, I say, I do not shirk from my duty. I want to be well-informed about how bad everything is.)

Wait a minute! Where was I? Oh, yes, my defenses were down, what with all that trauma playing out in HD, so I’m nailed to the couch when I hear that awful, goupy music that’s the aural equivalent of drowning in a vat of honey. Oh, no, not Cialis!

Oh, yes, yes, Cialis. An attractive couple with a little gray around their temples, a little subtle wrinkling close to their eyes, is vibrantly raking leaves together. Or taking out the trash together. And, then … she touches him or he touches her and their eyes meet (the way one’s eyes always meet when one is taking out the garbage or when one is cross-eyed) and it’s time for their special moment. The music swells and so does something else, since he has been popping Cialis and he is ready any time, but particularly when he is taking out the trash.

By this time, I am so depressed I have to go to the freezer and pull out a pint of dulce de leche so I can contemplate the utter humiliation of the Baby Boomer generation, which practically invented sex and did it in the road and in the car and at Woodstock, aided and abetted by loud rock music and handfuls of illegal drugs. But now the drugs are prescription and the music is sappy and erotic as a mouthwash jingle and the backdrop is household chores (doing laundry, in one memorably lascivious episode).

I watch the news, I read the increasing number of obits for my generation, I hear about our artificial hips, our tooth implants, our arthritis, our rickety bones, our Social Security payments, our dwindling energy. I watch, I listen, I take it all in. I know we’re going down, but is our formerly overheated and oversexed generation now reduced to being encouraged to hump over some clean laundry while drippy music tinkles in the background like a leaky bladder?

The news won’t make me turn off the TV; the Baby Boomer sex commercials will.

(Copyright 2011 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read one of my favorite posts about the vulva rock

25 comments… add one
  • I’m not a Boomer, but I DO actually thank you for implanting an awesome Beatles tune in my head for the day. I know no one will be watching us…

  • Ray Collins

    The ads you mention were a big part of why we gave away our TV several years ago.

  • Nancy Andreasen

    My husband and I will be 80 this year. You speak my mind, as we Quakers say!

  • Louisa

    I have yet to understand how they think that sitting in separate tubs looking out over the back 40 will ever lead to anything. I can only picture dripping bodies trying to climb from one tub into another…

  • Caveat Emptor

    Someone beat me to it – a comment on the silliness of the people in separate bathtubs. Is that supposed to be romantic? How stupid do they think we are? (Don’t answer that…)

  • TexasDeb

    Totally agree with you – would leave a longer comment but must rush to turn off my own TV to the strains of “gotta go, gotta go, gotta GO right now…”

  • Mark

    I agree with Louisa – the part of this that leaves me wondering is, what about separate bathtubs is erotic? And bathtubs on a lawn leave me wondering about plumbing other than his. How? Why?

  • Also … frankly, once invented and initially announced, do they really NEED to advertise as much as they do? I’m pretty sure everyone knows the drugs exist by now.

  • Shouldn’t this be a drug prescribed by a Dr for a person with a medical problem? Not something everyone is encouraged to go out and get?

  • I won’t rest until I find that cliff with side-by-side bathtubs so Tom and I can simultaneously soak and hold hands. Now that’s hot!

  • Yes, I’m shocked by how young the couples look. I mean, what’s wrong with these people? When my husband and I were their ages, we were having sex several times a week, with no problem. I was also going to comment on the bathtubs, that commercial really irks me, but what upsets me the most is all the advertising dollars going into a campaign against E.D. when a much more important type of E. D. goes unmentioned in the media. Any clue what I’m talking about? E. D. also stands for endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals which disrupt the hormone system in the developing fetus. I’m sure you can name one: BPA. There are lots more. This is a major problem that is going unnoticed in the USA. Gylphosate, ie. Round-up, is another. The government of Denmark is considering a ban after they noticed that sperm counts are down 50% in the last 40 years. Here’s something important, that the Cialis folks could perhaps sponsor? Do something worthwhile with their advertising dollars like running a commercial about Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, now before Congress, then mention, “This public service announcement was brought to you by Cialis …”

  • I am always so much happier when I forget to turn on the TV! And YES – what is sexy about the two separate tubs anyway?!

  • Ruth you are so funny. Will your next post be about getting it on with the hub who thinks you should NOT watch TV? That trash taking out moment might just light your candle… (Thankfully I don’t have a TV so I haven’t seen any of these commercials. Oy!)

  • This is hilarious! But are we really all trying not to have sex any more? If you want it and can’t do it, why not? But the commercials are idiotic. Which one of the partners do you think it is aimed at? No male would care about sitting in tubs together. We (women) are the target for the male’s medication. That is weird.

  • I think that’s why there is so much Cialis email spam. The commercials are so ineffective that they will resort to anything to get attention. The special look, by the way, always irritates me, too, and I’m not even in the age bracket.

  • This is why the DVR was invented. You can watch all the bad TV you want, but the commercials can zip right by. Now THAT’s a turn-on!

  • They send me over the edge. Indeed. That and the long list of side effects in the disclaimer…

  • I think when that gray-at-the temples couple are hauling leaves to the curb, they should look up and spy a rusty VW van passing by with peace signs spray-painted on its sides and a Janis Joplin tune slappin’ time from its radio. THEN the couple’s eyes meet and a wry smile spreads across their lips. Freeze frame. BOOM! segue to crawling screen text, “Celebrate the memories… CIALIS”. Well, Madison Avenue, it beats the hell out of twin bathtubs.

  • Sheryl

    You are so funny, Ruth. Those commercials – I mute them. Or turn away – or turn off the tV altogether. They make us baby boomers look so dumb and ridiculous, don’t they? Oh, yes, laundry…an absolute aphrodisiac.

  • I’m with Casey, I don’t even bother with commercials anymore–with the DVR I just zip right through them.

  • Agree agree agree. And yeah, I suppose if we ever get ’em in the same bathtub, they’ll be cleaning the stupid thing. The bathtub, that is.

  • Hilarious as ever, Ruth. Haven’t seen the ads, but now I know what to avoid. I like dulche de leche too. Is that a Baby Boomer red flag?

  • Tricia

    I am loving this post. I am not over the age of 50…yet. I am close, but I cannot stand those commercials. It is like watching my parents. Can I say, Ewww ! It is telling the rest of us close to 50, YOU’RE NEXT! While everyone is watching the evening news, I am happily watching Nat Berkus .

  • Carol

    Thanks. This is HILARIOUS!!! I laughed and chortled way down deep in my belly, while reminiscing about all the places I’ve done it (in my Boomer youth)….road, lake, ocean, penisula, golf course (municipal and country club), islands, continental land masses, airplanes (not, but close), manifold vehicles, manifolds….Oh, my, Memory Lane just winds on and on, doesn’t it?
    Those twin tubs always remind me of Lucy’s and Ricky’s beds. How did Little Ricky ever get conceived?

  • Deborah Lee

    Ruth, you always crack me up. What gets to me is the email marketing. Those guys are way off target. I get the ones for penis enlargement, and my husband gets the ones for breast enlargement. Get it together folks.

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