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New York subway lifts ban on sex toy ads blocked for ‘offensive sexual material’

What happened?

New York City temporarily banned subway ads for a line of female sex toys, prompting the typical outrage over censorship and a supposed double standard since the MTA didn’t ban ads for drugs that some men need.

How did the city respond?

Unbound, a company that sells sex toys and accessories geared toward women, protested the ban with an Instagram post that put one of the ads blocked for “offensive sexual material” next to an ad about erectile dysfunction. The subway on Thursday reversed the decision to ban the ads.

WE NEED UR HELP! Last week, Unbound submitted our first ad campaign to the #MTA. And we were rejected. After emails and a phone call, the MTA confirmed that our ads were denied for being “offensive sexual material.”** We wanted to convey the idea that the pursuit of sexual wellbeing is an act of self-love and to showcase the belief that womxn’s sexuality IS something worthy of more public visibility. And we did this by commissioning the artwork you see above from @lauracallaghanillustration, @cosmicsomething, @kliuwong, @robineisenberg + @yokopium. Since @mtanyctransit won’t take our ads, we’re asking for UR help. If u believe that this art and womxn’s sexuality deserve equal access to public forums, please consider screenshotting & sharing the artwork above with the hashtag: #WTFMTA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ **Meanwhile, an erectile disfunction company has bought out #GrandCentralStation starting today. We saw the ~rise~ of these ads on the subway as a hopeful sign that the committee that regulates ad space was loosening their standards a bit. If there are now countless ads for erectile disfunction, why can’t we create ads that depict a positive sexual wellbeing without it being deemed offensive?

A post shared by Unbound (@unboundbabes) on

Will the ads be allowed as is?

The MTA told the New York Post that its advertising partner will “work with the company toward a resolution that is agreeable to all parties and allows their ads on the system.” That doesn’t sound like a carte blanche invitation, so it’s possible that Unbound will have to rework their ads to get final approval.

“The Morning Blaze” take:  

The idea that blocking the sex toys ad and allowing an erectile dysfunction ad showed a sexist double standard may have worked to spark a backlash, but the two ads side by side really aren’t comparable when it comes to content that your kids will ask awkward questions about in public. Sara and Kris were just glad they don’t live in New York.

To see more from Doc, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” weekdays 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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