Groin Gazing: Advertising or Objectifying Men?



As women, we have a daily battle to be treated with respect.

If we* wear short skirts or low cut tops, we endure wolf whistles and inappropriate comments. If we change the way we dress, our motives are questioned. The way we dress or don’t dress is often linked to our sexuality, regardless of whether we want it to be that way or not.

Then we have the media and magazines who seemingly objectify women, using as woman’s body as a mean’s to sell a product, often times it’s completely irrelevant to the product being advertised. Some people take serious issue with the fact that there are “lads mags” that feature scantily clad women as a form of entertainment for men.

So keeping in mind that women are subjected to this kind of bullshit regularly, is it then ok to turn the tables?

It’s recently been brought to the attention of KiKi & Tea of the phenomenon of Groin Gazing. Groin Gazing is apparently a new trend in men’s fashion, whereby photos of men are taken while fully clothed, while they are also sporting an erection.

Yep. I didn’t make that up. Website Vice has used this as a way of advertising various articles of clothing for men.

Judging by the comments on the article, and the Facebook page of a well known website, most women appear to be ok with this. Comments like “Good to know what I get before I unwrap my present” and “Hmmmmm no complaints here” litter the page.

Personally I don’t have a problem with either. I don’t have a problem with mens mags, and I don’t have a problem with “Groin Gazing” (although not all of the pics look to be real, and look more like a well placed sock). Why? Because I love the human body, in any form. I find it fascinating, plus the fact that it’s all a bit of a turn on for me. Ridiculous advertising that makes zero sense is a completely different ball game, and I’m not even going to go there.

The issue I take here, is that for most of the women who don’t have a problem with “Groin Gazing”, they have a massive problem with women being treated as objects. Explain to me how this is any different?

What do you think? Is it OK to objectify men if we say it’s not OK to objectify women?

*By “we” I definitely don’t mean me.

  • Tamsin Howse

    This really bothered me when I saw t. Not because of what it is, I couldn’t care less and in my opinion people should be able to be viewed as sexual objects fi they want to be (key sentence right there). What bothered me is the same voices who would be crying out in protest at Miley Cyrus getting her kit off saying it’s demeaning are making comments like “ooh, yes please” on this!

    If we ask for respect and expect to get it, we also need to give it.

  • Melissa Savage

    It doesn’t turn me on, because personally I like a face and a smile attached to an attractive man, but I think it’s interesting to objectify men because when people do it, it makes other people, especially men, so uncomfortable. Like, super uncomfortable in a way they aren’t when women are objectified, because that’s so normal. So in that way, men learn a more visceral lesson about the ickiness of being objectified, and hopefully stop perpetuating it on us.

  • kr

    Objectification is the biggest advantage women have in the world. They objectify themselved, when hooked up to machines supposedly straight women where more sexualy attracted to other women than men. If men where more sexualy attracted other men, no women would get sex ever again, but male sexuality is completely different to female sexuality. Let me put it in a vulgar way but it will get my point across and there is more truth to it than anybody would like to admit, if there wasn’t a lukewarm hole between a womens legs for a man to put his dick in men would have very little to do with any women.

  • Smaggle

    I’ve thought about this before with the Libra (I think it’s Libra?) ad where the girls get up for ‘boot camp’ but they really just get coffee and sit in the car while watching hot guys do boot camp. Every time I see that ad I think about how it would have been taken off the air in a second if it was guys sitting in the car watching girls doing to boot camp. I’m in a similar boat as you in that I think the human form is extraordinary and I generally just like checking people out but there does seem to be a double standard in advertising when it comes to objectification. Having said that, most objectification of men, in advertising is a parody of the objectification of women. Like the Moconna ad with the hot guy from ‘Kenya’ and it turns out he’s an effeminate dude with a Cockney accent. Legitimate objectification of women is allowed as long as it’s not funny and objectification of men is allowed but only if it’s tongue in cheek.

    • Tamsin Howse

      Yes!! I remember thinking that about that ad too.

  • SarahAJofwinterfell

    I don’t believe in objectification. When humans en masse start becoming attracted to inanimate objects, then objectification theory could have some gravitas, but because being attracted to another human being is a completely viable human instinct, shaming it is an oddity.

    Many men like big breasts, many women like wash board abs, so marketers align these pleasures with products, because we are sexual beings. I am suspicious of people who slut shame and sex shame advertisements for appealing to something we all, bar none, feel.