You read the title, hopefully that means you’re prepared for the blog.

We’ve all heard that sex sells, it’s why ads that even seem unnecessarily sexy, are sold with sex and sex icons. Hadley Freeman write in an article in the Guardian: “clothes are sex. Even if you don’t have orgasms over stilettos, à la Carrie Bradshaw, then it’s likely that at some point your clothing choices have been dictated by the possibility of having sex.” Aka: Sex sells.

But the question is when we go a little too far when it comes to selling. When the advertisements and the clothes seem a little less carrie Bradshaw and a little more downtown Bogansville. Where is that line drawn?


Take this image for example, American Apparel ads are classically known to sell sex in their campaigns. The erogenous positioning of the individual images insinuate a personal level, some more that the individual is achieving. Though only through insinuation.

54bc1529e3b19_-_hbz-sexy-ads-gucci-xlThen there’s an image from Gucci’s campaign, which is LITERALLY selling sex, screaming “YOU WILL BE SEXUALLY ACTIVE IF YOU WEAR OUR CLOTHES.” Is it any less or more cultured because it is more literal? I would argue no. Not in this particular instance. There’s always the chance that, yes it’s a very well known designer brand,and it’s already recognised as a ‘classy’ brand. Which raises a new issue. Does it depend on the reputation of the brand to sell sex successfully?


This popularly sold shirt from is a whole different sort of sex. It’s both literal, but an interesting new element included is a sense of independence. That personal satisfaction can be sexy as well. An empowering sort of sexual gratification.

The line? Perhaps it’s personal, perhaps it depends on the reputation of the brand or the expectation of which particular subculture it sells to. In the end, it all depends on your own sensibilities.


By Charlotte

Sex Can Wait Tank

Jordan, Jeremy (2016) Are you selling clothes or sex positions?

Freeman, Hadley (2011) The Reason there’s so much sex in fashion adverts.