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Culture

What a Ride: Last Stop on Dame’s MTA Lawsuit

| 11/15/2021

blue hand pointing down Illustration by Sophi Gullbrants

It is with great pride that we share that we’ve finalized our settlement with The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”), making Dame the first female-founded pleasure product brand approved to advertise city-wide through the MTA. Our “Get In Touch With Yourself” campaign is a huge milestone for us, not just because it marks the end of the lawsuit, but because of what it means for the perception of pleasure, specifically women’s sexual pleasure, as part of the wellness conversation.

In June 2019, we filed a legal complaint alleging that the MTA’s rejection of our advertisements for sex toys was unconstitutional, including that the MTA had previously approved ads for dating services with suggestive images, the Museum of Sex, and men’s-focused sexual health products—specifically, products related to erectile dysfunction.

Sexual pleasure is a critical part of wellbeing. Denying Dame advertising space stifles our ability to articulate the value we bring; to innovate and develop products for female sexual pleasure, and enforces sexual shame as a societal norm.

“Sexual pleasure is a critical part of wellbeing. Denying Dame advertising space stifles our ability to articulate the value we bring; to innovate and develop products for female sexual pleasure, and enforces sexual shame as a societal norm.” said Alexandra Fine, CEO of Dame. “The MTA was disproportionately applying their anti sexually-oriented business clause to women’s pleasure advertisements, which is unconstitutional. They allowed erectile dysfunction advertisements to run while denying us, making them a social and economic gatekeeper on who is entitled to pleasure. We’ve had to fight for our right to advertise and we believe this is a step forward in closing the pleasure gap.”

Pleasure equality matters—we believe that by getting in touch with yourself and learning more about your own pleasure, you are opening yourself up to enhanced wellness. We want people to feel good about feeling good, and realize that there’s a possibility that everyone can feel even better. Sexual function is a core component of wellness for any human body, not just people with penises. 

Our “Get in Touch With Yourself” campaign invites you to consider the role of pleasure in your own life and how sexual experiences are healthy. We asked our community, ‘What does pleasure look like? What does it feel like?’ Through abstract graphics, the ads showcase pleasure destinations to form a transformative escape. So the MTA is letting us run ads! Finally! Here’s an early morning shot of our ads live on the subway: 

 

 

But there’s still more work to be done when it comes to destigmatizing sexual pleasure. It is our hope that “Get in Touch With Yourself” marks the beginning of a broader conversation about pleasure as a vital part of wellbeing, not just the end of a lawsuit. Health is functioning; wellness is getting more out of the experience of being alive. In that way, pleasure is everything.

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