copyright 2005 by Pat Powers
So I'm sitting there watching TV, and I see this commercial. And it has a sexy French maid flirting with her master as she serves him dinner. And I'm liking that.
But I'm also kinda puzzled, because it's really old material. I mean, randy master of the house and sexy French maid -- I know it's a popular sex fantasy, but in mainstream media it has a musty odor about it. Reminds one of all those old New Yorker and Playboy cartoons with wealthy old roues pursuing sexy young women in abbreviated maid's outfits. (Maybe they're still running them, I don't know, I don't read the mags any more. I never read much of the New Yorker, I mean, who that doesn't live in New York would want to? Hell, who that lives in New York would want to?)
Also, the sexy maid, while very sexy, is closer to the master's age than such maids typically are portrayed as being (i.e., closer to his daughter's age.)
Anyway, the maid sits in the guys lap and spoon feeds him (it's a commercial for Dannon Yogurt). The master has his hands around the maid's slinky hips and it looks like things are about to get steamy when a couple of cute young kids bust into the room and ask Mom and Dad what the hell they think they're up to (OK, words to that effect).
That's when I REALLY liked this commercial. Suddenly the musty old cliche had been updated to a modern shout-out to all the adult couples who are maintaining a facade of respectability for their kids and neighbors while kinking out in private with some kinky role-playing. 'Cause that's what Mom and Dad were doing.
Granted, the French maid fantasy is about as mild a role-playing fantasy as you can come up with and still have any kind of kink element in the fantasy. But it's still there, with the enormous power imbalance between the sexy maid and the horny master being broached by their shared interest in sex.
The subtle message of this commercial is that it's OK for Mom and Dad to get frisky and even a little kinky during THEIR quality time. Mom & Dad are portrayed as the cool users of the company product, not weirdos. It's a more powerful indicator of acceptance of kink in the mainstream than a thousand lame DiD scenes in crime melodramas. (Oh, and there's also a message about Dannon Yogurt in there, too. Prolly something to the effect that it's good.)
Others have gotten the message (the one about kink, I don't know about the yogurt message). Donald Wildmon's site has an editorial calling on his pathetic legions to write nasty letters to and boycott Dannon Yogurt because its commercial is just TOO sexy (no mention of kink). Even though it's a married couple, they don't like sexy -- talk about fascists.
But not all cultural conservatives think this way.
At tthe time the commercial was being broadcase, the discussion board of smartmarriages.com, a group that promotes marriage (and with strong religious ties) contains posts lauding the Dannon commercial as an example of a married couple having a happy, fun sex life. And on the other side of the cultural spectrum, an article on the Til Eulenspiegel Society newsletter site mentioned the ad as an indicator of the mainstream acceptance of kink.
Here's hoping the good folks at Dannon recognize Wildmon for the would-be mullah that he is, and that normal folks like this commercial. We like it, too.