A new ad for Agent Provocateur lingerie is garnering lots of page views, but maybe not for the reasons the company intended. In it, a beautiful woman (Mylene Jampanoï) models for an artist who just can’t keep his paws off her. First he adjusts her hair, caressing her face ever so slightly. Then, oops, hey, he touched her boob. Then her other boob. And now her dress is off, and they are totally going to do it!
Throughout it all, the model sits passively, signaling only to the camera (via sexy glances) that she’s enjoying what’s going on. As far as the artist knows, she’s frozen into the sort of defensive, checked out mode that many victims of sexual assault describe going into. Hot.
Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe the model and the artist in the video have been dating for a really long time and this is how they like to get it on. Who knows? Personally, it just reminds me of when I used to model for artists and had to constantly evaluate whether they were touching me for professional reasons or prurient ones. Do you have any idea how nerve wracking that is? The good ones let you know when they are going to adjust something on you, because they know they are not supposed to touch you, and also that you’re probably already on high alert for potentially creepy behavior. The bad ones…don’t.
Luckily, this only ever happened to me once (besides the really well-known time), and it went down pretty much exactly like this, except the Agent Provocateur version was only playing in his head. My thoughts were more along the lines of “fight or flight,” and after a few uncomfortable minutes of deliberation, I excused myself from the situation, collected my money, and drove home as fast as I could. (I was learning!) It never happened to me again, but I ultimately decided that the possibility was way too stressful to think about and quit modeling for random dudes off the internet. But maybe she wanted it! He didn’t know until he tried! Dude. If the model you hired off Craigslist (or in this video’s case, Ye Olde Backpage) wants to have sex with you, she will tell you. Otherwise, you should definitely assume she doesn’t. Even if you look like the guy in the commercial. (Chances are, you don’t.)
It’s even more disturbing to me that the ad bills itself as “a softer, more romantic type of erotica. A feminine sensuality rather than unabashed sexuality,” because I do not find passivity sexy at all. And who says passivity is inherently more feminine than having sexual agency? If that’s your kink, then go for it, but like any kink, it needs to be explored with full communication and consent, and that’s not the vibe I get from this video.