Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

Kinsey Institute's Commerical Connections

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016

An alert reader of the Ruth Institute newsletter pointed out a financial connection between the Kinsey Institute researcher on the latest "study"and the sex lubricant industry. I'm not making this up. 

The "study purported to show that virgins are too old-fashioned to have any friends or marriage prospects. I took down that study here. The home page for the Researcher, Amanda Gessleman shows that she has received a grant from KY Brand Power of Touch., a product of the Reckitt Benckiser corporation. They are evidently, also working on a project called The Touch Initiative. 

Now, I am well aware of the power of touch. My first book Love and Economics, was about attachment disorder, which showed the power of touch in the lives of infants My second book, Smart Sex: Finding Lifelong Love in a Hookup World, had a whole section on oxytocin, and its power to build bonds between sex partners. 

However, I think that accepting a grant from a lubricant company, that is promoting a massage oil product is going just a touch too far. From the company's press release: 


The survey was the result of a partnership, called the Touch Initiative, between the Kinsey Institute and K-Y, a leader in sexual well-being and intimacy for nearly 100 years. The survey was a first step for K-Y towards achieving its vision to build intimacy in and out of the bedroom by creating special moments between couples. “We’re very proud to partner with The Kinsey Institute on The Touch Initiative, which is committed to better understanding the power of touch and how it impacts couples’ connectivity and overall well-being,” says Rachel Sexton, Senior Brand Manager for K-Y. “We look forward to leveraging our collective heritage to understand how a little touch is all it takes can help inspire couples to gain more intimacy in their lives.”

As part of getting couples to connect more, K-Y is also introducing new K-Y® Touch®, a 2-in-1 massage crème and pleasure gel. The touch-activated massage crème and pleasure gel is designed to magnify the skin’s sensitivity and deliver a gently warming sensation that builds with every caress, so that couples can slow down and truly feel their partner’s touch. The K-Y Touch product is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $14.99


To be clear, the Touch Initiative does not have anything directly to do with the "study" I critiqued, which was called, "Has Virginity Lost Its Virtue? Relationship Stigma Associated with Being a Sexually Inexperienced Adult."  However, the Kinsey Institute cozying up to commerical interests kind of makes you wonder about their integrity, doesn't it? As if we needed any further reason to wonder....

h/t Regular Ruth Reader: Ken Hydinger



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