Vaping and responsibility

It is rare that I feel the need to blog when angry, I usually like to let my thoughts cool off so I can put them in some semblance of order to articulate exactly why I am angry. Though in this case anger doesn’t factor in to it, more like total disappointment.

Before I begin I need to be 200% clear and state an aspect of my past in black and white:

Disclaimer: I have previously worked in Gentlemen’s clubs, often referred to as Strip Clubs or Erotic Clubs

I want to make it abundantly clear, I was not going to write about this as many of my own opinions are often in conflict on this subject.

There. So there is no misunderstanding about my stance in all this, I have no issue with sex, sexuality or items of an erotic nature, and yes I have seen (and used) a fair number over the last 15 years of my adult life. I have no issue with sex or erotica when it is portrayed sensibly and appropriately.

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A Vendor Stand at Vaper Expo NJ

Look, I get it. Sex sells, always has done and sadly always will. It is the easiest method to draw in a mostly male dominated audience. I say mostly male as I know, and have known some women that like to watch erotic dancers. It is not unusual.

However, there is a majority of women that do not like to see this kind of thing, and there is a minority of men too. I for one don’t particularly care either way, I can take it or leave it.

What I have, I suppose you could call it a problem, with is the use of sex and erotica within an industry that really has no need or cause to use it.

This boils down to two key points in my mind:

Responsibility

How do you define “responsibility”? It depends on who you ask really, even the Oxford Dictionary has multiple definitions, the one I’m looking at here is:

 A moral obligation to behave correctly towards or in respect of behaviour

This opens the question of “what is moral behaviour“. I’ve already said that I have no problems whatsoever with sex and erotica, but many folk view erotic dancing and sexual imagery as immoral.

Does the industry as a whole view the use of sex and erotica as justifiably responsible?

Sensible

“able to make good judgements based on reason and experience rather than emotion; practical”

VaperExpoModels

Making good judgements based on reason and experience. How then to anyone can the use of scantily clad women at an exhibition be classed as making good judgement based on reason?

I would dearly love to know what reason the vendor responsible had for these particular costumes. Though I suspect that the chap looking back over his shoulder is the main reason.

It is in the nature of us humans, myself included to double take when seeing something that catches their eye. Does that justify it?

To my mind, no. Does that put me up on a moral high horse? Did you read the disclaimer at the start of this post? I have no issues with sex, sexuality or erotica. I do have issue with the objectification of women to sell products. Does that make me a feminist?

Probably, I agree with some of the principles but I do not identify myself as a feminist.

Sadly, this particular aspect of the industry, that we as advocates are fighting so hard to protect, is a lot more divisive than a conversation on ‘vaping etiquette’ with a wide range of views.

Do I, as a male of 35 years agree with the use of sex in the vaping industry? The answer to that is a NO. This fledgling industry is already under intense scrutiny for a variety of reasons, by adding the use of sex and sexual imagery we’ve just handed our opponents another weapon.

I’ll be clear here, I will not support any vaping vendor, nor attend any vaping show that utilises this type of display. I have no issues with the women themselves, they chose their line of work and I commend them for it, but I am disappointed that they are part of an industry such as ours.

I would dearly love to see any and all sexual related advertising and stunts like the pole-dancers and bikini girls disappear from the vaping industry, if you are a responsible vaper, vendor or expo organiser you would make sure that this isn’t part of the industry, or at least make it clear that (for expo’s) that it’ll be there, so folks who don’t want to see it can choose not to go.

It was the only downside to the Vaper Expo for me, and one of the upsides to the E-Cigarette Expo.

TWHere’s the thing, the whole debate on women being used as sexual objects in the industry sparks intense discussion, but no one seems to bat an eye when it comes to the men.

True it was warm in the hall, and not wearing a shirt has its benefits in that situation, but really is even this justifiable?

At least Mrs Wicked here has more on than the ones in the previous picture which makes this slightly better, but not by much. I mean skin-tight pants? Really?

I did feel kind of sorry for her having to wear them, but even though she was dressed like that, from what I saw there wasn’t much attention paid to her, at least not openly.

Of course, all of this is my opinion which you’ll either agree with or you won’t. The industry needs to get its collective head on straight. Yes it is an industry aimed at 18s and over, but do you really want to see heavy restrictions (which are coming anyway) with activities such as this?

Think about it, zero advertising at all. How would the industry encourage smokers to make the switch? Think about the advocates out there fighting to save this industry from overreaching regulations that can, and will destroy it. Do you really think that the female advocates want to be associated with these shenanigans? Do the men?

Get it together folks.


Thanks to VapeMeStoopid for the photos.

 

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8 thoughts on “Vaping and responsibility

  1. I attended Vapers Expo and didn’t mind the TW couple at all, but the Central Vape ‘ladies’ in the white bikinis were definitely OTT. They were approaching men only and escorting them to their stand and when I tried to talk to them about where their stand was, they were very aloof and clearly didn’t want to talk to another female. My daughter and I couldn’t get over the terrible cellulite the one model had on her bum and legs.
    I agree that they certainly should not have been used at an Expo intended for everyone regardless of gender.
    It was similar at Vapefest last year with female ‘fluffies’ giving out free juice and flyers.
    The Vaping community is being scrutinised by unknowns and we must not hand them ammunition on a plate to fire back at us.

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    • I don’t have anything against Mr & Mrs Wicked, but it shows that scantily clad ladies garner more attention both positive & negative, whilst a half dressed man doesn’t cause a stir.

      The whole sexualisation in the industry needs to stop, it is damaging the industry and those that fight to try and save it.

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  2. Another thing to bear in mind is that an advertising ban IS coming. As of next year, most advertising will be completely banned. If vendors continue with extreme sexualisation (pole dancers, really?) it will be *so* much harder to argue that the industry is responsible and should be allowed to advertise as a way for vaping to compete against the cigarette market, when we are handing the counterargument to our opponents on a gold platter.

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  3. The woman in the last picture is dressed in casual clothing. Her leggings are shiny, but that doesn’t make them any more sexual than the ones that are worn by about 20% of girls in public these days.
    As for pole dancing, that’s very ignorable, but if it’s a successful marketing tactic then it is entirely a judgement based in reason and your response to it is a result of the emotional opinions of others. A minority of women are offended by this kind of activity because they believe it somehow reduces the status of all women, as though no-one has any sense of context.
    I guarantee that the only backlash this industry will see from these kinds of displays will be from irate, inconsequential bloggers, and maybe Gawker (not sure if I need to make a distinction between the two).

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    • I suspect that my meaning has not been made clear, though I take your points. Let me now address each aspect of your comment:

      As I attended the expo, I can definitely say that the leggings were skin tight. True they were shiny and many other women wear similar on a daily basis, but you’ve missed the point. How many women, on a daily basis do you see dressed as a she-devil? The overall effect is one of objectification.

      Pole dancing, do you truly believe that having it at an exhibition, or any other sexual imagery on e-liquid labels or branding is justifiable? The industry is under a microscope for anything and everything. Including pole dancing and other sexual imagery only serves to give the perception that all vapers are sex-starved adolescent nerds. Not particularly responsible is it?

      I wouldn’t say I’m offended with this, I am disappointed that vendors feel the need to include sexual imagery in branding, labels and even pole dancing at all. If their brand cannot stand alone without resorting to the common denominator, then maybe they should work on the brand.

      If you feel that the only backlash is going to be from “irate, inconsequential bloggers” then you need to take a closer look at the industry. These kinds of displays only reinforce the negative perceptions already present in the opponents minds.

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      • The horns make all the difference then?
        I do not see a bonafide opponent of the industry basing any argument on these grounds. Appearing to market to children is a worry which many companies seem flippant about, but this is almost the antithesis. Almost, because the problem here is not relevant to the industry itself – the issue will be with ‘objectification’, NOT the industry.
        You are correct, a company that resorts to this kind of promotion has branding issues (though I’d like to note again the stylistic difference between the pole dancing and bikini babes, and Totally Wicked’s mascots). These issues are isolated to those companies. There will be no scaremongering and there will never be a serious backlash. And it’ll probably never go away unless conventions start banning models. But like I said it’s very ignorable.

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        • How do you think these kinds of antics look to non-vapers? What kind of perception do you think they have?

          The fact that parts of the industry use these tactics is pretty disappointing. Well established industries can get away with it as they are not under as much scrutiny as the vaping industry is. It may not be used against right now, but I suspect it won’t be long until something is mentioned, after all the NJ Senator attended the Expo.

          I do hope there isn’t any serious backlash because I hope that vendors will realise antics like this don’t belong in the vaping industry.

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