These LELO x Diesel Sex Toys Are Made for Display
Sex & Dating

These LELO x Diesel Sex Toys Are Made for Display

This article is a sponsored collaboration between LELO and PAPER

For a good chunk of human history, sex and clothing have been considered practical things. Taken at face value, both were just seen as essential needs, serving a very specific function and purpose. And while their continued importance to daily life can’t be disregarded, fashion and sexuality are so integral to our everyday being that we overlook them as legitimate tools for creative expression and artistic inspiration, as meditations on the human body, intimate connections and humanity. However, an innovative partnership between LELO and Diesel is trying to change the discourse (or lack thereof) surrounding these two driving forces of creation, and it starts with discussing why sex and fashion should be treated like any other art-form that celebrates the beauty of existence and self-expression.

In this vein, the two brands decided to come together for a new collaboration that takes Diesel’s signature red coloring and applies it to LELO’s Sona Cruise clitoral massager and Tor 2 vibrating couples’ ring. Attention-grabbing objects meant to communicate the message that neither sex nor fashion should be things to shy away from, the project leverages Diesel’s mainstream visibility to make sex a topic you can’t ignore. Done in the hopes of helping people reframe the way they view the joy derived from sex and fashion, both of these industry leaders are showing us we should be treating them like the other kinds of art we put on full display in museums. And besides, it’s pretty safe to say that LELO’s toys are already incredibly bold and beautifully designed to begin with, which makes it seem like they wouldn’t feel out of place in any modern art institution.

The only thing that’s stopped this from happening is societal norms, which have discouraged us from showing an interest in either, classifying their enjoyment as “sinful” as vehicles for lust, pride and vanity. The satisfaction that comes from fulfilled sexual needs or the confidence stemming from knowing you look good have long been seen as “hedonistic” and “boastful,” the markings of a selfish and arrogant person you should disapprove of, and it’s negatively affected the way we think and talk about these topics. But even so, it shouldn’t be a big deal to position ourselves and our bodies as works of art themselves. Rather, it should be empowering.

Not only that, but as we continue to challenge the notion of what “real art” is, we also have to examine what we’ve already designated as “high art” or “avant garde.” If you open a textbook, you’ll realize these works were usually given that label retrospectively, as they were groundbreaking challenges to then-current societal norms. Just look throughout history at extremely famous (and horny) creations like Courbet's “L'Origine du Monde,” Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights,” Mapplethorpe’s entire oeuvre, and all the other works that gradually ascended from “salacious” to “visionary” over the years.

All were reactionary, after all, shocking and different, because the most impactful artists purposefully wanted to expand our worldviews through pieces defined by provocative concepts and unconventional mediums. So if you think about it, collaborations like LELO and Diesel’s could be seen in a similar light as efforts to pave the way for mainstream conversations about two things the average person still thinks of as “taboo,” “inappropriate” or “self-indulgent.”

In the past few decades, thinking of these two things as “art” has an idea that’s slowly begun to infiltrate artistic circles with the rise of sex-related conceptual pieces alongside fashion events and exhibitions like the Met Gala. And while there’s still some ways to go in terms of complete and widespread academic and institutional acceptance, the road towards this normalization can be shortened through initiatives like this one from LELO and Diesel.

Even better? As projects focused on bringing sexual freedom, pleasurable sensations and self-confidence to the mainstream, this collaboration will add onto the increasing conversation surrounding feminist self-love, two-way intimacy, female sexual empowerment and the orgasm gap. And in addition to legitimizing these topics, it also seems reasonable to predict that this collaboration will benefit people by helping the collective move away from the male gaze, with influential art collectives and curators already pushing back against the idea of the disempowered female subject, historically relegated to “muse” status or just treated like an inanimate object.

But if that connection doesn’t entirely convince you of the similarities between sex, fashion and what’s considered “art,” think about how these things have always wormed their way into culture anyway, eventually going from unthinkable to “low brow” to being admired and approved by museums as “real art.” Whether we’re concerned with intricate ceremonial garb, Roman murals depicting orgies, retrospective exhibits of iconic outfits, Renaissance paintings with undeniably erotic undertones, your run-of-the-mill classical nudes, feminist performance pieces exploring themes of sex and clothing, or even the entire Museum of Sex, all of these art institutions and works have tackled these subjects, either unintentionally or to make a similar statement about how prevalent and all-encompassing sex and fashion are as artistic, creative and sociocultural forces.

So instead of hiding or dismissing either sex and fashion as “frivolous” or “shameful,” we need to follow LELO and Diesel’s lead and spotlight how powerful it is to revel within your raw sensuality and whatever you find aesthetically pleasing. After all, the core purpose underlying anything thought of as “art” is sheer attraction and interest, which we attain by contemplating things that titillate our senses and inspire our imaginations. And if art has always been about stimulating our faculties and experiencing pleasure, what’s the real difference between the feelings of gratification elicited by a painting, a sensual encounter or using clothes to make a statement? Arguably, nothing.

LELO and Diesel's latest collection is now available for purchase. Discover what turns you on here.

Photos courtesy of LELO x Diesel

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