Does a woman's weight impact on her ability to enjoy sex?

A Weight Watchers marketing stunt in which lightbulbs were sent to women who may “avoid sex because of the way they look” has backfired enormously.

The marketing stunt seemed to link people's weight with how much pleasure they get from sex, causing a bit of a social media storm.

The firm's campaign was linked to recent research that found 52 per cent of Australian women wouldn’t have sex with the lights out and 39 per cent had negative body thoughts on a daily basis.

The company set out to launch a campaign grounded in female body confidence but, it didn’t have quite the desired effect.

To promote their findings, they sent light bulbs out to female journalists with the suggestion that it could give them “a little boost in the bedroom”.

The packaging reads: “Let's be honest for a minute, sex is pretty damn fantastic, but if you've ever felt self-conscious in the sack you're not alone – we've heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look.

“This globe is a 'mood light' designed to give you a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will). We hope it helps you start seeing yourself in a new light – to love how you look and love how you feel.”

Bridie Jabour, assistant news editor for Guardian Australia tweeted a photo of the lightbulb saying: “'How many people thought this was an okay idea before it arrived on my desk as a piece of PR.”

She wasn’t the only one to criticise the campaign's comparison between a woman’s weight and her ability to enjoy sex either. One Twitter user said: “'Weight Watchers Black campaign seems to involve marketing the idea fat ppl [sic] don't have optimal sex lives & would if they lost weight. It's based on shame, stigmatisation and stereotyping.”

After facing censure on Twitter, Weight Watchers’ senior marketing manager spoke to Mumbrella and admitted the bulb might have caused offense. She explained: “As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fuelled the conversation without context.“

Weight Watchers Black will launch in full on October 19th and feature content from sexologist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein.

The research and message behind the light bulb stunt is addressed in the short film below. 

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