Breakfast: Not Sexier than Before, but Funnier than Ever

This is a guest post by Laurie and Debbie. Debbie Notkin is a body image activist, a feminist science fiction advocate, and a publishing professional. She is chair of the motherboard of the Tiptree Award and will be one of the two guests of honor at the next WisCon in May 2012. Laurie is a photographer whose photos make up the books Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes (edited and text by Debbie Notkin) and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes (edited by Debbie Notkin, text by Debbie Notkin and Richard F. Dutcher). Her photographs have been exhibited in many cities, including New York, Tokyo, Kyoto, Toronto, Boston, London, Shanghai and San Francisco. Her solo exhibition “Meditations on the Body” at the National Museum of Art in Osaka featured 100 photographs. Her most recent project is Women of Japan, clothed portraits of women from many cultures and backgrounds. Laurie and Debbie blog together at Body Impolitic, talking about body image, photography, art and related issues. This post originally appeared on Body Impolitic.

Laurie and Debbie say:

Having a product called “Sexcereal” is funny enough.
Seriously promoting it as being full of foods that make you sexy is funny enough.
Having different versions of it for men and women is funny enough.

But honestly, the folks behind Sexcereal are in the wrong business. Hollywood pays big bucks for people who can be this hilarious:

Once upon a time, not that long ago, before there were drugstores on every block, when you wanted something to nourish or heal you, you simply walked into the woods and gathered the plants, herbs and spices that after thousands of years of human trial and error proved their medicinal worth. That’s the purpose of food and that’s what SEXCEREAL is – a food with purpose.

Forty years or more ago, the mother of one of Debbie’s friends used to say that in the days of hunter-gatherer societies, between harvesting food and avoiding predators, people probably weren’t thinking about multiple orgasms. Besides, we thought the purpose of food was nutrition and satisfying taste.

It isn’t clear that the makers of SEXCEREAL know this, but the history of breakfast cereal is tied to the history of promoting sexual abstinence. In the late 19th and early 20th century, men whose names are still household names today (Graham, Kellogg and Post) created corn flakes and grape nuts as part of a health food craze tied to the Seventh Day Adventists, who are also celibacy advocates.

While the name of our cereal, SEXCEREAL, may be utterly progressive to some, shocking to the more puritanical, SEXCEREAL is really just a simple throwback food product and concept. We did our research, collected the ingredients and put them together in a pouch and created a cereal that nourishes you both north and south of the equator.

*ahem* “north and south of the equator”?

The name of the cereal is … well, not subtle, but neither progressive nor shocking. Perhaps “silly.”

SEXCEREAL is the world’s first gender-based cereal, because men and women are biologically different and therefore often require different nutrients to keep us functioning well where and when it counts the most.

Men and women may be biologically different in some minimal ways, but nutrition is not one of them. As we’ve written before, even major worldwide sports organizations have been forced to admit that there is no scientific way to tell who is a man and who is a woman.

SEXCEREAL is also a cereal-celebration of love and intimacy, the ties that bind, which is a great soundtrack to any breakfast. How often can you celebrate just protein and fiber? Of course, with SEXCEREAL, you can do that as well.

Do they mean a soundtrack to breakfast like Meg Ryan’s famous faked-orgasm-in-restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally? Or the cheerful crunch of two people preparing for the big sex event? Or are we “celebrating protein and fiber” in the sense that Catholics celebrate mass?

Don’t buy SEXCEREAL; nominate their copywriters for comedy awards.

Thanks to Robert Gonzales at io9 for the pointer.

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14 comments for “Breakfast: Not Sexier than Before, but Funnier than Ever

  1. May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    The only difference I can see on the bullet list on of these cereal boxes is that the women’s version is marketed as “vegan,” while the men’s promises it’s a source of “protein.” This reminds me of the silly “men’s” (garlic) and “women’s” (barbecue flavor) potato chips sold in Japan years ago. But seriously – at least to me, cold breakfast cereal is one the *least* sexy things I can think of.

    • The Last Selina
      May 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Plants have protein, too.

  2. Donna L
    May 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Your Medscape link doesn’t work unless you have an account with them.

    • Willard
      May 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      It is obnoxious, but thankfully not a pay wall.

      I do take issue with “Men and women, may be biologically different in some minimal ways” though. The linked article deals with the fraught nature of defining male/female in sports by chromosomal testing which is definitely a legitimate problem. That said, if men and women were only maybe a tiny bit biologically different HRT wouldn’t be a thing, drug dosages tailored based on male body composition would be just as effective for women, hip replacement failure rates wouldn’t be higher for women, etc.

      The cereal is silly, pretending the crap they put it in will amp up sex drive is dumb, but building an argument that blazes right past that and in to an unsupportable position doesn’t do anyone favors. The very real biological differences shouldn’t be used as arguments against equitable treatment or as tools of oppression, but ignoring them can be just as damaging.

  3. GallingGalla
    May 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Great. Gender essentialism (based on nothing scientific) comes to the cereal world. I can just imagine what they’d tell trans* and genderqueer folk: “Eat the cereal for the gender you REALLY are (that is, coercively assigned birth gender).

    Big fucking <____< from me.

  4. May 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I just had an idea: Excereal- the world’s first recyclable breakfast food.

    • mh
      May 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Yes, “south of the equator”…but then doesn’t All-Bran promote that?

  5. May 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    created a cereal that nourishes you both north and south of the equator.

    Ogod it must say something horrible about my ability to innuendo that it took me almost an hour to get past “what the fuck does latitude have to do with anything? Does hemisphere have an effect on nutrition? wat?”

  6. matlun
    May 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I would also like to take issue with “men and women may be biologically different in some minimal ways”. Statistically, the physical differences are significant and this also affects nutrition.

    I doubt these cereals are all that scientifically well designed, though. Most glaringly the men’s version is a “good source of iron” while the women’s is a “source of iron” which sounds as if there is more iron in the men’s version.

    Which would be pretty weird, since women’s higher need for iron is one of the clearer nutritional differences between sexes.

    Other questions:
    – Why is the women’s version “vegan”?
    – Why are they labelled as “source of energy”? As opposed to which food?

    • EG
      May 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Why are they labelled as “source of energy”? As opposed to which food?

      That’s for people who have mistakenly been trying to photosynthesize all this time instead of eating food for energy. At last their confusion can be cleared up!

      • Li
        May 26, 2013 at 2:03 am

        Oxygen is poison! We should be living on the nitrogen our anscestors did! Start the paleoproterozoic diet now!

    • shfree
      May 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      – Why is the women’s version “vegan”?

      Because as soon as you indicate that a food is definitively not bathed in the blood of animals a man’s nose will be turned up, duh. Meat meat meat, remember?

  7. May 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Geez, this reminds me of the badge F1 drive James Hunt wore in the 70s: “SEX – breakfast of champions”.

  8. May 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm


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