Last year in a post about the truism “sex sells,” I asked:
But whose sex is sold? And to who?
“If it was simply that sex sold,” I continued…
I argued that what was really being sold was men’s (presumably heterosexual) sexual subjectivity, the experience of being a person in the world who was presented with images that were for his titillation. Women do not live in the world this way.
…we’d see men and women equally sexually objectified in popular culture. Instead, we see, primarily, women sold to (presumably heterosexual) men. So what are we selling, exactly, if not “sex”?
The author then follows up with a study on male and female responses to viewing nudes. It's absolutely fascinating, and I highly encourage you to look.