"Naughty Nurse Delivers Nice Profits for RestoreMax"
December 11, 2009 -- Today a Florida company called MensMax issued a press release boasting that its new "naughty nurse" online ad was boosting sales of "RestoreMax," which the company says is "the first ever penis skin care cream." The company said that its YouTube posting of the "sexy nurse" video had already gotten more than 150,000 hits. In the release, Michael Dugan, president of Redu, Inc. (which seems to own MensMax and markets other skin care products), said that he had tried the "serious" marketing approach using "doctors and health care professionals." But he said the "naughty nurse" is "funny" and "delivers exactly the same message...in a way men can enjoy and relax with." The press release also reported that the company was creating a naughty nurse ad "that can be cleared on regular television." Great. In the online video, the attractive young "nurse" claims to be a "professional," and she is certainly articulate in explaining the product's virtues to a gowned male patient--she's doing patient education! But her very short white dress, her leering, flirtatious manner, her enthusiastic application of the product to the male patient, and her suggestion that the patient can "get some" by taking her to dinner leave a little something to be desired. Naughty nurse imagery like this may generate profits, but it also reinforces a damaging stereotype of nurses as sexually available (if not sexually aggressive), and it undermines real nurses' claims to adequate resources for clinical practice and education. We don't care if MensMax uses a sexy someone to market its product, but please join us in asking the company to stop presenting that someone as a "nurse."
Read more below or go straight to our letter-writing campaign!
The YouTube video carries the title "Naughty Nurse Teaches Penis Skin Care." You really have to see it to appreciate it, but just in case there's some reason you don't want it playing on your computer, here is what happens. We see a male "patient" in an examining room. The "nurse" enters. The patient says he's there to see the physician, and would rather not discuss his problem with the nurse. She keeps touching his knee.
Nurse: You can tell me. I'm a professional!
Patient: It's my penis--it's sore, red, dry, chafed, irritated...
Nurse: Have you been getting a lot lately?
Nurse (snapping on gloves and leering at the camera): All right. I'm gonna...check your junk. (She does that, under his gown.) Ow! Your penis is dry, chafed, irritated...you must be sore!
The patient says he wants to see the physician now, but the "nurse" has a better idea.
Nurse (addressing the camera): Oh, you don't need a doctor, you need RestoreMax! It's the first-ever penis skin care product. It has callogen [sic], elastins, and...it moisturizes. It soothes your skin, improves your texture, elasticity, and, especially, your sensitivity. Here...let me show you!
She applies the cream to the patient's penis, under the gown, to his immediate delight.
Nurse: RestoreMax makes your penis feel great.
Patient: Sure does--how can I get some?
Nurse: Try taking me to dinner.
Patient: No, I mean RestoreMax.
Nurse: Just go to MensMax.com.
Patient: Cool...how about that dinner?
Nurse: Why don't you treat your penis with RestoreMax first. Then we'll talk.
Isn't that awesome? Sure, this "nurse" is totally ready for sexual contact with anyone--that's her job, after all--but at least she's delivering a vital public health message about not seeing your primary care provider, and relying on RestoreMax instead!
Anyway, while the specifics of naughty nurse imagery may vary, all such imagery presents nurses as being sexually available, if not sexually aggressive, suggesting that nursing is mainly about servicing patients and/or physicians. In fact, nurses are skilled professionals with years of college-level education. As always, this ad is "just a joke," but jokes affect what people think and do, or else the company would never have made this video in the first place. This video reinforces a damaging stereotype that has plagued real nurses around the world for decades, making it more difficult for them to be taken seriously and to attract the resources they need to save lives and improve outcomes. Imagery that equates nursing with female sexuality also helps to exacerbate the global nursing shortage, in part by discouraging men from joining the profession.
Click here to join our letter-writing campaign and urge Mr. Dugan and MensMax, which says it aims to improve men's health, to stop selling this product with imagery that harms the nurses who provide men with professional health care.
You can also reach the makers of RestoreMax at: