(This article originally appeared in Entrepreneur)
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One thing’s for sure: Sex definitely still sells, and there’s no better proof of that then the “vulva-nut” doughnut.
Shaped like a… well, you’ve guessed it by now, the doughnut was introduced recently by Doe Bakehouse in England as a complement to its popular penis-shaped doughnut line. Because, of course, you can’t just be selling penis-shaped doughnuts, am I right? Wouldn’t that be discriminatory? Aren’t you ignoring that part of the market that prefer to eat doughnuts shaped like a part of the female anatomy? Clearly, the bakery noticed this problem, and took corrective action.
“A year ago, we began creating penis doughnuts after we got requests from hen parties,” the bakery’s owner Evie Jackson told YorkshireLive news. “But another customer got in touch asking if we did a female equivalent, as they wanted to celebrate their daughter coming out.”
For the record, my wife and I have never purchased any product shaped like a penis or vulva for any of our children to celebrate any event. But hey, that’s just us. I’m not judging. But apparently, many people did. When promotions for the doughnut were posted on the shop’s social media accounts, the photos created a stir. Some deemed the vulva-nut “inappropriate” or “a bit much.” But others thought the doughnuts “epic” and “the perfect present for Valentine’s Day.” The controversy even led to a TV appearance by Jackson.
Again: Sex sells, people. And, as we all know, there’s no such thing as bad PR. Thanks to the attention, Jackson’s bakery racked up thousands of likes, and the doughnuts — which are strawberry glazed with a strawberry lace covered in sprinkles and with hidden chocolate — have brought in a whole new customer base, she says. Apparently, the Vulva-Nut is particularly popular with midwives, who would arguablhy be most familiar with the product’s design.
Interestingly, Jackson also noticed how more people were “appalled” by her vulva doughnut than her penis-shaped one. “Why male anatomy only?” she asked. “It’s just a body part.”
Oh, please. Look, I don’t know Ms. Jackson, but it’s clear she’s no dummy. You and I both know that she knew darned well that there would be some level of controversy with the Vulva-Nut. But who cares? She certainly doesn’t. She’s selling this product with class and having some fun, and as long as no laws are being broken, why not stir up a little attention if it can help to generate revenues?
So, vulva or penis-shaped — which do you prefer? Wait…don’t tell me. I really don’t want to know.