If you’ve ridden the New York City subway recently, you’ve probably seen ads for Roman, a new app that helps men discretely buy medicine for erectile dysfunction. Or perhaps you spotted an ad for The Museum of Sex, featuring the words SEX in bold type. Or maybe you spent your ride staring at an ad for breast augmentation surgery. One thing you haven’t seen, though, is a series of ads by the women’s sexual health company Unbound.
As reported first by Pavithra Mohan in FastCo, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) has turned down a series of ads commissioned by Unbound, a woman-owned, feminist company that sells everything from vibrators to lingerie to lube. The Unbound ads don’t feature any nudity. They don’t even use the word “sex” or name any of the toys that are artfully scattered throughout the scenes. In fact, unless you looked really hard (like Where’s Waldo hard, but with sex toys) or were super familiar with current sex toys, you probably wouldn’t realize what the ads were for at all.
“The prompts that we initially gave the artist when we talked to them was ‘Show us what self-love means to you.’” Sarah Jayne Kinney, co-founder and director of content at Unbound tells Bustle. “And, in their style, what does that look like? A lot of our products either aren’t super phallic or aren’t obviously sex toys. We want them to be products that can be left on your nightstand. So we didn’t necessarily hide them — they’re all sort of just part of the scenery.”
According to Unbound, the third party company that approves MTA ads, Outfront Media, told Unbound that their ads were rejected because they break two New York laws, one that “prohibits the dissemination of indecent material to minors” and one that “prohibits the public display of offensive sexual material.” The ads were commissioned by Unbound and created by a series of artists — including Laura Callaghan, Loveis Wise, and Kristen Liu Wong — in aesthetics that will be familiar to anyone who spends time on Instagram. The only text in the ads is the Instagram handle of each artist, as well as the Unbound URL. (Bustle reached out to the MTA and Outfront Media for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)
Unbound primarily sells sex toys and other sex-related items, but they don’t call themselves a sex toy company. Instead, you’re more likely to hear CEO Polly Rodriguez describe the company as “sexual wellness” or “women’s wellness” company. Kinney says that’s because sexual health is a wellness issue.
Evacuations, rescues as ‘historic’ floods hit northeastern U.S.
New Jersey declared a partial state of emergency on Tuesday as forecasts for further heavy rainfall posed new danger in parts of that state, New York and Pennsylvania, where rescuers hauled people from waterways, flooded cars and homes.
Following several days of torrential rain throughout the northeastern United States, the National Weather Service issued new warnings for flooding in areas around Binghamton, New York, near the Pennsylvania border, and in New Jersey.
Federal forecasters warned that areas in the region could see as much as 4 inches (10 cm) more rain on Tuesday.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement five of the state’s 21 counties were under a state of emergency, where additional rainfall could further complicate flood cleanup.
“Parts of our state have received nothing less than historic amounts of rain, and some communities received an entire month’s worth in just a few hours,” said Murphy.
The police department in Brick, a town of 75,000 on the Atlantic coast, said on Facebook that residents were barred from returning to 105 homes without a security escort until township officials finished inspecting them.
In Seneca County, New York, emergency crews were evacuating some residents by boat and taking them to a nearby shelter, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
“Flooding is one of the primary killers with regards to weather. It’s not tornadoes. It’s not wind damage,” said Brett Rossio, an Accuweather meteorologist. “It doesn’t take much. Even just a foot of water can pull you away very easily.”
More than 8,000 people had lost power in areas drenched by the storms and the Red Cross said it was operating shelters. It was not immediately clear how many people were in them.
“It’s Mother Nature so it’s a fluid situation, watching where the rain falls and if there’s additional evacuations necessary,” said Jay Bonafede, the Red Cross spokesman.
Both Pennsylvania and New York have already activated their emergency response centers for the storms, which started over the weekend.
Molly Dougherty, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said some people affected by the flooding had been recovering from deluges three weeks ago.
“People are looking at losses of most of their belongings and, in some cases, we’re still concerned about the safety of folks and making sure they’re able to stabilize,” said Dougherty.
New York names new state author and poet
ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state has named two new writers as the state poet and author.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Colson Whitehead will serve as state author and Alicia Ostriker will be state poet.
Whitehead is a novelist whose most recent work is “The Underground Railroad.” He will succeed former state author Edmund White.
Ostriker has written 16 poetry collections, with her latest titled “Waiting for the Light.” She takes over from former state poet Yusef Komunyakaa.
The honorary titles are bestowed every two years as a way to celebrate reading, writing and the arts.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Go Back-to-School With OurBus: Tech Company Offers New Transportation Option for State College, PA Students To NYC
OurBus is expanding to more than two dozen college towns across the United States, targeting busy students who are looking for inexpensive and convenient travel options for visiting family, friends and vacationing. To kick it off, OurBus is starting service from State College, Pennsylvania to New York City.
State College service will depart from South Fraser Street, Thursday through Monday.
“While serving both leisure travelers and commuters has been a priority for us over the last two years, we’re eager to now expand our service to more college students, starting with State College, Pennsylvania, with additional service starting soon in Newark, Delaware, California and Florida college towns,” said Axel Hellman, co-founder, OurBus. “Many of these college communities lack convenient and budget-friendly transportation options to major metropolitan cities and towns.”
The company will be offering complimentary bus rides to prospective students visiting select colleges starting this fall as part of the college initiative. OurBus will also be piloting additional luggage service for students going back-to-school, beginning with Ithaca this August. Services like these are a testament to OurBus’s commitment to the student traveler!
The company understands the needs of students who are juggling academics, sports, work gigs, and life. OurBus offers express bus service to major cities on the East and West coasts, and Florida, including “pop-up” routes during Spring and Winter breaks.
The company brings flexibility and creativity to developing bus routes in partnership with current and future customers, via crowdsourcing.
OurBus currently offers bus service serving students in:
Binghamton, New York
Fort Myers, Florida
Ithaca, New York
New York City
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Syracuse, New York
West Chester, Pennsylvania
By using crowdsourcing to bring efficient bus service to leisure travelers, students, and families on a budget, OurBus is bucking the traditional bus service model, which utilizes a point to point network concept, recognizing that travelers need reliable and efficient transportation that’s close to their home, with less transfers, and less time in the car.
On OurBus, riders can be as productive or as relaxed as they want to be, with all buses equipped with free wi-fi, individual charging ports, bottled water, and bathrooms.
The company is now offering the OurBus Select Membership program, targeting students, frequent travelers, and families on a budget. Members will receive 50 percent off of 10 tickets, for $49.99.
It’s easy to book tickets and suggest new service, by downloading the free OurBus app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. OurBus customers have the ability to:
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