Is Merck behind the teen s*x article?

little shocked


The editor of Teen Vogue has been on the receiving end of some butt sex backlash after publishing a “how to do anal the right way” article this week. I don’t know the true age of Teen Vogue’s largest reader demographic– and I’ve read that they do count young women in their early 20s as readers– but the fact that they have “teen” in the title makes me think there are a lot of parents who feel comfortable allowing their 12 or 13-year old daughters to read it. Assuming this is the August issue, I didn’t find the cover of it yet and have to wonder if they’ll use “five exciting gadgets to stash in your locker” as some kind of euphemism or if they’ll go ahead and announce the anal sex tutorial lurking inside.

Would you want your under-18 teen reading this how-to article in what you thought was a fashion and teen celebrity magazine? I don’t think I knew that anyone inserted anything into someone else’s anus when I was under 18. I wasn’t curious about it and I sure wasn’t in danger of subjecting myself to it, regardless of whether a stranger called it “delightful.”

Supporters of the article argue that teens are going to engage in anal sex anyway (are they really? In Table 7 on page 23, this 2006-2008 HHS survey puts anal sex at only 2.8% of 15-year old boys and 4.6% of 15-year old girls in heterosexual encounters), that kids may as well have information about making “butt play” safe, and anyone who disagrees is a Trump-loving abstinence-demanding ninny.

While the article cautions to go slow and “work up” to inserting larger objects, using lube and wearing a condom (never mind that 40% of teens self-report not using condoms at all so they’re probably not going to start when the risk of pregnancy is removed), the silence about the real dangers of anal sex is deafening.

There is no mention in Teen Vogue that HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, chancroid, and syphilis are all transmitted more easily through anal sex. Not a peep about e. coli and urinary tract infections. Any reference to anal fissures, mucosal tears, rectal perforations, sphincter injuries, and perforated colons has been omitted. No hint that even a consenting teen might find the activity to be traumatic.

Teen Vogue didn’t point out that the vagina is actually designed for sex, with its dual lining that allows healing from injury, or that the rectum has a single lining because it’s designed as a one way exit for waste. The two openings are not created equally and are not interchangeable.

I’ve also seen the argument that the anus is an erogenous zone packed with nerve endings and is made up of erectile tissue, and therefore anuses are sexual. I’m fine with consenting adults who find their anuses to be erogenous zones but the nerve endings are there to tell us when we’ve got to poop and the erectile tissue is there to hold it in until you can pop a squat.

Soooo… enough about that.

Some new blog pieces written by anal-defending millennials are now declaring, “Teen Vogue publishes anal sex guide and people can’t deal with it.”

Hm. Not exactly. What bothers me is not my inability to deal with it. It’s your inability to see through it and question why something so grossly inappropriate was written for a teen audience.

All of my thoughts on this subject have me wondering why Teen Vogue really published the piece in the first place. Here are my five possible ideas:

  1. Teen Vogue wrote the anal sex tutorial for the greater good, without motive or compensation, because our young teens are very curious about how to penetrate their partners’ sole solid waste exit and bring more excitement to their stale sex lives.
  2. The magazine is pushing forward an agenda that every child might be gay, bi or trans and every child therefore needs to know how to have anal sex before or just as they begin to sexually blossom.
  3. They are catering to the internet porn culture that has infested our adolescents and teens for the past decade since the smartphone was invented, which has warped teens’ expectation of sex into a violent act that degrades females and teaches them that their every orifice was created to pleasure men.
  4. Teen Vogue has been paid to promote pedophilia and is helping to groom adolescents and their younger siblings who stumble across the magazine to not only accept anal penetration with fingers, objects, or penises, but to think they should find it to be “delightful,” all as part of the new pedophilia-acceptance movement that has been the subject of a bizarre media frenzy this year.
  5. This is a corporate attempt to drive up the number of teens engaging in anal sex so the CDC can conduct a survey next year, announce the raging number of teens engaging in anal sex, and Merck will sell more anal cancer vaccines, also known as Gardasil.


I think you know which one I’m going with.

We all know that magazines take money to write articles without announcing that they are an advertisement in disguise, or that they have have corporate sponsorship. This is our everyday media now.

Merck’s relationship with Teen Vogue can be found in:

Do you think Teen Vogue gave Merck all of that publicity for free? I can assure you they did not.

In fact, just last April FiercePharma wrote that Teen Vogue’s parent company Condé Nast “has launched a new pharma-focused division to amp up its reader-targeting powers and drive more custom branded content for its pharma clients.”

Did you know that your teen magazine’s parent company has a division called Condé Nast Pharma? Isn’t that a kick in the pants?

What we also know is that Merck is suffering because 40% of girls and 50% of boys won’t even submit to one shot of Gardasil, and the CDC just cut Merck’s Gardasil profits by 33% when they put the kibosh on the most-debilitating third dose of the vaccine in December. It’s no wonder Merck began ramping up teen magazine HPV placements in 2016.

Maybe I’m right when I say that Merck would find a jump in teen anal sex just as “delightful” as a toy up a butt, or maybe I’m way off base. But just this month our media subjected us to the (not at all new) situation of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea on July 8th and then announced our savior, the first vaccine to protect against “super-gonorrhea,” two days later. Spoiler: it’s the already controversial meningitis vaccine that college students get, and then mysteriously die of meningitis.

Does the media think we’re stupid? Were they so late in getting the memo about the Lancet study coming out that they had to quickly dig up old gonorrhea news and regurgitate it ASAP before July 10th?

In closing, I want to say that I don’t care what anyone does with their bodies when they’re 18 or over whatever the age of consent is in their state. I don’t have an issue with anal sex between adults– hetero or homosexual– in the least. I realize that homosexual boys especially are going to experiment and my response would be the same: in most states it is a felony in America for anyone 18 or older to engage in anal intercourse with or anally penetrate a minor under 15 with an object of any kind. There are lesser penalties– but still penalties– for engaging in anal sex with 16 year olds, or if both parties are under age.

To learn more about the very real dangers of the HPV vaccine, please visit Ireland’s R.E.G.R.E.T.

If you’d like to write a letter to the editor of Teen Vogue, do so here:



  1. Interesting article and probably very true! My parents sent my girls a year of Teen Vogue magazine a few years ago and they skimmed them for fashion articles and make up trends. We just realized that we are still getting the magazine every month and its been at least 3, maybe 4 years since anyone has paid for a subscription. Maybe there is a message someone is desperate for girls to read?? No thanks. They are going straight to the trash after this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, we were getting mysterious free copies of teen vogue too. No one knew why we were getting them either. No one read them so they just got thrown away. Maybe the whole magazine is a marketing tool for big pharma.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Is there a way to find out exactly how much money has been exchanged between Merck and Teen Vogue, whether for direct advertising of their products or any other purpose?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I had a friend in Portugal I met when we were both in high school and she was an AFS student. I visited her twice in Portugal: she was kind, funny, and very tolerant. She loved reading and politics. Her son wrote to me a few months ago to tell me that she had died of colo-rectal cancer, and that everyone in their family was surprised because she was so careful about her diet and healthy living. I immediately thought that it was because one of her lovers had infected her anally with HPV, and many years later it became cancerous and killed her. A wonderful person, yet she died a painful, premature death. I thought of Farrah Fawcett as well, who died of cancer contracted through anal sex. Why would any woman do this? I think it would be painful, not at all pleasurable for the woman, and when normal sex IS pleasurable, why do something that, as you observe, carries so much risk and can transmit so many diseases?

    Yeah, Merck is going to encourage girls to do something which offers them nothing at all, in order to not only push the vaccine by relatively fair means, but to then be able to say that a huge percentage of girls are doing it, so it only makes sense to mandate the vaccine for public school and for college. People are wising up and refusing it? Well, we can’t have THAT! FORCE them through mandates to take it, and then say well, it’s only for their own good, since they love anal sex so much, let them do it, but let’s protect them from their own sexual freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you! I have grown children and I/we have NEVER considered that orifice as an option for sexual intimacy. Although I know that it was stupid, dangerous choice, I had not thought about all the risks beyond cross contamination of bacteria etc…. Ugh… the battle for our children’s minds is continually ramping higher!


  5. And I bet they do not go into detail of living with anal prolapse, another common result of using the arse for something which was never intended.


  6. I emphatically agree that collusion between pharmaceutical companies pushing harmful vaccines with their main motive as profit and teen sex advice is so many ways of Not Ok .. I wouldn’t be at all suprised to find serious connections between Merck and Teen Vogue with the profit motive in all sorts of disguises. But that said, reading the anal sex article and looking at some of Gig Engle’s other topics / interests, I feel like her article was written for the purpose of being helpful. I don’t at all think she’s a deep cover operative for Merck. Maybe there are some Merck execs loving this article and hoping there’s more teen anal and reasons to push their vaccine, and yes that’s twisted, but that’s separate from the purpose of the article in the heart of the person who wrote it.

    And I can only assume, but it feels like it was meant to do good – to reduce diseases and also emotional pain that can happen when not aware how delicate that space is. I think a lot of the points made here are also reasons the artice was written – the anus and vagina are NOT interchangeable, it’s Sooo important to start slowly especially with anal, physical and emotional wounds can be very likely.

    I don’t think the article deserved a lot of the condemnation it got. Intuitively I do agree with what you say … in my body the anus feels like a natural exit, not enterance. But that line of thinking can also be used to demonize people whose bodies want to do different things, even oral sex, same gender, etc … nerve endings are nerve endings and it makes sense to talk about things with pragmatics but without judgement. (And I thought the Independent UK article took how she was trying to be non gendered to condem her for sexism that seemed like a complete misunderstanding ..)

    That said, I think Engel could have said a LOT more on relevant pragmatics. Like pointed out here, she could have said a lot more about STDs AND UTIs / e.coli. When I read it there was a brief but solid and firm statement about condoms being non negociable, but more detail is needed about how extra essential it is to use condoms with anal (tears in skin can happen microscopically and be super channels of STDs into the body).

    At the end when saying poop will be encountered, was a lost opportunity to emphasize keeping anything near the anus away from anyone’s mouth or vagina, and the solid awareness / solid hand / toy / etc, washing needed after .. and also, how sacred in its own way an act it can be to hold that awareness, and practice that hygeine, because vaginas are mircobially vulnerable inside spaces and to respect that is to introduce a deeper level of care with a partner and with oneself. Still, I think this was an honest attempt at offering important information, maybe to folks too young, or maybe in time to pre empt some serious physical and emotional wounds from approaching anal with less preparation.

    And about STDs/ Gardasil … she left out another part (which she probably wouldn’t have left out if working for Merck), that even with condoms, it’s possible to get HPV / herpes … And that could be a great segway into what are some fully safe ways to play that could certainly include the anal realm … toys? touch? Yes people will have intercourse anyway, wherever they want to have it, and of course talk about condoms. But it’s not just getting a vaccine that can make sexual activity not – HPV – transmittable, it can also be being open finding that middle ground where maybe you don’t do everything, but you still have fun …

    If any drug company with the tons of resources they have genuinely wanted to stop STDs and HPV related cervical, oral, and anal cancer, they’d fund sex ed that emphasises how much fun and connection can be had with things that don’t even involve pentration of vaginal, anal, or oral . Perhaps finding a middle place between the vastly different ways sex is thought of / talked about. Maybe there Is something to being really selective about who one would let inside them, about how going really deep in the body is also going deep in energy connection, and maybe one’s inner wisdom might also want to wait til there’s deep trust … And the reality is in the meantime, teens / and adults, are going to want to play … so how do we have those conversations where the options of being empowered to avoid a disease that condoms don’t give full protection from can’t be framed like the only way is to get a vaccine …

    all meant with respect …


    1. I appreciate your thoughtful response, Ellie. I think, however, that we are under covert attack from pharmaceutical companies and while Gigi didn’t know what the bigger picture was, her editor does.

      Also, the original version of her article didn’t even mention condoms. It was added later, as evidenced by a footnote at the end of the article.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I thought of another possibility. The distributors and manufacturers of adult depends are behind this promotion of anal sex. Their sales will go through the roof as this practice becomes ever more widespread.


  8. Possibility #6: the article (and society—including the church members mentioned) are trying to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies AND ABORTIONS by any means necessary. If abortion is murder, then any other sin is lesser–and preferable. Right? (At least, that may be how some people see it.)


  9. Lisa,

    I don’t think that’s the reason, there are several ways of pleasuring the man which don’t involve anal sex. I think this is just what it looks like, trying to normalize anal sex and thereby normalize the risk of getting anal, rectal, or colon cancer. And then if everyone accepts both as just part of everyday life, it becomes “normal” to get the HPV vaccine.


Comments are closed.