Porn Star Martini, anyone? Okay, not the opening line you’d usually expect from a column about mum-related things, but to be fair, porn stars were the last thing I was expecting when walking my children to school the other day. Same walk, same route, same crossing, five times a week. All pretty humdrum and then… whammy! Out of nowhere: a suggestively dressed woman, full-pout, tan-thighs, making eyes at me from a large poster on the wall of a nearby bar/dining establishment.
Said poster also happened to be positioned right in front of the pelican crossing where my children and I stood waiting for the green man, allowing enough time for my 5 year-old son to absorb all the fleshy bits of this puzzling image:
‘Mummy, why isn’t that lady wearing trousers?’
And for my 7 year-old older daughter to practise her phonics on the images’ accompanying tag line: Porn Star Fridays. Cue the obvious:
‘Mummy, what’s a porn star?’
‘Er. Interesting question. I’d say it’s… it’s… um… someone who… um… helps people.’
Pause. Wince. Think quick.
‘Hey, kids, is that a Minecraft-shaped tree over there? You know, I do believe it is. Right there. A lovely square-shaped piece of topiary! Oooo, shall we go and have a look?’
Off we scurried. Now, I’m no Mary Whitehouse, but the job spec for porn-stardom was career advice I really wasn’t ready to hand out yet. Ditto any bird/bee-related discussion.
I’ve since learned that the poster was nothing more scandalous than an ill-judged piece of promotional material for a Friday night martini cocktail. That’s fine. Cocktails with silly, saucy names have long been part of drinking culture (Sex on the Beach, to name but a few). But facing this out to a high street, in an area full of young families and people of all ages and sensitivities? It just felt wrong. Not to mention a teensy bit misogynistic. And, well, tacky,
Unsurprisingly, my discomfort was joined by other school parents who’d seen it and felt a similar ‘Ew! No!’ type of reaction. It wasn’t long before a #takeitdown twitter campaign was hatched. Suddenly, we become the Mumsnet brigade of Essex. Lots of blustery tiger-mum feminist fire, but with bigger bling and hair extensions.
To their credit, the drinking and dining establishment in question has now removed the offending poster without quibble, but hopefully they and other venues will think twice about what they cast to the unfiltered public on the outside of their buildings. It’s fair enough that businesses need to advertise, but not at the expense of local decency.
I have since tried a Porn Star Martini for myself (in the interests of research, of course). It’s a drink too sickly for my tastes and there’s definitely something freaky about all those passion fruit seeds, although they do provide tang. But as for the meaning of the cocktail’s name… on second thoughts, I’d rather not know.