Dirty weekends and personal hygiene products: the embodiment of casual sex in marketing

Eugene Y. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the current inquiry, we propose that reminders of casual sex might lead individuals to feel physically dirty, and this would then motivate consumers to acquire and like personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, body soap, and face wash. We further test the possibility that our hypothesized effect would arise mainly for those who link casual sex with impurity. In three studies, reminders of casual sex increase liking for personal hygiene products mainly among conservative (Study 1), religious (Study 2), and individuals who see “casual sex” to be “dirty,” “wrong,” or even “immoral” (Study 3). These findings are consistent with embodied cognition, suggesting that abstract representations can effect concrete sensations. We study this possibility in a novel domain in sex and sexuality. Our work is relevant to marketers of personal hygiene products, but we situate our findings in the broader discourse of how mere reminders of casual sex might influence individuals’ choices and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • casual sex
  • embodied cognition
  • impurity
  • personal hygiene

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