Smart v. Stupid
Prude Nation weighs Anthony’s Weiner
Anthony Weiner sexted with his pals and our collective head exploded. How embarrassing.
Am I the only person in this great country who has no problem with Anthony Weiner sexting his pals? Since when did sending a dick-pic become a deviant act? Yes, it is so commonplace that it has a name.
Here’s a “radical” idea, sex is not dirty – it’s delightful. Here’s another one, showing your junk to others is normal.
Responding like we have – with revulsion, disgust, and pop psychology – well that’s just sick. That kind of prudishness is disturbing and, I think, disturbed. Believing the guy should quit his job – is weirdly perverted. It’s a sign of how unevolved we are. Frankly, as a fellow American, it’s embarrassing.
By “we,” of course, I don’t mean me. I’m in favor of consensual sexting between buddies. Maybe it’s my upbringing – I was taught to mind my own values first. Maybe it’s because I’m a big booster for healthy attitudes about sex. After all, it’s how we got here. Then again, maybe it’s because I’ve known a lot of people who like to show off. Don’t we all secretly wish we had the cojones to pull out our penis and shake it at the world?
Or maybe I’m just fine with it because there is no hypocrisy involved. Congressman Weiner has never tried to legislate against your sexual morals or legislate away your sexual preferences.
“Sexting” is as old as phones with cameras. But that wasn’t when all this started. I know for a fact that it goes back at least as far as 1968 and Greenbelt Junior High School. (To put that year in context, GJH was racially integrated while I was an inmate there.) Back then, girls would drop Polaroids of their upper torso into the vent slots of a cute boy’s locker. If you got one, you were uber-cool. Sadly, I never did – but I can still sing the school fight song. “On Greenbelt Junior High, we’ll win this game...” I’d bet many a young man who was just starting out used that song to delay his, well you know.
Sexting (the analog kind) may actually be much older. The first instant photo camera was sold in 1948. I’ll bet someone did it the next day. And taking nudie photos of yourself is surely even older than that. Back when photographs were developed by “photo technicians” (first at camera stores and later at drug stores) almost every tech had a huge collection of nudie-shot copies he’d kept for himself. My neighbor Mickey’s father had a bunch. Once in a while, while making prank phone calls, we’d project the slides on the side of his neighbor’s house. We also made “match bombs” – a kind of pipe bomb that makes Weiner’s “pipe bomb” seem utterly harmless. Ahhh, those were the days…
There is a penis picture of me floating around. By “floating around” I mean somewhere in my house but I can’t remember where. It was taken on a beach in Mexico by a girlfriend and later mailed to me. On the back she wrote “Yum.”
She later married a guy – a doctor – who used to like to like to pull his scrotum through his zipper and walk around at parties. Nobody seemed to mind. Everyone thought he was funny.
His friend (and mine) was a guy who liked to dress up in revealing tights, wrap a feather boa around his neck and lip sync Rolling Stones tunes. Again, the reaction from everyone was to laugh and smile and clap. In fact, it would be fair to say that the ladies loved it! Dennis could charm the pants off of a morgue attendant – if she was pretty.
Search Google Images for “dick-pic” and you get “About 18,100 results.” Even after you account for hundreds of pictures of Dick Cheney and Andy Dick, that’s still a lot of piccolos. Piccolo , of course, is the other unfortunate last name you could have been born with. Ebaum’s World has a collection of hundreds of names for the penis, but only a few of them are also last names.
The national survey Sex and Tech found that 36% of young adult women and 31% of young adult men had posted or sexted nude pictures of themselves. Nearly one in four women. Ponder that for a moment. If one third of people do something it’s not deviant – it’s normal. It also means you yourself know a lot of people who have done it. Chances are that you’ve sexted or been sexted to. When it happened, did you think you were a sexual deviant? Or did you think it was kind of fun?
Lighten up America. Anthony Weiner is us – only smaller.
Jimmy Zuma splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Tucson. He writes the online opinion journal, Smart v. Stupid. He spent 5 years in Tucson in the early ‘80s, when life was a little slower, swamp coolers were a little more plentiful, Tucson’s legendary music scene was in full bloom, and the prevailing work ethic was “don’t - unless you have to.”