A couple years ago, when news stories of the kids these days, with their newfangled camera phones, texting each other grainy pictures of their bits and pieces, taken with their cell phone cameras, I was like, “Yeah, that’s not reeeaaallly a thing.” I just thought it was one of those things that happen a couple times and then the media blew it out of proportion. To quote The Roots song, ‘Rising Down’, “They probably chalk it up as a disturbing new trend.” And then, last year, when Tony Weiner didn’t understand that Twitter wasn’t private and instagrammed his schlong to the whole world, turning NYC’s newsmedia into an ebulliently drooling puppy the process, I just assumed he was a weirdo. However, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘sexting’ is actually a thing.
First of all, my old friend Shane Dixon Kavanaugh sent me a link to this Village Voice article, about real-life Bret Easton Ellis character, Hunter Moore. If you haven’t heard about the guy, he’s proprietor of seriously Not-Safe-For-Work website, Is Anyone Up. On the site, Moore posts the ill-gotten sexts of the jilted submitters’ exes, alongside links to the ACTUAL Facebook and Twitter profiles of the half-nude people in the photos. So, I read this incredible story, about how Moore has made a small fortune off of posting 10-20 different peoples’ personal nudes a day, and was like, “Well, if there are enough pictures to fill a site like this, maybe people actually do this. But no one I might know.”
And then, talking a single friend, who has recently had a few different women send him grainy cell phone pictures of them, either in the skin or just scantily clad. I’ve seen the pictures in question and, after the requisite statements of “kids these days,” I have come around to believe sexting is a thing some people are actually doing. And if you were ever considering doing it, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why you shouldn’t. Ever.
- Um, “Is Anyone Up?”. Obviously. You take a picture with your front-cushions or lunchables out, it could very easily wind up on the aforementioned online-sext repository, alongside information about where you live and how to reach you. To quote the article: “Your Facebook account turns into an unwelcome string of gross notes from pervy zombie mouth-breathers and douche bags you hated in high school. By the next morning, you have 600-plus friend requests, 400 brand-new Twitter followers, and countless raunchy messages concerning your body parts.” It’s just a really bad idea.
- The photos are never appealing. It’s kind of impossible to look good, either in the buff or in your silk skivvies, holding a phone up to the mirror, or bent over while your roommate takes the picture. We’ve been conditioned to be attracted to beautiful photos of beautiful people, by the millions of pictures seen in ads, magazines, and the internet; the people are not only more attractive than you, they’re also well lit, in decently composition-ed photographs which have been shot on real cameras. Your limited-megapixel close-up of your various members pale in comparison. Which leads to next point.
- You’re not 19 anymore. If sexting ever makes anyone’s body look good, and that’s obviously debatable, it’s the lithe young body of the community college student. Somehow, that aesthetic of the Myspace profile pic circa 2006 is still (somewhat) appealing, IF you’re young enough to pull it off. Sadly, you are not young enough. And I question whether you ever were.
- Have some goddamn self esteem. Why are you sending someone pictures of yourself over the phone again? The only possibly good answer is because the person on the receiving end is serving their country in the Middle East, and you’re doing it to boost morale/fight terrorism. Otherwise, you’re probably trying to entice someone to like you more, and if you have to resort to giving them a badly framed photo of you attempting to look sexy in your apartment, I sincerely doubt that’s going to make them like you more. And if does, they’re a fucking moron. And you’re fucking moron. So I guess you guys deserve each other.
There plenty of other reasons to never do this (the high cost of mobile data plans, the collective self esteem of our generation), but you really shouldn’t need any more than this. Just don’t do it.
Henry Goldman is reasonably sure all those pictures he took of his naughty bits in 2006 died with his Nokia.
Photo credit: flickr user J L T, used under cc license