On sexting.

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You are probably bored with the story about U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was recently "exposed" for sexting with women on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve made my share of jokes on Twitter about Weiner's sexting. I hope I didn’t come across as judgmental or mean-spirited.

Because of my own insecurities, I’m still trying to figure out what Weinergate means about my relationships online. Maybe I’m taking it all a bit too seriously.

I can’t help feeling sorry for Weiner and the women with whom he sexted.

I'll admit that I've sexted with a man online. At the time, I thought it was a positive way to get a need met. But now I think sexting exploits women, even if the women are willing participants.

In these online relationships, men aren’t required to be accountable, or deal with pesky complicating emotions. They can lie about who they are, and the relationship is easy to hide. To ignore someone online, you can just turn off your computer.

Sexting also allows men to have a certain droit du seigneur, especially if there is a power differential. And I feel like these encounters can be somewhat transactional. Women prostitute themselves to men’s fantasies in exchange for a small fee—the men’s attention.

Women are sexy and compliant, and men can skip all the romantic hassles. Sexting is like a throwback to the confusing attitudes in "Pretty Woman".

Of course, women are supposed to avoid taking sexting too seriously. Just have fun. Don't think so much. These online relationships are fantasies. They aren’t meant to progress to real life.


Suzy said...

I had an IM relationship like yours and Weiner's. He was living with a woman who never wanted to have sex with him. So he used me as his fantasy. On the flip side, I used him to fill in the emotional blanks in my life at that time. His compliments really helped me get over a breakup with a man who was an asshole.

One day we ended up at a comedy club at the same time. He pulled me inside a closet and kissed me. NO TONGUE.

What a waste.

Nik said...

I find myself thinking about the case of poor Marice McGregor who was murdered by a man she met online (his trail and guilty verdict was last week). A totally extreme example to be true but the whole "wackjob" factor has to be considered when instigating relationships sight-unseen I think....

injaynesworld said...

It's rarely "all in good fun." Someone almost always ends up getting hurt and the worst thing is it's out there on the Internet 4-ev-ah!

Not worth it. What happened to the good ol' days when guys would hide their porn and jerk off in private? Now everyone needs a freakin' audience.