By Jessie Fano
I didn’t really want to write anything about Weiner’s weiner. I mean, how stupid can a guy get? But, this idea wouldn’t leave me alone: ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner is stupid, not perverted.
I don’t know how a public figure could be so idiotic as to conduct extra-marital flirtations in a public forum under his own name (sheesh!), but let’s be specific about Weiner’s stupidity – it was public. And in being public it left him open to political scandal and shame.
I believe that what Weiner did with his weiner would have been entirely cool and normal in private and with the consent of all the adults involved. (Factual note: it’s unclear if his poor wife had any knowledge of his escapades and it looks like the “sixteen year old girl” turned out to be a hoax.)
I don’t necessarily consider what he actually did – sharing nude and provocative photos of himself and/or wearing women’s lingerie (if you can believe the National Enquirer) – particularly scandalous in their own right.
Sexy imagery is a turn-on for many adults and so is “dressing up” and other kinds of fantasy play. Out of context, slapped on a TV or computer screen with “Breaking News!” over it though can look pretty strange – I’ll grant you that – but so would most of the things you or I do to get ourselves and our lovers turned on.
I hate that the media has such a heyday with “pervert Weiner” because it just increases the anxiety the rest of us have for anything but the friggin’ missionary position. Don’t we have enough hangups in our culture around sex? Can’t we get over the fact that what turns you on and me on might be different – and both are ok?
Here’s my advice to the rest of us to help us own our sexuality in the face of a culture that uses our personal fantasies as fodder for scandal and shame:
- Own your sexuality first in the bedroom – by yourself and with your lover(s). It’s easier to ignore other people’s opinions of what is “normal” if you just follow your own pleasure. “Other people” aren’t in your body and your head and don’t have a clue what turns you on. Only you can figure that out.
- If you want to venture out beyond the bedroom (and there’s certainly no shame in doing so or not doing so), for God’s sake, be careful! Keep it private (private property, private parties).
- If you go out on the Internet, make a conscious choice to use your real name or be anonymous (including in commenting on this post if you want to). If you choose to be anonymous, know that even that may not protect you. Most sites track IP addresses to help block persistent spammers, so if you’re up to something illegal or suspicious people can find you (Owning Pink won’t look for you unless you appear to be breaking a law). Also, there are slipups and you might accidently out yourself, so make sure whatever you’re doing out there is worth it to you if that happens.
I like a good weiner joke as much as the next lady, but you know what really bugs me most about Weiner’s weiner? The fact that he left his shorts on so that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert could show the picture of the damn thing every night for two weeks straight. (Here’s my favorite clip – and another one with Ewoks!) If he’d gone all the way, we wouldn’t have been subjected to “the bulge” at quite so many turns. In another context I might have found it titillating, but as it was it was just comedy-fodder. Context is everything!
So, what do you think about Weiner’s weiner? Do you think it’s perverted to take pictures to turn your lover on? You think that’s okay, but other stuff isn’t? What does perversion mean to you?
Researcher of WTF? Questions You’d Ask Your Sex Therapist If Only You Had One? Got a question? Ask me! (Twitter @JessieFano)