Weiner

I work with a lot of women. It’s just how things ended up, but at my company, most of the people are of the fairer sex. So I’m sitting at a conference table with three of them yesterday and the topic of Anthony Weiner comes up (you must know who that is by now, right?).

Now, I’m a guy who knows a thing or two about putting pictures of my junk up in public. Yeah, I do it like all the time. I am obviously without issues in that regard. I get a little thrill from it. Why else do it, right? I can tell myself it’s educational or some shit like that (and a few of them are, to be sure), but at the end of the day, I get something from knowing that thousands of people saw my bits and pieces. That’s not exactly what Mr. Weiner did. He sent photos to individuals who presumably knew who he was while I broadcast mine to everyone under the guise of my secret identity (no, really, my name isn’t actually Thumper). What this means is, obviously, I will find a soft spot in my heart for penis picture perps.

Back to the women. They were unanimous in their condemnation. Not just that he was married (more on that in a bit), but that he did it at all. And how that made him some kind of freak. A pervert. Or whatever. And I defended him, to a point. They asked, “What kind of person does that?” and I replied, “Lots of people. Lots of otherwise normal looking people.” Because it’s true. Not just me, but obviously a metric shit ton of others (there’s even a fucking word for it). It can’t be that everyone who snaps a quick pic of their member and sends it out is a borderline sexual predator (of course, the context of the sending is important). I’m just saying, all things being equal, I see nothing wrong with this behavior.

Of course, not all things were equal. For one, he lied about it. Proves yet again that the lie is always worse than the act. If you’re a person who is in a public job with a recognizable name, it is only a matter of time before you’re…ahem…exposed. I get how the charge of doing it anonymously isn’t as high, but dude, have a back up plan. Get your story straight before you get caught so when (not if) it happens, you’ll just get up and keep going. But no, he lied. And then he tried not to lie within the lie (“can’t say with certitude”) and the whole world comes apart and he’s crying behind a podium and the law’s looking into it and fucking hell man, what were you thinking was going to happen!?  It could be that the only way this worked for him as a sexual outlet was by purposefully willing himself into thinking he’d never be found out. That’s probably true. On one level, he had to know it would happen, but it worked better for him if he pretended otherwise.

There are parallels in this for me. I have lots of pictures of myself here. Lots of pictures that, if they were to “get out”, would clearly have some affect on my life. I actually expect that they will someday. Sooner or later, how I have no idea, someone I know IRL will stumble upon this site and see the cock, locked up and otherwise. They’ll read all about our sex life and how I like to be tied up and beaten and dominated and all the rest. My plan for when (not if) that day comes will be to admit it. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. Can’t help it. In a way, it will be a relief when it happens. I abhor secrets.

The big issue with Weiner, though, is his wife who presumably did not know about his photography hobby. Had he only been single, how much simpler this would be (assuming none of the girls were underage, consensually received the images, etc.). But no. For me, it begs the question; Is what he did “cheating”? As a guy who actually did cheat, I’d say no, dick pics are small potatoes (especially when wearing one’s boxer briefs). As far as we know right now, he never met with or fucked anyone he sent photos to. But I am apparently in a very small minority of people in my opinion. The aforementioned females all thought he was off-leash. I’m not sure if this is a gender thing, but all the people I know who have criticized him for the act of sexting have unanimously been women (keeping in mind I’m surrounded by them daily). I guess my biggest issue with him is that he probably lied to his wife about it when it all blew up. I don’t dig betrayal and dishonestly, though as I said, I probably don’t consider the pictures themselves as an act of full-fledged betrayal.

It also bothers me to be reminded once again that we are a sexually fucked-up people. I spend so much time reading the words of others who, perhaps aided by the anonymity of the web, are so much more connected with their sexuality and exploring it and reveling in it that I forget the nearly everyone else is all bunged up and freaked out by it. That’s too bad. It’s the one way I wish we were more like Europeans in this country (well, that and the socialized medicine).

This was all pretty random, as have been my thoughts on the subject. I’m perfectly prepared to be convinced I’m wrong on a few points. I’m also perfectly prepared to see us move on from these ridiculous titillating voyeuristic side-shows and start focusing our considerable talents on things that really matter.

18 thoughts on “Weiner

  1. My main reaction to this whole Weiner business has been an eye roll.
    Did we learn nothing from the football player a couple months ago??

    Was he coloring outside the lines? Eeeeh, probably ON the line, depending on his deal with his spouse.
    I’m with you though, the main problem was the lying.
    Also, tt’s easy for me to shrug it off because it wasn’t MY husband.
    I agree it would be nice if people would stop being freaked out by the fact that other people, including legislators, are sexual beings.
    I’m shocked to learn your mama didn’t name you Thumper, btw. I feel our whole relationship is built on a lie.

    1. Did we learn nothing from the football player a couple months ago??

      Or the golfer last year?

      Or the actor a few years ago?

      Or that president a couple of terms back?

      More importantly, though, why don’t the new politicians, actors, and whoever, learn from the mistakes made by the previous ones?

      1. More importantly, though, why don’t the new politicians, actors, and whoever, learn from the mistakes made by the previous ones?

        *Can* they learn? Is this just endemic of a certain type of man?

      2. it’s the whole Gary Hart thing. He Dared the media so they found something to nail him with now the media doesn’t wait to be dared the will attack any one in politics wither they have reason or not.

        Makes me glad I’m a Canadian our media tend to leave the personal stuff out of the politics. They prefer to crucify them on their platforms.

  2. My personal rule of thumb about whether or not something is cheating is: if you wouldn’t tell your S.O. about it, it’s cheating.

    Which is why it’d be cheating if I had a secret romantic affair with someone I had never met over the internet, but not if I slept with a stranger I met at a bar (if I was going to sleep with someone, I’d tell my S.O. about it).

    So, yeah, it’s probably cheating in my mind. It’s not the act, it’s the deception.

    1. My personal rule of thumb about whether or not something is cheating is: if you wouldn’t tell your S.O. about it, it’s cheating.

      Fair point, but there’s lots of things we don’t tell our partners about. They’re not all catastrophic. Is there not a gradation involved? From no big deal all the way up to world-ending? Where would sexting absent any inclination or desire for anything more land?

  3. I never thought I would actually do this…. but here it is.

    I’m a writer and I stumbled across the blog a couple months ago while doing character research. I read the whole thing. I am not your typical audience either. Young woman, about to start divorce proceedings, living with her parents again, extremely conservative and a resident of the Bible Belt. The psychology of all of this fascinates me to no end.

    I’ve been very curious as to your thoughts on this whole Weiner thing. And I’m so glad you didn’t disappoint!

    I don’t really have an issue with the specifics of what he did, except it was in very bad taste for someone who’s in the public eye. My problem is that he lied about it. My “marriage”, such as it was, was destroyed by lies. I found out the whole thing was built on a lie. And not even big ones really, just lots of small ones. If I were one of Weiner’s constituents I could forgive him for screwing up on Twitter. But not for the lying. If he’d just come clean about it, it would have gone away instead of turning into the best political joke fodder since Cheney shot his hunting partner.

    Where there are lies, there cannot be trust. Trust is the foundation of everything that works. You can share pictures of your junk because you’re honest about it, and most importantly Belle knows you do it. To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re honest with people in your real life, so long as you’re honest with Belle. That is the most important thing.

    Since Weiner’s wife didn’t know about it, yes, I consider it a betrayal. If she’d known he did those things, it wouldn’t be betrayal. It’s not the act itself that makes the betrayal. It’s the motive and the ensuing cover-up. And I don’t even know if this is making any sense, but that’s this woman’s perspective.

    1. I’m a writer and I stumbled across the blog a couple months ago while doing character research.

      Ooo! I feel so examined!

      I’m quite intrigued.

      My problem is that he lied about it.

      Yeah, mine too. And I’m sorry about your relationship. After my affair, I felt like that lie was just sitting there, festering and bloating and eating away at everything I was and ever could be. My whole life was threatened. I may have thought I could compartmentalize like I did about so many things, but the sheer *enormity* of it was too much for me to carry. I really don’t understand people who can do that.

      Then again, I think there are things we lie about and then there are other things (little things) we just don’t *tell* our partners. Maybe I’m full of shit, but it seems unlikely that any relationship, romantic or otherwise, could survive 100% total honesty at all times about everything. It *could* be that what Weiner needed was this affirmation that he was still desirable or worthy of attention or something like that and that’s what led to the sexting. I think that’s possible mostly because it doesn’t seem like he ever got physical with these women. He may have thought it was just a little harmless fun with people he’d bever know.

      Again, I could be wrong. Maybe he is a cheating, lying sonofabitch. Or, maybe he was just a guy with complexities he didn’t know how to talk about with his wife. Not that I’d know anything about that…

      1. Total honesty all the time is not possible. No doubt of that. We are human, after all, and doing the right thing is not exactly something we’re good at.

        I don’t understand people who can compartmentalize like that either, even though I was married to one of them. I honestly don’t understand how people like that can live with themselves. To me it would be exhausting.

        There are far too many women out there who don’t realize that men need the kind of affirmation you mention. It’s something I learned a lot about, real fast.

        I’m actually a Christian and write Christian romance, and I have a male character who was badly hurt in high school and is struggling to reconcile his sexual past and a homosexual relationship of 8 years, with the fact that he’s in love with his ex-boyfriend’s sister. Talk about conflict! This is one that I’ll probably never do anything with because there’s no market anywhere that’s receptive to it, but it’s fun to explore all the different ways humans relate to each other in the context of romance.

        And the fact that you were honest with Belle about what happened and committed to putting your marriage back together, intrigued me a great deal, in light of what I’ve been dealing with over the last year. Helped bring some of my hope back to life that are indeed men out there who are worth the effort. Belle is a VERY lucky woman!

  4. Actually, Europeans (as a whole) aren’t that much better. There are SO many fucked up, nervous wrecks here, it’s just sad… 😦

    We ARE however somewhat less puritanical (or whatever that word is). Which means that if you’re a married politician who’s been with prostitutes (which was the case in Norway a couple of years ago), the press will be on you like vultures. But it’s the deciet that would be the main problem (and the illegality of it ,as buying the services of protitutes has recently become illegal here), and not the sexual act. The media acts in much the same way whenever something illegal is uncovered. Sex gives it an extra, jucy twist, but it’s not inherrently worse than.. say.. fraud.

    And Norwegians are stricter on the whole unfaithfulness thing than countries further south. It’s my impression that in Spain and Italy, for example, it’s practically concidered normal for big, influencial men to have a mistress on the side.

    But just because the society, as a whole, is less puritanical, it doesn’t make individual people any less fucked up. Italy is for example a tradition-bound, catholic country, and parts of the country still is very religiously conservative. (And we all know what too much religion can do to your sex life and ability to accept yourself… ) So what I’m trying to say it: People are people everywhere. The societies might vary, as may the values and such, but people manage to be full of shame and doubt and self-hate, no matter what. :/

  5. Been a while since I commented here, but I’m still not missing any posts.

    What gets me about this whole affair is not the sexting, tenting photos, or the lying, but the stupidity. As a submissive man, like Thumper, I’m ready to come clean if I’m “found out”. But I take certain precautions against that happening. In my job I sometimes do presentations. I never use that computer for looking up all the kinky, lovely stuff I like on the net. Just in case. And if I was a public figure I would buy a separate laptop to use just for sending my photos, and NEVER have it connect with my real identity.
    I too have a certain sympathy for the guy, considering what’s known about the whole thing right now. People do dumb things all the time and lie to cover it up. 99% of sitcom humour is built on this one joke.
    I also think as generations change this behaviour will become a “yeah, so what?” thing.
    And, as your spell-checker keeps reminding me, I am European (Irish) and I live in one of those depraved countries (Spain). Here, the fact that certain powerful men have mistresses is NOT an expression of the permissive attitude of society, but rather a result of the gender gap that exists in power. And the wives of those men often live well, and go to the gym to get special sessions with their young Brazilian personal trainers… We do have better health care, though… 🙂

    1. I also think as generations change this behaviour will become a “yeah, so what?” thing.

      I absolutely think that’s right. As a generation of high schoolers who integrated sexting into their basic mating ritual become adults, this will become less and less of a thing.

    2. rossk44: “What gets me about this whole affair is not the sexting, tenting photos, or the lying, but the stupidity.”

      Touche!! Before even touching the morality, the incredible *stupidity* of it blows my mind. Who wants someone so utterly and completely STUPID representing them?!!

      On the ‘cheating’ issue, I take the view that if it would break your partner’s trust, then it’s wrong (and there is a big assumption in there that your partner is not an insecure and unreasonable lunatic… yeah, I know that IS a big assumption, and I don’t know about you, but mine generally don’t fall into that bucket).

      If your partner came up behind you while you were doing this ‘stuff’, would you show them, have a laugh together/find it hot/something positive, and would they then skip off happily to leave you to do some more of it? If the answer is “oh hell no!”, then you are in the wrong and you know it.

      Thumper: “As a generation of high schoolers who integrated sexting into their basic mating ritual become adults, this will become less and less of a thing.”

      It might become less of a ‘perversion’, but given it will become a primary basis of relationships, I actually think that while it may create less outrage as an ACT, as a form of ‘cheating’, the issue will be much much bigger because they can no longer say that it doesn’t mean anything.

      Ferns

      1. If your partner came up behind you while you were doing this ‘stuff’, would you show them, have a laugh together/find it hot/something positive, and would they then skip off happily to leave you to do some more of it? If the answer is “oh hell no!”, then you are in the wrong and you know it.

        I’m guessing that means 90% of men who look at porn are “breaking their partner’s trust”, using that definition.

        OK, maybe not 90%. Maybe it’s 95%.

  6. “I’m guessing that means 90% of men who look at porn are “breaking their partner’s trust”, using that definition. ”

    I put the ‘insecure and unreasonable lunatic’ caveat in there for a reason!

    But, putting aside what I personally think is reasonable (because that is a different discussion), then yes, I *do* think that can be a breach of trust.

    To me, if you *know* that your partner would feel betrayed by it, and you do it anyway, then you are breaking their trust. I think there is a grey area of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ that most people live in with a lot of this, the “well, I don’t *know for sure* that they would feel betrayed, but I’m not going to talk about it with them just in case they say it’s a problem… that means I’m not doing anything wrong, right?’. That’s the area where you hear about one partner finding out and all hell breaks loose while the other argues that ‘it doesn’t mean anything and anyway you are wrong for feeling that way!’. Ugh.

    Ferns

  7. I don’t see any of this whole thing as a matter of ‘ethics’ or of ‘right and wrong’…. Not all of us are in relationships where our partners want to know everything. The ideas of family and loyalty trump ‘honesty’. It doesn’t surprise me that most women get upset at their husbands wandering eye(s); it’s a matter of holding what one thinks of as a monopoly and discovering that one’s customer believes in a free market economy. Monopolists hate competition. That said, both parties in a partially/mostly unsatisfying relationship CAN and perhaps should submerge their feelings for other interests: financial, familial, historical, etc, etc. (I call this the Fiddler On The Roof concept of marriage… ). As for Weiner, I think his situation is simple: it’s all about cost/benefit analysis. He knew how folks are and he took risks. Some gambles pay off and others don’t. His (apparently) didn’t, assuming that he now regrets taking the risks he took. I’m a bit miffed by the fact he waffled but not because he was unethical, but because he didn’t ‘man up’ and take the consequences like an adult. As a man from long ago advised me (and others): “If you want to play, you’ve got to pay.” It looks as if Weiner simply doesn’t like the idea that he has to pay the bill he incurred.

Say your piece

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s