We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


Sexting, Drunk Texting and Other Modern Dating Dilemmas


On Wednesday morning my phone buzzed from an incoming text.  I picked it up and saw a picture of a penis – not exactly what I thought I was going to have with my morning cup of coffee.  It was from a random number, and it was a man holding his erect penis.  While shocked, I was more confused about who and why anyone was sending this to me.  In full disclosure, I’m engaged to be married, have been with my fiance almost 4 years and he was sitting in the other room – definitely not texting pictures of his junk at the time.  At first, I felt a little dirty.  Was this some ex sending a provocative photo? Did someone get my number?  But then I was just really confused.  Who sends pictures of their hard cock at 10am on a Wednesday morning?

It reminded me of an episode of “Girls.”  In the episode ‘Hannah’s Diary’ the guy Hannah (Lena Dunham) is casually dating (although she thinks they are exclusive) texts her a picture of his junk.  She is freaked out initially, and then gets the text from him ” “SRY that wasn’t for you.”  Her response was shock and then to text a photo of her naked boobs.  While I understood the initial shock of a penis showing up unwarranted and unasked for on her phone, I didn’t feel the need to reciprocate with a text of my tits.

However, it really got me to thinking.  First of all, for the majority of people of my generation (born in the 70’s and early 80’s), cell phones, texting, sexting and drunk texting were not a part of our high school experience.  We at least had the good luck to come into this messy technological dating world in our twenties.  From everything I see on the news and in print, thank fucking god I didn’t have a cell phone with photo capabilities as a teenager.  While I don’t think I was the girl to send random photos of my vag or boobs, I know a lot of awesome girls whose  wrong choice in guys mixed with this technology would have been ruined their reputations.

While most of the media attention on sexting deals with teenagers (due the insular and cruel world of high school), anyone taking naked pictures of themselves on their phone should take heed.  As adults, it’s sad that a moment of feeling sexy, provocative or just sharing a fun moment with an intimate partner could end up plastered all of the internet, or come up first for every potential employer to google you.

I once said that if I have kids, to scare them never to sext I would take a horrific naked photo of myself and send it to them and then hope they were scarred enough that they would never text a naked pic to anyone, ever.  However, I realized that would be distributing pornography to a minor and my creepy/tough love idea to traumatize my kids to never sext would land me on a sex offenders list. So, I definitely sympathize with today’s parents.

So in the world of Facebook profiles, updates, twitter, texting, etc. – is dating harder now than ever before?  While I think the basic rules of dating have remained the same, I will admit that the margin of error (and embarrassment) has tipped, and ladies, it is not in our favor.  The majority of issues with sexting deal with naked pictures of women.  While a naked photo of a guy or a guy’s penis is met with jokes and laughter, a naked shot of a woman or her body comes with a quick assessment of her  being a whore or slut.  I abhore slut-shaming.  I think it’s archaic, ridiculous, and a tired, hypocritical way of keeping women in their place.  However, I do think women need to show some caution.  Not because slut-shaming is right, but because it exists and epically so.  When we hear about a sex tape, the name mentioned is always the womans.  We know Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton had sex tapes, but the men involved are very secondary players. We still live in a world where a man being a slut (and we don’t often use that world although few women I know want to date a total whore of a guy) is socially acceptable and actually generally endorsed.

We know Ryan Lochte is a douche (or at least he showed off some serious douchey behavior at the Olympics), but will that ruin endorsement deals? No way. In fact, he’ll probably get more.  Yet, if one of the female Olympic fab five were shown to be slutty, dirty girls – how do you think the media would have interpreted that?  Would Aly Raisman be seen as a hero if she was also seen as a slut? Sadly, no. But then again, what exactly is a slutty, dirty girl?

It’s all semantics, but women need to remember that until the world is completely fair (don’t hold your breathe), a woman must hold herself to higher standards than most men.  That means no naked photo texting.  Otherwise, you could end up like the penis on my phone.  What did I do?  I forwarded it to a few friends (sorry, but I couldn’t help myself). I then showed it to a few more friends at a party.  I just deleted it from my phone because, well, who actually wants to look at a strange man’s penis?  But ladies, be warned, this could be you. You could end up floating around some strange person’s phone all because of an errant text, or just an asshole guy looking to get revenge. Either way, the lesson is protect yourself.  If you make your facebook profile private, if you lock your doors, if you keep your password new and updated, then take the same precautions with your personal life and don’t send naked or revealing photos and texts of yourself.

Or you could end up like this guy.  Overexposed (the photo and text exchange from my phone on Wednesday):








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