Sexy Weiner?

This week Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted sexting a picture of his package to a young woman, in the tradition of Brett Favre, Kanye West and assorted flashers everywhere.

What are these men thinking?

Tracy Clark-Flory over at salon.com put out a call on Twitter to get women’s reactions to this sort of sexting. Plenty of women wanted to see a man’s chest. But with few exceptions the response was complete repulsion. When asked whether crotch shots “do it” for them, one tweeter replied, “If by ‘do it’ you mean ‘send me to the toilet retching,’ then yes, they do.”

Flashers seem similarly clueless. Flasher message boards suggest that these men expect women to get turned on. At least one man finally “got it,” saying, “I simply can’t do it anymore… I found that I was basically just offending woman after woman.”

Men love looking at lady parts, so they think women must love the sight of man parts, too. Surprisingly, “penis” is a common web search among men, straight or gay, and they are as likely to “google” penis as vagina. No wonder they think women want to look at theirs, too. Of course, porn depicts women going wild at the sight of the male member. But porn is a wildly inaccurate instructor on women’s sexuality.

Some believe the flaunting is tied to evolutionary psychology. After all, “Male monkeys and apes routinely display their penis (usually erect) to females to indicate sexual interest,” says cognitive neuroscientist Ogi Ogas. The move may make female monkeys and apes swoon. But among women, retching seems an unlikely process by which to pass on ones genes.

But I think women’s reactions also run counter to Freud’s contention that women experience “penis envy” (this being the supposed cause of our feelings of inferiority: “His is so big!”). I know my first reaction to seeing a penis was a huge relief that I, myself, was streamlined. Looks like others might feel the same.

Women may appreciate a man’s package in the context of “wanting” and/or loving a particular man. But this sort of sexting? Not so much.

It seems men are a bit more obsessed with the sight of their penises than women are.

Georgia Platts

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in feminism, gender, men, pornography, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Alejandrina Lara

    I don’t think getting a picture of a penis has ever made me aroused or given me any pleasure to have even receive it. I did once have a friend who was the opposite. Sadly for me, most of the guys i dated would send a picture without a warning and would then like to know if i liked it. Which put me in an awkward position.Yet to make them feel better i would say yes and then the pictures wouldn’t stop coming. And since men love looking at pictures of women, the constant asking of , ” Can i get a picture?” wouldn’t stop either. I would have preferred a picture of themselves and not their body parts, since that was not the reason i was seeing them. I would say i get the idea of why women like erotic novels more than porn now after reading this. But like i said before, i know there are women who enjoy the same things men enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  2. Thanks for the link to this. Again, I find it extremely interesting that my reactions are outliers to what is typical. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that my brain is more masculine…Even though I’m a hetero female, I experience arousal the way a male would? It makes sense, since I’ve always enjoyed visually stimulating films/pictures moreso than romance novels. I always enjoy getting a random sext from my lover…it makes me happy to see that he is thinking about me and validating both our sexualities.

    Another interesting point is the fact that so many women seem to like the look of “six pack abs”. Ugh…not me. The male body looks so fake and “Ken doll”ish that way. I prefer my lover and porn stars to look real, not uber buff and plastic like! There are few bigger turn offs for me than a really muscular man.

    • On the first point (finding the male body visually arousing) you are an outlier.

      On the second point (six pack/muscles) you’re more typical. Men think women prefer the type of guy you see in Men’s Health. Women actually prefer the less muscly, but toned, look of men in Cosmo.

  3. Right…because the female genitilia is so pleasant to “look” at! Lol…not…puke. And thats coming from a straight guy!

  4. Not so much. I don’t want my man or any man to send me a picture of his Penis. GROSS! I agree that women are not turned on by butt shots or penis shots. A nice sexy chest with six pack abs would be very sexy. I don’t understand why men think women enjoy this. I would rather talk dirty over the phone then get any nasty sex text pictures. Ew.

  5. Hannah McDonald

    I definitely think there is a sort of competition involved. Either way, men shouldn’t feel so cowardly as to resort to technology to get some “action,” or whatever they think it is. It’s just lame. Women want the real thing, not some picture on a phone or computer. That’s just my opinion, but guys should know that majority of women on this planet feel more turned on from an emotional bond than a picture of you and your chest hair in a bathroom in a text message!!!

  6. hahaha! as long as i can make my partner climax i’m happy! that’s all it’s meant for… and for my future gorgeous children 😀 Great post.

  7. This is a cool piece! i think more guys should read it and feel better about themselves! Its true, i think guys just think this is normal because of the competition and “status” that they are always searching for. I made a comment to my first boyfriend (once we were broken up) that my second boyfriend (we were broken up as well) was smaller than he was and had a satisfied expression on his face. I thought it was funny for him to not get grossed out for telling and to feel happy about it. It’s weird how this kind of thing happens.

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