3/3/14

Revenge Porn . . .

These things that we keep in our pockets, purses, bags, nightstands, desk drawers, and everyplace else are going to be the end of us. These "smart" devices that let us do "dumb" things in a moment of passion (like "liking" photos of lunches) and - like any impulse we reward, there are risks.

Take, for example, the rise of the self nude. Once a grand gesture that involved hours of sitting still, oil on canvas, and dead animal fur as props - the self nude has become as difficult to take and share as a mirror and some self confidence (or the pursuit of it).

I am not "proud" of this (nor am I embarrassed, scandalized, or un-proud) but I have been sent photos of women in various states of undress (including the Birthday Suit Special) plenty of times in the last several years. A VERY true story . . . I was sent some photos of a woman's bosom within MINUTES of Tweeting that my marriage was ending . . . apparently this woman was ready to share and just needed the green light.

I get it. It is titillating. It is exciting. It is risky and rewardy. It has a certain intimacy and immediacy about it (presuming you're not taking and sending them to/of every Tom, Dick, and Harry in your contacts list (and this goes for you too, fellas . . . and by the way NO WOMAN wants to see your junk photographed at any degree of arousal so just stop. STOP!) and I get the intent and the gesture and, as already admitted, I am not opposed to being on the receiving end of these bianary coded communiques.

But I have to say . . . I miss the days of discretion. Sure, sure. I'm suddenly the prude in the room. I get it. I'm fine with that. What was once a shoot at "Glamour Shots" evolved on to a shoot at any number of photographers that specialized in "boudoir" photography that then devolved on to a "just give me three seconds here to tussle my hair just right and . . . click/send." It is almost too easy. And you know what else is too easy? SHARING these images.

I know a kind in high school that was recently sent a link a Dropbox folder where classmates were amassing a collection of every topless (or otherwise) shot they could get of their female peers. Luckily this kid understood this was nothing short of trafficking CHILD PORNOGRAPHY so he didn't sign up and share away. I remember, a few years back, sitting in a friend's living room and having a laptop slid across a coffee table for me to look at photos of a few dozen women that his then-roommate had found shots of over the years (including women I know socially). I demurred (first time for everything).

I just don't think these images are intended for SHARING. They are supposed to be just between "two consenting adults" and I know this is why things like Snapchat are popular but why are people sending these images not sure that they are safe/sacred with their intended recipient? I've never even THOUGHT about sharing these images with anyone else. It seems insane.

And yet entire websites exist (I won't give you the links - Google it, pervert!) for this new genre of "Revenge Porn" that is literally just photos and video clips of people at their most intimate - often with full names and contact information included and people will comment, mock, ridicule, and torment the people that once sent those images in a rush of sexual confidence and presumed comfort.

We need to stop this. We need to go back to a time and place where the only place you could find a naked image of another man's (ex) wife was hanging above the fireplace in the dark, dank, paneled den or a half-finished basement in the suburbs. I hate to say it but we have to go back.

And, seriously, ladies . . . stop just sending those pictures so willy-nilly. Respect yourselves until you are 100% sure the men you are sending them to respect you.