Dick Pics and Other Unintended Things Burned into My Retinas

“Oh my God! Look what my sister’s date sent her!”

My friend and I were sitting at a red light several years ago when she flipped her phone around, and I was suddenly confronted by a forwarded photo of some strange guy’s boner. My Spidey Sense had definitely failed me.

“Arrrgghhh geezus, what the f*ck!?!”

“I know! And they’ve only been on one date. Can you believe it?”

“No. Why the f*ck are you showing it to me?”

We’ve become a sharing society — it’s the new norm — but I don’t think this is what Jesus had in mind when he was distributing the five loaves and two fish.

Technology makes it so easy to share things these days, but sometimes you might want to think twice about hitting the Send button (or showing your unsuspecting friends the results). Obviously, my friend’s sister’s date hadn’t thought it out. Or maybe he had and was still convinced he had made a great marketing choice. Seeing as he failed to get a second date and was soon blocked, I would have to quibble with him on his strategy.

A little bit of sexting to start the day

One morning, as I was driving a couple of hours for Uber, some of my passengers decided to push the same envelope. I pulled up to a house at 5 a.m. and three younger millennials, two women and their snarky dude sidekick, piled into my car at the end of a night of partying as a couple of guys came out to see them off.

Things got suspiciously quiet for a few seconds with some subdued giggling.

As I pulled away from the curb, there was some small talk with me and then they ignored me for most of the ride. They settled into a pattern of inane chatter that reminded me of how annoying my friends and I must have been when we were young. The subject shifted to who the girls had made out with that night. One confessed blithely to letting the guy she had met get some playtime with her boobs, which initiated a sexting discussion that led to:

“I think I sent Mason a pic of my tits back in…I think I sent it in 2014?”

“OMG! You should totally give him an update, let him know what he’s missing,” urged her girlfriend, laughing.

Things got suspiciously quiet for a few seconds with some subdued giggling and the sidekick cracking a joke.

Suddenly, there was a flash and gales of laughter. I didn’t see anything because it was dark out and I didn’t’ want to crash, but I think my car had just been used as a mobile soft porn studio. Whatever, I kept driving as (I presume) they Snapchatted Mason his early morning present. This was followed by more inane chatting and giggling that made me want to kill myself. The ride couldn’t end soon enough.

Aaarrrrggghhh, my eyes!

Sexting is everywhere — there are even articles on how to do it effectively. (For the record, no, I’m not reading Cosmo. I just stumbled upon it. And yes, I’m sticking with that story). Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s an exciting way to spice up one’s relationship or generate interest. But you never know when something is going to go wrong.

Suddenly, I was looking at her biker boyfriend, Lowell, in all his digital glory, in a leopard-print thong and feathered boa…

I had another retina-scarring incident one Valentine’s Day night when my sister’s friend, Suzy, accidentally texted me an unanticipated, late-night photo. Opening it, I was suddenly and quite unexpectedly looking at her biker boyfriend’s hairy ass. Lowell, captured in all his digital glory, was in a leopard-print thong and feathered boa as he was twirling on a stripper pole. The picture was taken from behind might I add. Did I mention retina-scarring?  I got a text from her shortly after saying “Sorry! Wrong Shawn!” Still, it could have been worse. A lot worse. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for that leopard-print thong.

And then when I had to go through some of my gay brother’s correspondence after he passed away — well, let’s just say there was some “junk male” on his phone and leave it at that.

There I was, displaying my concave chest and washboard ribs in all my emaciated sexiness

It just makes me glad there weren’t smartphones with video and camera capabilities when I was young and dumb (trust me, it’s hard enough being old and dumb). It’s bad remembering the shit you did without having to relive it with the rest of the webisphere for eternity. God, I wince when I think back to the open-shirt pic I took at seventeen using the timer feature on my old-school film camera. There I was, displaying my concave chest and washboard ribs in all my emaciated sexiness as I struck what can only be described as my fucked up interpretation of a seductive pose and gave the camera a smoldering look that in hindsight made me look like I was a chronic dyspeptic. Getting that cringe-worthy image back from the developer was enough to cure me of ever taking another primitive selfie. Geezus, I shudder to think what would have happened today with no lag time between being able to take a selfie and upload it; I can only imagine the horror of rushing to post it on Instagram hot off the press, thinking I was swankalicious and being in for a very rude and public reality check, one that would return periodically to plague me like herpes as some new acquaintance discovered it online.

And the thought of sharing a dick pic? No thanks, no pics allowed. Only to be shared in person. Preferably in the dark. Hopefully with no laughter involved or comments of “Is that your thumb?”

And seriously, do women even like dick pics? Guys, from anecdotal evidence, it seems the only one who is interested in seeing your penis is you. But apparently, that’s not stopping a lot of you from sending them. (I’m leaving gay men out of this anecdotal equation, as I have no idea on their general fondness for receiving dick pics, though I could hazard an uneducated guess).

Let’s make this a forever moment!

Despite today’s kids thinking they’ve innovated everything, risqué behavior has been going on well before the digital age, in fact, probably well before recorded history. I had some friends in my freshman year of college who had an orgy group going on that I only found out about later (why the hell wasn’t I invited is what I wanted to know? Oh yeah, concave chest and washboard ribs. Got it. Plus, residual Catholic guilt. No way I could be an orgy guy). But in their favor, there were not any means of their debauchery being easily disseminated. The chances of the average person becoming the unintended star of a porn video were non-existent. You had to really work at it to gain notoriety, and even then, you weren’t going to get millions of strange eyes ogling your bits and pieces as you were knocking boots. I remember in history class in high school back in the ’80s, someone passed around a polaroid of one of the girls in school giving a blowjob to a football player with other players waiting their turn — it was a mindblowing media event and highly unusual (the Polaroid, not the blowjob), but today, with smartphones, that stuff is viewed all the time and spreads like virtual wildfire.

Young adult sexual escapades are nothing new under the sun. But committing them to an easily transmissible digital format and then disseminating them to other people is somewhat of a recent development. I mean, while it has been going on for some years, it’s still a relatively new frontier with long-term consequences still to be determined. Maybe these kids don’t realize the Internet is forever, or they just don’t care — until they’re trying to start their career, or they’re a respected professional and it pops up to haunt them — nothing like knowing the CEO and your underlings have seen your dangly bits. Of course, not to worry if you’re running for Congress in the future — you’ll be golden.

(Think sexting is just for the kids? Apparently not — looks like Boomers are getting their digital freak on too.)

Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo

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