2012-01-05 / Sandy Days, Salty Nights

Here’s what I’m working with

Remember the Weinergate scandal? Most of us have already moved on. One famous wiener starts to look like another after a while.

I said at the height of the drama that men mystify me. I can’t imagine why they think a crotch shot should sway us to their cause. I thought they’d do better sending a bouquet. Or perhaps a box of chocolates. But a full frontal photo?

It turns out, celebrities aren’t the only ones e-mailing photos of their private parts.

I recently met an artist, a lovely blonde who creates abstract forms in bright reds and vibrant pastels. She spent last summer crossing the United States in an RV, sleeping in hotel parking lots and slipping in for the free breakfast. Now she stays up all night making her paintings and heads to bed in the first light of dawn. Sometimes in the dark hours when she’s bored or a or painting isn’t going right or she thinks of other, happier times, she posts a romance css ad on craigslist. In the ad she calls herself a rainbow and says she’s shaded in many colors. She writes that she’s looking for a man who appreciates aart. She says she wants a real connection.

Replies arrive from a horde of eager men claiming to be everything she needs. Many of the e-mails include attached photos. Of what? Take a guess.

“It’s disgusting,” the painter told me. “I didn’t need to see any of that. What were those men thinking?”

Perhaps they thought their genitalia would convince her of their good intentions. Or serve as a stand-in for everything they’re not. Or perhaps they were just boasting.

The painter told me this story around the lunch table and another woman there spoke up. She was named after a gemstone — Emerald or Ruby or Pearl — and her black hair curled

around her face. Her eyes were dark and catlike. “Oh, that?” she said. “I know all about that.” About what, exactly? “About the crotch shots,” she said. A friend of hers, a man she had known for years, decided that they should stop being friends and start being lovers. But Ruby or Diamond or Topaz said she liked him as a friend. Only a friend. So he sent her an e-mail with a photo of his naked genitals attached.

“But here’s what I’m working with,” he said.

At the lunch table, all the women laughed.

“As if that was supposed to convince me,” Rhinestone said. I’ve heard that every man secretly

thinks his penis is perfect. The shape, the size, the color. I’m told that men like to believe theirs is just right. So when it comes time to romance a potential mate, what better way to show their value than by sending a photo of their best assets — like a resume, sort of.

I just wish more men would take the female psyche into consideration. Instead of selling us on their perfect body part, why not seduce us with their personality? After all, that’s what most of us are after. Perhaps they’d see that if they’d put down the camera. ¦

Return to top