Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Open Forum: The Micromanager

Taking a six to eight weeks hiatus from my sex life—rather unwillingly, I might add—does a couple of things to a guy. For one, I was feeling so decidedly unsexy during the whole sick spell that I didn’t so much as masturbate the entire time. (To be honest, I was feeling so poorly that I didn’t even miss it.) After a month and a half-ish of abstinence, when my health roared back, my erection roared with it; I almost needed a bucket and a mop to clean up the load from that first orgasm. Whew.

For another, it gave me a little distance and perspective on some issues I’d been taking for granted, over the last few years. Some of those I’m still thinking about. I’d like to address one of them, though, and get some reader feedback as well.

Every online site that I know (not to imply that I sniff haughtily and turn up my nose at others) has some kind of function that allows a member to control who sees his photo. At the most basic, it allows him to set some photos to public, and some to private. Usually—unless there are explicit instructions on the website detailing that certain types of photos should not be visible to everyone—I leave all my photos open. Anybody can see them. Face, dick, the whole thing. In part I do so because I have a philosophy that I’m not really ashamed of who I am as a person, including my, shall we say, rather vibrant libido.

I think I mentioned that when I first moved to the tri-state area I got a lecture from someone online—I think it was on Manhunt—who was absolutely appalled that I would allow a shot of my erect dick to appear next to my smiling mug. “That’s just not the way we do things here!” he shuddered, in what was the online Manhunt equivalent of fanning himself, reaching for his smelling salts, and groping delicately for a fainting couch.

Fuck that. I think most grown adults are capable of imagining that other adult men not only have dicks of their own, but that sometimes they get erect and need attention. A dick is nothing of which to be ashamed. It’s a body part, like an elbow. I’m not ashamed of my face, of my nose, or of my junk. I’m not ashamed of being a sexual person. Besides, anyone who’s cruising Manhunt or any sex site isn’t there to exchange Christmas cookie recipes or talk about comparative religion. Anyone protesting about seeing a hard penis doth protest too much.

The primary reason I went to all open photos a few years back, though, is because managing that dance of who unlocks first and when and why is just so tiring. One of the guys has to say unlock plz. Then the other has to say u first. Then there’s no u and i dont go 1st!! Sometimes there’s a standoff of epic proportions, a electronic peen-fight of chicken in which the loser has to unlock first and face the possibility of the other guy finding him unattractive . . . and the subsequent empty moment in which he realizes that the guy has blocked him, rejected him, and moved on to someone else. I figure that by letting guys see all of my photos, face, body, and dick alike, they can figure out on their own whether they want to make a further move. I’m spared having to exert my psychic powers and the services of the Delphic oracle to augur when might be the best strategic moment to unlock for the guy.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed since I began looking around online again, though. I have absolutely no patience for men who micromanage their photos.

You probably know the type. They’re the ones on Manhunt who write long paragraphs in their profiles that in effect say, No offense but I lock my photos every time before I log off, so if you want to see them again, you will have to ask me. On BBRT and Adam4Adam in particular they have an annoying habit of unlocking and then locking again on some kind of accelerated internal time clock that seems to be connected to how quickly they want me to respond.

Yesterday, for example, I was doing some legitimate work in another window of my laptop and tabbed over to my browser, where on A4A a guy had unlocked his photos for me. I looked at his profile. All the photos were locked. A minute later, I got another blinking note that the same guy had unlocked his photos for me. Now, my response time wasn’t sluggardly; I clicked on his profile in less than thirty seconds after I received the email. But there they were, locked again. I know it wasn’t a server error, either, because I wrote the guy the note that read Why do you keep locking your photos immediately after unlocking them? and got back the answer maybe u aren’t looking quick enough.

Fuck that, too. I blocked the guy.

I can speculate endlessly on the reasons guys micromanage their photos—who can see them, who can’t, for how long they allow the photos to be visible. A lot of the men, however, seem really to get off on the notion that guys are begging them to unlock—as if the number of requests they generate through denial is directly proportional to their virility and desirability. And some seem to be genuinely paranoid about what I might do with those photos, which in itself shows a mistrust I find borderline offensive.

Look. Your photos are your photos, on these website. I fully support a guy’s right to set his own pictures to private. I encourage anyone to show online only what he’s comfortable sharing. That’s totally his right, and his business. But I swear to god, when a guy starts toinking around with viewing privileges and letting me see only the one out-of-focus shot of his upper thigh in a murky bathroom in the middle of the night in a February winter when he’s got seven other locked photos of which I might’ve gotten a brief glance before he snapped them shut again . . . well, I’ve discovered in the last couple of weeks that I’ve just lost the patience for that kind of gamesmanship.

So I’m asking those of you guys who are confident to post photos online. What do you think about those who keep a tight rein on unlocking and relocking photos? Or if you’re one of the folk who relock frequently, what’re your reasons for doing so? And if all your photos are open and visible, why haven’t you shared the link with me yet? Sound off in the comments for today’s open forum!

17 comments:

  1. I've removed all my profiles from all the hook up sites I used to frequent - including Manhunt, A4A, and BBRTS. Like you, I was an open book, allowing everyone to see exactly what they might be getting into, should a spark ignite. I never regretted doing that. It saved me a lot of headaches. But it also opened me up to a lot of criticism. Trolls are fucking mean. They have nothing better to do than rip away at the self esteem of others. That is all part of being an open book. On my blog? I never show my face, but that was not the case when it came to my on-line profiles for the simple reason that if someone wasn't attracted to me, then I am more than happy to not waste any time on them. As for the micro-managing of private photos... two thoughts. One: that is their game. Internet trolls just love to tease and mislead. And Two: they are on that site cheating on someone and don't want to risk getting caught. But, bottom line, no matter what the reason for the game playing? It has nothing to do with the honest, forthright dude you are and you should NEVER allow some anonymous dick to fuck with your head. Amen. - Uptonking from Wonderland Burlesque

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    1. The trolling is outright stupid. My trolls usually aim at my eyebrows for being too big and bushy, suggesting that I should trim them. What astounds me is that they think their unsolicited criticism carries weight or that I should comply with some stranger's input on my appearance.

      (I have slipped on this a few times such as shaving my ass for a potential hook-up...which I have no intention of ever doing again; I'll stick with tops who appreciate a bit of butt fuzz, thank-you-very-much)

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  2. I'm a bit ashamed to explain the reason why I unlock, then re-lock. I'm afraid that if I end up hooking up with the guy, he'll copy the photos and post them to his hook up blog, or post them on Craigslist for all the (internet troll) world to see.

    Why would I be afraid of that kind of behavior? Because I've done it. Many times. Not posted them on Craigslist, but I have used them on my blog, to help me illustrate the hookup. I'm not proud of it, in fact I'm a little ashamed. Okay, more than a little. I'm doing something that I wouldn't want done to me. Yes. I'm a hypocrite.

    And, in another cowardly move, I'm gong to respond to your post anonymously, even though it won't be that hard to figure out who I am.

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    1. I'm less concerned about reading a hookup I had from someone else's perspective with my pics there as an illustration. In fact, I'd get a kick out of it. And hearing the other side kinda deepens my understanding of the human experience. But you touch on something that makes a bit cautious (but for the most part, all my pics are unlocked). It's the whole catfish thing and people impersonating you. On the one hand, I'm flattered that someone would use my pic thinking its good enough to land them a catch. On the other, it's sad and freaks me out when a fuck bud emails and says, "When did you move to the valley and develop this fetish for xyz?" in reference to an ad I didn't post but has my pic on it. And that's probably why I limit the number of different shots (including face pics) that are floating out there, though I have plenty more on my phone. But the ones I do share are all unlocked.

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  3. I received an identical lecture from some jackass in manhunt, when I made clear that i was looking for casual sex only. The funny part was the guy had a profile photo depicting his naked ass and a nickname like "lookinforhungdudes" or something like that

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  4. First the bucket and mop comment dashed my hopes of hearing about the first guy you blasted into after all that time.

    Second if you are going to put naked photos of yourself on the internet even with that locking/unlocking option you must know anyone can save that photo and do what they want with it. If a person is that scared/concerned, then don't put naked photos on the internet.

    We've all seen pics of guys who shall we say are not GQ cover model types, and I give those guys credit for showing their naked pics with faces and bodies.

    But like you I would not be interesting in playing lock/unlock cyber games.

    That's one nice thing about you Rob, is you just put it all out there for all to see with out caring what people think. That 'it's not how we do it here' just a dumb comment for someone to make.

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  5. I don’t get the guys who play the rapid closing game either. I agree with any number of the reasons given here and in the comments. I just ignore those guys. I can’t even be bothered to block them. On some sites, all my pics are open at all times. On BBRT, since some of my pictures involve other men on my cock, they are kept closed until I’m talking with someone.

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  6. No No - my favorite are the ones who INSIST on seeing a face photo of you, but don't "have" one of themselves.

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    1. They are especially precious. They're right up there with the ones who are clearly using someone else's photo and the ones who insist on first meeting in person before sharing any identifying photos.

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  7. I have my face pix locked because I don't need absolutely ANYONE on Manhunt to know my desires and needs-- I've seen friends on there and I tend to block them as soon as I find them; I'm old-fashioned-- but I always unlock with the first message when I hit up anyone, and leave them unlocked forever. I have gone through periods of deciding I won't even bother talking to anyone who doesn't send me a face pic within the first couple of emails-- I'll give dudes a break on wanting to see if I say anything positive about the pix they do have before they stick their neck out and show me the rest; I can understand that though a lot of these guys are much hotter than me and don't need to be so coy. But dudes I have to explicitly ask? I feel like those dudes almost never pan out, so there's no point even bothering. Except that sometimes they DO pan out. And I'm a big whore and I hate to think I might miss out on a hot fuck so I try to Let Go and Let God and be patient. Until I get pissed off because almost all of those dudes are flakes, and decide never again and bitch at someone for it and install my previous policy again. Until another really hot dude plays peek-a-boo-maybe… and actually rewards me by letting me ejaculate in him in the real world. And then I'm lenient again and the next five such dudes are useless, filling me with rage and frustration. And back and forth and back and forth. I have no principles. I just wanna cum in dudes. So I suffer... but it's good when it works! Ah, hot hot sex! Ah, bountiful fucking, spreading seed far and wide! Ah, variety of men in the world! Ah, the chase, the dashed hopes, the one shy ass that gives in and opens up and swallows me hole! Ah!

    Wait, what was the question again?

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    1. i'm yours the next time i'm in manhattan.

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  8. i think the general concensious is the lock/unlock mind game is just that.... a power trip. like you rob, i'm pretty much an open book. i'm unlocked on BBRTS and MH. the only site that requires nudes to be locked is REALJOCK. i also got 'the lecture' from a guy that created a ghost account, gave me what for, on both bbrts and mh, then vanished. what the fuck was that all about. so here's to strutting our stuff fellas.
    hebrewman

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  9. I'm currently not advertising on any of these sites, but when I was relentlessly looking for hookups (anyone remember AOL chat rooms like M4MOlder and M4MBareback and so on?) I was never shy about sharing my pictures. I can't imagine why you wouldn't. If someone doesn't like what they see, why waste time on them? I had face pics and dick pics, etc., and was happy to send them to people. All this game playing is tedious and boring and unproductive. Life's too short!!

    Paul, NYC

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  10. It’s simply passive/aggressive behavior. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours… Almost every profile with locked pics seems to carry a disclaimer…” If you ask me to unlock, I expect you have done so before you ask.” It’s just short of bullying. If it’s only sex you are after might as well cut to the chase. It’s a waste of time not be unlocked, how many times have we been turned on by the body shots only to be turned off once their face is exposed.

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  11. i like to maintain a small air of mystery and find that having something held back can help weed out some of the guys who won't commit to meeting.

    i often open my pics in my request to see theirs and don't lock them down again.

    if a guy is using the private pics as a bullying tool or a toying exercise i politely move on - plenty of willing guys out there.

    having a few things hidden can bed a nice surprise after you chat a bit and establish that there is some form of connection. it also allows me to be a bit circumspect as many of my work travels take me to relatively small cities - where i don't want it all hanging our for colleagues - even the ones cruising the same sites!

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  12. I am largely open with my photos and usually use unlocking the few locked photos I have as a non-committing ice breaker: if the recipient likes what he sees, he can send me a message or unlock his photos; if he doesn't like what he sees, he's free to ignore me and look elsewhere. Re-locking them makes no sense for me, because I choose to not worry about having my pictures reposted (if someone tries to shame me with the pics in any way, that will be more of a reflection of them than me) and because catfishing is an act I just fail to comprehend.

    I haven't (as far as I know) encountered many re-lockers. However, at least when it comes to Adam4Adam, the hook-up site itself is guilty of relocking private photos over time.

    Also, if a guy responds well to my photos, I tend to refer him to my (outdated) blog for more: http://nickssexmusings.blogspot.com/

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  13. I aqree about the photo sharing. Share what is comfortable.

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