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!