Over the past weekend I had a very interesting situation present itself to me from a very unlikely source. I was in the car with my youngest nephew en route to his basketball practice. Now I'm a very proud uncle who has taken great pride in my sister and my nephew. My sister is a very strong independent woman. Mother of three children, she has raised for the past fourteen years on her own. Having put her self through school in her late twenty's, she has become a very successful marketing executive. Her children, two beautiful twin girls age 17 and a strong 14 yr old boy who has never given the family much trouble.
While on our way to his practice, we were talking about the losing streak our favorite professional basketball team (which will go nameless) has been having since one of their star players moved to South Beach last year. When his phone chimed with a text message, he reached for his phone to check the message and began laughing.
"Got another chain joke?", I asked.
"Naw, just a pic from this girl from church. She's stupid!" he continued to laugh.
"What's the joke?", thinking it was a silly animated cartoon or silly pic.
"No joke, just a pic of her."
Curious to see who she was, I glanced over when the car came to a stop to see the young lady. Expecting to see a pretty smile on a young girl's face, conveying simple innocence. I damn near hit the car in front of us, when I saw what caused him to laugh.
"Who the hell sent you that?" I exclaimed as my eyes fell on something only seen in videos found in the back of some seedy and questionable video store, or late night on Skinamax.
"Hold up! You cant be serious? This came from a girl in church," I asked him.
"Yeah, she's always sending this type of stuff over the phone." he said surprised at my reaction.
You get this stuff alot from her? Does your mom know about this? What she say?, I asked.
"Com'on now you know she would drawdown on me if she knew." Translated for my older readers, basically his mother would have disapproved of the picture.
After a few more questions, he explained to me that it was becoming common for boys and girls to send nude pictures back and forth to each other. I don't live in a box, and my head isn't in the sand. I know many people engage in Sexting, but I wonder about the underlining message being sent through this type of activity. I questioned just what the girls thought of my nephew by sending him these pictures? Did they think of him as I do... as a young teen with great potential and admirable goals, or did they think of him as a mindless male who thinks nothing more of a woman than a sexual conquest?
As I continued to think of my nephew, I also started to think of the many men and women I know who regularly receive sexual explicit pictures via email or text messages. What is thought of people who engage in sexting? What is thought of the person to whom they sent the sext? What if there were no phones, would people still be sexting? What would that look like? Would men just walk up to a woman they meet at a coffee shop and after a few words slip her a business card with a picture of his erect penis on it as if he were professionally networking? Should women have identification cards with their picture on the front with personal information, and a picture of their bare ass on the back? How about I just ware a t-shirt with the words 'Show me your tits' on the front. Not that I have one or anything, but I'm just saying there are a few shirts from Mardi Gra out there that would work. I mean lets cut out the formalities, and just get to what really matters.
I would think that someone with the audacity as to send you an unsolicited picture of their genitalia would not think very highly of you. Would they think that you were so easy, that a picture would cause you to run over, drop your pants and instantly have an orgasm? Sadly some people actually do think such things. Maybe because someone has actually responded like that. Then again maybe it's got nothing to do with the person they are sending the picture to, but more so about how they feel about themselves. Maybe they are so self assured they are willing to share nude pictures with whomever will give them a phone number or maybe the lack of some self confidence and feel they have little else to offer. I really hope that's not the case, and that some people still have some modesty about themselves.
I've know some women to complain about men they have met who send pictures of their penis over the phone. Fellas, if you ever have the opportunity to be around a group of women who are talking about their collection of penis pics, you would suddenly be stricken with sympathy for complete strangers. It needs to be said, men if you can not be sure that your packing the biggest missile in the arsenal, don't expect to awe and shock. You may be disappointed to learn she has hidden a weapon of mass destruction or two in her lifetime, and she is not impressed with your pocket rocket.
I tell the women in my life much the same thing. I encourage them to detour their male friends from sending that unsolicited sextingpre-adolescent middle school girl. The response I get are varied, and sometimes surprising as some woman are incapable of answering the question. Maybe they should re evaluate the message they send by accepting so little (pun intended) respect from the men they meet. And ladies if you could be in the male locker room at the gym or at the bowling alley on league night. There is always some man flipping through his 200 pic collection of various women and/or beaming your shots to his friends. so now your picture is enjoyed by some stranger you will never know, nor do you collect any royalties for your picture.
Now don't get me wrong, I not totally against a little electronic flirting. In fact I feel it's a great way to keep a relationship fun and interesting. In some instances I've encouraged the activity with some very simple but important rules. As I said before, sexting is for people who have a high level of love, trust and respect for one another. There should be a mutual understanding between two mature adults, as to the purpose of the pictures, their use and disposal. Will the pictures be saved or erased immediately? Each should feel secure that the pictures will not be misused in any way, or the act be held against them at a later date. One can not over look the venerability someone has exposed themselves to when they engage in the activity. The exposure opens one to criticism from the person who received the picture, or to feel under appreciated by their partners for taking the risk to be so venerable. These are just a few of the rules and understandings a sexting couple will negotiate before running up their texting bill on their cell phone.
As for my nephew and his sexting crazed friends, I reminded him of his self worth image. A few careful words about what is expected of a young man in our family, and the respect we have for all women. Rather they have it for themselves or not. I then reminded him of the opinion the general public has of professional ball players who send pictures of their privates to some strangers phone, and how costly it could be. He was understanding and accepting of the direction I was given him and promptly deleted the pictures from his phone. Again he has made me a proud uncle, I knew he would take the mature route. It was either that or I was going to see to it that his phone was cut off for at least six months, after I told his mother. That's right I would snitch, if it means preserving a child's innocence. Wouldn't you?