68 days porn-free
This week, I almost took a dick selfie. This is not something I could ever have envisaged myself doing and I'm amazed at how seriously I was considering it not two days ago. I have always thought it cheap, tacky, potentially threatening to the receiver and generally an all-round low-grade pursuit. Then this happened.
I was on the Tinder* late at night, for I have taken to going on a 'spree' when I get home from work. I matched with this girl called J, who lives over 150km away. I messaged her and said, “Wow. You live far away!” and we started talking. We were getting pretty flirty, for I have found that knowing you may never meet someone in the flesh makes you (me) far braver when chatting them up. Then she put up a 'moment' of herself in a bikini, taken in her bathroom mirror.
* (If you have been reading, you may remember Kelly and be wondering where she is in all this, between Montreal Girl and the constant Tindering. Well, remember I said it was 'complicated'? The chief 'complication,' then, was that she didn't actually want to be my girlfriend. We had been seeing each other for about three months and acting almost completely like a couple; staying over several nights a week, cooking meals together, using each other's toothbrushes etc. When I told her my plans for Canada, I [obviously] asked whether she figured [or wanted to figure] in said plans. I told her, if she did, I could go for less time or she could come and visit; essentially that we'd work something out.
This is when she told me that she did not consider me to be her boyfriend and that she did not want this to change. It transpired that she likes me, but not quite enough to relinquish her 'single' status just now. So I said, 'fine,' and went to Canada for a year, footloose and fancy-free. Really, she did us both a favour as long-distance things – especially those your heart is not in – are almost always a major drag. What I am trying to tell you, friends, is that I am a single man and that the dalliances documented herein are all completely legit.)
I 'liked' her moment* and then decided to take one of my own. I have steered away from topless shots on the profile as most of the advice surrounding this issue is that it is a major no-no. But what about when you're communicating (ostensibly) one-on-one and they have already sent you a picture which is the equivalent? You take your shirt right off is what.
* A 'moment' on Tinder is a picture you take (usually of yourself but could be of anything) which is available to all of your matches for 24 hours. Your matches can then either 'like' it by swiping right or 'dislike/discard' it by swiping left.
So I took a selfie of myself in bed showing a bit of the old bod, trying to make myself look as buff as possible in the process. And she 'liked' it. I started to get turned on (in fact, I'm getting turned on just writing about it [over-share?]) and immediately tried to ramp-up the sexiness of our chat. At one point, I swear I almost asked what she was wearing! What happened to me? When did I turn into a sleazy web-creep?
It's a strange thing that comes over you in this situation. For some reason, the remoteness of the other person and the interplay between privacy and being extrovert put one in a strange head space where you're more likely to show someone (a stranger) more than you ever would face-to-face. This is a phenomenon peculiar to the internet and might be indicative of the eventual wholesale loss of the meaning of privacy.
But anyway, over the next couple of days, we trade numerous sexy 'moments' – one of her bum in a g-string, one of me naked to the waist – and I start thinking that maybe she will ask for a picture of my piece; a dick selfie*, if you will.
* I love the term 'dick selfie,' if not the physical reality. To me, Dick Selfie sounds like a 50s noir detective from the pages of Truman Capote or James Ellroy, except, instead of being a man in a trenchcoat and fedora, he's just a giant photo of a penis who goes around smoking, looking pensive and having torrid affairs with bad-luck dames.
And I started to think that, if she did ask, I would be into it. Then I started to actually experiment with taking dick selfies and trying to make them look good. It is surprisingly difficult to make yourself look sexy when taking a picture of your own genitals. Suddenly, I sympathized with Brooks Newmark, the disgraced Tory MP who, during a 'sting' operation by a tabloid newspaper, took and sent the least sexy naked photo most of us had ever seen.
But it's not easy! What kind of face do you pull? Should your face be in it? Do you show the whole cock or just some of it, leaving something to the imagination? These are questions I never thought I would be asking myself. I took several test shots in the bathroom mirror. I stopped short of posting any, for I did not want to send them unsolicited. If she asked, I told myself, I was ready to oblige, but I wasn't about to just start sending them over, willy nilly (pun intended).
I took care to delete all the photos I took. This is tip number one when experimenting with this kind of 'personal' photography. Under no circumstances leave the pictures on your phone. Not only have we seen what happens to unfortunate celebrities who have made this mistake, but there would be nothing as embarrassing as showing holiday snaps to your friends and then unwittingly scrolling onto a picture of your own, semi-flacid penis.
Thankfully, the tension died down and – as is so often the case with ephemeral Tinder chats – having showed each other our nearly-naked bodies, we just stopped talking. It now feels incredibly odd that I was ready to send naked pictures of myself to someone I have never met. And how do I know it was even her? Just as in the Brooks Newmark case (along with numerous others) she could have been literally anybody!
I am over-joyed that porn is out of my life but, I have to say, its absence is leading me into some pretty strange new territories as far as internet behaviour goes. I think I have made valuable progress here and managed to refrain from sending anything I would not be comfortable with out into the big bad world of the internet. Are these the end of the Adventures of Dick Selfie? Or will he be back for another 'case'? Read on to find out...