Just how pleased is a woman to receive a picture of a penis? An exchange on a recent Happy Endings episode may help answer:
Peggy: (glances at phone in horror) Ugh. He just pexted me.
Friends: Pexting? What’s that?
Peggy: Penis text. Gross.
Max: (the Puck-ish gay friend, reaching for phone) Want me to pext him back?
Interestingly, this episode came out before Congressman Anthony Weiner let all his junk hang out. After that, in one of The Daily Show’s many, many bits about Weiner, Kristen Schaal took the pains to explain that really, a penis just looks like a sea slug, and no, we don’t want to see it.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Rash of Penis Photos|
Jon Stewart points out a double standard: Straight men like to see naked women, so why don’t straight women enjoy seeing naked men? “Because the female body is beautiful, Jon,” Schaal replies. And the male body – well, that particular part – is not.
An explanation for this double standard can be found in The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. Wolf explains that the female form is idolized in most advertisements, male or female. You can see this in men’s and women’s magazines and on nearly any TV commercial. To sell a guy a beer, a pretty model drinks it. To sell a woman a pair of shoes, a pretty model wears it. Men’s advertisements play to their lust; women’s advertisements play to their envy and emulation. Men desire, and women want to be desired – this even shows itself in women’s sexual pleasure.
Sex sells; this is nothing new. It’s just that women tend to do the selling.
So maybe we’re not into ogling penises because they look like sea slugs. Or maybe it’s because we’re more obsessed with the female form in this culture. Whatever it is, I’d like to guess that Freud’s notion of penis envy was just a projection of his fascination with his own. I mean, women tend to confide in friends about almost everything, including sex, but I promise, Master P rarely comes up in conversation. If we do divulge about sex, we mostly brag or complain about a man’s skill set. And we would especially never ever ever pass around a paper-mache penis while smoking and drinking amongst pals. Just saying. I think that’s just a guy thing. (Ahem. To the bachelorette-partiers who wear penis necklaces, I must say: What the hell is the matter with you?)
And to Mr. Weiner, who is now reportedly taking some time off to enter therapy (if there is such thing for morbid embarrassment), we have to say well, thanks! Your gaffe led to the PSA heard ’round the world: Death to pexting!
–By Tara Cavanaugh